Latest AdWords Updates from Google Target Multi-Platform Campaigns
It was only a matter of time before the mobile marketplace started to dictate the terms of online ideology. Gone are the days when desktops and laptops where king and everything was tailored to those platforms first. On February 6, 2013 Google announced sweeping changes to its AdWords program designed to make it much easier for advertisers to target their campaigns to various search platforms.
The increasing prevalence of tablets and smartphones is resulting in more and more searches being conducted by individuals who are on the go. The number of people connecting to the Internet from a mobile device is starting to surpass the number connecting at home on a desktop or laptop. The statistics are there to prove it as well. Consider the following statistics as of 2012:
- 75% of emails opened, 60% of Facebook posts, and 90% of Tweets originate from mobile devices
- 75% of consumers prefer mobile-friendly sites
- 1 in 8 page views originate from mobile devices
Consumers are turning to their mobile devices more frequently when they want to read something or search for something, so advertisers lacking a mobile presence are missing a big piece of the pie. Users of Google’s popular AdWords program now have the option to tailor their advertising campaigns to different platforms in a more efficient fashion than previously possible.
Google will begin rolling out the changes to AdWords in February, with the process expected to take a few weeks to reach full completion. The new program is called Enhanced Campaigns and is designed to offer users the ability to target an intended audience based upon numerous factors (location, device type, etc.) while running just one ad campaign. Previously, users would have to operate separate campaigns to target desktops and laptops compared to tablets and smartphones.
The goal of the program is to streamline the process for users and help increase their ad visibility by making it easier to have a mobile presence. Advertisers can now operate one campaign, but have various tools to adjust and tailor that campaign to certain audiences. Google’s blog post about the changes offered the following as an example:
“A breakfast cafe wants to reach people nearby searching for “coffee” or “breakfast” on a smartphone. Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 25% higher for people searching a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am, and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. These bid adjustments can apply to all ads and all keywords in one single campaign.”
The new features to AdWords offer more than just a streamlined approach in one bundled campaign. Google is offering up a number of features to help advertisers more effectively target a mobile audience. It is worth pointing out that many of these features were available in the previous AdWords program, but are now much easier to implement with Enhanced Campaigns.
As mentioned, one of the big perks is the ability to adjust bids. Using sliding controls, advertisers can adjust their bids based upon a time of day (greater volume in the A.M. as opposed to P.M.), geographic location (mobile searches within 15 miles, for example), and even by specific devices used to conduct the mobile search.
Advertisers can even turn off ads for mobile searches if they feel so inclined. The best example of this would be an ad for a desktop program that doesn’t operate on mobile devices. The advertiser can slide the bid adjustment down to -100% and their ads won’t show up in the mobile market.
Specific tablet ad marketing will no longer be offered with Enhanced Campaigns. Google’s justification for the change is based upon the belief that tablets are replacing desktops and laptops in the home, with many of the search terms similar on both platforms. Additionally, it can be difficult to determine whether a device is a tablet or notebook with many devices operating on similar operating systems. For example, a Windows Surface tablet can act as a tablet or notebook.
Google is also taking steps to educate the ads available, if you will. The new smarter ads can be optimized for performance and appearance based upon the platform they will appear on. Users need only check a box next to their ad indicating they want it to run on mobile devices.
Last but not least, Google has dropped the fee advertisers had to pay for call reporting and introduced a new conversion type. Advertisers have always had the option to see which phone numbers called in as a result of ad campaigns, along with when the call was placed and how long it lasted. However, that service previously cost advertisers a dollar per call to use.
Google has now dropped that fee to encourage more advertisers to take advantage of the call reporting service. On top of that, Google has added a new conversion type to Enhanced Campaigns that it hopes will help determine the advertisers return on investment. Traditional conversion types, such as a thank you page for online orders doesn’t convert well on mobile devices.
Google’s solution is a conversion type that is based upon call duration. Advertisers can set the duration minimum that would be considered a successful conversion, offering advertisers a better gauge of mobile ad success and ideally encouraging a wider adoption of mobile ads.
The new Enhanced Campaigns program for AdWords is already rolling out to users, and Google hopes to have it completed by the end of February. The program will be a manual upgrade option at first; however Google will automatically upgrade all AdWords accounts by the end of June. The reason for the big change is simple. Google has seen a steady increase in the last five years in searches conducted from mobile devices. The company anticipates that by the end of 2013, mobile searches will surpass desktop searches in number.
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