Google Adwords Enhanced Campaigns – Are you Upgrading?

Google’s on a roll with its updates and changes at the moment, as well as the Panda update they have also chosen to upgrade the AdWords advertising platform with enhanced campaigns.  Any advertisers who are members of Google AdWords will now need to comply with the changes but whether this is a good move by Google or not is very much questionable.

So, what are these changes?

  1. One of the major changes is the introduction of a default campaign which will mean that you can no longer target solely mobile and tablet devices; instead laptops, desktop PCs, mobiles and tablets will all be targeted.
  2. You will no longer be able to prevent adverts from being shown on tablet devices.
  3. You will gain control over the value of your bids on mobiles. The bids for mobile adverts will be a percentage of your default bid which is set for tablets and desktop PCs.
  4. You will be given the option to customise adverts for mobiles that are in the same Ad group.
  5. You will no longer be able to use adverts that contain a phone number; if you already have adverts that contain a phone number then they will now be disapproved.
  6. Your keywords will build up a mobile quality score that is based on the performance of each keyword on mobile devices.
  7. Enhanced campaigns will also have upgraded call extensions that will provide detailed reports as opposed to legacy call extensions.

How does it affect advertisers?

In my opinion this new change has the potential to be pretty damaging for advertisers that have lower monthly budgets. The introduction of mandatory tablet targeting could increase Cost Per Action (CPA) – an online model that prices advertising; it involves the advertiser paying for every action that’s linked to the advert – which could mean that business owners are paying for non-converting clicks. Basically, not all websites support the use of tablets which means that if you do have a website that isn’t tablet friendly, you will be forced to pay for adverts that won’t convert into any form of profit.

The fact that quality scores will be calculated separately on mobile and desktop sites could also make things complicated. For example, if an advertiser has a great desktop site but a mobile site that’s not so good then the quality score of a keyword will be reduced; this consequently means that the Cost Per Click (CPC) bids will increase so overall costs for business owners will increase too.

As people are no longer allowed to use phone numbers on adverts they will have to use a Google forwarding number. At the moment there is no issue with using this type of number as it’s free, but Google could decide to charge for it at any time and no one would know, which means that advertisers are left with no choice other than to pay for it. This again means that advertising costs will increase which means that marketing budgets will also have to increase in order to maintain the number of sales.

The changes will mean that bid management software will have to be altered in order to accommodate the changes. Altering the bid management software means introducing new metrics which will work seamlessly with the new, enhanced version of AdWords. As far as advertisers are concerned, if they rely solely on bid management software, they will have to adapt the working interface of AdWords – a very complex process.

Are there any Advantages?

Although the new changes will be pretty scary for smaller advertisers there are some key improvements that you should take note of before writing the enhancement off completely:

  1. The enhanced campaigns will mean that you can alter your bids depending on the time, the location and the type of device that’s being used. This means that you can place higher bids to attract customers that are searching within a mile radius of your business but a lower bid for someone searching over ten miles away.
  2. The new campaigns will allow you to produce adverts that are much ‘smarter’; you can change the text and site links at different times and during business hours you can even show a store locator to people searching on a mobile.
  3. Advanced reporting metrics and conversion types will also be implemented.
  4. The fact that advertisers now have to use Google forwarding numbers means that detailed call reports can now be obtained.

The new, enhanced AdWords campaigns means a new start for advertisers and Google who now have the opportunity to deliver much more targeted results; time, data and sales will be the only things that will reveal whether or not these changes are going to be a success. This won’t be a sudden change, it will be something that is rolled out over the next few weeks and you will have the chance to make the changes if you want to – if you do they can’t be undone – however, if you choose not to make the changes yourself they will be made compulsory by mid-2013.

We advise you to check all detailed metrics and make use of Adwords editor to make this whole transformation seamless.