Brushing Up On Bid Modifiers

Bid ModifiersSince there’s often additional value in your ad being seen on a certain device, at the right time or in a certain place, it’s important to understand how to use bid adjustments to their full advantage. Lurking in the Settings portion of AdWords & Bing Ads are bid adjustments for places, devices, and times that can be even further targeted with a boosted or decreased bid.

A few things to note:

  • In both AdWords and Bing Ads, you can set your Bid Modifiers between -100 & 300% your current bid.
  • Keep in mind that these modifiers pile up.
    • If you have $1 bid, a +20% location bid adjustment & a 50% decrease due to location, your final bid will be $0.60.

Here’s a refresher course for the pros and an overview for PPC newbies:

Mobile/Device Bid Modifiers (called different things on different interfaces):

  • AdWords – Located in on the Devices tab in Settings in AdWords, this tab lets you adjust your bids for mobile devices with full browsers. It gives you a quick glance at how your campaigns have been performing on different devices and you can easily make some decisions. If your account is one that’s looking for local customers or someone on a smartphone, this modifier is for you. It’s important to note that right now you can only add a Bid Modifier for Mobile devices with full browsers, not tablets.


  • Bing –  To start off, you’ll want to make sure to run a Campaign report and add the Filter “Device Type” before adjusting device bids so you know what you’re working with. Mobile bid adjustments in Bing are also located in the Campaign Settings tab, but under “Targeting Options”. Bing has a bit of a leg-up when it comes to devices, as you can add bid modifiers for tablets as well as smartphones. But the tablet modifier can only decrease -25%, not the full -100% like smartphones.
    Bing Mobile Modifiers


Location Bid Modifiers:
As local searches are on the rise, it’s important for businesses who thrive on local traffic to have a presence. If and when different locations behave differently, this modifier allows you to increase bids for well-performing areas and lower for areas that aren’t performing as well.

  • AdWords:  In Google, you can target at the country, state, city, Nielsen DMA, or zip code level. Another level that is especially handy is entering the longitude & latitude of a certain area & targeting a radius around that area. Radius targeting a longitude & latitude could be useful in situations when targeting audiences like college students or airport travelers more specifically than the built in geotargets from Google. This bid modifier is also located on the Locations tab in Settings beside Devices.
  • Bing: Also located in the Campaign Settings tab is Bing’s version of location bid modifiers. Though they don’t offer radius targeting, you can still target cities, states, countries, regions and postal codes.

Ad Schedule:

If you’re looking for a way to save some of your budget, check out a time report to see when your ads have been most & least popular. This will help you figure out a schedule that you can implement in both AdWords and Bing.

  • AdWords – First, I recommend viewing or downloading reports from the Dimensions tab in your account to see when the most popular hours & days are (you can also get fancy and do month, day of the month, year and quarter if you need that information). Another thing to keep in mind is – is your client looking for calls or to respond quickly to leads? This might mean you want to make the schedule only when someone is working in your client’s office to answer the phone or respond to emails.You can find the bid modifiers for the Ad Schedule in Settings on the same tab as the other Bid Modifiers I have talked about. You can set your days & hours that you want to schedule your ads to run and then add modifiers from there.
  • Bing:  Bing works in the same manner that AdWords does when it comes to Ad Schedules and bid modifiers. I would also recommend pulling a report that shows the days and hours that you ads are most and least popular. You can find that in the Reports tab under General Settings > Show (unit of time).


Bid Modifiers are a great way to dedicate your budget to the very best performing places, people, times and devices that work for your accounts & clients.