Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Good & Bad – Google Enhanced Campaigns

There have been a lot of articles regarding the Google Adwords update to Google Enhanced Campaigns.  Find out what you need to know... Enhanced campaigns will be turning on for all Google Adwords advertisers shortly.   The update has many advertisers racing to get prepared for the change and set their Adwords program moving in the right direction this year.   The biggest change removes the ability for advertisers to setup campaigns targeting devices, including desktop, mobile, & tablet.   After the Enhanced update, desktop and tablet will be tied together offering advertisers no way to separate campaigns for tablets. 

Mobile programs will also now be tied to your desktop & tablet campaign, however, you have the option set a mobile bid adjustment to adjust your mobile bids by setting a multiplier of your desktop bid (-100% is 100% lower than your desktop bid, which will turn off mobile, while +100% is 2x your desktop bid)…    In addition, Google Enhanced offers the ability to add sitelinks at the ad group level, when previously sitelinks were only offered at the Campaign Level.  


The Good
There is a lot of good that comes from this Google Enhanced update.  For one, the addition of sitelinks at the ad group level is a major win in an effort to increase your click through rates, and drive more traffic to your website.   Ad group level sitelinks allows you to include more relevant links to the inner pages increasing your clicks from keywords, drive more sales and conversions.   It’s a very smart idea to take the time to add relevant sitelinks for each ad group to improve your overall search listings.

In addition, it’s a good thing that Google is pushing many advertisers over the ledge into Mobile.   Mobile is here and it works, and if you have been behind on establishing your mobile presence, now is the time to get going.  By Google taking a bold move pushing advertisers into mobile will force our industry and websites to improve their mobile user experience and provide better resources & websites for mobile users and the entire mobile ecosystem.    Advertisers will now be more proactive in testing and implementing their mobile campaigns, which will ultimately help advertisers grow their search campaigns. 

The Bad
With any update, there are features that may not work out great, but it’s important to understand these limitations.  For any advertisers who currently have their campaigns broken out by desktop, tablet, mobile, there are some significant changes that you will need to make.  For one, there will be no concrete structure for separating out your mobile campaigns from your tablet/desktop campaign.  

We’ve read many articles about how to separate mobile & desktop and not one is efficient.  You can create a campaign targeted to desktop/tablets and then set your mobile bid multiplier to -100% which will turn off mobile.   However, there is not a great way to create a mobile only campaign and turn off desktop/tablet.  One way that has been suggested has been to create a new campaign with lower desktop bids and use the mobile bid multiplier to raise your mobile bids.  However, the issue here is that you can only raise your mobile bids by +300%, therefore, you won’t be turning off desktop/tablet entirely.   If you decide to run this setup, make sure you only have ads that are set to mobile in your ad groups to limit your device overlap.  

Another item of this update in which we feel will eventually need to be resolved is the level of granularity by which an advertiser can now manage their mobile bids.   If Google doesn’t provide more granularity, it may force advertisers to partner with third party tools to allow their campaign for better mobile bid optimization.

Campaigns on mobile devices do not always drive the same performance as a desktop campaign.   There are many variables to get a mobile campaign to work well, just as there are with a desktop program.   Mobile landing page design needs to load fast, speak to a mobile user on the go, be short, to the point, and could have much different messaging then a desktop campaign.  All of these variables need to be tested and will determine the success of your mobile campaign.   

With the Enhanced update, you can only set your mobile bids relative to your desktop bid, and at the campaign level.  Therefore, if your desktop campaign starts performing great and you decide to raise your desktop keyword bids, your mobile bids will simultaneously raise as well.   Just because your desktop campaign has been performing better doesn’t mean that your mobile campaign is or will perform better and deserves a higher bid as well.   Therefore, for every desktop bid adjustment, you will also need to take into account what to do with your campaign level mobile bid multiplier as you make your desktop bid changes.    This process is important and will create a lot extra work when optimizing your mobile campaign. 

Another item to note on the update is that your mobile bids multipliers are at the Campaign level, meaning you can only lower or increase your mobile bids by campaign.   This removes the ability to lower or increase certain ad group or keyword mobile bids if they are within the same campaign, forcing advertisers to set an average mobile bid increase/decrease by campaign.  

What should you focus on?
First and foremost, make sure your website and landing page for your Adwords campaign looks great on a Tablet.   Many landing pages will render fine on a tablet, however, sometimes your CSS and design will not load correctly on a Tablet causing different fonts or errors in the design.    Immediately after this update, you will be driving traffic from Tablets. Therefore, your first step should be to ensure your website or landing page looks great on all Tablets. 

If your Tablet page is not great or you want to improve the design, you should consider responsive design.  Responsive design will adjust the design of your website based on the device by which the user is visiting your site.   For your Tablet, the landing page will need to be responsive as Google doesn’t offer the ability to send traffic to a different URL for tablets as they are now tied to desktop.   Therefore, building a responsive page is a smart idea or adding a “value={device}” parameter to your Adwords campaign destination URL’s which will include the device in the URL, and then you’ll need to build code that detects that parameter and updates your device design accordingly.   Responsive Design is cleaner and definitely recommended.

After completing your Tablet page, you should test and review your mobile user experience.   Build out separate ads for your mobile campaign for testing.   Leverage your segmentation reporting in Adwords to readily review your tablet and mobile performance to adjust your mobile bids accordingly, and ensure to adjust your mobile bids when you make a change your desktop bids. 

We hope you don’t think this is the last of these changes…  In the future, you can expect to see more shake ups here.  Google realizes many advertisers are going into a stir and you can expect Google to make more updates for the better to improve this feature set and make sure the right features are in place for their advertisers.   Therefore, it’s better to take the bull by the horns and learn how you can use the Google Enhanced feature set to improve your campaign this year.    

Download this Free Google Enhanced Campaign Guide to learn more.  Or go to Google Support on Enhanced to get help.