Searching for the Silver Lining – Adwords-Style

Ben O'Neil

Ben joined 7thingsmedia in the Autumn of 2011 to head up the Paid Search channel. After 3 years o

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Searching for the Silver Lining – Adwords-Style

Since Google announced the release of its Adwords Enhanced Campaigns, designed to allow for more seamless advertising across devices, the debate around the ‘biggest single change to the structure of Adwords in 10yrs’ has yet to die down.

With over 52,000 mentions on Twitter, and tweets referencing enhanced campaigns as Google placing a ‘nice bow’ on the fact that ‘advertisers just lost a ton of control’ show that for many, this update is going to prove no picnic!

Here, we at 7thingsmedia, weigh up the good and the bad as we start to tackle the switch over.

Cleaner Campaign Structure

The duplication of campaigns to cover different devices was messy, especially as the number of device options improved. One campaign will undoubtedly clean up account structure.

Upgraded Ad Extensions

The new app extension will benefit some, however the ability to add extensions at ad group level and also to target specifically to mobile is the biggest improvement. However, again cleaner account structure is ultimately the only end advantage.

Site Link Development

Scheduling of site links is what we see as the greatest benefit of enhanced campaigns. During management of sales and promotions for clients, the ability to switch outside office hours will prove an indispensable tool. Individual site link reporting can also only be a step forward in terms of ensuring the most compelling copy.

Device Management

Google has decided to combine desktop and tablet as they possess a lot of the same search behaviour. This may be true, but at 7thingsmedia we find that conversion behaviour differs considerably, especially in terms of average order value known to be as much as 21% higher on tablet.

Budget Control

Bid adjustments are tasked with controlling mobile spend, but this doesn’t allow for individual device budget management. If we see value in ranking first within ‘browsing’ hours on mobile devices as a beneficial part of the purchase funnel, enhanced campaigns simply does not allow us to do this.

Switch over Workload

Sophisticated accounts could potentially take days to switch to enhanced campaigns, perhaps with no performance benefit? Analysing historical data and fitting this in with the percentage mechanism of bid adjustments is no speedy task!

Smaller Site Links

Once ‘upgraded’, site links will only be 25 characters long. Whilst the opinion is that smaller, concise site links are more effective, this is just that, ‘an opinion’. The loss of 10 characters could lead to a negative impact for many accounts.

In my opinion, the positive improvements could and should have been part of an individual release. Advertisers are seemingly looking at the positives and shrugging, because they are blinded by the cumbersome management of the switch over and the loss of their previously innovative means of managing their accounts. Had we only been handed the positives, Google would be heaped with praise! In regards to the negatives, only time will tell if Google will make any modifications before integration is mandatory.

Would love to hear your comments on this topic, so feel free to contact me.

London and New York-based agency 7thingsmedia, is shortlisted for eight awards at this year’s Performance Marketing Awards.

For more on keeping up with Google's enhanced campaigns, see A4u's previous articles on the switch over.