Google Enhanced Campaigns: What You Need to Know

The following post is from Caroline Cherrick, Web Marketing Analyst.

Last week, Google announced Enhanced Campaigns – a major change to their Adwords paid search platform that will redefine how we as advertisers target consumers. In this multi-device, constantly connected world, search has come to be characterized by a multitude of factors. The most relevant search results will take into account not only the device we’re searching from, but also the intent and context of our query. With this in mind, Google’s Enhanced Campaigns enable advertisers to better define their target audience and to reach consumers with the right message, at the right time, on the right device.

Bidding and Budget Management
The new Enhanced Campaigns will bring changes to both bidding and budget management within Adwords. The new system aims to be more efficient for advertisers, and recognizes that people are constantly changing devices and search behavior based on their specific needs at the time.

Essentially, Google has combined all device-specific ads into one campaign. While advertisers used to target mobile, desktop, and tablet users with separate campaigns and individual budgets, under Google’s new system we will now start treating them as different parts of one paid search strategy. Additionally, we now have the ability to set different bids based on location, time and device (and any combination thereof). Enhanced Campaigns will define the user’s context using these criteria, allowing you to reach your target consumer by setting higher bids for your priority customers.

Take, for example, a hotel near the Miami airport. This hotel would probably be willing to pay more for a click from a smartphone searching in a one mile radius of the airport, than for one from the same device searching from another state, given that the former’s intent seems more immediate and likely to result in a booking. With Enhanced Campaigns, the hotel could prioritize that user by setting higher bids for local clicks from mobile devices.

Newer, smarter ads
Although advertisers can no longer create device-specific campaigns, Google has created new ads to account for varying user context. These new ads will include changes to extensions and mobile user targeting.

Google currently offers several types of extensions for their ads, which increase the amount of relevant information that advertisers are able to provide. For instance, they are able to include links to additional pages within the website, as well as location and contact information. The new Enhanced Campaigns allow for scheduled extensions, meaning that marketers will be able to set their extensions to appear at certain times of the day or days of the week. For example, a retail store might want to only display their phone number during business hours, or a restaurant might want to link to a specific menu depending on time of day.

Instead of creating mobile only campaigns, advertisers will now designate ads with content targeted to mobile user as “Mobile Preferred.” When displaying these ads to users, Google will take device capability into account, such as, the ability to download specific aps, or make calls directly from paid ads. Although Google’s new bidding system will allow advertisers to opt out of using mobile ads, in order to fully take advantage of the benefits of this new system, it will become increasingly essential to have a mobile website.

For example, take that Miami hotel near the airport. That hotel might want to schedule an extension with the text “24-hour room service” to appear from the hours of 8pm – midnight on mobile ads. That way, late night travellers would see an ad that appealed specifically to their needs at the time.

New Reporting
Google’s enhanced campaign platform will also include more in-depth reporting to advertisers, allowing them to more accurately measure the effectiveness of their efforts. These new features will give marketers the ability to better understand the success of their campaigns, and to make more targeted changes based on the information they’re provided.

Next Steps
Over the next couple of months, advertisers will be able to start migrating accounts over to the new format, with full implementation scheduled for June or July. Given the changing landscape of online search, it seems that enhanced campaigns are an important step in enabling advertisers to tailor their message in order to target consumers at the right stage in the search process.

Interested in ramping up your online strategy? Check out the full suite of MICROS eCommerce interactive marketing toolssend us an email, or give us a call +1 301.841.4700(US) | +44 (0)20 3004 9468(UK).

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