This is part one of a two-part article on Google's AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
Last week Google announced the rollout of AdWords Enhanced Campaigns. With the multi-device world that we all live in, Google needed to upgrade its current AdWords structure to better accommodate advertisers looking to reach users on various devices, at different times and with diverse creative messaging.
There’s been a range of reactions within the paid search community in response to the rollout, but most agree this is largely a revenue play by Google to encourage the adoption of mobile advertising and increase its mobile advertising market share. Motivations aside, let’s take a few minutes and go through some of the major changes to the AdWords Enhanced Campaigns structure:
- No More Tablet Targeting – There is no longer a way to singularly target tablets, as they are now being automatically rolled into desktop. You can, however, adjust the bid multiplier for tablets (e.g., +20%). This change will bring an end to the lower CPCs many advertisers have experienced in the tablet market due to additional advertisers and competition entering the tablet space as a result of this account structure change.
- Mobile Targeting – Advertisers are now automatically opted into mobile. Advertisers must apply a multiplier to their desktop/tablet campaign to bid on mobile keywords. Your mobile multiplier is set at the campaign level, meaning your mobile keyword bid will be a percentage of the keyword’s desktop bid. Advertisers can essentially choose to “opt out” of mobile by choosing to use a multiplier of -100%, causing their ads not to appear on mobile devices.
- Google’s Enhanced Campaigns structure no longer allows you to have mobile only campaigns.
- Budget Control – The new AdWords structure does not allow for specific budgets to be set per device as it has in the past. This change has caused much debate in the Search world, as advertisers loose a significant amount of control over the management of their budget.
- Mobile Operating Systems – The rollout of Enhanced Campaigns has also eliminated advertisers’ ability to target by operating system and device. No longer can you run campaigns targeted to only Apple® devices and another campaign targeting only Android devices. Campaigns will be automatically delivered to all operating systems/devices, along with the elimination of OS and device segmented reporting. The only exception is for click-to-download campaigns.
- Keyword Segmentation by Device – With the new Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers can no longer have customized keyword lists per device. All keywords are the same across desktop/tablet and mobile. Sometimes keywords don’t perform well on desktop but do on mobile and vice versa and advertisers will need to develop a strategy to manage these situations under the new campaign structure. Although this change may not affect all advertisers, it is still an important change that advertisers, clients and agencies need to be aware of.
- Ad Group Level Ad Extensions – Google now provides advertisers the ability to create both campaign and ad group level ad extensions. Additionally, they will be reporting on individual site link performance, so advertisers can better understand and leverage the site link functionality.
- Advanced Reporting – Google’s Enhanced Campaigns provide advertisers with more robust reporting functionality in terms of conversion tracking. With the new format, advertisers can now track calls and downloads, and compare them to other conversions within the AdWords interface.
These are some big changes to the AdWords format with significant implications. Advertisers should expect to see CPCs and competition increase in both the tablet and mobile spaces along with less control over their budget allocation and management. Although the enhanced campaigns will be optionally available for upgrade later this month, Google will be automatically converting all AdWords accounts to the new format sometime in mid-June. Advertisers need to take notice now and start thinking through how this new format will affect their business goals and campaign objectives.