Google recently announced a change to device targeting in Adwords. Called “Enhanced Campaigns,” the change changes the ability to target ads by device. Whereas advertisers traditionally have needed to create device-specific campaigns in order to vary bids by device, Enhanced Campaigns will enable advertisers to change bids by a certain percentage within the same campaign.
How Google Enhanced Campaigns Work
Because mobile, desktop and tablet users typically behave differently in paid search, many advertisers have built unique campaigns for each device. Google will soon remove this ability for new campaigns, and it will delete device-specific settings on existing campaigns towards the end of Q2. Google states that enhanced campaigns will compete in the same auction as legacy campaigns and will not receive any sort of preferential treatment.
Within the new Enhanced Campaign format, advertisers will be able to adjust bids for mobile devices and specific geographic locations. They will also be able to change the ad shown by device type and location (except for tablets – Google will treat tablets as desktops in Enhanced Campaigns). If an advertiser doesn’t want mobile ads to show, he/she can adjust mobile bids to 0%. However, advertisers can increase mobile bids only by 300% over desktop/tablet bids. This will make it difficult to create campaigns that show only on mobile devices.
One advantage to the new enhanced campaign is cross-device tracking. Assuming that a consumer is logged into the same Google account across devices, Google will now be able to track the contribution of each device type to conversions. This will be a big help to ecommerce advertisers who have had trouble with cross-device attribution. Direct response advertisers will see less of a benefit since their conversion path often consists of only one click.
Advertisers have been creating device-specific campaigns for a reason: different devices drive different results in different situations. For instance, when generating phone calls is the goal, mobile devices typically outperform tablets and desktop. Retail ecommerce accounts often see their best results from tablets in the evening hours. Desktop often is the top performer for B2C accounts for which the consumer does a lot of information gathering before making a purchase. Although it is possible that this change will improve performance, removing the ability to tailor campaigns & spend to the best-performing device looks at first glance like some of our clients may experience performance declines once their campaigns are opted into Enhanced Campaigns. That said, we do see the potential for improvement in accounts in which performance varies between device and geography but there’s not enough volume to enable statistically-relevant optimization across multiple clones of the same campaign. In those situations, being able to adjust bids within one campaign will definitely be an advantage.
What has been your experience with Google AdWords Enhanced Campaign? Feel free to share your experience with us on the comments below.