When Google announced separate device bid adjustments, the AdWords community cheered with joy. Finally, the key bid feature advertisers had been screaming out for was on its way. However, Google was quick to advise against creating separate campaigns for each device type.

This is hardly a surprise, though, because Google wants you to use its automated bidding features as much as possible. Which makes it difficult to trust anything it says on the topic. So now seems like a good time to run through some reasons why may (or may not) want to create separate campaigns for specific devices.


Good reasons to create campaigns for specific devices

Before we get into the reasons, let’s just be clear the vast majority of your campaigns will not be device specific. However, there are some scenarios where you may need to target one device type with a campaign.


Reason #1: You only want to target people using that device

Sure this sounds painfully obvious, but we see a lot of advertisers trip up on this. Targeting mobile users (in addition to others) and only targeting mobile are two very different things, for example.

You can already target mobile users at the ad group level and send them to a mobile optimised landing page. You don’t need to create a new campaign for that. However, if you have a unique advertising goal for mobile users only, then you’ll want to go ahead and create a specific campaign for it.


Reason #2: You can’t optimise for all devices

There may be times when you optimise a campaign for mobile and it compromises performance on desktop – or vice versa. So you change the headline to drop bounce rates from mobile traffic and the you see a drop in conversions from desktop users – damn!

So next you go ahead and create a new ad group, only to find you can’t change the targeting option at an ad group level. Double damn!

In this scenario, you might be better off creating a new campaign and optimising them separately.


Reason #3: Your ads start competing against each other

Ad groups allow you to bunch different ads together into the same campaign and you should generally stick to this formula. If your ads share the same goal, put them in ad groups within the same campaign. However, there are times where your ads might start competing against each other (the same keyword, for example). Your first move will be to reassess your keywords choices to see if you can group them into more specific themes. If you can’t do that, then your next best option will probably be creating a new campaign altogether.


Bad reasons to create campaigns for specific devices

Creating specific campaigns for device types is fine but you want to avoid doing it whenever possible. Each new campaigns adds to your management and makes your account structure more complex. It’s also often not necessary to create a new campaign in the first place.


Reason #1: Because you want to target devices with different ads

With device bid modifiers you can show targeted ads to specific device types. So, as long as your overall goal is the same, you can target different devices at the ad group level – and this is the best way to go about it. As we said before, it’s only when you start working with unique goals or actions for different devices types where separate campaigns are needed.


Reason #2: Because you want to send users to a different landing page

Sending users to a different landing page isn’t the same as having a different marketing goal. It’s perfectly normal to have a mobile optimised landing page designed to achieve the same thing as its desktop version. The difference is it’s optimised to entice more mobile users to fulfil that goal.

So, if the goal is the same, it doesn’t matter that you have a different landing page. Stick to the one campaign, unless you have a different goal in mind or you specifically need to use setting that are only available at the campaign level.


Reason #3: Because separate campaigns give you more control

While this is perfectly true, creating too many campaigns will make your account unmanageable. So the worst thing you can do is split your existing campaigns into three separate ones for each device type.

Yes, this gives you more settings to work with but the added workload is huge. There is a time and a place for creating separate campaigns for specific device types and Google has made it easier to do. However, this doesn’t mean you want to be creating separate campaigns for the sake of it. You’ll soon regret it.


Hopefully, you can see the benefit of creating separate campaigns for device types in the right situation. More importantly, though, we hope you can see why you want to be careful when it comes to creating them without good reason. We know how exciting it is to see device bid modifiers return to AdWords, but let’s not go too crazy and force Google to take them away again!