Professional Adwords campaigns are being “enhanced” by Google, this change will begin from June 2013. The methodology is to streamline the process to a system of ads that display on any device, at any time, at any location based on the user context. It all sounds very exciting and there are some very cool features and important changes that will affect how you structure your PPC campaign.
PPC advertising made simple
Pay per Click (PPC) advertising is very different in today’s constantly connected mobile multi-screen world. Advertisers have had to address many different variables and micromanage individual campaigns based on the display platform, device type, geographic location or language. A proven organisation must put in a fair amount of work into any Adwords strategy which generally means clients need to have larger budgets. Obviously, a change was needed to encourage smaller agencies and niche businesses to be more involved with Google Adwords, especially as they are likely to be the ones to derive the most benefit from this advertising channel (I am not convinced Google has achieved this).
Smarter ads for success
“Smart ads” will be the way forward for businesses using PPC to maximise their online conversions. Smart ads are able to be served in the best possible format dependant on the device or resolution available, similar to responsive web design. Howe, er one option lost is to differentiate tablet devices from mobile phones or desktops. This doesn’t seem such a big loss when you consider how these formats are merging, “How big does a mobile screen have to be before it becomes labelled a tablet computer?”
New options also include being able to increase or decrease ad bids dependant on the time of day or location. If you’re keen to get a higher click-through rate (CTR) during office hours you can set your bid to decrease between 1800hrs and 0800hrs. If you think users in the next town over are less important to your strategy, bid less for that location in the same ad group. Not only can advertisers schedule bids, it is also possible to schedule Ad extensions, such as products, site links and social links and location maps too. Quite a nifty enhancement I am personally looking forward to trying out.
New bidding options
Mobile and desktop advertising is no longer separated in the new enhanced Adwords rollout. Since both have been integrated into the same campaign, you can choose to ‘opt out’ your ad campaign from mobile devices using a tick box, what you can’t do however is ‘opt out’ of desktop adverts “no problem” you say?, here’s the issue.
The advert is differentiated between mobile and desktop by “Bid Multipliers” that is you specify a standard bid for a keyword and then apply a modifier or “bid adjustment” to either the mobile or desktop variation. This modifier can only be between the range of -100% through to 300% which seriously hampers those who purely want to target mobile users.
1st Advert: you decide to target desktop users only
Your desktop bid is %£;1.50 –you don’t want it to appear on mobile so you uncheck the box
2nd Advert: you decide to target desktop users and mobile users
Your desktop bid is £1.50 – your mobile bid could be between £0.01 and £4.50
3rd Advert: You want mobile users, desktop impressions would be a waste
Your desktop bid is the minimum 0.01p this limits your maximum mobile bid to 0.03p
As you can see in this example advertisers purely wanting to target mobile users are going to lose out from these enhanced changes. But casual users who want a simple system are going to find the new interface a lot easier to use. I can’t help but feel the new features could have been implemented without the detrimental effect to mobile advertisers.