Advertisers See Changes With Google’s Enhanced Campaigns

In February, Google shook up the SEM world by announcing their next-generation ad system: Enhanced Campaigns. Since then, there has been a lot of controversy around these changes, as they will impact all PPC advertisers. There are three new features in Enhanced Campaigns that you should be aware of before you transition from Google’s Legacy platform.

The first is the multi-device bidding functionality, which allows you to manage your bids across devices, locations and time of day—all in one campaign. The downside is that it gives you less control over your bids, as you will only be able to set bids at the keyword level for desktop/laptops and tablets. Your mobile bids will be a percentage of the desktop bids and you will only have the ability to change the mobile at the ad group level.

The second feature of Google’s new Enhanced Campaigns is smarter ads. This feature allows you to create separate ads, sitelinks, call extensions and landing pages for desktop versus mobile. For example, a car dealership can show a store locator for customers using their smartphones during business hours. That same dealership can change the ad copy and sitelinks for customers searching on their laptops during the time they are closed.

The last major change with Enhanced Campaigns is the advanced reporting metrics that are now available. With Enhanced Campaigns, you are now able to track mobile app downloads and phone calls lasting more than 60 seconds as a conversion. You will also have access to detailed call reporting with free Google forwarding numbers, whereas previously, you were billed for manually dialed calls from a Google forwarding number.

Out of these three features, the change that impacts the largest number of advertisers is the mobile device bid adjustments. In Google’s Legacy campaigns, you have more control over your bids, however you probably spend more time adjusting bids if you have separate campaigns for each device you are targeting.

All advertisers need to transition their accounts to Enhanced Campaigns by July 22, 2013 or Google will automatically transition you to the new platform. It’s difficult to say what kind of an impact Enhanced Campaigns will have on your current performance. If you are managing multiple AdWords accounts, we suggest you transition a few small accounts to Enhanced Campaigns, so you can become familiar with the new features and measure the performance of these campaigns on the new platform. This will give you an idea of what you can expect with your larger accounts. Also, if you are currently running ads on Bing, we suggest you spend a few extra hours optimizing these campaigns. Bing CPCs are typically lower than Google and you are still able to target devices separately. If you are seeing a decrease in ROI after you transition to Google’s Enhanced Campaigns, Bing can help make up for the loss.

What do you think of the new Enhanced Campaigns? Leave me a comment or email me directly at bdepew@doublepositive.com.

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