Improve Tablet Bidding Even Further with Google Analytics

This is a guest post from Joe Martinez , Senior Manager of Paid Media at Granular.

Fresh off of the Google Performance Summit in late May, many people in the PPC world were ecstatic about the announcement of tablet bid modifiers.

I can agree with those tweets all day. While we will soon be able to control tablet bidding in the near future, it’s not live yet. So in the meantime, what can you do to limit the tablet damage as much as possible? I previously wrote a blog on Remarketing Audiences to Create in Google Analytics to show advertisers the (almost) endless possibilities of remarketing audiences you can create. Here is how we can use Analytics audience tactics to try and control our remarketing performance on tablets as best as we can.

Keep a Basic List of Tablet Screen Sizes

Don’t worry. You won’t have to do the research yourself. Google takes care of this for you. Head over to Device Metrics and can easily see a long list of devices and their screen dimensions. Just click on the “Type” column and you’ll be able to clump all tablets together to get an easy-to-read list.

tablet sizes google device metrics

I have to admit, this list of all the tablets you see in Device Metrics won’t exactly match what you see in Google Analytics. But, the list will help you know what to look for in Google Analytics which brings us to our next step…

Review the Tablet Sizes in Google Analytics

How your website/landing page is designed and built plays a big part into how your ads perform on various devices. That being said you never want to automatically block all the tablet sizes without analyzing the data. You also want to keep in mind that not every account is the same. Automatically excluding tablet visitors might hurt your performance if you don’t have proof.

Under the Audience section in Google Analytics, go to Technology, then Devices. You are then able to sort by Mobile Device Info or search for a specific device type from the list we just pulled to see all the variations.

mobile device info

If you want to get crazy (and there’s nothing wrong with getting a little crazy), you can add Screen Resolution as a secondary dimension to get an even better analysis.

mobile device info with screen resolution

Depending on your goals, make a list of all the tablet devices/resolutions that are not performing to your standards on your account. We’ll need this list to create our remarketing audiences.

Create Remarketing Audiences for Each Tablet Device/Resolution You Want

In Google Analytics head to Admin > Audience Definitions > Audiences. Here is where the magic of Analytics remarketing lives. Let’s try creating a New Audience. Enter the proper Analytics View and Destination Account, then click on “Next step.” The audience builder will pop up to allow us to create a remarketing audience with almost anything we want. For the purpose of this post, we need to choose Technology.

technology audience builder

If you scroll all the way down, Google Analytics will let us select the Mobile Device Model we want to use for an audience.
mobile device audience builder

And if you’re still feeling a little crazy and want to toss in screen resolution for ultimate specificity, head back up to Screen Resolution and choose your desired size.

screen resolution audience builder

If you’re just pushing the boundaries of crazy and want to get even more specific than what I just showed you, feel free to layer on as many requirements as you want. Just understand that the more requirements you want in your audience, the smaller that audience gets which may lead to lots of time wasted creating dozens of audiences. If you want to just target all tablets, use Device Category to select “tablet.” Look at the data and decide not only what’s right for your account, but also what’s efficient. Now that we have our audiences created, there is only one more step.

Add the New Tablet Audiences to Your Remarketing/RLSA Campaigns

Once we have an audience for each tablet device/size built, we can add them to the ad groups of our remarketing campaigns. If we’re talking about RLSA, I’m leaving it up to you if you want to create a new campaign to target and bid separately or just implement the audience for bid adjustments.

tablet audience

If you notice a certain audience just doesn’t work, use it as a campaign exclusion to weed it out entirely. Google Analytics remarketing audiences gives paid search marketers the ability to segment out almost any performance metric we can analyze. So always remember PPC friends…

Captain Planet - The Power Is Yours

Final Point

My guide is not the magic bullet in solving the tablet bid issue, but it does help your account eliminate some bad performance you might be getting from tablets until the new feature is live. This tactic might also not be practical if you don’t get a lot of traffic. It’ll only be worth your time to do this if you can create robust audiences. Even if you might not be able to use this process for tablets, hopefully you got a better understanding of the hyper-segmentation you can implement in your remarketing campaigns.


joe headshotJoe Martinez is a Senior Manager of Paid Media at Granular. He takes a user experience approach to PPC by focusing much of his time on LPO and CRO to help his clients improve their brand perception as well as PPC performance. When he’s not working on accounts or writing blogs he likes to spend time with his family, collect baseball autographs and discover the best craft beers the world has to offer.

Follow Joe on Twitter @MilwaukeePPC

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