Advertising Google Marketing

What You Need to Know About Call Bid Adjustments in AdWords

Bid adjustments constitute a core part of Google AdWords. If you are a regular user of AdWords for search marketing and advertising or are planning to be, it is essential that you have solid knowledge of bid adjustments. This, in fact, is among the most value-adding Adwords tweaks you can execute for supernormal returns.

In this guide, I will give you some core information about bid adjustments which would help you utilize these adjustments to the best possible extent. You will learn about different types of bid adjustments, how adjustments interact, and the options available for various types of campaigns.

What are bid adjustments?

Depending on specific characteristics of the environment and the value of a click in different situations, you can use bid adjustments to show your ad either less or more frequently.

The adjustment is made based on when, where and how people search. For instance, sometimes a click is more valuable when it’s executed during certain time of the day, from a particular location or from a Smartphone.

How do bid adjustments operate?

Bid adjustments are set in percentages. Let us assume for instance that your campaign is performing well on mobile devices and hence you want your ad to be displayed on mobile devices more frequently.

To do this, you apply a bid adjustment of 20 percent for searches run on mobile devices. So, if your starting bid is $1, then after the adjustment, it becomes $1.20 for mobile devices. This makes you competitive more frequently on mobile devices.

How to Remove or Add a Bid Adjustment on the Search Network?

1.   Log on to your Adwords account.

2.   Click on the Campaigns tab.

3.   Click the exact campaign that you are looking to adjust. You could also choose an ad group.

4.   Click on the Settings tab.

5.   Choose the Ad Schedule, Devices or Locations sub-tab.

6.   To set an ad schedule or location bid adjustment, select the relevant rows and click on Set Bid Adjustment.

7. To do adjustments for devices, select the relevant device rows and click on Set Bid Adjustment.

8. Choose Decrease by or Increase by from the ensuing drop-down. Enter a number.

9. To disable ads for a particular, location, time or device, apply a decrease in the bid by 100 percent.

10. Click on save.

Bid adjustment types

There are various types of bid adjustments available. In most cases, the range available is from -90 percent to +900 percent.


This adjustment is used to have your ad displayed either less or more frequently for searches from particular devices like tablets, computers and mobile devices. It can be used in both campaigns and ad groups. If a setting has been made at both campaign and ad group level, the adjustment set at ad group level will be utilized to calculate your bid.


This adjustment is used to have your ad displayed either less or more frequently to people in specific cities, countries and other geographic units. Further, you may use location extension targeting in order to set adjustments for prospects that are located close to your business. It can be used at the campaign level.

Ad scheduling

This adjustment is used to apply adjustments for only those campaigns that display on specific days or during particular hours. Prior to applying this adjustment, you would need to set up a custom ad schedule. It can be used at the campaign level.

Top content

This is an advanced adjustment specific to YouTube and the Display network. Here, you can set adjustments for content measured by Google to be highly popular with a higher level of viewer engagement and traffic that tends toward a larger number of impressions every day. If your ad is recognized to be eligible to be shown with this content, then AdWords will use the adjustment you have provided. This can be set at the Ad group level and can vary from zero percent to +500 percent.

Targeting methods

This is an advanced adjustment that you can use for placements, topics and other methods of targeting in any campaign types that serve up ads on the Display network. This can be set at the Ad Group level.

Remarketing lists for search ads

This is an advanced adjustment that can be used for the remarketing lists present in your ad groups, i.e. if you are looking to target people on specific lists. For instance, you can up your bid by 20 percent for all those who have viewed your website in the last week. This can be set at Campaign and Ad group levels.


These are call adjustments whereby you can increase your bid so as to have call interaction ads displayed more often for cellphone users. This adjustment influences the frequency at which call only ads and call extensions are displayed to users. This can be set at the campaign level.

3 Points to Remember

When more than one bid adjustment is applied in the campaign, the adjustments are multiplied together in order to determine the final value of the adjustment.

However, when multiple adjustments are applied to the same location, they won’t be combined; only the value which is most relevant will be used.

If a device bid adjustment is applied at both the campaign and ad group levels, then the ad group value will be used to calculate the final bid adjustment.

Final Thoughts

Each type of adjustment has a certain purpose and goal. Each of them has a different focus and direction. Knowing them deeply can help you leverage AdWords bid adjustments to the fullest.

About the author


Guy Sheetrit

Guy Sheetrit is the CEO at Over the Top SEO, an accomplished Senior Executive with 14 years of success across the technology, marketing, and software development industries. With extensive experience providing customized SEO marketing solutions for E-commerce, Local SEO and Fortune 500 companies.