Publish your content on The Drum

How to prepare for the Google Enhanced Campaigns D-Day on 22 July

Are you ready for Google Enhanced Campaigns?

Google’s announcement of Enhanced Campaigns represented one of the biggest shifts in paid search history. The industry reaction to the change was mixed. Advertisers who had already separated mobile, desktop and tablet paid search campaigns were frustrated that they now had to merge campaigns Google once recommended separating. However, less sophisticated advertisers who hadn’t developed their mobile paid search strategy were more optimistic, as Enhanced Campaigns would make mobile search advertising more accessible and simple to manage.

The deadline to migrate to Enhanced Campaigns is 22 July. However, if marketers choose to ignore this deadline there are problems on the horizon for them

What happens if you ignore the Enhanced Campaigns D-Day?

If you choose to ignore the 22 July deadline, your legacy campaigns will automatically be migrated by Google to Enhanced Campaigns. For advertisers, this means they will be bidding to show their ads on smartphones, tablets and desktops even if they only previously bid on one or two different device types.

Also, all bids on all devices will be set to the same value. This could be challenging as our research over the last two years has found that smartphone Cost-Per-Clicks (CPCs) are lower than those on desktops and tablets. Therefore automating the same bidding strategy across all devices could result in spending more than is necessary to drive an acceptable return across smartphone devices, and overall CPCs will inflate above normal levels creating a decrease in ROI. Not what any marketer wants!

Key considerations before migration:

To avoid falling victim to these pitfalls you need to implement a solid Enhanced Campaigns migration plan before July 22nd. Below we have outlined key considerations for your migration plan, but you can also find a more in-depth migration plan in our “Search Marketers' Guide to Google Enhanced Campaigns”.

Mobile Bid Adjustments

A mobile bid adjustment can now be set at the campaign or group level to alter your bids on mobile compared to desktop and tablet devices. Mobile bid adjustments are set as a percentage of your keyword-level bids for desktops and tablets. Here are some quick tips for deciding mobile bid adjustments when migrating to Enhanced Campaigns:

• If the campaign used to target all devices, (or desktop and mobile) set the mobile bid adjustment to 0 per cent. Your mobile bids will be the same as your desktop and tablet bids.

• If the campaign used to target desktop and tablet devices and has no matching mobile campaign, set the mobile bid adjustment to -100 per cent. This will prevent your creative from being delivered on mobile devices.

• Keep in mind bids and performance may be impacted now that desktop and tablet device targeting and search traffic is combined.

• Request a device performance report from your PPC technology provider prior to migration. These reports will highlight the differences between historical desktop and mobile performance across key metrics and help you calculate an informed mobile bid adjustment.

Mobile preferred creative

Where you had separate desktop and mobile campaigns, review ads and merge all creative that are relevant to all devices. Once completed, take all the mobile-targeted creative, which are geared towards mobile users, and set them to “mobile preferred”. This will ensure your mobile preferred creative are served on mobile devices and your desktop optimised creative are served on desktop devices. Note that mobile preferred ads can still show on desktop devices if all ads in the group are set to “mobile preferred”.

Also, keep in mind that creative which contains phone numbers in the text will be disapproved. Use call extensions to include your phone number with your creative.

{device} ValueTrack parameter

The {device} ValueTrack parameter enables advertisers to track paid search performance by device. If destination URLs are tagged with this parameter, a “c” (for computer), “t” (for tablet), or “m” (for mobile) will be inserted, based on the device the user clicked from. This provides advertisers with visibility into device specific performance when reporting. By not the {device} ValueTrack parameter, advertisers will lose device-level visibility and will be unable to develop device-specific optimisation strategies.

{ifmobile} and {ifnotmobile} ValueTrack parameters

If you have Enhanced Campaigns targeting mobile and desktop devices and are using device-optimised landing pages, then you will need to use Google’s new {ifmobile} and {ifnotmobile} ValueTrack parameters. For example, the keyword ’powpow sports’ might have the destination URL “http://{}{}”. Using these parameters ensures that consumers will always land on a page that’s optimised for their device, reducing bounce rates and creating a more relevant user experience. Alternatively, the same result can be achieved by architecting a responsive website which detects the device a user is searching on and loads the device-optimised page automatically.

In summary, Google’s switch to Enhanced Campaigns provides an opportunity for advertisers to maximise reach and traffic volumes by streamlining the set up process for mobile campaigns. However, there is a need to create a comprehensive migration plan to avoid significant drops in ROI, or a poor website experience for customers.

Jon Myers is VP & managing director EMEA at Marin Software

By continuing to use The Drum, I accept the use of cookies as per The Drum's privacy policy