Embracing Change: How PPC Marketers Can Make The Most Of Enhanced Campaigns

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns – the biggest change to AdWords since the launch of Quality Score eight years ago. Like it or not, all advertisers need to upgrade by 22nd July, and without further ado, I’d like to highlight how you can make the most of this compulsory change.

Having upgraded a number of PPC campaigns to Enhanced status, there’s a lot to be gained if you know what you’re doing. Below are our top tips:

Utilise free forwarding calls

If encouraging users to call is a key objective for your business, make use of the upgraded call extensions feature. Calls are free when you upgrade while the minimum cost for legacy campaigns is £1 per call. You can also track calls that last longer than a specified duration. The result: budget savings and greater insight into your mobile performance.

Control your mobile spend

One of the biggest concerns surrounding Enhanced Campaigns is that mobile ad spend will increase once you upgrade and CPAs could spiral. Mobile CPCs might rise as a result of increased mobile competition, however you still have the option not to display ads on mobiles if this device type doesn’t work well for your business or you don’t have a mobile-friendly site just yet. Simply set your mobile bid adjustment to “-100%”.

Customise sitelinks & monitor individual performance

Performance data for individual links allows much greater insight into which messages appeal most to your target audience – and this knowledge can be leveraged across other marketing channels. For example, if one sitelink has a much higher engagement rate than others, you could incorporate that wording into other online channels and offline marketing material. Also try to customise sitelinks to mobiles where relevant e.g. if you’re a retailer, use geo-targeting with a link to the nearest store or in-store offers.

Leverage location-based bidding

Geographical targeting has been available for a long time, but Enhanced Campaigns make it a lot easier. Many advertisers simply haven’t previously had the time or resources to set up lots of campaigns targeting different locations. Now, you can simply bid up or down for certain geographical locations and use the learnings for other channels. For instance, if you discover that your PPC campaigns convert particularly well for users in the North West, you could develop an email marketing, Facebook or TV campaign for users in that region.

Enable social annotations

Although these aren’t new, you can now automatically show your Google+ page endorsements without manually setting them up on campaign level. Some CTRs can significantly rise after enabling these, so it’s a potential quick win with minimal effort.

There are of course some drawbacks to Enhanced Campaigns.  The biggest one is that Google no longer seems to recognise that tablet and desktop users can behave quite differently. There are definite advantages of being able to target these separately as desktop campaigns can deliver very different CPAs, and of course usage peaks at different times of day.

Whatever your viewpoint, Enhanced Campaigns are coming. Advertisers who take time to understand how the new features can best be leveraged, not just for PPC, but as part of a holistic marketing strategy, stand the most to gain.

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