Did Google just Enhance your Adwords Campaigns?

Google’s recent “Enhanced Campaigns” update has sparked a flurry of debate within the PPC world. A quick search will yield you a variety of scathing reviews, optimistic write-ups, and even petitions to undo what was just unveiled. So before I try to tell you if this is good or bad, let’s dig through the big updates one by one.

No more device-specific campaigns

Google Enhanced Campaigns

From the Google announcement:

“People are constantly switching between devices, using the one that works best for where they are and what they are doing. This makes it important for marketers to focus on reaching the right audience in the right context, rather than just targeting a specific device.”

This is the move that has people signing petitions. That is because to make it “easier” to reach mobile devices, Google made mobile targeting mandatory for your entire account. While before, managers had the freedom to build ad groups targeted to specific devices (each with different bidding and messaging tactics) now those campaign’s targets are being consolidated into one mandatory, all-inclusive option.

So it is true that it is now “easier” to target mobile devices, but this ease comes with the sacrifice of device specific control over your objectives. If the transition to “Enhanced Campaigns” is not managed carefully this could result in significantly higher Costs-Per-Click due to the increased volume and competition that will now exist for popular keywords.

Enhanced bidding multipliers

Google knew that this move would be met with some resistance, so they did provide a safety net. This comes in the way of “Context Specific Multipliers.” With this new bidding option, an account manager can set rules that will modify maximum bids according to a variety of factors, including:

• Device Type
• Time of Day
• Location

With the “Device Type” modifier, people have already discovered that it is possible to set mobile bids to -100% for entire campaigns. So while it was not meant to be used in this way, it is still possible to assure that a campaign will not be bidding on mobile keyword auctions if that is not desired.

In more optimistic news, the “Location” option has the potential to be very exciting. With it, you can change your bids based on some one’s proximity to a desired target. So for instance, if you own a shoe store, you can now decide to bid more on a search for “shoe shopping” if it is happening on a device one mile from your store rather than one that is occurring on the other side of the city.

New conversion types

These are still officially labeled as “coming soon,” but the notion of more advanced conversion tracking within Adwords is very appealing and has long been a top request of account managers. Not much information is available yet as to how this will be implemented, but the known conversion types will be:

• Digital Downloads – Apps, Newsletters, Software
• In-Store Purchases – Through the redemption of saved offers
• Intra-Device Conversion Tracking – Tracking a conversion that started on once device and completed on another

Summary of thoughts

While the heart of this move is a clear play by Google to dominate the mobile space, the updates come with enough exciting secondary changes to keep me cautiously optimistic about “Enhanced Campaigns.” It will take a careful hand to maneuver through the new mobile landscape without risking already-optimized costs-per-click, but it is certainly possible to do so if you take full advantage of the numerous new features that will be introduced over the next few months.

And with these new features come many new tactics that are worth testing.  Top on many people’s lists will be the Location Based Bidding option. This has the potential to yield significant results for any businesses with brick and mortar locations. And also high on the list of priorities are Mobile-Specific Ads. While this is not new, how you set them up certainly is, and it will take a fair amount of testing to determine each client’s best practices regarding their implementation.

 

For more information on Google’s “Enhanced Campaigns” update, read their official announcement at: http://www.google.com/adwords/enhancedcampaigns/

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