Now that AdWords has announced their major system update to enhanced campaigns, the option to upgrade your current campaigns will start appearing in your accounts. This post discusses the steps to make the switch and highlights a few key new settings to explore.
If your campaign is eligible to be upgraded to the new system you’ll see the following message:
Next, you’ll get the option to adjust your bids for mobile. Make sure to review past mobile performance for each campaign before making a decision. You can choose to keep mobile bids the same as desktop and tablets, increase them, or decrease. If your mobile CPA has been higher than from other devices, I recommend decreasing mobile bids. Unfortunately, you do not have an option to adjust tablet bids. They will be the same as your desktop bids.
Next, you’ll get the following message that you have upgraded.
Sitelinks – Navigate to your sitelinks to upgrade to the new version. Once you do, you can customize your sitelink extensions for mobile versus desktops/tablets. You’ll also be able to use a custom schedule for each sitelink. Best of all, there is now an option to create ad group level sitelinks.
Ads – Click to edit an existing ad if you’d like to make it mobile-preferred. These ads will be given preferences on mobile devices.
Location bids – Navigate to your campaign location settings tab to edit bids by location.
If you have multiple campaigns, switch to enhanced with smaller volume campaigns while you learn the new features and get used to the interface updates. Best of luck!
AdWords announced today a major change called enhanced campaigns. This change will affect all advertisers and will impact ad serving. Below, I discuss the major changes, challenges, questions, and resources.
- Manage bids across devices, locations and time within a single campaign. Many advertisers split up campaigns by devices, so they can optimize bids and budgets and use different settings for desktops, mobile, and tablets. Moving forward, advertisers will be forced to use the same campaign for mobile, tablets, and desktops. You’ll be able to adjust bids for each device, but not budgets. This could be problematic for advertisers who have much smaller budgets for mobile, for example. One great new feature is the ability to adjust bids (by using bid multipliers) for regions/cities that are more profitable.
- Ads customized to user context. Showing the right creative, sitelink, app or extension based on user context and device capabilities. You’ll be able to set “preferences” within each campaign to show ads, apps, extensions or sitelinks depending on device. Ad copy management and optimization might get even more complicated.
- Advanced reporting. We’ll be able to track new conversion types such as calls, digital downloads, and cross device conversions.
Questions, Challenges & New Features
I was able to run some of my question by our Google rep and I am summarizing the highlights below.
- Budgets. My first question was if we’ll be able to set different budgets by device and the answer is no. We will not be able to set different budgets for desktops, mobile, and tablets. In enhanced campaigns, budgets will continue to be managed at the campaign level via an individual campaign budget or a shared campaign budget. Similar to hybrid campaigns today, this budget may run across all devices, and advertisers will not be able to set device-specific budgets within an account or a campaign.
- Bidding: For desktop/tablet bidding, you’ll set a dollar amount. Mobile will function as a % of desktop. It will not be possible to set individual keyword-level bids on mobile. This is definitely a concern, especially for advertisers tracking conversions closely and with strict CPA goals.
- Opting out of mobile/tablets. The good news is that you can bid down mobile keywords 100% to opt out completely. The bad news is that tablets will always have the same bid as desktop, so you cannot opt out or adjust bids specifically for tablets.
- Pausing ad groups/keywords by device. You can pause mobile at the campaign level only, by bidding down 100%. However, you won’t be able to do this the other way around because all bids will be pinned to the desktop/tablet bid. For example, you could set your desktop bids to $0.05 and then bid up on mobile by up to 300%, making an effective mobile bid of $0.15.
- Reporting. One of the advantages of having separate campaigns for different devices is aggregate reporting. For example we can easily filter out all mobile campaigns and compare their performance against tablets or desktops. Having all devices lumped into one campaigns will make this much more difficult. AdWords is not planning any major reporting changes at this time. You will still be able to see reporting for mobile/tablet/desktop, using “Device” as a segment, but device numbers will need to then be multiplied across all campaigns to get your totals.
- Mobile ads/URLs. Some of my clients use different URLs for mobile ads. Advertisers will still be able to create mobile preferred ads but there is no such thing as mobile only ads, which we could previously accomplish with separate mobile campaigns. However, mobile preferred ads will almost never show on other devices, unless your ads for other devices are missing or disapproved. On the side, universal ads will almost never show on mobile, unless you are missing mobile ads or they are disapproved. So, generally speaking, mobile URLs or mobile only ads should not be an issue if you set your ad preferences.
- Automated rules. Automated rules will be compatible with enhanced campaigns. However, it does’t sounds like you’ll be able to set rules for tablet-only campaigns, since all tablet bids are shared by desktop. Again, this is not ideal, as it would be nice to automate bidding for tablets specifically based o tablet specific conversion data. AdWords does not yet support adjusting mobile bid modifiers via automated rules. It may be in the pipeline later this year.
- Call forwarding: Google will no longer charge $1 for the call forwarding feature. Also, you’ll have the option to show your own phone number in ads on desktops and tablets, previously only available through call forwarding a number Google assigned you.
- For more information and resources, you can visit the Enhanced Campaign Microsite.
- In-depth guide with step-by-step directions to upgrade can be found in this PDF.
This change will start rolling out slowly to all advertisers over the next few weeks but we will not be required to fully switch over to enhanced campaigns just yet. All advertisers will need to eventually migrate to enhanced campaigns by mid-2013. I recommend you start slow by migrating your lower volume campaigns while you learn the new features and capabilities.
