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Google Enhanced Campaigns

Monday, January 25, 2016


First, let’s kick off the blog post with the most obvious question you’ll ask yourself once you find out about the changes that are happening to your AdWords Campaigns. Why on Earth did Google come up with the ‘’Enhanced Revolutions’’?

The main reason is quite simple. Google AdWords has always been a constantly evolving product and interface, reflecting the dynamic nature of Online Advertising itself.  AdWords Campaigns has to keep up with the behaviour of people all over the world, and the constant changing of online behaviours. Enhanced Campaigns will provide you with the tools to enter the online multiscreen and multi-device world, improving your client’s performance and saving time to manage multiple campaigns.

Fortunately for Google, these changes also represent a likely increase in mobile spend.  Enough of the cynicism.

Through Google Enhanced Campaigns you’ll now be able to target your potential customers not only according to what they are looking for, but also considering when and where they are searching for it.

From Semantic Searches to Geo-targeted Searches

Before the Enhanced Campaigns Revolution, Google was showing results according to the search query the user was entering; that is, through a semantic search. Today, with Enhanced Campaigns, Google will show the most accurate results according to the time and place the user is searching in. Hence, Google will show us more relevant results according to our behaviour, our need in that specific moment and location of the day.

Searching with Google is evolving from a semantic quest to a localized one, enabling you to target your customers at the right time and place.

Device Targeting                                     

So, what happened to your device settings when upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns?

With Enhanced Campaigns, you won’t have to set different campaigns for different devices anymore, but you will be managing the device targeting at an adgroup level. You will not be able to opt out of desktop or laptop. Google states that the two devices are becoming more similar, laptops are becoming touch screen, and tablets now have detachable keyboards. In addition to this, Google tells us that over 70% of tablet usage is in the home and the tablet sales will surpass desktop/laptop sales by the end of 2014. When “we” say mobile we mean smartphones. At a recent Google event they stated that 64% of the UK population have a smartphone, forecast to rise to 75% by the close of the year.

smartphonesSo, how do you manage mobile activity? Simply by managing the mobile bid adjustment. You can still decide not to show your ads on mobile devices, by adjusting bids to -100%.

Originally, the mobile bid adjustment was only available at campaign level, giving advertisers an “all or nothing” scenario. Google has since allowed setting a mobile bid adjustment at the adgroup level.

This provides more control and precision over bids and would be useful if you’ve been operating large-scale campaigns and found that your optimal bids for some keywords would require significantly different mobile bid adjustments within an enhanced campaign.

For example, a nationwide retail chain currently uses mobile-only campaigns to optimize bids for several hundred-thousand keywords. They’ve found that 95% of their keywords in mobile-only campaigns have bids that are 10% lower than in the equivalent desktop campaigns.

The remaining 5% of their keywords have very different bid ratios (ranging from 40% lower to 100% higher) based on differences in performance and competition on mobile and desktop. By using the new ad group bid adjustments for mobile, the retailer can better maintain their desired bids and ROI on different devices as they upgrade to enhanced campaigns.

Google Call extensions

Enhanced Campaigns will help you reach potential customers on the go, even though your website may not be optimized for mobile. Through Google Call Extensions it is now possible because, by setting call extensions, now you’ll be able to track mobile calls and it’s now free to use the Google redirect numbers.

In the past you could use these call extensions but only knew how many clicks were made. For legacy campaigns (campaigns not migrated to Enhanced Campaigns) the cost to use the Google forwarding numbers is $1.00, £1.00, €1.00 per call.

We can now set rules before reporting: e.g. only count calls that lasted longer than x minutes. Some of our clients don’t have mobile-optimised sites. This option allows us to test mobile and to give the user the information they want prior to click.

Enhanced Campaigns Pit Falls

The danger of Enhanced Campaigns is the mobile spend. We know that mobile traffic doesn’t behave or convert the same way as desktop/laptop. When moving to Enhanced Campaigns it will be easy for advertisers to allow the campaigns to target mobile users and in turn see a drop in performance.

Analytics will become even more important as you’ll need to monitor the volume of mobile traffic and the performance. While Google is making strides to tie up the cross-device attribution, it is far from perfect.

Examples: Enhanced Campaigns Success Stories

Since the soft launch a couple of months ago, we’ve been reading some great stories about ways that advertisers have improved their performance and saved time with enhanced campaigns. Here are a few examples reported from companies of different industries that highlight actual strategies and results achieved so far with enhanced campaigns:


Online Travel Industry

E-Travel has improved CTR and conversion rate with context-optimized ads, mobile app downloads, and upgraded sitelinks.

E-Travel is one of the leading online travel agents in Greece, Cyprus and Russia, and has presence in other markets in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. After upgrading to enhanced campaigns, Managing Director Nikos Goulis reported,:

 “We can now show our ads according to people’s context, like location or time of day [… and] count app downloads as conversions in AdWords reports, which is very important for us because so many of our new customer leads come from our mobile app. These features along with the upgraded sitelinks helped us boost click-through-rate by 43% and conversion rate by 88%.”

Fashion Industry

American Apparel has doubled its volume of phone leads with enhanced campaigns, improving return on ad spend.   catwalk

American Apparel, a multi-channel fashion retailer, upgraded all its campaigns to take advantage of new features like upgraded call extensions and sitelinks. By extending call extensions across all device types, and counting calls over 10 seconds in duration as a conversion, American Apparel has seen their conversion volume from phone calls double.  Return on spend has improved significantly.

Travel Industry

Hotwire’s SEM analysts are saving 5-10 hours per week with more efficient campaign management.

Hotwire.com, a leading discount travel website upgraded all of their paid search accounts to Enhanced Campaigns, both domestic and international, within the first month. Clay Schulenburg, Director of Search Engine Marketing at Hotwire shared that upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns really helped his team manage AdWords more efficiently because all the key adjustments for location, time of day and device are now managed in a single campaign:

“Time saved per SEM analyst is somewhere in the range of 5 – 10 hours per work week that can now be reallocated to either new strategic SEM initiatives or more granular account/campaign optimizations.”

Bottom line: the sooner we upgrade your AdWords Campaigns, the better you’ll be enhancing your Advertising investment.  That’s what we are here for!

Written by Alice Massironi, MAKE IT RAIN

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