Targeting Only Mobile Devices with AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

Google’s new enhanced AdWords campaigns aim to simplify and improve PPC advertising in a multi-device marketplace. Given this goal, you might think that targeting specific devices with your campaigns would be easier than ever… or at least not harder than it was before.

You might be surprised.

In the old format, I had 20-some campaigns targeting specific cities and showing ads only on mobile devices, using the click-to-call telephone extension. This was working great for me.

In the new format, you can no longer tell Google to show your ad on a mobile phone and nothing else, your only option is to spend a greater or lesser percentage of your budget on mobile (note: you can’t tell it to spend less on desktops or tablets either, that would be too easy).

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(less than perfect, better than nothing)

This workaround will vary in effectiveness, depending on the market you’re targeting.

Basically you need to use max CPC and mobile bid adjustment to make your bid only viable on mobile devices.

You can only adjust your mobile bid by up to +300%, so you want to set your campaign’s max CPC to a low enough bid that it won’t get many (or any) clicks,  but high enough that, if multiplied my 3, it reaches your desired max CPC for your mobile ads.

Let’s say you want to spend up to $20 on a click from a mobile device (and of course you don’t want any clicks from desktops). You’d set your campaign’s max CPC to $5. With any luck this will be too small of a bid to get any real action on desktops/tablets.

Now when you adjust your mobile bid to +300%, it will bid up to $20 for a click on mobile devices only.


Like I said, not perfect… but better than nothing.

Maybe bid adjustment for desktops and tablets is right around the corner and Google is just trying to keep us on our toes. But hopefully in the meantime this workaround does the trick.


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