True to form, Google is making big changes. But this time, it’s to their online PPC system, Google Adwords.
Recently, the search engine giant announced their largest change in over a decade, “Enhanced Campaigns”, an updated system every advertiser will be forced to transition to by this July. The thought behind the upgrade is that we live in an ever-connected, multi-device world and so it should become easier to create and manage campaigns that can more effectively target individuals across all devices.
As a result, campaigns will no longer have the options to target desktops, mobile phones and tablets independently. Instead, each campaign an advertiser runs will appear on all devices.
Google describes the key features of the upgrade as follows:
- Powerful marketing tools for the multi-device world
- Smarter ads optimized for varying user contexts
- Advanced reports to measure new conversion types
Additionally, this new system will include more intelligent bidding options that will allow for adjustments across one’s entire campaign for mobile devices, times, days, and locations. For example….
“A breakfast cafe wants to reach people nearby searching for ‘coffee’ or ‘breakfast’ on a smartphone. Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 25% higher for people searching a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am, and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. These bid adjustments can apply to all ads and all keywords in one single campaign.” – Google
Similarly, advanced reporting options will now allow “click to call” mobile ads to be reported as conversions. And marketers will have more advanced call metrics and the ability to more effectively value calls by specifying call duration within the Adwords console.
In addition, upgraded ad extensions will become available including: call extensions, app extensions, sitelink extensions, and offer extensions. New features of these extensions will incorporate the ability to schedule start and end dates allowing extensions to run on specific days and times, specify which extensions you want to give preference to on mobile, and make changes to each extension without resetting its performance statistics.
So, what does this mean for marketers and advertisers?
At least in the short term, this new single format campaign system will result in some loss of control for marketers since hyper focused targeting is falling by the wayside. Therefore, the next several months will undoubtedly be filled with trial and error, while marketers adjust. As for advertisers, chances are they will begin to see CPC hikes across the board. After all, advertisers that have not concentrated on mobile and/or tablets will now flood the market, creating a much more competitive space.
However, just like it is with every change, the full implications of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns will only be revealed in time. Love it or hate it, the one thing that remains unchanged is Google’s constant evolution that keeps both marketers and advertisers on their toes!