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Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns – Ready or not, here they come!

Ellie Gunville
by Ellie Gunville on Mar 18, 2013 9:42:00 AM

The discussions in the PPC industry over the last several weeks have all been centered around Google's new rollout of Enhanced Campaigns for AdWords. There has been a combination of outrage, excitement, and skepticism surrounding this topic.

Since the announcement, E-Power has been busy reading articles, watching webinars and reviewing industry resources to prepare for the switch and make the transition as smooth as possible for our client's Google AdWords programs.

What are Enhanced Campaigns?

Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns are designed to take advantage of the increasing mobile world.

Prior to Enhanced Campaigns, if an advertiser wanted to effectively target both mobile and desktop users, it was best practice to break out campaigns by device type. Because the browsing habits of desktop and mobile users are generally very different, it didn't make sense to group these devices together and target them the same way. The ads, locations, ad extensions and even keywords used for a profitable mobile program were often different than the elements in a desktop campaign.

For years, advertisers have perfected their campaign structures to make sure they're targeting desktop and mobile users as effectively as possible. And for years Google has told advertisers that in order to do this, you need to separate devices and target them differently.

Enhanced Campaigns are designed to make campaign optimization and management across multiple devices a simpler process that eliminates the need, and the option, for device separation. Enhanced Campaigns allow advertisers to target their audiences with relevant ads across different devices without having to implement and optimize multiple campaigns.

With Enhanced Campaigns, a single campaign will allow advertisers to set different bids and show different ads based on a user's device type, location and time of day.

How will Enhanced Campaigns impact Google AdWords programs?

When you upgrade your campaigns, they will automatically be set to target all devices, and the only level of bid control per device will be a percentage-based bid modifier. Advertisers will set their bids for desktops and then choose to increase or decrease that bid by a percentage for all mobile searches.

If you absolutely don't want your ads showing on mobile devices, you can work around the new changes by setting your mobile device bid to -100%. However, there is no way to have a mobile-only campaign once you upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns.

What about tablets? In the past advertisers were able to target mobile devices, tablets, and desktops differently. Enhanced Campaigns groups tablets with desktop computers, with no option to opt out of tablet traffic.

What's in it for Google?

That's always the question when a big Google changes comes about. Many are speculating that this change is driven purely by profit; designed to force advertisers onto mobile, where Google sees a huge opportunity for more advertising dollars.

Mobile advertising has long been a low hanging fruit for advertisers - up until this point. Competition was much lower on mobile, which often led to a significantly lower cost per click. Enhanced Campaigns will automatically target all devices by default, which will increase mobile advertising and bridge the gap between desktop and mobile click costs - and in turn boost Google's profits.

Making the transition

You can upgrade your campaigns at any time, and for the most part, making the actual switch will only take a couple of minutes for most advertisers. Preparing your campaigns for the transition and developing a strategy will be the most time consuming and difficult part of the new switch, especially if you currently target mobile and desktop users in separate campaigns.

If you're not quite ready to make the transition, you'll have until June 2013 when all campaigns will automatically be upgraded to Enhanced.

At E-Power, we're holding off on making any major changes to our client's programs until the chaos settles. As we've seen in the past with Google product transitions, including the recent transition to Google Shopping in October 2012, Google will continue to release tips, tricks and updates as they receive feedback from advertisers.

Be on the lookout for more E-Power blog posts covering Enhanced Campaigns! We'll be reporting our findings and advice as we start transitioning our client's programs and learning more about how to make the most of this Google update.

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Ellie Gunville
Written by Ellie Gunville
As the Manager of Online Advertising at E-Power Marketing, Ellie focuses on developing targeted advertising campaigns to boost sales, increase trade show and event registrations drive leads and strengthen brand recognition. She has become an expert in all things online advertising, and expanded her focus to also include Google Analytics and conversion optimization.

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