This is a guest post by Inderpaul Rai.
Experienced advertisers will already know all about Enhanced Campaigns, and will have already taken steps to optimise their AdWords accounts in light of these new changes from Google. However, there will inevitably be plenty of small businesses running PPC campaigns in-house (or individual people) that may not be aware of Enhanced Campaigns, or how exactly it may affect them. If you’re one of those people, this guide is for you.
What Are Enhanced Campaigns?
Enhanced Campaigns are a new way of campaign structure from Google. Instead of splitting campaigns by geographic area and by device, which has been considered best practice for a long while, with this new structure the segmentation occurs at campaign level. The idea is to make accounts easier to manage; fewer campaigns to work with makes life a lot easier.
To upgrade your campaign to an Enhanced Campaign, just click on the campaign you wish to upgrade and you should see this notification pop up:
Click on ‘Get Started’ and fill in a few settings to upgrade the campaign. It’s as simple and easy as that.
At campaign level you can now adjust your bids based on geographic targets e.g. -50% in Germany if you wish the campaign to bid 50% less on the maximum cost per click (CPC) you’ve set or +200% in France if you decided you wanted to double your bid for people searching in France.
No longer do you have to split your campaigns for every country, or even every city (for those who feel this is more profitable for their accounts), this can now be handled in the same campaign.
You can do this in the settings of your campaign, simply click on ‘Settings’ and then click on the tab below it called ‘Locations’. As you can see in the example screenshot below, this will take you to the screen that will allow you to adjust your bids for each location you’ve specified to target in your main settings screen.
Remember that in your Dimensions tab you can view reports on how your campaigns are performing at geographic level, so it makes your decisions easier on how to adjust your bids for each location you’re targeting.
A new feature to go along with Enhanced Campaigns is the ability to not only set sitelinks at Adgroup level, but also receive stats on each of your sitelinks too.
Once you’ve upgraded your campaign to an Enhanced Campaign, simply navigate to ‘Ad extensions’ as you would before and click on ‘Sitelink Extensions’ on the ‘View:’ drop down menu. Here you’ll see another notification informing you that you can upgrade your sitelink extensions to the new format. Go ahead with this if you wish to upgrade but please note that by doing so that any data your previous sitelinks extensions had will be lost unfortunately (don’t worry all your other campaign data will be kept intact).
As you can see from the below screenshot you can see the new sitelink extensions page, here you can now see data of individual sitelinks, as well as sitelinks at adgroup level. To add a sitelink at adgroup level simply click on ‘New extension’ below where it says ‘Ad group level’.
Individual Sitelink Data Not Quite As It Seems
It’s important to note that the data we see on individual sitelinks is not data from people clicking on that particular sitelink, but the data for when a user clicks on an ad when that sitelink is showing. A little disappointing, as when news broke out about enhanced campaigns it was assumed we’d see exact data from people clicking individual sitelinks. Hopefully this is something we’ll see incorporated at a later date.
No longer being able to segment by device has caused a huge amount of uproar in the PPC community. Previously we’d run individual campaigns for the desktop devices, tablets and mobiles as we find that the cost per acquisition (CPA) and conversions rates differ for each device on pretty much all of our accounts.
With Enhanced campaigns we instead now adjust bids for mobile devices in each campaign, to run a campaign that you don’t want to show on mobile devices, you can simply set the bid as -100%. Creating mobile only campaigns is trickier, you’d have to set the desktop bid as low as possible and then multiply the mobile bid. The problem is the maximum multiplier is 300%, so there are limitations to this system.
The other, more controversial, issue is that Google have now decided that desktops and tablets are one and the same! So they have removed the ability to segment between these two devices completely. Looking at our own accounts we’ve found differing conversion rates and CPA rates between desktops and tablets, so this change will negatively affect us as well as most other advertisers. Google claim that the distinction between desktops and tablets is ever blurring and that any differences between the two will reduce over time. I’m sceptical of this view, but only time will tell.
To adjust mobile bids on your Enhanced campaigns, navigate to the ‘Settings’ tab and click on the ‘Devices’ tab below that. This will take you to the screen that you can see below in the screenshot.
Whilst the new AdWords Editor update has just been released, allowing us to upgrade campaigns in bulk, at the moment, we still have to upgrade sitelinks (and call extensions) using the AdWords interface as there currently is no way to do this in bulk in AdWords Editor (expect the ability to do so in the next update). So those with large accounts will find this process rather long and tedious.
Not only this, but figuring out which currently segmented campaign to keep and which to get rid of will also take some thought. Best practice for this is to keep the campaign that has most data, so for example if your desktop campaign has received the most clicks and conversions, upgrade that one to Enhanced, and pause the mobile and tablet versions of that campaign.
You also have to consider exactly how much you need to adjust the bids for mobile on each Enhanced campaign. Best practice for e-commerce would be to work out the difference the earning per visit value is between desktop and mobile, and adjust the bid accordingly. For other accounts, where a transaction isn’t the conversion (e.g. the conversion, maybe an email signup, application or PDF download), then working out the difference in CPA between the two devices and adjusting the bid on this difference is the way to go. For larger accounts you should plan this out in Excel, you can see below an example of how we’ve done this for a particular client.
So, Enhanced Campaigns…
Are Enhanced Campaigns really ‘enhanced’? That’s certainly up for debate. There is an element of losing control to Google by taking away segmentation features, however accounts will certainly be much more manageable, making optimisation and budget management far easier. Small businesses will find the new features and structure most helpful, whilst experienced advertisers of large accounts will grumble at having less control of segmentation.
Whilst Enhanced Campaigns won’t be enforced on us until the summer, preparing for it (and even upgrading now) will ensure you’re ‘ahead of the curve’ when these features are made mandatory for AdWords accounts.
‘Adapt or die’ as the saying goes.
Inderpaul Rai works for Touchpoint Digital – an internet marketing agency that provides services in Social Media, Paid Search and Search Engine Optimisation.