Google Says "Do Mobile or the Kitten Gets It"
There is so much going on in the world of PPC lately that we’re spending an entire week introducing the changes and letting you know how to make the most of them. It goes beyond Google’s new “Enhanced Campaigns” feature to Facebook and Analytics. Over the next week, PPC Hero is going to take a look at each of these updates in a series of posts designed to get you ready for all of the added functionality, the new best practices and even more.
Today, we’re going to lead off with the big, neon-pink elephant in the room: Device segmentation is going away.
It’s been a long-standing best practice in the PPC industry to tightly segment your campaigns by device type. Common knowledge and personal experience have shown time and time again that campaign performance on a desktop can vary wildly in comparison to campaign performance on a tablet or mobile device. Searcher location, intent, ad copy, selected keywords, heck – keyword length: these factors need to be taken in to account when creating and managing a mobile campaign. We’re going to be losing quite a lot of that specificity in our account management going forward.
How so? Basically, they’re eliminating the ability to strictly segment by device type in our campaigns. Campaigns will be opted in to all devices by default, and the only level of control on these devices will be a simple percentage-based bid modifier. No individual keyword-level bids, just a blanket modification. As one astute PPC pro tweeted: “We need scalpels, not machetes.” Indeed.
Now, you can choose to set a bid modifier low enough to not bid on mobile devices at all – so you still have the option of a non-mobile campaign. That’s kind of like a bright side, I guess? However, the converse is not true: there is no way to have a Mobile or Tablet-only campaign going forward.
Why are they doing this?
The cynic in me says: “Because of their last earnings call.”
The optimist in me says: “… Yeah, I’ve got nothing.”
An ever-increasing portion of Google’s traffic now comes from Mobile and Tablet devices, which have shown over time to come in at a much lower average CPC. By removing the ability to strictly segment campaign device types, we lose the specificity and efficiency required to manage mobile traffic in a truly effective manner.
This increase in inefficiency will likely bring mobile and desktop average CPC closer to parity with one another, bolstering Google’s bottom line.
For all the flowery language regarding our “living in a multi-device world”, the motive behind this particular change seems purely driven by profit. Managing mobile bids entirely through a percentage modifier sounds pretty nightmarish, and it’s my intent to hold off hitting that upgrade button for as long as possible.
To start, there’s going to be a gradual rollout over the next few weeks – you’ll have the option to opt in to the enhanced campaign format early and get your best practices in line. Otherwise, you’ll be migrated over to the new system in the middle of 2013.
How do I know if I’m eligible now?
Easy. Go in to your Settings tab on any given campaign and you’ll be greeted with the following message:
In addition, you’ll also see an “Enhanced” column appear on your Campaigns tab, indicating whether or not the Campaign has opted in to the new Enhanced Campaigns, or if you’re using Legacy campaign settings.
Once you’ve elected in to the new campaign type, you’ll wind up managing your bids via the “Settings” tab like so:
To accentuate the positive side: I can appreciate their desire to make things easier for the small marketer with limited funds and time to throw in to their AdWords account. That’s probably why their example detailing the benefits of this change was centered around a tiny bed-and-breakfast cafe. As others have pointed out: the level of device segmentation might have been a bit overwhelming to some. But by removing the ability to fully control and segment our traffic, they’re going to do some serious harm to our accounts in the interim.
We’ve got a lot of work to do.
What can I do to prepare?
The targeted launch for this change is June 2013. In the mean time, I recommend taking stock of your existing mobile bids to get an idea of the general bid modifiers you’ll require to keep performance on par with where it is now. You might also consider creating a separate mobile-focused campaign containing your absolute best mobile keywords – but take care to utilize the bid modifier system to (attempt to) segment them properly. For those of you not using mobile: be ready on the launch date to set your bid modifiers as low as they’ll go.
Oh, and MAKE A MOBILE SITE. This is essentially Google’s way of saying “Take the time and care to invest in mobile, and make it work for you. Or the kitten gets it.”
I’m sure you all have thoughts on this issue – we’ll continue to explore the ramifications of each change throughout the week, but this is certainly the hot-button issue of the moment. Much like the ad rotation settings debacle, a similar petition has come about, so consider signing it. Leave your comments below regarding this new “Enhanced” campaign feature and, as always, thanks for reading!
Get Your Brand in Front of Dedicated PPC Pros!
We're headed to London to join nearly 300 of our best PPC friends. And we still have a limited number of opportunities for your brand to join us!
The Top Ten Tips For Effective Dayparting
Determining your need for hour of day modifiers can provide extremely competitive returns based on time invested in implementing.
A bi-weekly newsletter packed full of resources and strategies that will help make you a better PPC expert.
Hanapin Marketing | The PPC Agency of Experts Behind PPC Hero
Should You Be Creating Device Specific Campaigns?
Creating new device specific campaigns is a lot of work and can potentially overcrowd your account. You need to determine if this tactic is right for you.
9 Hero Conf London Advanced Sessions You Can't Miss
If you'd like some more details (and we've got plenty of details), how about a rundown of the deepest, most actionable sessions you'll see. These 9 sessions are designed for the expert-level PPC professional.
Why Your PPC Account Isn’t Living Up To Its Potential
I will review common themes that I see in either prospective clients, new clients, or accounts that are red that aren't living up to their potential.
[New Webinar!] 6 Steps To An Advanced Competitor Analysis For Digital Marke...
In this new live webinar, Hanapin’s Jacob Fairclough and SEMrush’s Paul Klebanov will direct you through the process of analyzing your own account, comparing it to your competition, and taking the steps to put your brand above the rest.
5 Psychological Principles You Should Be Using In Your Marketing
I propose that knowing what your audience is thinking or even the steps in their thought process is even more beneficial than simply knowing who they are.
Add It To The List - Structured Snippets Now Available In Bing
Another item for the list of new features in Bing - Structured Snippets are now available to all U.S. advertisers, with international support already being rolled out.
Do You Want A Free PPC Hero T-Shirt?
We're conducting a brief 2-minute survey to get your thoughts and opinions. By taking the survey, you'll get entered to win a certified PPC Hero shirt! Fill out the survey by Friday, September 23rd.
4 Tips To Survive An Account Manager Change
Have you ever received a call or email from your agency that you will be getting a new account manager? The thought could be frightening, especially if you LOVE your current AM. After you take a deep breath and realize life will go on, keep...
Build Your PPC Network, One Pro at a Time!
Do you ever feel that the people who understand your role best live mostly on Twitter? Is it sometimes difficult to find those few individuals you know you can count on for the best PPC advice? We’ve got the solution for your paid search woes.
Balancing Volume, Competition, And Intent To Find The Right Keyword
Although it isn’t going to bring results as quickly as a PPC campaign (and you can even use these methods for PPC), you can’t go wrong with a good old organic traffic campaign running alongside your ads.