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Mobile Search Advertising Just Got Way Easier: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

by Larry Kim  |  
February 6, 2013

Today (Feb. 6, 2013) Google announced some major upcoming changes that will make mobile ad campaign management exponentially simpler in AdWords. The new "Enhanced Campaigns" will be available as an upgrade by late February and become the default for all campaigns by June or so.

In this article, I'll explain what Enhanced Campaigns are all about and what you need to know. These changes will have particular impact on small and midsize business (SMB) advertisers.

What Are Enhanced Campaigns?

Previously, the best-practice for paid search on mobile was to create separate campaigns targeting different devices. The problem? A lot of extra work and campaign management complexity for advertisers. So much so, that the vast majority of advertisers didn't bother—especially at SMBs.

Mobile search is growing rapidly—it now accounts for about half of all searches—so Google knew it had to do something to simplify the process and increase mobile advertising adoption.

Enter Enhanced Campaigns. Google is upgrading the decade-old PPC campaign structure so that advertisers can make use of key mobile advertising features without having to create separate campaigns for every location and device combination.

Going forward, ad campaigns will be different in two major ways:

  1. Better bidding options for location and device: Google is expanding time-of-day–based bidding and including new bidding options for location and device. Rather than having to create separate geo-targeted and mobile-specific campaigns, you can now do it all in one campaign. You need only specify a single bid adjustment factor for location and device.

    Specifically, for geo-specific and time-of-day–based bidding, you'll be able to specify a bid adjustment multiplier from -90% to +900% (so roughly 0.1 to 10x). For mobile devices, you can now specify a bid adjustment between -100% and +300%. If you want to opt out of mobile, then you can bid it down by -100%, which effectively turns off mobile search.
  2. Smarter, more contextual ads: Within a single campaign, you will be able to have different ads for desktop and mobile. Google will automatically pick the right ad to run with and adjust settings based on user context. (It's just that easy.)

    In addition, since creating a great mobile ad experience involves more than just changing bids, Google is rolling out some new ad extension management features, including check boxes for your various ad extensions that specify that you only want your extension to run on mobile or desktop. Moreover, extensions will have new scheduling capabilities—for example, the ability to run an ad extension only during happy hour.

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Larry Kim is the founder/CTO of WordStream Inc., provider of the AdWords Grader and 20 Minute PPC Work Week.

Google+: Larry Kim

Twitter: @larrykim

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