4 Changes in Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns and What They Mean for You

By eleventy marketing group

Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns will change the way search engine marketers manage, optimize and report their campaigns. The next evolution in the Google AdWords platform is upon us: Enhanced Campaigns. For those of you who have forgotten—or have selectively chosen to forget—all Google AdWords campaigns will be upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns on July 22.

Today, we’ll review some of the changes you’ll see in Enhanced Campaigns and highlight some bullet points to consider as you revise your paid search strategy moving forward.

Intent vs. Device

The bulk of the changes being enacted by Google focus on search intent, as opposed to device targeting. That means changes to your campaigns with regards to how you bid on keywords. To this point, Google is stating that the type of device someone searches on is now less important than the intent or geography of the searcher. So what does that mean for you?

Many sophisticated advertisers have split out campaigns for each specific device/form factor, as well as by geography. Historically, this has been a best practice for managing campaigns from a targeting perspective—with the ability to deliver the appropriate experience to a searcher based on the device they are searching on, in the geography you want to target. However, this functionality will change once Enhanced Campaigns are rolled out.

Tablets No Longer Tablets

The primary thing to consider with regards to tablets is that a tablet is no longer a tablet according to Google. Tablets and desktops will now be lumped together, and cannot be targeted separately. To Google, they are now one in the same. There has been significant industry data correlating that tablets convert at a higher level than desktops, but at lower cost per clicks (CPCs), so separating these out in campaigns to target with different messaging, and CPCs, inherently made good business sense. This will no longer be allowable with Enhanced Campaigns.

Lumping desktops and tablets (and mobile phones to an extent) together also enhances the importance of developing your website in a responsive fashion. Providing the appropriate experience depending on the device the search is performed on will become paramount. You will no longer be able to force a tablet user to one experience and a desktop user to another by using separate campaigns and separate destination URLs.

Simplified GEO Targeting

Similarly, the need to have multiple campaigns targeting different geographies also is now not necessary. With Enhanced Campaigns, bid multipliers can be used to adjust bids up or down based on geographic targets that can be set inside your AdWords campaign. This ultimately means you may utilize fewer campaigns, but still reach multiple geographies with different bids for keyword searches.

Mobile Phones Always On

By default, all campaigns now will be opted in to mobile targeting. While you previously had separate campaigns for mobile, desktop and tablets, you will now likely have a single campaign with the ability to set a separate bid for mobile users vs. desktop/ tablet users. The key takeaway here is that ALL campaigns will now be opted in to mobile targeting. While it’s still possible to set a negative multiplier for mobile and effectively turn mobile targeting off by virtue of low bids, by default opting campaigns into mobile targeting with desktop CPCs you can expect mobile CPCs to increase.

A quick recap of the changes mentioned here you’ll see in Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns:

  • CPC Shifts Across the Board: With default mobile opt-ins, anticipate an increase in mobile CPCs. As competition on the auctions for keywords increases, closely track performance metrics and adjust your strategy.
  • Device Targeting Is Gone: Tablets are now desktops, and mobile phones will receive desktop bids with the ability to raise or lower based on a bid multiplier.
  • Mobile OS Targeting Also Gone: No more Android vs. iPhone targeting will be allowed and reporting on such dimensions (device and OS) will be unavailable.
  • No More Device or GEO Specific Targeting: There is little to no need (or option) to manage multiple campaigns with separate targeting, budgets and bids for different devices or geographies.

In Summary…

AdWords Enhanced Campaigns will functionally change the way search engine marketers manage, optimize and report their campaigns. The sentiment on these changes from experienced search marketers is that they are a step backwards from a segmenting and sophistication perspective. Alas, Google is the one behind the wheel and it’s up to marketers to adjust to the new AdWords changes.

If your organization uses AdWords, it is incumbent on you to understand the changes discussed here (which are only a subset of AdWords Enhanced Campaigns) and adjust your campaigns as needed. Starting in July, you will be moved over to Enhanced Campaigns—whether you like it or not. Make it a point between now and then to start testing to see how these changes will affect your campaigns.