enhanced campaigns

Google Enhanced Campaigns

By Paul Morris

Interesting new Google PPC mobile amendments are about to be introduced (and forced from June).

Google Enhanced Campaign Overview

Senior Vice President of Engineering Sridhar Ramaswamy says about the development, “Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns.”

3 Reasons why Google has made the shift

1/ Google is building for the long term and trying to avoid fragmentation. A world where you have to target for desktop, mobile, phablets, tablets, Smart TV’s, Consoles (multiple versions), and other Android powered devices (smart cameras, fridges, etc) is a nightmare and it’s best nipping in the bud now.  

2/ Mobile PPC best practice has broadly fallen on deaf ears thus far. Google is aware that the majority of Adwords advertisers are either SMBs or larger advertisers who manage PPC badly and do not bother with correctly geo targeted, hyper relevant ‘mobile only’ campaigns. Google Enhanced Campaigns should help this type of advertiser significantly and to be frank dumbs down Adwords to a degree thus levelling the playing field against more advanced PPC practitioners.

3/ Linked with the last point; Google needs to monetise Mobile. Investors want to see more of it and this is one way of getting companies to engage in mobile and get mobile £CPC’s up.

5 major amends

1/ The previous best practice of breaking accounts out by device type will no longer be possible; so one account to rule them all and “smart ads” will rule. Desktop, tablet & mobile will therefore have the same bids running and you will have to adjust bids per platform by use of multipliers; from -100% to +300%.

2/ There will be improved offline integration by the virtue of Sitelinks being tied to ad-scheduling e.g. heavy TV advertising up weighting affecting site link copy/ destination and click to call ads only being useful during call centre opening times. (It will also be interesting to see more granular detail of site link activity). 

3/ Targeting will become easier as the segmentation of regional activity will be controlled by “bid adjustments” e.g. pay x% more for clicks during x-y times, pay another x% for those within a certain postcode and reduce by x% for mobile traffic (why you would want to reduce bids for mobile traffic is beyond me :-).

4/ A very exciting development is that of cross device reporting that will facilitate measurement of conversions that start on one device and end on another.

Note of caution: This will only be for users who are logged in to their Google account and whilst this is high on desktop I imagine it’s much lower on tablet and mobile (Google could really do with creating a partnership with someone like Drawbrid.ge)

…Linked with cross domain tracking; I do like the fact Google will now be offering call tracking for free to all hence you can have call conversions reported within the AdWords interface (a conversion can be set against the length of call).

5/ Targeting by mobile network or operating system is no longer an option. Instead Google will display app extensions automatically linking to the correct app store for each device. 

3 key Drawbacks

1/’The Merger’. The big drawback for me is one of Google’s key tenet for making the changes. Google are merging desktop and tablet targeting because tablet usage has rocketed within the home and Google believe usage is similar across these devices.

No way!

This was demonstrated, even in simple terms by usage patterns, in my Digital Omnivore post. The majority of people managing Search campaigns will tell you that intent and usage patterns are significantly different dependent on platform.

Perhaps in the future this ‘same’ usage assumption will be the case (with the ever increasing size of mobile screens, more mobile friendly sites, improved mobile speeds, etc) however we are not in the future yet.      

2/Heavily Signals Reliant. Enhanced Campaigns are heavily reliant on ‘signals’ to aid targeting. The pressure will be on Google to continue to develop areas such as user location accuracy to aid Enhanced Campaign targeting weighting.

3/ Lack of Control and dumbing down of the interface. A key example of which is the grouping of tablets together with desktops for bidding purposes. 


Overall I like the sound of Enhanced Campaigns.

With the upgrade of adwords editor and the adwords api due at launch to accommodate the improvements we should see improved targeting and MI fall off the back of this development (we just need the likes of Marin, Ignition One et al to get up to speed and integrate the amends into their platforms as you can bet Double Click has got a head start on the development).