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Device Targeting in Google Adwords

March 22, 2010

When setting up a pay per click campaign in Google Adwords, you are able to determine if you want ads displayed on the search network, the content network or both. I have previously discussed duplicating campaigns and running one mirror campaign on each network to see which performs better for your business. Another targeting option that is currently available is device targeting.

By default, your pay per click ads will run on desktop and laptop computers, as well as mobile devices with full internet browsers. The problem with this default targeting is that unless you are promoting a product or service specifically for mobile devices, running ads on mobile devices can decrease your conversion rate.

The reason for the lowered conversion rate on mobile devices is accidental clicks. As most people with a touch screen mobile browser can tell you, it takes a lot of precision to click on the right place on the screen. There are many free applications for smart phones that display pay per click ads within the app. The problem is that the ad is often very close to a function of the application, leading many people to click on the ad when they do not mean to. This results in a wasted click.

With this in mind, I usually target pay per click ads to only display on computers. If you are selling a device-specific product like an iPhone case, then it is probably worthwhile to run your ads on iPhones. If not, you will reduce wasted clicks by removing mobile devices from your campaign targeting.