Yesterday, Google announced its ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ which could be one of the biggest changes seen to Adwords in years.
At the moment, within your Adwords account, you would have a campaign for your desktop ppc, one for your mobile and one for tablet and each campaign would be optimised individually. Going forward, you’ll just have one campaign that will cover everything.
Google’s reasoning behind this fundamental change is to enable advertisers to target people at the right time, in the right place, with the right advert and the appropriate call to action. According to Google, this is first step to allow companies to more simply and smartly manage their ad campaigns in today’s multi-device world.
Given the number of devices consumers are using today and the impact this can have on a brands’ ability to accurately monitor and attribute performance accordingly, this could make sense.
According to a report by Equimedia entitled ‘Broken journeys and marketing accountability’, 70% of users regularly use more than one device and 22% of customers used one device to research a product and another to purchase.
Furthermore, as the number of devices available continues to grow, the variation between what is a smartphone and what is a tablet blurs more and more. Combine this with increasingly savvy consumers and it becomes more obvious that companies need to adapt.
So what does this mean?
In essence, the current ability to run separate campaigns for different devices will no longer be available. Instead, advertisers will have just the one campaign which will span all devices. Essentially, advertisers are going to have think about their Adwords account in a new, more contextual, manner.
This means managing your Adwords account according to what consumers need in their current situation as opposed to by what device they are using. Say I’m being lazy and search for what I need on my tablet or smartphone at home because I don’t want to get my laptop out, I’m still searching for the same thing. Likewise, if I were out and about having a coffee I may grab my laptop to look for directions to the local market rather than pay roaming charges on my mobile.
What do you need to do?
The good news is that advertisers have until the end of June to move over to the new look Adwords. As with any such change it’s important to take the time and do it correctly as this is a totally new way of managing Adwords.
The key difference will be the introduction of regular bids with multiple bid adjustments which will be made at a keyword level. Your regular bid will be used to determine desktop Ad Rank and you will then use the bid adjustments ranging from -100% (turning off mobile advertising) to +300% (equivalent to 4 times the bid amount of your desktop bid) to optimise your account.
There are other bid adjustments that you will be able to implement including location based and time of day (replacing the existing day parting mechanism).
In layman’s terms, this simply means that you will be able to set up your account within a single campaign and adjust what you are willing to bid depending on your business requirements.
Take the below two examples:
- You are a local Chinese takeaway who wants to attract more business on Friday and Saturday nights between 9pm – midnight. You will be able to utilise your bid adjustments so that you would be willing to pay more for a mobile click to call within a 2 mile radius (as it happens to be your delivery range) on those particular days and times.
- You are a national retailer (let’s say Argos) where customers have a choice of shopping online or in-store. You’ll be able to utilise click to call and location extensions for customers who are using their smartphones as opposed to using multiple site extensions and pushing consumers to your e-commerce site when they are browsing at home.
In the new world you will define ads as being ‘mobile preferred’, which in essence gives Google the flexibility of what to display. The onus will be on brands to think about their user.
The Pros and Cons
As with any change of this size, there are pros and cons:
- Visibility of the performance of individual site links, currently you only get minimal top line information
- Ability to set up ad extensions at ad group levels
- Cross device attribution
- You’ll no longer have tablet reporting (eventually this won’t be necessary but we’re not quite there yet)
- You won’t be able to run mobile only campaigns
- You won’t have device control (e.g. IOS vs Android)
Is this Google’s way of earning more money or is this a genuine attempt to help advertisers and consumers? I guess time will tell. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to have a lasting impact on search as we know it.
Here’s a video from Google showing what this will mean for consumers.