So for those of you in PPC land who were stuck under a rock for the past 24 hours – Google announced their exciting new ‘Enhanced Campaigns’.

The main idea seems to be two-fold. On the one hand, make things easier to manage – fewer campaigns to work with, but on the other, more money for Google as more advertisers use mobile. In fact, I wrote something back in October about how Mobile CPCs were hurting Google’s earnings reports.

There was a fairly large outcry on Twitter about the updates yesterday, with yours truly as vocal as anyone. Now things have calmed down a little, I thought it would be interesting to review what these changes actually mean. Also, try to take anything I write with a grain of salt as no one in our office has actually used the new enhanced campaigns yet!

So why was there such outcry?

  • The new campaigns could represent a loss of control for expert advertisers.
  • There will probably be a lot of work to merge our existing campaigns – if this process isn’t super smooth, people will get frustrated.
  • People have a lot of unanswered questions.
  • Change is scary!

The PPC Hero team is planning to write a more detailed set of posts about this next week – looking at each aspect for you and what you’ll need to do, but for now let’s take a look at what’s actually happening and why those changes could be good or bad:

1.    You will no longer have separate mobile and desktop campaigns.

What does it mean?

Your campaigns will give you an option to modify your bids for mobile traffic, much like you get for day parting at the moment. You will be able to exclude mobile by having -100% bids, but you will not be able to completely remove desktop.

What do I like about it?

I already wrote a blog post about how segmented campaigns were becoming unmanageable, so I’d be somewhat of a hypocrite if I complained about Google simplifying the whole process.

What do I dislike about it?

It’s going to be a pain to recombine all my mobile and desktop campaigns (although Google do have a .pdf to walk you through it).

It sounds kind of a pain setting up mobile specific ads and making sure they are all marked – doing this in a segmented campaign took a couple of seconds in Editor to change URLs. Again, I reserve overall judgement until I see the new AE interface.

Also, it appears that Tablets can’t be separated. That removes control I used to have and I will always dislike that. One of my campaigns had a $900 Tablet CPA and a $42 Desktop CPA – they are not the same in every account, as Google seems to suggest.

2.    You will be able to modify bids based on Geo-Targets.

What does it mean?

Like with mobile, you can adjust your bids based on targets: +150% in Canada, -45% in New York for example.

What do I like about it?

This saves so much effort with new campaigns – splitting out geo campaigns for 50 states was a massive pain. I love this change.

What do I dislike?

I’ll need to see the layout to make sure they don’t remove any functionality or usability. Also, having to recombine all my geo-campaigns – can you say pain in the butt?

3.    Big improvements to sitelinks

What does it mean?

You’ll be able to set your sitelinks on an ad group level, get stats on individual sitelinks, and specify specific times of day or days of the week for specific sitelinks to show.

What do I like?

We’ve been crying out for months for individual sitelink stats – this is a really positive development.

What do I dislike?

Nothing yet…

4.    New conversion types

What does it mean?

Straight from Google: “You can count phone calls of 60 seconds or longer that result from a click-to-call ad as a conversion in your AdWords reports…”

What do I like?

More flexibility in tracking and conversions is always useful.

What do I not like?

This is still a bit too basic. I’m not sure how my clients would react to me counting 60s phone calls as a conversion in my reports. It would be good if Google had gone a step further and introduced full, keyword level call tracking for Mobile or Desktop, but I can see why that would be impractical. As it stands we kind of sit in a halfway house.

That’s pretty much it for now – we’ll obviously do our best to keep you all in the loop with new information and best practice tips & strategies we discover. Let us know your thoughts or if we’ve missed anything in the comments below!

For those of you looking for more info: