To say that Google's recent announcement of Adwords Enhanced Campaigns has received mixed-reviews would be putting it mildly.
As SEER's Aaron Levy explains:
AdWords launches Enhanced Campaigns, marking a drastic shift in how AdWords campaigns will be structured and targeted. Enhanced Campaigns’ main focus is targeting searchers not as the user of a single device, but rather focusing on a person. All devices will be targeted through a single campaign, ads/bids/keywords will be adjusted using modifiers or ad control tools, and tablets/desktops will now be managed as one.
You read right. Going forward, tablets and computers will be managed together. Because apparently they’re the same.
You will not target by device as you know today (mobile vs. computer vs. tablets), but rather they will be lumped into one campaign.
You will be able to exclude mobile devices (by modifying their bids down 100%) but…
You will not be able to create a mobile only campaign. You will not be able to set desktop bids for -100%. Meaning you won’t be able to exclude desktops. Many folks are thinking you’d just set desktop bids to a penny, and modify mobile bids through the rough. Nope! The bid modifiers are limited at +300%.
Over at Search Engine Watch, Alistair Dent shares the good, bad and uncool.
He also provides some good tips for coping with the change:
You have 6 months to transition campaigns to the new format. Google said they will release tools to help merge any campaigns that are currently split by device, but don't hold your breath.
You're going to need to do several major things:
- Make sure your bid management has been updated to the new systems before you change your campaign over. Whatever tool you use don't do your transition until they tell you they're ready.
- Identify your best and worst mobile keywords, compared to their desktop counterparts. Find your average conversion rate on mobiles and compare it to your desktop conversion rate. That sets your mobile multiplier. Then look for the keywords with high conversion rates compared to the average multiplier, and keywords with low conversion rates compared to the average multiplier. Create a campaign for each, and set high and low multipliers on those accordingly.
- Look for all keywords you've paused or blocked on mobiles. Some keywords will have failed to work on mobiles in the past. Move these keywords to a new campaign with a mobile multiplier of 0.
- Take your time. Don't rush to make the changes as soon as possible. The technology is not mature yet and will be refined a lot before you have to make the move. Tools will be released to help you do the above steps and additional sophistications will be added. Take advantage of them.
My guess is that most small businesses and unsophisticated paid search managers haven't realized the true implications of this change. Google has been preparing for push back by proactively calling advertisers to discuss the change. This is probably the best thing that has come out of the update.
Lawyers that are advertising on Adwords need to be conscientious of how this update will impact their campaigns. It's likely that you'll see a significant up-tick in costs per click (cpc).
In addition to adjusting bid management strategies, you're going to want to make sure that your landing pages follow Google's guidelines for mobile optimized websites. Put simply, make sure your landing pages are responsive.