Surviving the Aftermath of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns
After months of advanced notice and much chatter amongst the online marketing community, Google made the switch to enhanced campaigns last July. While the big unveil was not quite the bombshell many anticipated (I would equate it more to a slow-burning sparkler) due to the fact that the transition continued weeks after D-Day, the changes were evident.
What’s all the fuss about?
Arguably the most notable difference between enhanced and “legacy” campaigns is the unified device targeting. Instead of having the ability to run a campaign specifically targeting desktops, tablets or smart phones, the new rollout has consolidated all devices into a single campaign. While some applauded the streamlined approach, many balked at the idea that they could no longer segment each campaign by device.
So why the switch?
Simply put, Google wants to track the consumer wherever they go, and whichever screen they may be affixed to at the moment. Whether your prospect is at home online shopping on a laptop, or across town looking up directions on their smartphone, Google has made it possible to stay connected – but you better first ensure you have to correct strategies in place to ensure that you meet your business goals.
One size does not fit all
In the past and even still today, many companies clung to the notion that the most valuable clicks are those that are gleaned from a desktop device.
This is simply not the case any longer.
A survey conducted by eMarketer reveals that US mobile ad spending is up 20% from where it was just two years ago and that trend is not projected to be plateauing any time soon. By 2017 mobile is likely to make up over half of search ad spend.
Enhanced campaigns have allowed companies/agencies to fine tune mobile bid adjustments from -100% (bidding nothing at all) to 300% to get the most out of your campaigns. Although different devices have now been steamrolled into the same campaign, a mobile consumer is a completely different animal and thus should have a different strategy implemented.
New bidding adjustments allow you to bid higher or lower based on location, hour or day. This feature is particularly useful if your business has historically recorded a spike in clicks on a particular day or hour. Advanced geo targeting may allow for a higher bid to be implemented within a certain radius of a storefront location allowing them to stay competitive on their own turf. What this ultimately boils down to is getting the most conversions and the best click-through-rate for your budget.
Tying it all together
For now the new bidding adjustments only apply to mobile, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that Google allows Tablet-specific bids to enter the picture soon. In our own agency, we have seen some clients face an initial decline in conversions due to the fact that tablets and computers are now one and the same. That is to say if your website is not tablet-friendly, your conversion rate is likely to suffer a blow.
The moral of the story?
Google has made it more important now than ever to optimize marketing collateral to mobile as well as tablets. Many of us fought enhanced campaigns until July 22nd was upon us. Some continue to put up the good fight but it is ultimately futile as it appears it is here to stay.
Also here to stay is the uptick in mobile ad spend. If you are not maintaining a mobile web presence you are likely to get left behind along with desktops themselves as more and more on-the go-consumers utilize their smart phones for search queries.