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3 Things to Do Before Upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns

As you may have heard, Google has announced their new Enhanced Campaign in AdWords. Here are a few soundbites from Google about the change:

  • “Enhanced campaigns give you the ability to manage bids across devices, locations, and time of day – all from a single campaign by using bid adjustments.”
  • “Enhanced campaigns display the right ad and extension, such as sitelinks and click-to-call phone numbers, based on a person’s context and device capabilities.”
  • “Today’s devices offer more ways for customers to interact with your business than ever. Customers can convert through a web site, purchase over the phone, download an app, redeem online offers in-store or start researching on one device and complete an action or purchase on another. Enhanced campaigns will continue to bring you advanced reporting and new features to help you better measure the return on your marketing investment across devices. “

That’s the marketing message, but here are a few additional points you should know:

  • All campaigns by default target mobile and desktop search, with bid adjustment capability by device.
  • Targeting by tablet is no longer available. Google says they behave so similarly to desktop that they have grouped them together.
  • Sitelinks are now customizable at the ad group level (long-awaited functionality for PPC professionals).

Also remember that while you can opt into Enhanced Campaigns now, you won’t be forced into them until June. Therefore, what should you do before upgrading? Here are 3 tips:

1. Don’t Upgrade Until You Have To

I know this sounds harsh, but here is my thinking. First, Google admits they didn’t test this with many advertisers before the announcement. I was having lunch with several #ppcchat professionals. They represented large national brands as well as agencies. Not one person there was “upgrading”. Until there are more advertisers (or Google) that are willing to demonstrate that Enhanced Campaigns are beneficial (or at least not detrimental), I would advise people to continue using their legacy campaigns. This includes not upgrading AdWords Editor because once you upgrade all new campaigns through the tool will be Enhanced.

2. Determine Your Mobile Strategy

Mobile is baked into every Enhanced Campaign, so you need to have a strategy beyond “just exclude mobile”. The simplest way to handle it would be to set your mobile bid adjustment to -100%. This effectively turns off mobile so you don’t have to worry about it.

But say you were very successfully running mobile-only campaigns. There isn’t a -100% bid adjustment for desktop search. Bid adjustments are made relevant to the default desktop bid and the maximum adjustment is 300%. Therefore, if you have a successful mobile-only campaign running at $0.50 CPC, then the lowest desktop bid you could run would be $0.13 (which would adjust to a $0.52 mobile bid at 300% multiplier). While that is a very low bid, you’re not totally out of desktop and you’ll get clicks. Trust me, Google will find a way.

That said, you need to look at your average CPC on mobile  and determine the bid adjustment that works best for you.

3. Download Everything

I would start with a full copy of your account in AdWords Editor. I would even go so far as to get the HTML, AEA & CSV versions. Don’t forget settings and targeting as well.

You’ll also need to go into the interface and download your sitelinks performance data and call extensions data because this data is currently being lost in the upgrade process. Maybe they’ll fix this, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

Obviously this isn’t exhaustive, but this is where you should start. And if you need more resources, this is a great round-up from Luke Alley


Robert Brady
Guest Blogger Robert Brady
Robert Brady is the PPC expert at Trafficado, a company that provides PPC management, and conversion rate optimization services for SMBs. He is a Google AdWords Certified Partner and is certified with Marketing Experiments for Online Testing and Landing Page Optimization.

He currently resides in Provo, Utah and can often be found skiing the greatest snow on earth, mountain biking through the Wasatch mountains or playing ultimate Frisbee at the park on a Saturday morning. The best way to say hello is through Twitter, where you can find him @robert_brady You can also reach