Bing Ads Revamps Tablet, Mobile Targeting for Better AdWords Compatibility

Bing AdsDevice targeting on Bing Ads is getting a big overhaul. The goal is to bring Bing Ads in line with Google AdWords, giving advertisers the ability to target specific devices – desktop, tablet, and smartphone. The changes will rollout over the next year.

When Bing Ads began offering compatibility with AdWords enhanced campaigns, customers were confused over the new complexity be presented, according to Bing. So Bing Ads is restructuring in order to bring it in line with how AdWords does it, while simplifying things for advertisers who work between both Bing Ads and Google AdWords.

Advertisers will need to be ready for the new changes coming out in stages starting in September and continuing into 2015.

Bing Ads will be removing their explicit mobile device targeting, and utilizing data modifiers for campaigns instead. You can also use bid modifiers across both devices, with tablets having a -20% to +100% bid modifier, while smartphones will have a -100% to 300%.

With tablets only having a -20% bid modifier, it means that advertisers won't be able to completely opt out of tablet targeting.

"Until this change, advertisers have had the advantage of flexibility in targeting devices on Bing Ads" says Lisa Raehsler, founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co. "While trends are showing mobile devices are as common as desktops, mobile campaigns still have challenges."

In addition to concerns about conversion differences between desktop and mobile, some industries and market areas also have higher conversions on different platforms.

"First, mobile campaigns tend to not convert as well as desktops," says Raehsler. "Second, some advertisers' industries are not conducive to mobile ads and their audiences are not present. Last and most importantly, many advertisers' don't have mobile strategies and websites that are mobile friendly. This change by Bing Ads seals the case for advertisers to get with the mobile program or they will be losing opportunity and wasting ad dollars on mobile."

However, in a blog post, Bing Ads said that advertisers will find desktop very similar to tablets for performance:

Studies show that consumers search on PCs and tablets in very similar ways, resulting in only a 15-20 percent variance in performance between them. At this time, advertisers who have not taken advantage of tablet targeting will start realizing the benefits of receiving additional traffic. By combining tablets with desktops/laptops and providing bid modifiers, advertisers will see better efficiency and reach more customers, with little or no change to their ad spend for each conversion.

Advertisers with campaigns that target laptops and desktops will see the additional tablet traffic begin delivered starting in September.

In the first half of 2015, advertisers with explicit mobile device targeting will need to leverage bid modifiers on those campaigns instead. This will bring it in alignment with how campaigns are managed in AdWords. The exact date of the change has not yet been released, but is targeted for sometime in the first half of 2015.

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, JenniferSlegg.com and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.