AdWords just released a bulk editing feature that you can easily access within the interface. You can now make edits to thousands of ads, keywords, bids, destination URLs, and other attributes from within your account.
I’ve found the new bulk edit most useful for editing match types and bids, and for making ad text changes that apply to numerous ad groups and campaigns. Just highlight the ad groups or keywords you’d like to edit. The Edit menu is now a drop down button with various options to choose from.
Here is an example of how this will look like if you’d like to edit CPC bids in bulk. In your AdWords account, go to tab Keywords and select the keyword you’d like to adjust bids for. Go to Edit and choose Change max CPC bids… and click Preview to see what changes will be made.
UI bulk editing should make AdWords management a lot faster and save us having to use AdWords Editor for some of the more complex account management work.
The new shared budgets feature in AdWords is great for those looking to streamline management and not stress out about going over their set ad spend amounts. You have the option to assign specific campaigns to your budget and AdWords will distribute spend across those campaigns. Another advantage of this feature is that if there is more traffic available via certain campaigns, AdWords will maximize ad visibility across campaigns you assign to shared budgets to increase your clicks.
You can find the tool via your AdWords campaign management page under the Shared Library section. Simply name your budget, assign campaigns you want included and set your daily budget amount.
While this is a good option for advertisers who do not have the time to manage their campaigns and adjust budgets frequently, I would not recommend it to more savvy advertisers with multiple campaigns, who are watching conversions closely. Your campaigns are likely converting very differently, and I recommend adjusting budgets based on conversion data, rather than traffic, which is what shared budgets will accomplish for you.
One creative way you could use shared budgets is to assign your top performing campaigns (that you already know tend to convert better for you) a higher percentage of your total available marketing dollars. For example, if you have a total budget of $100 per day, you could create a shared budget of $70 for your top converting campaigns, and a separate budget of $30 for your low performers.
If you’ve been wondering if any of the negative keywords you’ve been adding to your AdWords campaigns are preventing your actual keywords from showing up, you are in luck. AdWords just released a new tool that points out negative keyword conflicts as you navigate your campaign management page in AdWords. This is a great feature that can help prevent traffic losses if you happened to mistakenly negative out an important keyword.
If you do have negative keywords that are blocking your keywords, you’ll see a message such as this one:
If you click on the View link from within the message, you’ll get a full list of the offending negatives as well as the option to delete them. Of course, it’s possible that you added a negative keyword after finding out that a certain phrase did not work for you, in which case you might just want to delete the actual keyword from your campaign, rather than deleting the negative.
Bing Ads (previously adCenter) has had this feature for some time now, so it’s good to see that AdWords has added it too.
AdWords remarketing now allows you to reach viewers who interacted with your YouTube videos, helping you strengthen your brand and relationship with your YouTube audience.
Remarketing can help you bring back those visitors who have navigated away from your pages and it can help you improve ROI. If you are new to remarketing, you can read more about what it is and other basics here.
The beauty of YouTube remarketing is that you can automatically create remarketing user lists and there’s no need to add any additional pixels to your website. You can choose to remarket to users who watched or liked specific videos, and subscribed or unsubscribed. You can even create custom audiences and combinations to further subdivide who sees what message. For example, you can remarket to anyone that’s viewed a video but did not yet convert through your site.
To get started, you’ll need to link your AdWords and YouTube accounts first, if you have not already. Next, go to All video campaigns in your AdWords campaign management tab and access the Video remarketing lists under the Shared library section. Click to create a new remarketing list and simply choose from one of the audiences, which AdWords automatically populates for you.
Once you’ve decided who you’d like to remarket to and have created your audience, you will want to set up a new remarketing campaign, adding the YouTube audiences you just created as your targets. You can read more about how to set-up remarketing campaigns and best practices in my previous post on this topic. Make sure to customize ad messaging for the audience you are reaching and include compelling offers and calls-to-action.
A lot of advertisers I work with are not aware of how long their customers take to convert. However, knowing your sales cycle is important information for many reasons, including to better understand the results you are getting from your advertising efforts and to further optimize your campaigns and marketing efforts.
Some products, like lead generation websites, have faster conversion cycles since there is a less of a commitment on a user’s end. Others, like many e-commerce sites or B2B products, can have much lenghtier sales cycles.
To figure out where you stand, you can check out AdWords Search Funnels. You’ll need to have AdWords conversion tracking enabled in your account to access this information. In your AdWords account, go to Tools and Analysis and select the Conversions sub-tab. Next, click on Search Funnels to get the following view.
On this screen, you’ll be able to see the average days to conversion, as well as how many clicks and impressions it takes to convert a customer. If you click deeper within the links below the overview tab, you can find out even more information and details, including how the various campaigns and keywords work together and relate to your conversions. Keep in mind that this information is, of course, specific to your AdWords account and that it’s likely that users from other traffic sources are converting a bit differently.
If your average visitor takes several days to convert, keep this path in mind as you analyze your metrics and launch new campaigns. It might take longer for you to truly understand the impact of any new promotions or optimization efforts, since your conversions are not immediate. You may also want to add in time sensitive offers to help speed your visitors along their decision process.
If you have lengthy conversion cycles, I also suggest you use remarketing to remind visitors of your brand. I suggest all advertisers try remarketing, but it’s an even more important strategy for advertisers that need to stay in their customer’s minds, as these customers take their time to make a decision and research further. You can read more about what remarketing is in my previous post and also learn about remarketing best practices here.