If you use Google’s Pay-Per-Click advertising service – AdWords, you may have noticed some alert messages on your account about upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns. Google’s relentless pursuit of progress means that just as you get used to a system, Google go and change it!
What are ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ ?
An ‘across the board’ functionality change to all AdWords accounts, enabling more focused targeting of campaigns and ad groups by device, location and time of day.
What’s the point?
Everyone knows that the use of mobile devices for search is surging forward. And many mobile searches are with high intent, by people looking for local products and services, at certain time. (One example would be a person searching for a nearby Italian restaurant, while walking around a new city in the evening). On the other hand, we might use a desktop computer to research a holiday at lunchtime, then pick up an iPad at home to carry out further research, and maybe use our smartphone when seeking local travel agents in town. Google calls this ‘converting across multiple devices’ and wants advertisers to stay connected to the audience they are aiming to target.
How does it affect me?
Up to now, if you wanted to target mobile as well as desktop users in AdWords, you had to set up a separate campaign. Whilst that system gave ultimate control, it could become unwieldy to manage for the average PPC marketer who has lots of other hats to wear. By introducing Enhanced Campaigns, Google now brings targeting by device, time of day and location within each campaign and claims that it will be easier, especially for smaller businesses, to target customers at the most relevant time on the the most relevant device at the most relevant location.
If you look after AdWords campaigns, you’ve probably seen the alerting messages. The AdWords system is changing and for many of us, it will be for the better. Besides, we don’t have a choice if we wish to continue using AdWords. For example, you may have noted that your older campaigns carry the ‘Legacy’ title under the All Online Campaigns table, while newly created campaigns are now titled ‘Enhanced’:
Should I be bothered?
Enhanced Campaigns are the format for newly-created AdWords campaigns and will become the new standard for all campaigns over the next few months. By default, mobile devices will be targeted in your campaigns. But you might find that mobile devices don’t deliver, or you know your business comes from other business people using desktop devices; what then?
What you will be able to do is to increase or decrease your ‘bid’ for mobile device clicks within your campaign, or even within an ad group. You could also effectively turn the mobile targeting ‘off” by setting the bid to -100%:
You will also be able to adjust your bids for Location too. Here’s an example of location targeting for the Leicester area, biased towards clicks from within the city. Note that next to the highlighted ‘Locations tab, there are others for ‘Ad schedule’ and ‘Devices’. This is where you will make your adjustments for Location, Time of Day and Devices within your campaign:
Do I need to do anything now?
The simple answer is ‘No’. But the change will come, and Google will switch your campaigns over, most likely from the later part of July 2013. So it will pay to have a note in your diary to monitor your campaigns very closely and look for otherwise-unexplained changes in the behaviour of your account, particularly any drops in Click Through Rate (CTR) for your campaigns. You might need to look at those device settings and increase or decrease your mobile bids.
Personally, I think it worth taking a look around at your campaigns now and maybe try one or two new, small test campaigns, to get used to using the new system, and monitor where your best clicks are coming from in terms of context – place, device and time of day. This will help you refine your campaigns, particularly with reference to the type of devices your customers use when searching for your area of expertise. Don’t forget to have a look at mobile traffic trends in your Google Analytics account too.
Then when you feel confident about how the new AdWords Enhanced Campaigns format works, you could hit the ‘Get Started’ button to upgrade all of your campaigns. Again, monitor them closely for drops in CTR and tweak them accordingly.
This was a brief overview of a big AdWords change. There are other areas of improvement within the Enhanced Campaigns upgrade, so if you need help with your AdWords campaigns, don’t forget we have Google AdWords Qualified team members here at Hallam.
Links to further reading on this subject: