Recently, Google had an absolutely normal day.
It shared a fun Doodle for a day. It was used in millions of “I told you so!” moments. It learned more intimate details about individuals than they share with doctors or partners. It also announced some “major” change that scared a niche group of people – paid search marketers.
Google’s New AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
The announcement of Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns is being talked about with such hype that you’d think the Pope just quit or something. On the surface, this is huge. While this change to AdWords could be the most significant thing to happen to advertising in the last five years, it really isn’t changing anything.
For me, this whole fiasco initially shows one thing: change will always scare us.
Some people are throwing flags and calling foul, but the only people doing so are people like me, paid media managers, a.k.a. PPC fiends. You can read many blog posts that cover varying opinions on Enhanced Campaigns.
To the rest of the world, the people who didn’t know they needed this, the update could change their lives. Steve Jobs didn’t believe in market research and held the mentality that “… customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.” Isn’t that exactly what Google is doing?
People who manage AdWords budgets are not Google’s customer, it is the client of that person who is Google’s customer — or more appropriately said — it was the client.
If Google asked business owners what they wanted, they would say, “I want the funds to be able to hire an agency to handle my AdWords campaigns.” Google solved the problem by giving control, simple control, to that business owner without all the jargon and complexity offered by an agency.
They did it before the customers asked for it, before market research told to do it, and that is why us PPC fiends have our panties in a bunch. Relax.
The Enhanced Campaigns update is not going to shipwreck things for you and digital agencies are not going to die away. With that winded preface aside, here are my main four takeaways on Google Enhanced Campaigns.
1. Context-Based Ads & Bidding
The revolution for Google’s customer – remember it’s not us PPC folks – is housing what used to be dozens of campaigns and their subsequent details into one idealistic beast. It’s the time to throw out that day-parted iPhone-specific campaign targeted to the 20-mile radius of Minneapolis and the several other sort-of-similar-sort-of-not campaigns that compliment it, and wrap that mess into one nice bow-tied piece of context capability.
Sure, I still need to migrate and recreate my campaigns, but the essence of the idea is amazing. Yes, I love the idea. I’m going to have so much fun recreating campaigns and re-strategizing things. Why wouldn’t we all love the idea of making simple changes that have large impact?
Having parameters in place to change the percent of a flat bid based on time of day, location, and device is amazing, especially considering how easy it’s going to be.
The capability of being able to adjust bids based on the numerous parameters I set in place is going to a wonderful tool, especially as I guide, consult and grab drinks with clients and explain things to them. The clients are going to see enthusiasm in the details surrounding their investments. They are going to learn more about their business and customers. We are going to build a better relationship. See where I’m going with this?
2. Focused Ad Extensions for Ad Groups
Gone are the days where ad extensions and sitelinks had to be generic enough to comply with all following ad groups. Go ahead and argue I didn’t have things broken out enough, but campaign-level extensions always bothered me.
I’m all about granular details. This change creates even more opportunity to provide the searcher exactly what they are looking for with less effort.
Ad group level ad extensions is a win so large it can’t be brushed aside. My mind has been buzzing with ideas on how to leverage this for my clients. It has started some fun conversations. It brought up very legit concerns about landing adjustments. That has in turn led to further fun discussions. I hope it does for you, too.
3. Clear AdWords Sitelink Performance
Clarity is an exciting thing. Now you will have something more specific to say than, “This tells me we need to update the URL copy for the site links.” Sitelinks offer great shortcuts for users to get to the content they need faster. Locations, directions, popular filters, categories and more are great uses for sitelinks.
Testing copy and destinations is going to be truly backed by meaningful data. You are going to know exactly which site links are working and need changing. This is a small change, but the data now being available is huge! Geeks get ready!
4. Mobile, Local, MOBILE!
As Google throws desktop to the curb and rebrands “mobile” as a catchall device term, mobile must be a significant priority to your clients — all of your clients. The merging of mobile and desktop campaigns is infuriating if you look through the wrong lens. Yes, it’s going to derail specific efforts.
Yes, your CPCs are going to be higher. Yes, the CPA could go up, but only for those who don’t have sites that are ready for mobile.
The sheer number of people who are still not ready for mobile users to hit their site shocks me. It pains me. With this epic merger, an m-dot site, or better yet, a responsive website is a must-have! You owe it to your clients to take them down this road. Sure, you have already told them that, but that was your salesperson saying it. Cut them a deal and preserve the relationship out of their best interests, make their site responsive, get their conversions back in order, and do even more business together.
Pro Tip: If you need help in this, I work with some pretty cool people who are keen on mobile web design. Wink face, nerds, wink face.
Google has done what they always do, freak out internet nerds with some new updates. We’ll see if all of them stay or if a few get tweaked a bit.
You are going to be OK. Your clients are going to be OK. The diligent PPC manager is going to tackle the ideas with ease, after all, the strategy isn’t changing at all, just the tactics.