AdWords Enhanced Campaigns – The Effects of This New Change

AdWords Enhanced campaigns are here to stay, replacing the Legacy campaigns for all advertisers before the end of this month. Someone recently asked me for my opinion on Enhanced campaigns and their affects on mobile ad spend for advertisers. I thought that would be a good topic for a blog post.

Essentially, my view of the enhanced campaigns as they relate to mobile ad spend is that they put advertisers in a position to increase their spend on mobile.

Less experienced ad managers may not realize that, when upgrading from desktop-only legacy campaigns, the default settings of the enhanced campaigns introduce mobile into the mix. This leads to an increase in ad supply with no change in demand (aside from the general rate of smartphone adoption and rate of growth). The result is more competition among advertisers and therefore higher bids for ad positions (higher costs per click).

The other major change is that advertisers are no longer able to place separate bids on mobile and desktop visitors as clearly and easily as we were able to before. The only way to set pricing for mobile traffic is by specifying bids as a percentage of the desktop bids. So it’s a less precise way of managing the costs.

If you manage campaigns in AdWords, check out your settings in the Enhanced campaigns. Now that there are no separate mobile bids, you have to choose your mobile % modifier. Many inexperienced or inattentive PPC managers will leave that 0%, but that will be a huge mistake. If you want a desktop-only campaign, you need to set the mobile modifier to -100%. Otherwise, if you leave it at 0%, you’re telling AdWords that you want to bid the same amount on mobile as you do on desktop traffic. Likewise, if you want a mobile-only campaign, you need to set the modifier in the opposite direction.

In general, the enhanced campaigns will cause, and have already caused, higher costs of mobile traffic for advertisers. The costs have increased disproportionately to the quality of traffic. Meaning, mobile traffic is generally less likely to convert (into a sale, lead, etc.) than desktop traffic. This is due to the nature of mobile browsing – the intent is often different. So since the costs have increased but the returns have not increased proportionally, the effect is an overall increase in the cost of advertising as a percentage of revenues.

Do you manage PPC campaigns in AdWords? Has the switch to Enhanced campaigns affected you? Leave a comment 🙂

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