The Truth About Google Enhanced Campaigns for Adwords

PPC WarningThose who use Pay Per Click a lot, have got used to work-around solutions¬†to try to squeeze the best value out of this medium. After all, that’s what optimisation is all about.

One of the most frustrating areas has been managing mobile advertising – if we wanted a specific mobile message and campaign we had to setup a separate Mobile campaign, with separate adverts and landing pages.

That was, until now (wait for fanfare) and the joy of ‘Enhanced’ campaigns from Google. Now you can manage devices, adverts, sitelink changes and conversion types all in one place.

Positive: Enhanced Campaign Improvements for PPC

Let’s look at the good stuff:

  • You can update your campaigns for different devices in one place
  • You can have separate adverts for mobile devices in your ad groups
  • You can time and change your ad extensions (those little links you can put under your adverts)
  • You can change your bids according to geographical regions

This brings it all into one place, tidying up campaigns, and the migration assistant is helpful for merging campaigns which had previously been separated. Great… but, what’s that you say, that’s not all? There’s more…

Negative: Adwords Enhanced PPC Limitations

You mean this is not ‘all good’. Sadly not, as usual, this there are some major wins for Google – they just don’t like to shout about it. In fact they like to take us all on a voyage of ‘discovery’ whilst they read the short-term benefits. The two main immediate benefits for them are:

1. There Will be Greater Mobile Competition

The main aim of this change is to increase mobile advertising spend. Once this ‘upgrade’ is rolled out fully mobile-targeted advertising will go up which is bad news for both those who currently use mobile advertising through Google (they will have to pay more), and those who wander in without really knowing what they are doing and wasting marketing spend.

2. The Death of the Mobile-Only Campaign

You cannot, as it currently stands, run a mobile-only campaign. If you want to target mobile users, you have tablet and desktop adverts whether you like it or not. This is part of the grand plan to not allowing advertisers to skim the cream off the top of their campaigns. However it further waters down performance for those who wanted to improve performance.

On top of that, you cannot change your bid for Tablets in relation to Desktops and Laptops – the flexibility has been limited there deliberately to increase reach, adverts on Tablets and, essentially to increase revenues into Google.

A Word of Warning: No Sleepwalking!

Enhanced PPC Campaigns Google AdWordsFirstly, this migration of Enhanced functionality will be rolled out gently, but there is already a time limit in there ‘your campaign will be automatically upgraded in a few months’. Meaning that this is a one-way street. You cannot ‘opt out’ of these changes. If you wait for Google to upgrade you, almost certainly they will trigger mobile advertising for your campaign automatically – meaning you will start spending on mobile advertising if you let them do it for you.

Tweaks will also be made to the back end algorithms to further increase share of revenue from advertisers. So, don’t expect performance to remain the same, it will not, it will change. Look at your conversion rates and yields carefully, because if you don’t do anything, your performance will drop and you need to know why (and what to do about it).

Wrap Up of AdWords Enhanced Campaigns for PPC

On the face of it, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, however that’s not actually what’s happening here. Google are simplifying something that has got overcomplicated but in the process has deliberately shut a few doors which had been nice pockets of opportunity for the savvy PPC agency. That’s not to say there isn’t opportunity, it’s just a case of finding ways to develop campaigns in different ways. Another learning curve!

This change is going to particularly hurt pure-play Mobile (and or Tablet) advertisers who will suddenly find themselves unavoidably targeting devices they do not want to reach. There are a few ways around this though, so get in touch if you want some help!