I listened with interest to Google’s AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Hangout yesterday on their upcoming changes.
Some time around June, Google will join up all existing AdWords desktop, mobile and tablet campaigns to amalgamate them under single campaigns. Their view is that people now search the internet over the multiple devices that they own - for example, they might browse for products on their smartphone on the commute home, but will switch to a tablet or desktop when they get home to complete the purchase.
A simplified process
So what Google wants to do is simplify the process for AdWords advertisers, helping them follow purchase paths to measure campaign performance and ROI more effectively. The idea is to make it easier for AdWords advertisers to manage their campaigns and track the results by specific device – then adjust the visibility of AdWords in line with which type of device produces the most effective results for any specific campaign.
Watch out for the new features
Alongside this, Google are adding other new features for more targeted advertising, including enabling bids according to distance from a specific location and a particular time of day – which is great for retailers with a physical location. AdWords extensions are also getting a makeover, which will need some serious investigation.
Changes to CPC for mobile and tablets
In short, AdWords Enhanced Campaigns is going to bring in a lot of changes – most notably pulling mobile and tablet devices together, then adding desktops under the same umbrella campaign. You will however, be able to adjust visibility by device - for example, you may only want your Ads showing on desktops if mobile simply doesn’t bring you any results. But the CPC for all mobile and tablet devices, which up to now has overall been cheaper than the CPC for desktop campaigns, is inevitably going to rise.
Watch your campaign ROI
What these means is that AdWords managers are going to have to be even more careful about using tools such as Conversion Tracking to monitor where clicks and conversions are coming from, to make sure that campaigns are delivering the best ROI possible.
A carefully managed transition
And a final word of warning. The transition will need to be carefully managed – particularly if you are in charge of a large number of campaigns across different platforms, so I suggest that you start planning for that as soon as you can so your AdWords campaigns don’t get badly hit come June.