Google recently introduced Google Enhanced for Adwords. This month everyone has to transition to Enhanced Campaigns. I think it is a strange move for Google. I delayed transitioning as long as possible, hoping they would allow clients to opt-out. They haven’t. So I transitioned.
Here are a few of my thoughts:
The transition phase was smoother than I thought. So far my cost/conversion decreased about 15%. That is not bad for deleting 2/3 of my campaigns. I anticipate it will improve a bit. Still, it is money wasted for no reason.
The Facts About Google Enhanced
Switching to Google Enhanced campaigns will never improve your Adwords performance—unless you have a poorly designed campaign to begin with. Very poor. (Though perhaps there are other fringe cases I haven’t considered.)
For years Google has advocated splitting your campaigns by device type. (I have sat in meetings with Google employees…I have the “confidential” slides stating exactly these recommendations). To be clear, imagine you wanted to bid one adgroup: fishing lure, fishing lures, etc. The best way to optimize your campaigns was to create one fishing lure campaign for regular computers, one fishing lure campaign for mobile and one fishing lure campaign for tab.
The reasoning is simple, different device types require different looking ads. Thus, the best way to optimize is to treat mobile ads for fishing lure completely different from desktop ads. Different ads will convert at different rates on different devices. My fishing lure desktop campaign might convert at $30/conversion, $35 for mobile, $50 for tab. If my target CPA is $36 I can turn off tab and run just mobile and desktop.
Now, with Google Enhanced, all three devices must be combined into one adgroup. Combined, the CPA for all three devices is $38. What should I do? Should I lower bids? Turn off the campaign? The one consolation is that I am able to provide a multiplier for mobile bids. So, after transitioning to Google enhanced I should probably set my mobile multiplier to (30/35) or 85%. (30 and 35 comes from the CPA numbers). There is one problem: there is no tab multiplier. The reason: Google has found that tab tends to perform like desktops.
That is an interesting observation…I wouldn’t have guessed that. But in the aggregate what good is that info to me? How do people searching for fishing lures on tab devices usually convert in relation to desktops? This is why I have a SEM team. I need a tab multiplier too. I need to be able to set my tab multiplier to (30/50) or 60%. (*There are more advanced ways to figure out what multiplier to set it to but this will do for now.)
The Future Of Google Enhanced
I anticipate Google providing a tab multiplier in the future. However, this will still not fix the issue completely. You still have the same ads running for mobile and tab that you wrote to convert on desktop. (A solution may be to allow you to write ads for specifically one devices in one adgroup.)
Of most interest to me is why Google is making this change. For the most part I feel they do a good job of listening to their customers. While the owners pay the bills, if the ppc managers are upset, they will advocate moving money to yahoo/bing. I don’t think this move is being well-received. The only reason I can imagine that they would make this move is because it makes managing the accounts “easier” and perhaps thus we may be more likely to build out our campaigns and spend more with Google. I might argue that providing a better ROI makes me want to spend more.
Google Enhanced campaigns will never (by their design) improve your over-all adwords performance UNLESS you are a low level user or you get lucky due to some opportunity you overlooked in the past. It will never help you lower ROI.