Coming Soon: AdWords Tablet Targeting

Google recently announced they’re making a modification to their device targeting settings! In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to specifically target tablet computers like Wil’s beloved iPad, my (hopefully) beloved gTablet, the Xoom, Galaxy and so on. Per Google’s mass email to all AdWords users:

We are pleased to announce that in the coming weeks we will be launching new targeting functionality in your Google AdWords account. To give you greater control over your ads, we are changing the way you can target tablet devices…The ‘Tablets with full browsers’ check box will be located on your ‘Settings’ tab under ‘Networks and Devices’ and will enable you to select more precisely which types of devices and operating systems will display your AdWords ads. Ads on tablet devices provide a similar user experience to ads on desktop devices and are an effective way to reach tablet users.

Currently, the only option for targeting tablets on AdWords is to target just the iPad (no other tablets) or to all mobile devices including all phones with full internet browsers. As Crystal’s recent Twitter poll found, the majority of people (SEER team included) equate tablets with laptops, rather than mobile phones. This change in Google’s targeting strategy makes sense to us, and we’re quite excited!

Google will automatically turn on tablet targeting as an additional grouping in addition to Desktops/Laptops and Mobile Phones, much in the same way the automatically target all networks and devices when building an AdWords campaign. There a few questions you should ask yourself before deciding to keep this feature turned on:

1: Do your landing pages render as expected?

While these tablet computers are roughly the same size as a small computer or Netbook and their uses are largely the same, it’s important to remember that they are entirely different operating systems. It’s well known that flash does _not_ render on (stock) iPads. We can certainly assume there will be some nuances with Droid based browsers as well.

Make sure to test your site/landing page using iPad Peek to ensure it functions as you would expect. If anyone knows of a similar tool for Android, I’d love to hear it. Or bug your friends. Or bug me!

2: Does your conversion take a lot of time/effort/typing to complete?

I don’t care what anybody says, typing on a tablet just isn’t as easy as typing on a physical keyboard. If you’re asking searchers to submit a ton of information, or to fill out an extremely long form (say, for a college application) you may want to exclude tablets.

3: Do you have the budget?

I will put it bluntly – Apple sells a lot of iPads. Android is close behind in the tablet market, and sales are expected to match Apple’s in H2 2011. Adding tablets to your targeting settings WILL increase search traffic, clicks and spend. It’s tough to guess exactly how much spend will increase unless you’re currently targeting iPads.

4: Are you currently running mobile campaigns?

If you’re currently running full mobile campaigns, great! You’re probably targeting iPads already, so you likely have an idea of what kind of action to expect. As noted in Q1, make sure to double check your landing pages to make sure everything renders properly. Also, be aware that this will likely lead to a significant decrease in your mobile campaign volume.

5: Does targeting tablets work for you?

You won’t know until you test, will you? The good news is that you’ll be able to segment tablet clicks once the feature launches (just use the “dimensions” tab), so it shouldn’t be necessary to break out all new tablet campaigns. As we always recommend here at SEER, keep an eagle eye on the data. As soon as a trend develops, analyze and optimize!

So what do you think? Will you turn Tablet Targeting on or will you keep kickin’ it old school?