Have Google ‘enhanced’ Adwords Campaigns?

Google has launched a new style of campaign in AdWords: the Enhanced Campaign. So what is changing, and what does it mean for our clients?

The most important change is the addition of contextual awareness for campaigns and ads, based on both device and location. For example, it will be possible to target an ad with diminishing bids as the user gets further and further away from a physical store location, or use the same campaign to target smartphone users with a click to call ad and desktop/tablet users with a link to an ecommerce site.

The ability to report across devices (when the user is logged into Google, of course) is the first step towards attempting to understand the value of the various touch points a single user has across multiple screens, ads and actions.

At a purely functional level, site ad link-level reporting and the ability to add sitelinks at the Ad Group stage will give a level of granularity and insight not previously possible with this AdWords feature. Similarly, you can now automate the scheduling of Ad Extensions such as click to call, so when, for example, your call centre is closed, you simply don’t drive people to call it.

This is all good stuff, but Google knows that more and more users are moving towards using their tablets; they also know their advertisers review differing conversion and revenue levels between devices, and often bid higher on one than the other. This isn’t great for Google’s bottom line, so they are removing the ability to treat desktop and tablet separately. This does nothing for their customers, as granularity in campaigns has always been AdWords’ strength.

What does this mean for clients?

Expect some volatility in your CPA (cost per ad) when tablet and desktop are merged, as the flexibility to set different bids based on the differing performance of the two types of device will soon be taken away.

Google is allowing customers to opt-in to the new campaigns over the coming months, before forcing all campaigns to change over by June.