Low and behold Google has added another feature to make it easier for businesses to grow their prospective audience.
The new feature is specifically for Adwords customers and is called Enhanced Campaigns. Instead of just focusing on what keywords would be best to attract new customers, advertisers can now create ads based on context like location, device type, and time of the day, in a single campaign. The redesign will force advertisers to run a single — though conditionally governed — campaign across desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.
“People are constantly connected and moving from one device to another to communicate, shop and stay entertained,” Google senior vice president of engineering Sridhar Ramaswamy said in a blog post. “Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type.” Ramaswamy also noted that 90 percent of multiple screen users will sometimes switch screens to accomplish a task.
“We’re updating Adwords to work better in a multi-screen world,” reiterated AdWords specialist Kate Conroy. “When it was created over a decade ago most people didn’t have a laptop let alone two smartphones, a tablet, computer, and so on. It’s not just a smartphone, laptop and tablet that people will have access to in the future. Whether that is smart-TVs, wearable computing or all of these kind of blended computers,” she said. “Adwords needs to work with all of the platforms.”
Hence, Google has turned their focus to the underdeveloped world of mobile advertising first. Mobile phones are playing a huge role in customer’s viewing and spending habits. At the moment, the most lucrative segment of AdWords sales is desktop searching – but desktop search volume is declining. Google also charges far less for AdWords mobile searches, at a time when while mobile searches are skyrocketing. In light of this, Google’s refocus on mobile advertising revenue is understandable.
Google gave an example of how enhanced AdWords might work in practice:
“A breakfast cafe wants to reach people nearby searching for ‘coffee’ or ‘breakfast’ on a smartphone. Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 25% higher for people searching a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am, and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. These bid adjustments can apply to all ads and all keywords in one single campaign.”
This also includes items like specific creative or click-to-call buttons to complement mobile’s high-intent, proximity-oriented searches. And a new reporting construct will align with these options to measure desired actions like calls, app downloads, et cetera.
Among the grievances following this announcement has been a resounding cry from brands and advanced AdWords advertisers that this “dumbs down” their options for device-specific campaigns. More important, there’s been a backlash against anticipated cost-per-click (CPC) pricing increases. Indeed, if you’re a direct marketer who has enjoyed high conversion rates and low cost-per-click (CPC) rates through deft targeting of mobile ads, the good times may be over.
Say goodbye to lower rates for mobile ads, and say hello to a new system where your ads are going mobile whether you’d planned them to or not. Google however maintains that the new system will enable marketers to better manage their campaigns for a multi-device world.
But it’s clearly not so good for advertisers — especially early adopters who now have to wave goodbye to the undervalued mobile search ad inventory they previously enjoyed. But could the forced platform convergence end up bettering SMBs and late adopters?
There’s one argument that it will make them more astute at running mobile search campaigns, including when it comes to keywords, ad copy, calls to action, and analytics. In other words, because of SMB advertisers’ dormancy in jumping into mobile, Google has forced their hand. Indeed, SMBs will indeed end up better (as will Google) for being forced into this world. It was going to take someone other than themselves to unstrap the training wheels so they would learn how to work the medium that will constitute a key part of the next decade’s marketing mix.
The main thing to take into consideration however is that many advertisers have not yet optimized their Websites for viewing on mobile devices. Ultimately, if your Website right now isn’t well viewed on tablets, you’re going to need to correct that soon.
If you weren’t convinced of the need before, Enhanced AdWords now demands it.