My previous blog post about Enhanced Campaigns was less informational and more of a rant. Like every other major change made by Google, it seemed to have thrown a wrench in my spokes. I, along with every other search marketer, reacted in frustration. My reaction cycle like this: Throw a fit > Research > Embrace. Heads have cooled now. I, along with everyone else on the Forthea PPC team is in embrace mode now.
To summarize: Google’s Enhanced campaigns update has introduced an almost complete overhaul of how paid search strategies will be put together and how campaigns will be structured moving forward.
Clients, coworkers and colleagues have all been asking questions about enhanced campaigns.
“How will our campaigns be affected? How will this affect our budgets? Does this mean I will see fewer conversions? What if we don’t have a mobile website?”
All legitimate questions. This is indeed a big change for agencies and clients alike.
What Are Enhanced Campaigns
Prior to this change, campaigns that required unique targeting and/or bidding strategies were set up in separate campaigns. This allowed for separate bidding and targeting of mobile/non-mobile platforms. In some cases, unique campaigns were set up to target only certain geographic regions as well.
For those of us using AdWords, campaign settings are the focal point of the changes; in a drive to capture users from any device they search on, campaigns will be opted into targeting across all devices – desktops, tablets and mobile, with the goal of showing the most relevant ad text, sitelink, app or extension through the same campaign.
For search campaigns, the option to target based on device, operating system and network will be officially withdrawn by June 2013, while campaigns on the Google Display Network will still have the functionality in light of creative designed to be device-specific.
This simplifying of campaigns eliminates the need for replication of campaigns across devices, networks or even operating system while presenting marketers with ‘stackable bids’ or bid vectors as an additional level of optimization in place of specific device targeting.
Advantages of Enhanced Campaigns
Enhanced campaigns enable bidding improvements that will allow Forthea to manage bids seamlessly across devices, locations and day parts. A good example of this would be bidding higher for customers who are searching from within a mile of your location, or lower during specific hours when your business is closed. Additionally, Forthea can create custom bidding combinations of device, time of day, and location that work best for your campaign.
Enhanced campaigns also offer the ability to create smarter ads that are optimized for varying user contexts. Forthea can now show the right ad, site link, app or extension based on user context and device capabilities. For example, an advertiser can show a store locator for customers on smartphones during business hours, or change ad texts and site links at specific times.
Additional Enhanced Campaign features I find extremely helpful can be found in a previous Enhanced Campaigns blog post/rant
Disadvantages of Enhanced Campaigns
The biggest disadvantage of enhanced campaigns is the automatic inclusion of mobile traffic. In some instances, clients have campaigns designated for just mobile search and this is no longer possible with enhanced campaigns. The unique mobile campaigns will soon have to be combined with desktop and tablet campaigns. In some instances, clients may not have mobile campaigns. Forthea has a strategy already in place if and when this happens.
Additionally, Google is pushing for more advertisers to utilize their call extensions. The downfall of this is the automatic disapproval of text ads that include a phone number in the ad copy. Forthea actively tests ad copy, but with this change future ad copy will not include a phone number and will rely solely on the call and location extensions for phone number visibility in the search results..
Forthea’s Final Say
Forthea has already familiarized itself with the changes and has a unique transition strategy in place for every account to ensure all campaigns continue to be effective and show measurable performance and growth with a high ROI.
Our goal is to have all campaigns switched over before the June deadline in order to be ahead of the curve and ensure that the transition to the new Enhanced campaign structure is a smooth one.
With Google Adwords moving more towards a multi-device world, I find it extremely important to have a website optimized for the multiple devices your consumers are using. Creating a website with a responsive design or a mobile version of your site will play a key role in engaging your site visitors.
Have questions about how Enhanced Campaigns will affect your PPC efforts? Send us a tweet!