We know that online advertising is a constantly changing landscape that can sometimes feel difficult to navigate. One of the developments that has had advertisers buzzing of late is the rollout of Google’s most recent offering—Google’s Enhanced campaigns.
In this article, Paid Search and display specialist’s Net Media Planet take us through some of the changes, challenges and opportunities for advertisers that have been brought with Enhanced campaigns. Read on to find out how to make the most of these changes.
What’s the news?
It’s been a couple of months since Google dropped their proverbial bombshell with the launch of Enhanced campaigns.
The change focuses on the ability to allow advertisers to more effectively target the always on, always connected consumer. These changes will, theoretically, make it easier for retailers to target the right people at the right time with the right advert and the right call to action.
However, for retailers who are currently running paid search campaigns, these changes will mean that accounts will have to be restructured and rebuilt so that one campaign will effectively serve across all devices.
Google announced last week that they will be commencing the roll out of a new upgrade centre for upgrading AdWords accounts to Enhanced campaigns, in the coming weeks. Therefore the time for advertisers to explore the challenges and opportunities with Enhanced campaigns is now.
Below we run through some of the pros and cons with the changes:
· Ad targeting has become easier. Bid adjustments will allow you to target ads to a specific audience more easily, across a range of options including device (though more on this below), location or time of day. So for example, retailers with physical stores will be able to use proximity bidding to catch would-be consumers who are within a mile radius of their store.
· Smarter Ads. Ads created for each type of device, with specific sizes and messages will automatically show according to the device the consumer is using. This will enable retailers to more easily connect, engage and service their consumers across multiple channels.
· New reporting features. New conversion tracking features such as ‘call’ and ‘app’ downloads will enable retailers to easily and effectively monitor this activity for the first time. In addition, the introduction of individual sitelink reporting will make it possible to report on the performance of each sitelink. This is great for retailers who are running multiple offers at the same time and want to analyse which offer is performing the best.
· Inability to target tablets independently and limited mobile-only options. While it has been made simpler to target across devices, it has become more difficult to target or exclude specific devices from particular campaigns. So, for example it will no longer be possible to target tablets independently or to target mobile devices separately from desktops. Google has also removed the ability to target by network or to separate smartphones from other types of phones. This presents a challenge for retailers who want to target only these users.
· Bidding changes and budget control. While new bids will be set to manage all traffic, and adjusted by device on a bid multiplier scale. This will take away both the flexibility and control of campaign targeting across devices. So for example, this poses a problem for retailers who do not yet have a mobile-optimised site and as such want to avoid driving traffic from mobile devices to their website.
· CPC inflation. As bids can no longer be uniquely set by device we expect CPCs to increase, particularly on tablets and mobile. We would therefore recommend managing spend levels through new bid strategies and campaign targeting options.
Our top 5 recommendations to best manage Enhanced campaigns
· For mobile specific campaigns set the bid multiplier at +300% for mobile and -100% for desktop. This will effectively turn off desktop search and promote mobile as the primary device target
· Use the new bid by location feature to refine bids in areas of high or low sales revenue, conversion rate or ROI, to better manage your bidding
· Use the new Adgroup level sitelinks to improve messaging of the product / service being promoted. For example, you could now use sitelinks to promote ‘red dress’ as opposed to just ‘dress’
· Use the new ad extensions scheduling features to enhance the user experience further ie. schedule a ‘click to call’ button to show only during shop opening hours
· Delay transitioning for mobile-only, complex mobile accounts or where the ROI on tablet is strong, until a new strategy has been developed
In conclusion, we do think there is potential value for retailers with Enhanced campaigns, however we would advise all retailers looking to switch over their campaigns to prepare thoroughly.
Undoubtedly, retailers will have to work hard to ensure that ads serve on the appropriate devices at the appropriate time, that landing pages work effectively, and new tracking and monitoring tools are in place to manage campaign performance.
It is important to mention that Google has made, and will continue to make, announcements related to the switch over to Enhanced campaigns. Therefore we advise all advertisers to keep a close eye on the Google blog at http://www.google.com/adwords/enhancedcampaigns/ or our blog at http://www.netmediaplanet.com/blog for the latest updates and insights.
Key takeaway: We would advise all retailers to be cautious and experiment thoroughly before transitioning campaigns. Test out the options on one campaign first before rolling out across all campaigns. It is important to note that once you have transitioned to Enhanced campaigns, you cannot revert back! Good luck!