With the July 22 Enhanced Campaign forced migration date looming nearby, I’m sure a lot of you are getting antsy not only about how the migration will impact your day-to-day management and optimizations, but also how it will impact the Google advertising space overall. Rumors of rises in average CPC and confusion about bid modifiers flew around for weeks. We already have a few posts about Enhanced campaigns here and here but I have developed and discovered some neat tricks that I’d like to share with you as well. Like many PPC experts by now, I’ve gone ahead and migrated over campaigns, made observations, dabbled with the new features and asked a whole lot of questions. I hope you find these useful!
So… About the Forced Migration…
What will happen to old, paused campaigns during the forced migration? How can we make sure these are not “accidentally” turned on?
Since there is no way of knowing exactly what will happen, I recommend that you take some precautionary measures and make some changes to old, paused campaigns. Set your campaign budget to $1 and set a campaign End Date (i.e., campaign ended July 1, 2013). This way there is theoretically no way your campaign will “accidentally” begin running your old ads, and if it does, it won’t spend a ton.
What About Losing Device Targeting?
My site doesn’t have an optimized Mobile or Tablet experience. What can I do to minimize the amount of Mobile and/or Tablet traffic I get?
I have a short-term solution, which will only work for some campaigns. If your legacy campaigns were originally targeting only Desktop & Laptop devices, and also running on conversion optimizer… continue running on conversion optimizer when you migrate to Enhanced! I’ve found that since Google’s algorithm is targeting historical, high-converting traffic, and all of that traffic in the past was Desktop traffic, the optimizer continues to target those users when we switch from Desktop-only Legacy to All-devices Enhanced. I did see some Tablet traffic, but it was only 5% of total traffic, and I placed a -100% bid modifier on Mobile so we were receiving zero Mobile traffic.
This is obviously a short-term solution because you don’t want to run your campaigns on conversion optimizer for too long without manually adjusting the bids here and there to continue optimizing. However, it can buy you some time beyond the July 22 date to work on improving your Mobile & Tablet experience.
Okay – I know there are “Mobile Preferred” ads, but what about “Tablet Preferred” ads?
Clearly the tablet experience is being a bit overlooked as it’s being lumped under the Desktop experience. Controlling your tablet experience will be tough, but if you do have a Tablet App, you can increase the likelihood that your tablet ad experience will be more relevant. For advertisers who have Android & iOS apps, I recommend creating an ad for each. For example, within an ad group I will create: (1) a “Try our Android App!” ad which routes to the Google Play store, (2) a “Try our iPhone/iPad App!” ad which routes to the iTunes store, and (3) a general Desktop ad with Mobile App Extensions for both the Google Play Store and iTunes store. Since Enhanced Campaigns will deliver the most “relevant ads” to a user, if they are searching from an iPad device, they should see Ad #2.
After announcing news of Enhanced Campaigns, Google listened to advertisers’ concerns and released some additional features. First, they added the ifmobile/ifnotmobile value track parameter which allows advertisers to have a “mobile” and “non-mobile” URL at the keyword level. This was a relief for businesses that were not prepared to revamp their website to a responsive design site or mobile-friendly site in 6 months. Read more about it here.
In addition, they announced Ad Group-level bid modifiers after receiving complaints about the loss of granular bid management with just a campaign-level bid modifier. These modifiers have now been rolled out onto AdWords Editor as well so you can make the Ad Group-level bid modifier changes in Editor and post quickly.
Lastly, in addition to allowing ad group-level Sitelinks, Google has gone one step further and allowed Sitelinks to include descriptive text, similar to “enhanced sitelinks” which were released in February 2012. Setup for the former “enhanced sitelinks” was a pain and essentially required strategic campaign build-out in order to be eligible for the descriptive sitelinks, but Enhanced Campaigns has made this easier by allowing advertisers to simply fill in Description Lines when adding new sitelinks.