Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | SEM | December 24, 2014

PPC Comparisons: Mobile vs. Desktop

Take a look at the chart below:


Would you rather invest more spend into mobile or desktop?

(that’s a rhetorical question)

The real question is: how frequently do you review this kind of data for your campaigns?

If the answer is “not enough,” then this article will be perfect for you.


We can create a report like this in either AdWords or Analytics. Analytics is useful if you’d like to segment your traffic from other sources (like organic) or platforms (like Bing).

Let’s start with how to create this report in AdWords:

Filing this report is simple: Start by selecting the campaign(s) you’re interested in. Click the Segment dropdown box within AdWords, and then click Device.


This will give you a breakdown that looks something like this:


You can always adjust columns in order to display the information that is most relevant to your campaign. Here’s a good resource for learning how to adjust your columns.

Now let’s review how to segment this in Analytics. Log into Analytics. Under the Audience tab on the left-hand side, click the Mobile dropdown, then select Overview. This will bring up a screen very similar to the one in AdWords that looks like this:


Like I mentioned earlier, the good thing about Analytics is that you can create segments to view different types of traffic (organic, CPC, direct traffic, etc). Either direction you choose is perfectly fine. Both Analytics and AdWords are capable of displaying the information that you’re looking for.

So, let’s say you figured out that mobile converts very poorly for your campaigns. You may want to just shut it off entirely,  but I’d recommend decreasing bids significantly before turning it off. There’s always a possibility that a device can perform better for you at a significantly cheaper cost per click. Sure, there will be less traffic (since you’re bidding less aggressively), but if it converts at or above an acceptable conversion rate, then you’ll definitely want to keep it running.

The easiest way (in my opinion) to make a mobile bid adjustment is through the AdWords Editor (more information on how to use the AdWords Editor here). In the image below, you can see that under the campaigns tab there’s a spot where you can easily adjust the mobile bids by whatever percentage you’d like. If mobile is severely underperforming, then I’d recommend slashing bids by 75% (just type -75 into the box) and checking back in a month or two to see if it’s converting at a more reasonable rate (make sure you post your changes!). See below:



You can also easily make these changes in the AdWords browser interface. Click the Settings tab –> Devices –> then under the bid adjustment column you can increase or decrease your bids on mobile by whatever percentage you’d like:



Hopefully this article saves you a bunch of money by allocating your resources towards/away from the devices that convert better/worse for you. As always, happy advertising, and also happy holidays!



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