Google Enhanced Campaign AdWords Platform was introduced in February, but will automatically switch all current legacy campaigns to the new platform on Monday, July 22, 2013. Over the past few months there has been a lot of discussion on the new platform and reports on the good and the bad from the early adopters. If you are not a search advertiser and aren’t familiar with this new AdWords platform, it basically gives advertisers the opportunity to target internet users by device, desktop computer, mobile phone, laptop, etc. within one campaign. Other enhancements this platform provides are new and better bid modifiers based on dayparting for different time zones, search location and device. For example, it is now possible to bid up your restaurant ad for mobile visitors within five miles of your location during the lunch hour. These location bid modifiers can be set by state, congressional district, city, postal code, Nielsen DMA region plus a few others.
One drawback to this new Enhanced Campaign platform is that “mobile-only campaigns” will no longer be supported. You can use the new bid modifiers to drive the majority of your ads shown on mobile devices, but a portion will still be seen on the desktop. A test done by Brad Geddes of Certified Knowledge showed that this method actually increased the Cost per Acquisition (CPA) in the campaigns he tested.
According to an article by Laurie Sullivan in Online Media Daily on June 18th, 2013, the Google Enhanced Campaigns are increasing Cost per Click (CPC) as well. The CPCs on Google rose more than 6% during the last three months. These findings, per Adobe Systems, come after their analysis of Google ad campaigns from nearly 100 U.S. advertisers from April through June, 2013.
Google designed the new Pay-Per-Click (PPC) System to simplify ad management but there is definitely a learning curve and there seems to be concern that the move to enhanced campaigns may result in less cost-effective campaigns. Admittedly, much of the reduction in performance will be a result of learning the ins-and-outs of the new system.
While I understand this new system will be making Google more money, I am a believer in the philosophy that if you never try anything new, then you never grow. So, I plan to embrace this new methodology on July 22nd and take advantage of the new features, while keeping a close eye on cost efficiencies. And by cost efficiency, I mean sometimes, it is better to pay a little more to get the right prospect on the device they prefer as opposed to tonnage.