How Enhanced Campaigns have changed how we think about AdWords
If you are an existing AdWords advertiser chances are that you have heard about Enhanced Campaigns on more than one occasion recently. If you haven’t, then you probably have not logged in to your AdWords account for a few weeks and if you have, then you haven’t paid any attention to the attractive banner at the top of your account prompting you to upgrade your campaign now.
Sit tight. Before you click that blue button, take a moment to understand how AdWords Enhanced Campaigns are different from legacy campaigns and what it could potentially mean for your business. From June 2013 the use of Enhanced AdWords Campaigns will be compulsory, however at present each advertiser has the ability to choose whether to upgrade or make the most of the next few months of data before doing so.
Google have launched Enhanced Campaigns to allow advertisers to easily adjust ads and bids based on a customer’s location, device and the time of day – all within a single campaign. Historically changing things such as bids by device and ad scheduling would have to be done separately for each different campaign so at first glance this update appears to make advertiser’s lives much easier.
But does it really? We’ve had a good look at the main pros and cons of Google Enhanced Campaigns and have summarised them below.
- Google has become more contextually aware and recognises that consumers are increasingly relying on searches from multiple devices in their decision process. For advertisers, this means that tools to manage all of these variants (device, time, location) will only get better as time goes on. The roll-out of Enhanced Campaigns is the first step in what I expect to be several updates based on both customer experience and advertiser feedback.
- Advertisers will no longer need to create separate campaigns for mobile and desktops/laptops in order to simply adjust the maximum CPC for each device. Instead, a bid modifier is used which allows advertisers to bid higher/lower/same as those bids for computers. What this means is that advertisers will have the ability to better engage with customers at the point of decision. For instance, if I know that my mobile consumers are 20% more likely to convert than customers searching on a computer then I could tell Google to increase my bid by up to 20% for my keywords, on mobile devices. Alternatively, if mobile does not historically convert well for my business then I could also decrease the bid by 20% or tell Google I don’t want to bid on mobile at all by setting my bid multiplier to 0.
- Ads can be created specifically for each type of device in one single campaign. Historically if we wanted to show different ads to users on mobile devices vs desktops/laptops we would have to create a different campaign. With Enhanced Campaigns this can be done by creating ads and marking them as “mobile preferred”, which then gives Google some flexibility in determining which ad to show based not only on device but also on other factors such as location and time of day.
- Ad extensions can now be adjusted at the ad group level vs. historically having to do this at the campaign level. YES! This is a huge benefit and means that advertisers no longer have to create separate campaigns simply to manage different sitelinks, phone numbers, locations, etc.
- Ad extension scheduling will now be possible with Enhanced Campaigns. This is very welcome news, especially for some of our clients who use call extensions but only want those phone numbers to appear during office hours.
- Enhanced sitelink reporting is another new feature which will lead to improved performance for most advertisers by providing vital stats for each specific sitelink. Under the current settings an advertiser can see the overall performance of their sitelinks extensions but without the ability to see which links have the best CTR, which don’t get any clicks and so on. By having this added insight advertisers will be able to better optimise their sitelinks.
- Bid modifiers are set at the campaign level. Not all ad groups and keywords are equal. Some ad groups/keywords may perform far better on mobile than others and by setting the bid modifier at the campaign level it means that some advertisers will either miss out on potential traffic or pay over the odds to get it.
- For advertisers that have a set budget for mobile vs computers there will be less flexibility in budget management as it will be difficult to dictate which device gets the bigger portion.
- Advertisers will no longer have the ability to target Tablets. Enhanced campaigns focus on Desktop/Laptop and Mobile devices. Tablets are being grouped in the same bucket as desktop/laptop devices. In my view doesn’t make sense.
- Mobile-only campaigns are a thing of the past. At least in the present version of Enhanced Campaigns. By default all new campaigns will target desktop/laptop and the bid modifier will apply to mobile campaigns. Whilst an advertiser could set the mobile bid modifier at 0 to opt out of mobile altogether there is a maximum modifier increase of 300%. If you don’t particularly want to bid on desktop/laptop keywords then you’ll have to set your CPC as low as possible and then use the maximum 300% increase. For instance, if you’re willing to pay up to £1.20 CPC for your mobile campaign, set the base CPC at £0.40, then use the 300% modifier which will increase your mobile CPC to a maximum of £1.20. Not ideal, obviously, and I question what implications this might have for quality score.
In summary there are always going to be positive and negative aspects with any changes we’re forced to make. Particularly when it seems like Google is forever making changes, updates, improvements, enhancements or whatever you may call them. For most of our clients these changes will be largely useful, particularly the ability to manage extensions at the ad group level. It will be compulsory to upgrade all AdWords campaigns to Enhanced Campaigns from June 2013. Until then, take time to understand how these changes will affect your business and if you haven’t already, consider creating a mobile-specific campaign to collect data and understand what keywords perform well for your business and how much you should be paying for them.