Another day in search, another switcheroo. On Wednesday, Google announced a change to Adwords that we’ve been anticipating – Enhanced Campaigns. While we’re used to updates and enhancements to the Adwords platform seemingly every week, Enhanced Campaigns is considered a “BIG” change since it will fundamentally affect how agencies and advertisers manage, optimize and structure their Adwords campaigns.
1.) Its Mobile Time! – First and foremost this update is about integrating and streamlining advertising across devices. Google’s push to increase the adoption of mobile advertising has been slower than expected so Enhanced Campaigns will default and combine campaign targeting to all devices – desktop, tablet, and mobile. While many of the mobile targeting features have been available as an option and/or in beta, Google is now bringing mobile targeting and bid multipliers into the mix for every campaign.
Important Note: There will still be a way to “opt out” of mobile targeting by using a -100% bid increment at the campaign level.
2.) Say goodbye to setting budgets by device – Google understands that users are moving rapidly across multiple devices but at different speeds for different industries and advertisers. The goal of Enhanced Campaigns is to help Adwords campaigns adapt quickly to changes in user behavior and capture additional opportunities (and yes, this likely means more ad dollars for Google).Google is making this change for the sake of simplicity, but it does give us a little less budget control which, until now, sophisticated agencies have been using to our client’s benefit.
3.) Tablet Shmablet – Google is finally lumping in Tablets with Desktop computers rather than mobile devices. This is another change we expected because user behavior on Tablets tends to more closely resemble user behavior on desktops. The Tablet experience is not necessarily mobile enabled (the exception being device targeted app extensions promoting an ipad or android tablet app) so we think this move makes sense, however we had some clients where tablets outperform desktops so in this case we’re losing an opportunity to push bids on the best performing device.
4.) Ad Customization is Here – It used to be that we would need 3 separate campaigns, 3 separate budgets along with separate sitelinks and location extensions to support one group of keywords. No longer. We’ll be able to setup device specific ads that will be served based on the targeting parameters within the campaigns (Similar to how App Ads will only show if someone is searching from an iPhone or Android)
Our Favorite New Features
- Adgroup Level Ad Extensions (we no longer need new campaigns!)
- Ad Extension Scheduling (Want to turn off the phone number after business hours? We no longer need 2 campaigns to do this!)
5.) Know your Data! – Increased targeting and “bid by distance” decisions are powerful only if they’re made based on informed statistical data. The new bid increments will enable a new level of granularity in day-parting, location based bidding, and device targeting; but as with every optimization tactic, the result is only as good as the data used to make these decisions.
6.) Its Campaign Restructuring Time – Have no fear… the rollout isn’t coming today (as it does with many Google updates). Targeting features that used to require duplicate campaigns are now being consolidated. This will result in slightly less control over spend across devices for agencies like ours that have highly segmented campaigns. While this change WILL require a restructuring of most of our clients’ accounts, there should be ample time to plan and test.
7.) Search Platforms & API’s Beware! – As with every Google rollout, most of the management platforms are always a few steps behind Google releases,. Heck, it’ll probably be a month before Google’s own Adwords editor supports all of the new features and reporting from Enhanced Campaigns. It’s important to devise a campaign management strategy and to fully understand the implications Enhanced Campaigns will have for standard 3rd party bid-management platforms.
8.) Advanced Conversion Tracking! – Hidden within the headlines about mobile are some exciting enhancements and changes to Google’s conversion tracking. New conversion types should be rolling out including App Downloads, Phone Purchases & Call Duration, and In-Store Offer Redemption! No, that last one wasn’t a typo. Stay tuned for more details about offline conversion tracking within Adwords (the feature was announced but info isn’t here yet).
Immediate Recommendation: We’ve found many advertisers only rely on 3rd party tracking through their agencies. This is risky for a number of reasons, therefore we highly recommend all advertisers use Adwords tracking to take advantage of all of the new reporting that isn’t available through Google’s API.
9.) Bid Management – The new multitude of targeting level bid increments are going to change bid management as we know it. Our prediction is that 3rd party bid management tools are going to be less important as nuanced incremental bidding can now be done within the Adwords interface based on data most 3rd party tools won’t have access to.
The new bid multipliers for location, device, and time of day are very exciting to us, but we also have to remember that multipliers are cumulative so at any given time or location we could be pushing and pulling bids in multiple directions. It’s extremely important to watch these campaigns closely to make sure you have not “overdone” the bid increments and chopped off a large portion of your high quality volume.
More information to come as we find out more… Stay Tuned! See below for Google’s announcement video.