Many advertisers we work with at WordStream have already upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns. I’ve been bullish on the changes since they were announced in February – though Enhanced Campaigns do come with some loss of control, I believe the benefits greatly outweigh the costs for most advertisers. Namely, those benefits include:
- Easier management of mobile campaigns and better measurement of mobile ROI
- More powerful bidding tools for local ads and display banner ads
- Fewer campaigns to manage overall – a big timesaver
If you’ve been happily chugging along with your legacy campaigns, I’ve got bad news for you. On July 22, this coming Monday, upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns will no longer be an option. Basically, in about five days it’s sink or swim. Any campaigns that you have not already upgraded will follow the automatic upgrade path. Are you ready for the switch?
What Will Happen to Your AdWords Campaigns on July 22
Google recently outlined how the automatic upgrades will affect your campaigns. The below table explains what your default mobile bid adjustments will be depending on the type of legacy campaign device targeting you’re currently using:
If you don’t take matters into your own hands, Google’s default bid settings could really screw up your campaigns. In the first two cases, “similar advertisers” could be bidding way more or way less than you want to bid, and in the second two cases, you’d end up with the same bid across all types of devices, even though it’s likely your results vary based on what device users are using when they find your ads.
We recently did a mobile marketing case study based on a client of ours, Colombo Hurt. In the case of this law firm, mobile traffic was actually more valuable to them than desktop traffic. But another business type might find that mobile traffic isn’t good for them at all, and they’d be bidding the same on mobile as they are on desktop.
To avoid any mishaps, I strongly suggest you go ahead and manually upgrade your AdWords campaigns yourself using the AdWords upgrade center. That way, you can go into it knowing what all your bids are for different devices, times, and locations.
[MORE: Enhanced Campaigns FAQ]
3 Tips I’ve Learned from Upgrading Hundreds of Accounts to Enhanced Campaigns
We’ve helped hundreds of clients make the switch to Enhanced Campaigns. The client I mentioned above primarily uses AdWords to drive call-in leads. They used Enhanced Campaigns to test increasing mobile bids by +25%. With the better mobile tracking tools available in EC, they were able to determine that their mobile ads had higher average positions, higher CTR, lower CPCs, and lower cost per acquisition compared to desktop ads. Pretty awesome, right?
Here are a few tips I’ve gathered from watching these upgrades happen, so you can make sure the switch to Enhanced Campaigns goes as smoothly as possible:
- Don’t Forget to Upgrade When You Upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns: Using the EC upgrade wizard takes 10 seconds if you’re just setting a mobile bid adjustment factor. The key to truly upgrading to EC’s is to remember to take advantage of all the new features and functions that are now available, like new ad formats (including my favorite: mega sized site links), bidding tools, call conversion tracking, etc.
- Focus on Productivity Gains: EC's were made in part so that you don't have to replicate your campaigns a hundred times to target different combinations of device, location and time-based targeting. If you were previously spending a ton of time on managing hundreds of campaigns, consolidate them and use the time savings to pursue other PPC optimization activities, like landing page optimization!
- Don’t Underestimate the Value of Mobile: Most of my clients (by a 10:1 margin) say that they value desktop clicks more than clicks from mobile devices. But when we actually do the work of measuring the true value of mobile, we often find that calls to a business are worth way more than clicks to a website. Find out what the true value of mobile is for your business and adjust your bid strategy accordingly!
Check Your Upgrade Risk Now
We recently updated our AdWords Performance Grader with a new section that analyzes your Enhanced Campaign Readiness.
The tool provides a full report on your AdWords campaign performance – similar to the kind of insight you’d get from a professional PPC audit – but free and within minutes. And if you run the tool on your account before July 22, you’ll get a view into how many of your campaigns are at risk for automatic upgrade, as well as how many ad groups do not yet have a mobile preferred ad.
So are your campaigns ready or not?! Don’t wait – find out now. Good luck soldier! I'll see you on the beach.
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