Google today announced a major change to the way AdWords PPC campaigns are structured, which will fundamentally alter how mobile PPC works. The change, dubbed AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, kills the former “best practice” of creating separate campaigns for desktop and mobile. Going forward, advertisers will be able to target different devices within the same campaigns.
Here are five things that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to know about the new Enhanced Campaigns and how they’ll affect your PPC marketing efforts.
1. Mobile Campaign Management Will be Drastically Easier
The best news to come out of this announcement is that Enhanced Campaigns will be significantly easier to manage. Previously, only the most sophisticated advertisers were really taking advantage of mobile PPC. This is because it was far too complicated and time-consuming for the average advertiser to create separate campaigns for every possible device and location combination. At WordStream, we estimate that currently only 1 in 25 SMBs are running a mobile-specific campaign!
With Enhanced Campaigns, all that goes away. Now you can essentially mark a checkbox that says “I want this ad to run on mobile.” If you just have one ad in an ad group, and you check the box, then it’s going to run across all devices. But if you have an ad group that has the new universal ads and mobile ads in the same ad group, Google will always display your mobile ad to run on the mobile devices. Basically, mobile and desktop ads can now live together, in the same campaigns! It’s going to be a big improvement and time-saver.
2. Your PPC Ads Will be Smarter
Enhanced Campaigns give you the ability to adjust bids based on time of day, location, as well as device (mobile versus desktop). These bidding options mean that you can bid more or less when you ads appear on mobile. You will be able to specify a bid adjustment between -100% and +300% for mobile devices. If you want to opt out of mobile for some reason, you can bid it down by -100%, which effectively turns off mobile search.
Of course, optimizing for mobile is about more than just keyword bids, so Google is also rolling out new ad extension management features. These include checkboxes for various ad extensions, enabling you to specify that you only want your extension to run on mobile or desktop. This way, advertisers can continue to customize the ad experience for mobile versus desktop users. In addition, Google will automatically serve up the right ad based on user context, rather than you having to build out a mobile-specific campaign on your own.
3. Reporting on Mobile Search Got Way Easier and is Now Free
Google has introduced a new conversion type for mobile calls. Traditional conversion tracking, which depends on users reaching a designated web page after completing a goal, doesn’t work well for mobile because the goal completion so often involves placing an order over the phone. So Google is introducing a new mobile advertising conversion type, based on call duration.
As an added bonus, Google will no longer charge an extra fee to use advanced mobile call reporting features.
4. Mobile CPCs Will Go Up
In addition to increasing adoption of mobile advertising, Google wants to close the gap between the cost per click on mobile and the higher CPCs on desktop search. In the past, mobile CPCs have been significantly lower. This was a nice advantage for those larger advertisers and agencies that had the time and expertise to set up and manage mobile campaigns. Now that mobile advertising will be easier and more accessible, competition will increase and costs will inevitably go up. I predict that mobile CPCs will be similar to desktop CPCs by the end of the year.
5. You Don’t Have to Do Anything Now – by Mid-year This Will be Default
Google will make Enhanced Campaigns available as an upgrade later this month. That means you don’t need to do anything right now, if you don’t want to. However, Enhanced Campaigns will become the default around June. All your campaigns will be automatically upgraded at that time. So it’s important to be prepared for the change. If you’re like most small advertisers and you never created separate mobile campaigns in the first place, the upgrade path will be seamless and painless for you. You’ll basically just get a bunch of new options and features in your existing campaigns.
Editor’s Note: We found more about enhanced campaigns on the WordStream blog which has additional detail. You will also find a tutorial on how to create video and mobile ads in AdWords today, as well as a guide on AdWords ad extensions.