Google AdWords team is about to launch a host of new features with an updated called “Enhanced Campaigns”. What this really means for current AdWords campaigns is that some current features will be “sunseting” while some fun new targeting options will take its place. The reason for these updates is to advance AdWords to accommodate a multi-screen ad platform.
Over the last few years, we’ve noticed that consumer behavior is changing when it comes to computers, tablets and smartphones. People are constantly switching between devices, using the one that works best for where they are and what they are trying to do. We see that marketers need a simple way to promote the right messages to the right people based on user context and device capabilities.
As an AdWords marketer here are the top 5 changes you need know:
One: Desktop and Tablet targeting will be merged by no later than June 2013.
Google has stated that 90% of tablet user’s interface is similar to desktop so they’ve decided to merge them. While I’m not sold on the logic of removing device control, I do see the business value to them especially for the “set & forget” AdWords crowd. This means that if you have a MOBILE only or Tablet Only campaign you will need to merge into the new system prior to June 2013. The details are still unfolding on how this will be done, but it will need to be done prior to the “forced” merge.
Two: Targeting mobile carriers for search will no longer be an option.
This means that you’ll no longer be able to target specific mobile carrier networks for campaigns, so that campaign targeting iPhone’s on AT&T via AdWords will no longer be an option as of June 2013. The reasoning unofficially cited was that it had very low usage. Having tested this feature in the past I would say it never proved worth the hassle. This will only apply to Google Search, the display network WILL still have this option as far as we’ve heard.
Three: This is the most exciting news of the day- Bid by distance of the individual mobile user.
Advertisers will be able to bid higher based on a user’s mobile location. This enhancement is hugely beneficial for brick and mortars and will add whole new bidding strategy based on where a user actually is. It’ll allow you to bid higher for users who are 0.5 miles (or any distance) from a location. Will the location need to be part of Google Places or will you be able to pinpoint a location is unknown at the time of this writing.
Four: Additional ad text extensions and enhance site links will be coming in the coming weeks.
Most of these extensions have been in Beta for a good while but apparently are ready for prime-time. The highlight here is that sitelinks can now be set at an ad group level and we’ll be able to see individual stats for each link.
Five: A host of new conversion types will be added into the conversion tracking, but most interesting will be around phone tracking. The update to phone call tracking will allow you to consider calls longer than a certain duration to be added into the standard conversion count.
You may also notice some interface updates particularly in the Dayparting interface which may be tweaked for simpler implementation. Overall it’s good to see that AdWords is making some updates to targeting in the Mobile and multi-device space but I do have some concerns that removing some of the device targeting may limit future paid search strategy. In the coming day’s stay tuned for more details.