Google recently released documentation on the new enhanced campaigns. They have also run training events in different cities. I have been able to enhance a few of our client campaigns as well as take part in training.
The goal at Google in their own words is to “deliver the most relevant information to the end user”. Their quest to deliver on their promise sometimes complicates the lives of advertisers trying to reach the intended audience.
Every advertiser wants to get their message to the right audience, motivate the audience to click, and produce a positive ROI. When Google changes the rules of the game, it is best to know the new rules so we can bend them in our favor. It has long been proven that breaking the rules only ends badly for the advertiser so we have to work within the rules.
Let’s look at a few of the new “rules” of the game. For Google’s version of the enhancements, you can see them at https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2909484?hl=en.
The Type of the Device is Less Important than the Intent of the Customer
Many of us, me included, separate out traffic by device type. By separating traffic by device you have more control. For many clients a tablet will convert differently than a computer. For the same client mobile may or may not be worth the advertising dollars.
In Google’s notes they make the statement “Account management has also been consolidated for tablets and desktops”.
What this really means is you can no longer separate out tablet traffic from computer traffic. A tablet is a computer to Google. Recent studies by Adobe reveal that tablets can convert higher than PC’s. The view is that consumers are using tablets to replace their PC’s and using them in the same manner.
They believe the intent of a tablet user is the same as a computer user. We have many accounts where this is not true however to play by the new rules we will have to write ads that motivate the tablet and computer user.
A Mobile Phone User is Part of the New Frontier
Mobile traffic continues to grow. What many did not see, including the #1 search engine in the world, 10 years ago is that mobile would be at its current level. In 2013, mobile traffic is predicted to overtake computer traffic.
In the new enhanced campaigns you will be able to bid more (or less) for a mobile user within the same campaign and even change your bid depending on how close they are to your physical location.
Small to medium sized businesses stand to gain the most from this feature. The ability to make offers to mobile phone users is also going to be available.
In the new enhanced campaigns, you will no longer be able to advertise to a Mobile user on ATT who has an iPhone on a Search Campaign. You will still have some of this control on display however, it is being removed from search.
Well Google explains that they can figure out the intent of the searcher for you and will show your ad to the correct mobile device.
This is an interesting shift. For many campaigns iPhone users will convert differently than an Android user.
Quality Score “Averaged” in the New Enhanced Campaigns
The death of Quality Score (QS) has been greatly exaggerated. Quality score is here to stay. In an interesting twist of fate, Google has decided that an aggregate QS is what is best to display.
For advertisers who choose to advertise to both mobile and computer in the same campaign you will see one score. The rumor is the score is a weighted average based on what volume of traffic went to each device.
For many advertisers the quality score can be different on a mobile (in the new enhanced campaigns that is mobile phones only) compared to a computer.
There is a way in the new enhanced campaigns to only advertiser to computers (tablets included) and not mobile devices. Google is recommending against this however since it is our job to look after our client’s money and ROI we will continue to separate out the traffic.
Sitelinks Gain Increased Power and Tracking
Sitelinks are a great way to boost the CTR of an ad. In many competitive markets, a well-written sitelink can be the difference between success and failure.
In today’s version of Google Adwords which is being called “Legacy” sitelinks have several limitations:
- Tracking the success of a sitelink individually is only available if you take the time to build your own unique URL’s and view them in your analytics program. In the current system sitelinks have one single CTR. Finding which one is your winner is not possible through the Google interface.
Making a change to a sitelink will resent the statistics for the entire set of sitelinks. This can make testing new sitelinks tedious.
- Sitelink approval happens all at once. In other words if you have four sitelinks and one gets denied they all get denied.
- Sitelinks are only at the campaign level.
The new enhanced campaigns give us the power and control of sitelinks. The shift toward capturing the mobile user continues in the sitelink changes.
A few of the changes to sitelinks:
- Campaign or adgroup sitelinks. The power has been returned to us! This is one of my favorite features of the new enhanced campaigns. You can now have more granular control over sitelinks at an adgroup level. The potential to target additional product or page for the specific adgroup is now firmly in the control of the advertiser.
- Statistics at the extension level not at the “group level for the extension”. It was always frustrating to make a change to one sitelink and lose the date for entire sitelink. In the new enhanced campaigns this is no longer an issue. You can make a change to one site link and the statistics will only change for that individual sitelink.
- You can select which extensions you want featured on mobile. This is a big deal. Knowing your customer and their intent becomes the most important part of your business. When you know that customers within .5 miles want directions frequently, you can specify that you want to push a location extension to mobile users.
Advanced Tracking of Call Data
Calls are vital part of many businesses. We help clients where 50%+ of their business is phone calls. The call tracking within Google has been limited.
In the new enhanced campaigns we are going to get more tracking power. For example, you may consider a call over 60 seconds a lead and one under 30 seconds no lead. In the new enhanced campaigns, we will be able to configure the conversion tracking to record calls over 60 second as a lead.
This will give us the ability to report additional information to our clients so they can see the true impact of their online marketing campaign.
When You Fail to Plan You Plan to Fail
Harvey MacKay said it best when he said “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. Enhanced campaigns are coming and by June, all campaigns must be converted or Google will convert them for you automatically.
The #1 item that I can recommend is don’t wait until the last minute to look at all of the enhancements that are available. Each campaign is different and requires its own changes. Now is the time to start planning because June will be here before you know it.