Good or Bad News for Your AdWords Campaigns?

Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns are coming in late July for everyone using Google AdWords advertising. For those that are not familiar with Enhanced Campaigns, Google made the official announcement in February that an ‘upgrade’ to AdWords campaign settings, targeting, and bidding would be released to make account management and reporting much easier for the multi-device world in which we now live. Aimed at small to medium businesses (SMB’s) who run their own PPC campaigns, AdWords Enhanced Campaigns will supposedly reduce the time it takes to setup and manage accounts, especially those targeting multiple devices such as desktops and iPhones. It is interesting to note that during an exclusive trip to Google Headquarters in California last fall, our Director of Digital Advertising Andy Groller spoke with Google representatives about their focus on this specific group of advertisers; however no indications of an update like AdWords Enhanced Campaigns was indicated.

Although Google is positioning Enhanced Campaigns as a positive for the entire AdWords advertising community, PPC professionals across the globe, including DragonSearch’s team of experts, have other opinions. Specifically, Enhanced Campaigns reduces the control AdWords campaign managers have over accounts. One such example of less control is in regards to device-specific campaigns.

Changes to AdWords Campaign Device Targeting

Previously, if a client’s website was not tablet-friendly or underperformed on tablets, we would be able to remove that specific device from campaign targeting and thus focus budget on better performing devices.

The Google Adwords dialog box to set the Device Preference for a PPC campaign text ad.

AdWords Enhanced Campaigns removes this capability by automatically targeting desktops, laptops, and tablets without the option to remove any of those devices. In addition, mobile devices (e.g. iPhones) must be targeted within the same campaign as desktops, laptops, and tablets; however, given that not every business has a mobile-friendly website, Google threw us a bone and will still allow us to remove mobile targeting through various bid adjustments. In situations where businesses have mobile-friendly websites, PPC campaign managers have the ability to create ads that are tailored to mobile devices and can set a preference towards those ads showing on those devices. The problem with this is that those mobile-preferred ads are in the same ad group as desktop and tablet ads, thus making analysis and ad testing a little muddled. This is yet another example of losing some of the control we had previously.

Most Important Changes from AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

Some of the most important updates associated with Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns that you should know about are the following:

  • Device Targeting – As mentioned, all devices must now be targeted in each campaign. Gone are the days of having separate mobile and desktop campaigns. Advertisers can still remove mobile devices (e.g. iPhones) from their campaign targeting by placing a -100% bid on that device from within the campaign settings. This means that if the bid for a keyword on desktop and tablets is $10, the bid on a mobile device is $0.Workaround for Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns to remove mobile devices from their PPC campaign targeting.
  • Phone Numbers in Ads – In conjunction with AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, Google updated their editorial policies and removed the ability to use phone numbers within ad text and sitelink extensions. All ads and sitelink extensions that contain phone numbers will be disapproved going forward. In order to display phone numbers in ads, which can perform extremely well for various verticals including trade-based industries, advertisers must use call extensions. Call extensions, which are another ad extension like sitelinks, were previously only available for mobile-targeted AdWords campaigns.  This extension is now available for all devices and can display phone numbers in ad copy as shown in the example below. It is important to note that like all ad extensions, call extensions will not show up 100% of the time.
    Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns uses call extensions and displays phone numbers in ad copy as in this example..
  • Bid Adjustments – Although Google removed a lot of control AdWords campaign managers previously had, it did provide a multitude of increases in bid management opportunities with bid adjustments. Bid adjustments allow campaign managers to increase or decrease bids by a percentage of the current keyword bid for mobile devices, geographic location, day of week, and hour of day. For example, if a keyword’s bid is $10 and a campaign manager sets the bid adjustment for mobile devices at 50%, that same keyword’s bid on an iPhone would be $5. As you can see, when bid adjustments are set on all of the options mentioned previously (e.g. day of week), the amount of bid adjustments and subsequent math can become extremely complex.


Preparing for AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

All AdWords campaigns will be transitioned to Enhanced Campaigns automatically in July if they are not migrated prior to that deadline. As you can see by the example Google AdWords updates mentioned, any advertiser that does not upgrade on their own accord could see a drastic decrease in performance. DragonSearch PPC advertising clients should not worry about this though as we have been testing and analyzing Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns for several weeks, with many clients already being migrated over to the new settings. Performance levels during those migrations have remained steady across the board and will continue to improve through rigorous testing and experiments, just as they always have, as a result of the metrics-driven approach and continuous learning culture of DragonSearch.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 and is filed under Digital Advertising, Pay-Per-Click.

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