We are now fast approaching July 22nd; the date when the AdWords enhanced campaign rollover commences. A lot of people have now bitten the bullet and manually upgraded their campaigns to fall in line with the AdWords paradigm shift. The general response from the online advertising community has been mixed, but in general it has been less than positive.
Enhanced campaigns have the potential to be so much more than what they are; greater AdWords campaign control and flexibility should be positive thing, right? I believe that in fact this is actually true of a lot of the new or updated features. Some changes do give us more functionality and allow us to achieve more than we ever could have imagined before. But at the same time it seems that the true intention here has to get us to swallow a bitter by adding a little sweetener to make it more palatable.
So What Have Enhanced Campaigns Given Us?
One of the advantages is the fact that we can now make bid adjustments in relation to the time of the day, location of the user, or the device that they are operating. These adjustments allow us to easily implement advanced bid strategies for our smaller clients and allow them to be on a more even keel with their larger competitors who have the capacity to invest far more in their AdWords management. Previously creating regional bid strategies for generic terms would have meant creating individual campaigns for each territory, with identical structures but different bidding tactics. This sort of duplication made it much more time consuming to implement and manage, creating huge barriers to implementing such strategies. Now we are able to easily implement bid strategies and avoid the previous efficiency deficits. This allows us to create campaigns that account for a myriad of factors and provide far more flexibility.
The Hand That Givith Can Also Takith Away…
In a similar vein the launch of enhanced campaigns also removed a lot of the control we have over how we manage different device types, and this is the sore spot for many advertisers. Previously we were able to create separate campaigns that were able to have different budgets, different keyword match types and even different active keywords. Now we are forced into a situation where one size fits all; our decisions on campaign activity are now based on pools of keywords as we can only implement adjustments at the adgroup level. AdWords have given us a hammer when sometimes a scalpel is needed, and the only option is to either get on board, or to opt out, neither of which are appealing options. I do believe credit should be given to Google on the way they have implemented these changes, although feedback hasn’t been great, considering they have just increased the cost of advertising, the feedback could have been much worse if the upgrade had been framed differently.
So What To Do Next
Google know that they are the dominant power in the market and they know that there is little advertisers can do when they announce a change like this. This is why most people have tried to make the most of these changes and have focused on why they are good, as dwelling on the negatives will not change anything. It is my hope that in the near future Google will add additional features to enhanced campaigns, so there name actually starts to resemble what they offer.
It is sad to think a lot of the negative reactions could have been avoided by simply allowing the option for advertisers to create device specific campaigns. The fact that the resolution was a previously existing feature and the fact that Google’s number one stat throughout the upgrade has been; “Enhanced Campaigns Increase CTR” is why I believe that this upgrade was more about generating revenue than it ever was about improving account performance. CTR benefits Google’s Bottom line, whereas CPAs and conversions benefit the advertisers.