Attorneys Prepare for the Enhanced Campaigns Adwords Upgrade

adwordsAs you may have already heard, beginning on July 22, 2013 Google will be upgrading everyone’s Adwords campaigns to enhanced campaign settings. Back in February, I briefly discussed some of the potential consequences of the enhanced campaign upgrade. As the automatic upgrade deadline approaches, I thought I’d share some additional information here.

What Are Adwords Enhanced Campaigns?

According to Google:

Enhanced campaigns give you the ability to manage bids across devices, locations, and time of day – all from a single campaign by using bid adjustments. This helps you reach your most valuable customers and connect with them anytime, anywhere and from any device. You can set multiple bid adjustments to target what’s most important to you and AdWords will then automatically determine the best ad to appear.

In other words, enhanced campaigns are intended to improve an advertiser’s ability to manage campaigns across a variety of contexts. These contexts include locations, times and device types. In particular, the focus seems to be on encouraging advertisers to reach users on the various devices that exist in the multi-screen world (i.e. smartphones, tablets and desktops). Whether this is achieved is another matter entirely. In reality, after the upgrade, desk­top and tablet bids are made to be the same and mobile bids are can be set as a per­cent­age rel­a­tive to desk­top and tablet bids.

Upgrading Your Firm’s Adwords Campaigns

Hopefully, by now you and your paid search marketing manager have already discussed and devised a plan to upgrade to enhanced campaign settings. If you intend to advertise to users on mobile devices, you should take action to protect yourself from cost-per-click (CPC) increases. You should also be sure that you’re driving traffic to responsive or mobile-optimized landing pages. Failure to do so could be detrimental to your quality scores.

Alternatively, if you determine that you’re not going to advertise on mobile devices, you need to apply a bid adjustment that prevents your campaigns from displaying ads on these devices. If you don’t take action to account for the enhanced campaign switch, you’re going to drive traffic to mobile users and you’re probably going to experience a slight increase in your CPCs across campaigns.

Google has released a guide for Upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns to help make the upgrade process easier for advertisers. They’re also notifying existing Adwords advertisers that they’re available to offer assistance through the upgrade process.

Of course, you can do nothing and the system will automatically upgrade your campaigns with the default enhanced campaigns settings. Again, I advise against this as it could have a significant impact on the performance of your campaigns.

Based on a recent study, Adobe reports that, “Google CPCs increased more than 6% over the last three months alone.” And that’s just in the last three months, before the upgrade has been applied system-wide. It stands to reason that CPCs will continue to climb.

Enhanced Campaigns & the Display Network

The upgrade isn’t limited solely to search advertising campaigns either. If your campaigns target both search and display, you won’t be able to target specific types of devices, mobile carriers or operating systems. By default, these new campaigns will target all available combinations of device, carrier and OS. However, according to Google:

“Display Network only” campaigns will continue to support targeting of device models, carriers, and operating systems. So, if your legacy Display-only campaign currently targets one or more of these criteria, those settings will remain unchanged.

For campaigns targeting desktop and laptop devices in addition to device models, carriers, and operating systems, they will no longer specifically target desktop and laptop devices once the campaigns has been upgraded.

Display Network campaigns that currently use multiple bidding strategies (such as placements and keywords) will use bids for a single targeting type once they’re upgraded.
Next step

If you’ve been managing your own Adwords campaigns, I encourage you to have someone take a look at your campaigns to advise you on the upgrade. Heck, even contacting a Google Adwords representative would be a step in the right direction. If you don’t consider the consequences, you may find that your previously healthy campaigns are quickly becoming “enhanced money pits.”

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Gyi Tsakalakis

About Gyi Tsakalakis

Gyi Tsakalakis helps lawyers put their best foot forward online because that's where clients are looking for them. He's a Co-Founder of AttorneySync and regular contributor to Lawyerist, Attorney at Work and Lawyernomics. If you have a question or an idea for a post, don't hesitate to contact him.

More posts:View all posts by Gyi Tsakalakis

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