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Enhanced Campaigns: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Monday, July 22nd is D-Day for many web marketers. That’s the day that Google can start converting Google AdWords accounts to an Google Enhanced Campaign from a legacy account.

Why the change? Some say it’s to help marketers advertise more effectively in a world where marketing is increasingly anytime, anywhere, any device. Others will say it’s a tool for Google to increase your spend – without any return.

So what is Google Enhanced Campaigns? Is it good, bad or ugly? So far, it appears to be a little of the former – good – and more of the latter – bad and ugly. Here’s an outline of key changes.

The Good

Modifiers – Enhanced campaigns add a new level of modifiers. This is good, because it allows you to make bid adjustments based on various criteria. You can increase – or decrease – your bids by percentages, based on criteria such as searcher proximity, device and time of day. Let’s say you know your best conversions happen with searchers within 10 miles of your locations, during your business hours. Now you can modify your bids, increasing them a specific percentage when searches meet those criteria, and decreasing them when not. You can slice, dice and fine tune your bidding strategically.

Site Links – In another positive, you can now show site links at the Ad Group level. So rather than searchers seeing the same site links over and over on similar keywords, the site links can be changed based on the ad group level. This even allows site links at the keyword level if an ad group is built in that manner. More site links allows searchers to refine their search, and increases the likelihood they’ll find what they’re seeking – and click through.

The Bad

Elimination of Mobile Campaigns – For reasons not clear, Google is eliminating the ability to target solely mobile devices. This is frustrating for many advertisers, especially after Google spent years urging companies to create mobile-only campaigns.

Agencies and advertisers are already building work-arounds to create their own mobile campaigns. This includes bidding up on mobile devices, and minimizing bids for other devices. But these workarounds aren’t perfect. Even if you if wish to target solely a mobile audience, you may end up paying for clicks on other devices.

The Ugly

Bashing Google – Google is generally an admired company, always on the vanguard of new technologies and techniques. When people are frustrated by Google, usually it’s in the organic (free) search realm, where unexpected algorithm changes suddenly change a site’s fortune.

It’s quite another matter, entirely, for Google to frustrate or even anger its paying customers. After all it’s AdWords marketers who provide by far most of the company’s revenues.

Some advertisers and search experts have been slamming Google. They say the transition process is a nightmare. Advertisers contend the changeover requires a tremendous amount of work, and they’re left to fend for themselves.
Many also are irked by Google’s one-sided approach to the process, as if the company has said “We’re going to do this, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Ultimately, companies vote with dollars, and if the search giant sees that advertisers are moving to other forms of marketing, the search giant will likely modify the process to accommodate advertisers.
Google is the world’s #1 search engine by far, but it makes its money from ads. And Google would be wise to remember the top 2 rules of customer service:

  • The Customer is Always Right
  • If the Customer is Wrong, See #1

Google will be wise to ensure that AdWords remains customer-friendly, and one of the top ad channels on the planet.