2012 proved to be a big year for Google Adwords and enhancements to its capabilities. A few of those changes were discussed in this blog post.
This year has shown no signs of slowing down. It appears Google has a strategy which probably looks a little like this:
“Roll out new changes weekly that affect everything search marketers do”
By far, the biggest change this year has been the transition to Enhanced Campaigns (related blog posts here and here. Official Adwords announcement here). Enhanced campaigns not only change how accounts are structured, but also how they are created, managed and optimized. Campaigns will no longer have the ability to target based on device. As of July 22nd, bid modifiers will officially take the place of device targeting options.
Take a minute. Do a search for “enhanced campaigns” on Google or Twitter.
You’ll see it’s a real grab bag of positive and negative reviews from search marketers. I was initially a negative reactor. I have since been able to embrace these changes and really use them to my advantage to improve our paid search efforts.
Another really cool feature I accidentally stumbled upon is the new “flexible bid strategy” feature. For search marketers who don’t have access to bid management platforms like Acquisio or Marin, This is a godsend.
This feature essentially gives you the ability to create four automatic bidding strategies your campaigns:
- Maximize clicks – automatically sets bids to help you get the most clicks within a target spend amount that you choose.
- Target search location page – automatically adjusts bids to help you get your ads to the top of the page or the first page of search results.
- Target cost per acquisition – automatically sets bids to help you get as many conversions as possible while reaching your average cost-per-acquisition goal.
- Enhanced cost per click – automatically adjusts your manual bid up or down based on each click’s likelihood to result in a conversion.
Google’s new keyword planner tool combines the functionalities of two tools which are favorites of search marketers’– the keyword tool and traffic estimator. The new tool allows users to generate keyword/ad group ideas and lists. At the same time, cost and performance estimates can be pulled according to your bid and budget.
The keyword planner tool will help cut down time spent researching and pulling estimates for new clients or expanding an existing campaign.
The “top movers” report under the dimensions tab is something I’m pretty pumped about. This report gives a top level snapshot of which campaigns and ad groups saw the biggest changes (both increases AND decreases) in clicks, cost, impressions, position, CTR and cost per click. Additionally, possible causes of the changes are provided.
For most search marketers, these changes are seen on a daily basis – we catch on to these positive or negative trends fairly quickly. However, for account managers who might need a quick metrics for a client meeting, this report helps tremendously.
Like I mentioned earlier, these changes seem to be coming out of the woodwork on a weekly basis. Though they most likely won’t be as impactful as enhanced campaigns, more changes should be expected – some for the better and some for worse. Only time will tell!
Have you tried any of the new features? Let us know what you think!