With Google enhanced campaigns now being standard for over three months, online marketers have had the chance to experiment with the new features and adapt strategies around them.
While this switch initially caused some disruption, optimisation has led to benefits on many accounts. Below are the advantages and disadvantages as I see them from my experience of working with Google enhanced campaigns at Silverbean.
Streamlining mobile strategies
In the past, many accounts would use separate campaigns for mobile and desktop to achieve the additional control required to optimise for both platforms. With the addition of both bid multipliers and mobile-specific ads these campaign can be simplified into one, cutting down on management time.
Reporting has also become much simpler, merging data into one campaign while device segments are available within a few clicks when required.
Standard sitelinks were a very static feature, creating links in a specific order, which applied to all adgroups within a campaign. The enhanced options take the idea a step further by showing only the links related to a user’s search query, boosting clickthrough rates. Adgroup level sitelinks are also available, which take priority over campaign level, offering additional granularity for subcategories when required.
An optional extra of two 35-character description lines can be added to any sitelink, making them appear as miniature ads. Although these are generally only shown on branded terms the additional space they occupy pushes out any competitors ensuring you dominate the search page.
Localised bid adjustments
For clients with physical store locations, raising bids in those areas can be a sound strategy. This can be due to increased brand awareness, strategies to drive in-store traffic or just to take advantage of trends identified in specific geographic dimensions.
No tablet bid multipliers
Device segment options split computers, mobile and tablets separately, but when setting bid multipliers, tablet traffic is grouped with computers. Essentially this means we can see how good or bad the performance of tablets is, but have no way to take advantage of the data.
With tablet use increasing, the effect on overall data will continue become greater, especially with some tablet devices currently touted as this Christmas’ must-have gadget.
As customers utilise each of their devices in a different way, adapting the strategy to each is essential to achieving the strongest results. For example, a customer may use their tablet solely for research, then opt to make a purchase on their desktop computer as they find it easier to enter card details on a traditional keyboard.
Increased competition on mobile devices
With the forced transition to enhanced campaigns, many casual users may be unknowingly opening their campaigns to mobile devices without setting bid multipliers. This additional competition can be seen in many markets with a rise in average CPC at slightly reduced positions.
Too much control?
With the amount of bid multipliers available there is a huge amount of control over adjusting bids. However, this requires time to be invested trawling through reports to identify the trends to base this decisions on.
The opportunity and cost of optimising other areas of the account must be considered, and for many accounts the time could be better spent in optimisation and growth. For larger accounts at a mature stage, these features will offer an opportunity to keep driving results month-on-month, but for smaller accounts this level of granularity may not be required.