by Louise


Internet Marketing

AdWords: What’s next for Mobile, Tablets and Phablets?

We’re now past the mobile tipping point, so it’s no longer a case of asking whether targeting users on mobile devices is important – we know it is! With the AdWords platform ever-changing to give advertisers more flexibility, what’s next for mobile devices?

Google is forever developing the AdWords platform to allow advertisers to build a separate strategy for mobile devices. Initially, advertisers were given the choice to target mobile, desktop, or both. Now we have been given a whole range of features to allow us to adapt the marketing strategy for mobile devices – including mobile bid adjustments, mobile preferred ad copies and ad extensions.

Tablets have been slow to catch up, however with usage more than doubling over the past 3 years, it’s now a necessity for advertisers to produce a separate strategy for these devices too.

So how do we think things will look in the future? We’ve compiled a few features that we believe would allow advertisers the ability to optimise for mobile devices more effectively.

1: Bid adjustments according to size rather than category

We believe the best solution for our ever-changing devices is to allow separate targeting according to screen size, similar to the following:

This would give advertisers the flexibility to adjust their targeting accordingly whilst keeping clear definitions as to which devices fall into each category. Advertisers would then have complete flexibility over the bid adjustments, ads and ad extensions for each category.

2: Additional features


Google has already mentioned introducing the ability to target users based on their existing apps. This should allow advertisers to do the following:
Discover – Reaching people who are most likely cursomers, based on apps they use, the frequency of use and the types of in-app purchases they make.
Re-engage –Taking users directing into already-installed apps, instead of being taken to the app’s main landing page.
Measure – Measuring conversions across the entire lifecycle of the app: from install to re-engagement to in-app purchases.


We believe that having the ability to target users based on their current location or device would be a fantastic next step for mobile targeting. This would allow advertisers to reach the right audience, with the right message, in the right context.
For example, a takeaway pizza business could target users within a 5 mile radius of their shop with a message such as ‘Hungry? Order a pizza straight from your iPhone!’.


Moving forward, it seems only a matter of time before restrictions are put into place to encourage advertisers to develop a different strategy for mobile devices. Initially, we would expect devices to have different character limits to desktop. Specifically, fewer characters for ads and ad extensions across devices to ensure mobile ads appear correctly on different screen sizes.
Google has mentioned a change in mobile ads, where only the 1st line of ad copy will be used from October 2015. Once this takes effect, advertisers will need to get smarter with mobile ad extensions instead, helping users find information faster to allow them to take action while on the go.

3: In-depth Reporting

In April 2014, Google announced a range of new reporting features that they were developing which will give advertisers access to visualization tools and drag-and-drop pivot tables. With the recent developments with mobile devices, we’re sure the upgrades have to extend here too. Ideally, these reports would include:
Device type
Operating system
Competitor Metrics

With the above information, advertisers could highlight any potential opportunities and focus on pushing the areas that work well for them, whilst highlighting any troubled areas.


Google is doing an amazing job at providing advertisers with new features for mobile devices. During their big announcement in April 2014, they gave us a sneak peak at what we could expect. It would be great to see these pushed further with more in-depth targeting and reporting to boost the performance further.
Do you have different views around where mobile device targeting in heading? I’d be interested to hear your comments!


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