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Performics recently reported something interesting based on aggregated client data from 1H 2011, “mobile paid search traffic is now 12% of all paid search impressions (mobile + desktop), while mobile clicks are about to cross the 12% threshold.”

The most interesting part of this report is that tablets account for almost 2% of all paid search impressions and roughly 14% of all mobile impressions.

This new data leads me to think there is a huge opportunity to separate out specific, tablet targeted campaigns.

Do You Know How To Target Tablets in AdWords?

Google’s ahead of the curve as usual, they recently introduced a tablet targeting option among the device targeting options that live under the Networks and devices section of the Settings tab in AdWords. Earlier this month, these options became available for all AdWords users.

Beyond slicing out tablets, you can also select tablets with a specific opperating system or carrier. So if you’d like to target specifically iPad’s or Android tablets on T-Mobile’s network only, you can now do that by simply checking a few check boxes.

Don’t forget to opt out of all other devices in your tablet specific campaigns and opt out of tablets in other campaigns that may compete.

Why Separate Campaigns?

Search Behavior

Search behavior is quite different on all mobile devices including tablets. Queries are often much shorter and it’s not unusual to see one word queries. It’s just easier to type one word when you don’t have access to a full keyboard and you are touching the screen with your finger.

Search volume also differs due to time of day as Paul Feng, group product manager for mobile ads at Google told Mashable, “It’s fair to say people aren’t searching for different things on mobile, they’re just searching at different times”. The aspect of immediacy here means traffic picks up in the evening and on weekends when people have easier access to their mobile devices and not necessarily their computers.

Landing Page UX

Interaction with landing pages is also very different when using a tablet. If it’s easier to type in shorter search queries, can you imagine filling out a lengthy contact form on a tablet with your finger? Think about this stuff when designing your pages, make things easy to navigate by touch screen with buttons and scroll options. Also, don’t forget users are only dealing with 7’’-11’’ screen resolutions on tablets. Keep it simple.

Accurate Reporting & Optimization

AdWords has improved incredibly in data reporting over the last year, you can now segment the data by device. You’ll see your campaign data split up among Computers, Mobile Devices With Full Browsers, and Tablets With Full Browers.

It’s great that you can now see performance separated by device, but you can do little to take action on that specific segment without affecting the rest of the campaign unless it is in a separate campaign. It’s always a best practice to keep things separate so you can accurately see what’s going on and where you can make changes to improve performance.

Targeting tablet traffic can be a great way to optimize for target audiences and increase conversions. If MSN is reporting that tablet growth is hurting PC demand, we know this opportunity is only growing and will definitely be a huge part of any pay per click strategy.