Single Grain Enhanced Campaign Survival Guide

If you use PPC advertising on your site or follow the industry at all, you’ve probably heard about Google’s new Enhanced Campaigns. Every year, Google makes hundreds of changes to its AdWords engine, some big and some small, in an attempt to create the strongest blend possible of excellent user experience and profitable intent driven traffic for advertisers.

Enhanced Campaigns are one way that Google is trying to level the playing field for all advertisers by making account and campaign structure more efficient, merging both mobile and desktop campaigns into one ad unit.

 What are Enhanced Campaigns?

Enhanced campaigns are a new feature being rolled out by Google’s AdWords program primarily in the interest of making multi-device marketing easier for advertisers. The new ad format also offers several other features like more sophisticated dayparting, better geographic targeting options, and improved analytics/reporting segmentation for making the right ad spend attribution choices.

 What’s the point?

Over 90% of every dollar Google makes is directly from it’s advertising platform. For that reason it makes sense for Google to make advertising as simple as possible in order to deliver as many impressions and relevant clicks as they can.

Right now, very few small business and DIY AdWords advertisers are savvy enough to create and manage separate campaigns for mobile and desktop traffic. Mobile has exploded over the last 2 years and now that there are more mobile phones in service than people in the world Google needs to start filling that unused ad inventory.

So think about enhanced campaigns like this: it’s all about combining mobile and desktop so the average AdWords advertiser can find the time to run a real AdWords campaign. Google sprinkled in some other long awaited features and tools but this is for the most part about simplifying device targeting.

 Preparing to Migrate to Enhanced Campaign

Luckily, you don’t need to do much to prepare for the big switch to enhanced campaigns. The only research you need to do before hand is determining how important mobile traffic is to your business. To do this, login to your AdWords account and click “All online campaigns” from the left hand navigation.

Next, underneath the tabs used to navigate your AdWords account is a dropdown menu called “Segment.” The segment feature is a godsend and has far more application than enhanced campaign upgrades, but that’s for another article! Click the “Segment” dropdown and select the “Device” option. Now your data will be segmented by device type – desktop, tablet, and mobile.

Keep in mind that Google now lumps together both desktop and tablet traffic, only mobile will have it’s own segment in reporting moving forward.

Mine through your historical data and decide if mobile traffic is effective for your business – I recommend using at least a 60-day window for your analysis. Be sure to examine both AdWords performance metrics (Average Position/CPC/CTR) and important business KPI’s like cost/conversion and ROI.

Based on your findings decide if you want to either keep mobile traffic at about the same level or decrease/increase the total amount. For this particular account we chose to block all mobile traffic by using a -100% mobile bid adjustment because mobile traffic proved to be ineffective in the past. Some websites, products, and businesses will do just as well or even better on mobile so be sure your analysis is thorough!

 Migrating Your Campaigns

The actual upgrade process takes all of 15 seconds. Here are the quick migration steps:

Visit the upgrade center in the left hand AdWords navigation then click the “view pending upgrades” button.

Select the campaigns you want to upgrade then click the “choose upgrade settings” button.

Note: If you have overlapping campaigns that target different devices but are essentially the same otherwise you can merge the two campaigns. If you have campaigns that qualify for merging the upgrade center will tell you.

From here you’ll be able to set your mobile bid adjustment. If mobile traffic converts about the same for you select “same bid”, if it’s less effective set a decreased mobile bid adjustment, and if mobile traffic converts better for you consider increasing the bid.

Tip: If you want to completely block out ALL mobile traffic, select custom bid adjustment and enter -100%.

Click the “Apply Now” button and you’re done! Welcome to enhanced campaigns.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? 🙂

That’s really all you need to know for the big upgrade to go smoothly, but here are some of my other notes and considerations for mastering enhanced campaigns.

Toms Enhanced Campaign Notes and Considerations:

  • Check your mobile traffic regularly after switching. As noted previously, enhanced campaign will help Google fill up unsold mobile ad inventory and there will likely be quite a bit of overbidding while things settle in.
  • Once you upgrade your campaign you can’t go back to the old style (legacy) so be sure you’re ready to upgrade.
  • You can go as high as +300% on your mobile bid adjustment and as low as -100%.
  • If your new campaigns start accruing lots of mobile traffic after upgrading consider increasing budget where ROI is shown.
  • All campaigns will be auto-upgraded on July 22nd.
  • For campaigns using the “display network only” option you have the ability to target what devices your display ads are shown on.
  • If you have a healthy amount of campaigns/accounts to upgrade and want to move through mobile bid adjustments faster, use AdWords Editor.
  • Enhanced campaigns now allow ad group level sitelinks.
  • Your historical quality score will remain in place as long as the combination of device, creative, keyword, and landing page don’t change.
  • To segment your reporting by device use the {device} ValueTrack parameter.

Helpful links and additional reading:

How effective (or ineffective) has mobile traffic been for your business in the past? Tell us below!

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