The big day is assuredly here. Having provided a good deal of notice, Google had announced that today they would be forcing all AdWords users to switch to the new Enhanced Campaigns format. In a blog post this morning, however, they announced that, although they are beginning an automatic upgrade, they expect the complete rollout to take several weeks. Still, you will want to carry out the upgrade process yourself if at all possible to avoid any nasty surprises with your AdWords campaigns and budgets. Hopefully your team has done some research and you’re ready to adapt, but if not, we can help.
In some cases, the change may greatly optimize paid search campaigns, but with very specifically targeted campaigns, at first it may seem to make little sense. But if you have been an AdWords user for some time now, you may be maintaining different campaigns for targeting different devices and locales. If that’s the case, it’s imperative that you check into Enhanced Campaigns, as some of the changes could result in increased costs and drain on your budget.
Let’s delve into the details surrounding Enhanced Campaigns and how you can make the most of it.
With Enhanced Campaigns, the visibility of your ads will change. Since Google is eliminating the possibility for mobile-only campaigns, your ads may now show on devices they hadn’t before appeared on. In essence, with Enhanced Campaigns, the reach of your targeting preferences will be extended to more devices. While you can no longer run mobile-specific campaigns, you can integrate the mobile ad creative into a single campaign that reaches all devices. This makes it imperative that you inspect your account and combine current campaigns so that you aren’t spending twice. Also ensure that everything matches in the campaign that you will be sticking with and enhancing.
A side note, but something it’s important to keep in mind – tablets are rapidly taking the place of traditional desktops and even laptops at home. Many are opting to purchase a tablet instead of a new desktop or laptop. Don’t neglect this trend when adjusting your advertising campaigns to reflect this.
If you haven’t yet upgraded, you will be encouraged to do so when next you enter your AdWords account and be guided to the Enhanced Campaign Upgrade Center.
Changes to the bidding process on AdWords are commonplace. In this case, although budgets can stay the same, you will be allocating portions of your daily budget differently, maybe even on a per-click basis. While the idea of enhanced campaigns may seems like a win-win (i.e., getting a better optimized campaign that’s easier to manage for the same price), keep in mind that some associated changes could hinder the way you are accustomed to running your campaigns, as well as the type of ads you produce. Also, the costs per bid are going to build upon one another based on your targeting preferences. For example, if you increase your bid for a certain time of day, on a certain device, in a certain location, the costs for those three targets can build upon one another, causing your final bid to be larger than expected, before you even begin bidding on competitive keywords. However, better consolidated campaigns will make it easier to change your bidding preferences throughout.
While you may (or may not) realize that most of these new features were available before, they are now being made much easier to access and integrate into your campaign. The difference is that the default bid adjustment for mobile campaigns under Enhanced Campaigns is calculated by Google based on bid of other advertisers, which may or may not reflect your wishes. This makes it imperative that you review your bids either at the time you upgrade or today, when Google plans to automatically upgrade all remaining accounts to avoid unwanted expenditures on mobile campaigns. For help with this, refer to Google’s excellent explanation of the Enhanced Campaigns bidding process in “Bid Suggestions for Enhanced Campaigns”.
What does all this mean for the ultimate goal of your AdWords campaigns – your ROI? Knowing which type of ad drives the most conversions is not always easy to nail down. With Enhanced Campaigns, you can now track new conversion types, via the reports for call conversions as well as digital downloads. You will also be able to track conversions between devices. These new conversion trackers should help your decision-making process.
Some extensions (at this point, sitelink, call, app, and offer extensions) have also been upgraded significantly. More options exist, and you will have more control of how they are used. You will be able to narrow down which groups you want to have which extensions, or you can extend them campaign wide. Extension management will be somewhat more time-consuming, to ensure you optimize them appropriately. Many more customization options exist on a per-extension basis, requiring increased thought on settings. The plus is that since extensions are not being lumped together, it will not be an all-or-nothing attempt across your account. Google will also allow you to schedule extensions to turn on and off, so you won’t have to do it manually each time.
The great thing about the change to Enhanced Campaigns is that Google has been very proactive about releasing all necessary information about the upcoming changes, something that is not always the case. Their help section is extremely thorough and since the steps and changes are broken down quite extensively, at any given moment you can find exactly what aspect you need to consult.
As well, Google has been offering a free online course to help you learn about the changes since early July. While multiple changes exist to wrap your head around, the plethora of information provided by Google ensures that you can explore Enhanced Campaigns fully and do what is necessary to fit your goals into the new reality of campaign management.
Image: Important Day via Shutterstock