Segmenting Campaigns by Device? Yes, or No?

By CHECKusMediaGroup October 7, 2016

The possibility of creating specific campaigns per device is a feature that could bring too much work and even overcrowd your account. Should you be doing it? Let’s take a look at some points, which you should consider.

You have to ask yourself, is it needed for you? You can also bid differently per device. Now the question is, if it should be only expanded text ads as they are more supported. But with expanded text ads there will be no mobile specific ads, but mobile URLs to send mobile users to specific mobile pages. Now you have to answer if your mobile specific copy is essential for the success of your mobile advertising. And many others question coming in a row.

What to look at? In case of lead generation, the most important statistics is the conversion rate difference between devices. If your mobile campaigns achieves only two thirds of the performance of the desktop campaign (in conversion) you want to pay only proportional price for them as the desktop campaign is bringing more leads. Revenue per click applies to the same in e-commerce.

If this happens, you can’t just keep such settings untouched. It would be much better to create individual desktop and tablet/mobile campaigns according to the rate at which they convert. As an example, imagine that we have a 75% impression share in the above mentioned campaign. Our desktop impression share and average position could reach 100% and 1.0, while the mobile and tablet impression share and average position reaches 66% and 2.0. In this case, our growth availability when looking at keywords’ bid changes would be related to mobile devices. But when we’re looking at data at the aggregate keyword level, we’re not necessarily segmenting this granularly. We can simply raise the bid and get more mobile and tablet traffic, which does not perform as well as the desktop traffic we’re getting and could potentially pull our numbers down.

With such analysis, we can conclude that the situation of two thirds of a success on another device means that it would be useful to segment devices into their own campaigns, even better than relying on bid modifiers for bidding purposes.

People expect that the mobile copy is the most important factor to decide for segmenting mobile into their own campaigns. Expanded text ads are not mobile specific and in January they will more than likely be the only option to use. However, another argument states that the biggest reasoning for mobile specific ads in the first place was to send those users to a different URL – and this problem was fixed with the mobile final URL launch. It can be tough to segment your mobile copy if the copy or the landing pages aren’t helping the results. If you always had mobile landing pages in place and then tested “order from your phone” type copy, it would help you make a decision much easier.

According to the results above, considering a mobile specific ad on mobile devices in comparison with when we have shown a regular text ad on mobile devices. When testing ad copy, it’s good to look at conversion per impression data, while I look into conversion rate data when doing a landing page test (for lead gen clients).

In such situation, the mobile ads have mobile-specific copy and mobile-specific landing pages. The higher conversion rate but much lower CTR on the mobile-specific copy shows me that the landing pages have supported performance markedly, while the copy seems  to have actually hurt performance, even if it may have helped conversion rates mildly. Therefore, we’ll be fine transitioning to expanded text ads and just adding the mobile final URLs, and so no segmentation would be needed at the campaign-level.

If these results showed that the CTR on mobile devices is significantly higher in case of a mobile-specific ad, then you would have to weigh setting up a mobile-specific campaign in order to write the mobile ads within the expanded ad copy.

The last important issue before deciding is how it would help or hurt the structure of your account. You can use text-to-columns for reporting, where you would just add devices to that naming convention. But do you already have RLSA-specific campaigns built out? Do you have multiple locations with their own groups of campaigns? When do the extra builds stop? These are questions you need to response to before your decision.

Campaigns could be differently segmented out by certain regions, by audiences for remarketing, or by device, or even more. Everything depends on how your account is structured now and how segmenting more granularly by device would affect your performance.

Always be sure that you make the decision based on statistics and then move forward if the numbers make sense and the structure is manageable.

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