Affiliate Marketers: How To Tweak Your Pay Per Click Ad Campaigns


If you’re an advertiser on Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or any other pay-per-click advertising network then you know that you can target users by location and also by the devices that they’re using. For example, you can show your ads to users who live in the U.K. and are using a tablet computer.

Now if you’re an affiliate marketer who is engaged in direct linking (linking to advertiser’s landing pages from search marketing campaigns) then you can save money and improve your conversion rate by tweaking your pay-per-click campaigns so that you get the maximum return on your investment.

As you probably know, your affiliate network uses cookies to track sales and leads. It means that if a user clicked your advertisement from a mobile device and he later chooses to sign up from his PC then most probably you’re not entitled for a commission (depending upon how the affiliate program works).

That exactly is the reason why I choose to show my ads only on desktops and laptops whenever I start an affiliate marketing campaign on pay-per-click search engines. And I make sure that I don’t target all the locations even though there can be potential users in those countries. Since pay-per-click advertising is not cheap (because cost per click has increased a lot for competitive keywords) you have to laser target your traffic so that you’ll get a strong conversion rate.

You can ask yourself whether they’re going to sign up from their mobile device. If the campaigns I’m promoting requires billing information (credit card number, PayPal, etc.) then I choose to show my ads only to desktop and laptop users.

If you’re running a legacy AdWords campaign then you can easily target desktops and laptops only by going to Campaign > Settings > Desktops & laptops, mobile devices and tablets.

Now if you’ve upgraded to Enhanced campaigns then you can still target desktops and laptops only by going to Campaign > Settings > Devices. Change mobile bid adjustment and set bid adjustments for "Mobile devices with full browsers" to “- 100%”.

If you’re still running a legacy AdWords campaign then I suggest you to upgrade to enhanced campaign as Google will upgrade all legacy campaigns to enhanced campaigns starting from July 22, 2013. You can learn more about AdWords Enhanced Campaigns here as they answered few useful questions about upgrading.

Advertisers on Bing Ads can go to Campaign > Settings > TARGETING OPTIONS > Advanced targeting options > Device and you can select Desktops and Laptops, Smartphones, and Tablets.

You can apply your common sense when you promote affiliate products via search engine marketing campaigns. Your focus should be to get the maximum leads/sales and not clicks. And the key is to select the keywords carefully as it can directly impact the performance of your campaign.

For example, if you’re promoting a web hosting company and are bidding on the keyword “web hosting” then you may get tons of traffic but it could be the least targeted keyword since people who search that term may not be looking for a web hosting plan. Instead think about keywords like “buy web hosting”, “buy cheap web hosting”, etc. Tip: Google AdWords Keyword Tool is your friend.

Now that said, if you’re promoting your own products and services then you have to focus on all devices since you primary goal is to get maximum targeted traffic.

Happy Marketing!

  • gaurav

    this is a very well made blog . i am going to use some of the tips for my ad campaign

  • test disanexias

    i think the next ad step is out of pcs and laptops… using the ad words i think key word selection is not so essential!!