If you are a national marketer with local brick and mortar stores, Google Enhanced is soon to be your new BFF. If you currently run a mobile-only campaign or your tablet experience is less than optimal, May is the month to test new digital strategies, since your AdWords campaigns will be automatically migrated beginning in July. A video on the Google Ads website explains that the idea behind Enhanced, first available for use in February, is to optimize AdWords around customer intent based on location, device and time of day.
To the casual observer, certain features appear intuitive, including bid adjustment and optimization by user context. For example, if the consumer searches for coffee at 7:30 a.m., Starbucks can bid higher with targeted “Morning Joe” copy tailored to the closest location (more on that in a minute). More coffee nearby is always better. Pizza palaces can serve a lunch-tailored ad at noon and dinner-themed text at 7. These options enable modification of an ad to make it more relevant to the consumer. Carb up for those late evenings, agencies!
Beginning in a few months, the days of the mobile-only campaign will be a thing of the past, like Friendster. Expect a more crowded field and higher CPCs as all advertisers will be opted into mobile. In the new paradigm, consider too that optimization will be more broad as optimization occurs at the campaign or ad group level. According to the website, "you can increase or decrease every bid in your enhanced campaign to bid more or less competitively for searches occurring on mobile devices." In dollars and cents, bid analysis should be performed relative to PC and Tablet, as mobile can be raised as much as 300% against these channels.
Conversely, if this channel is an underperformer, you can eliminate it entirely by bidding 100% . As we all know, life is relative. Agencies may need an algorithm to determine percentage increase on mobile to desktop bids, and separate redirects from ads with phone numbers that came from mobile. Keep a close eye on your monthly caps as mobile will exhaust advertiser budgets more quickly and for those that remain standing at the end of the month, it's reasonable to expect a spike in ad spend in the final week.
If you require insight into keyword level performance and are using a keyword level URL, you need to include the ValueTrack redirect that tells Google what URL to show if the query is searched on a mobile device.
And wait, there’s more!
Remember when we were impressed with location extensions, where you can add your business address and phone number? Well now we can get down to the actual block! We’re so hyperlocal and we don’t even know it. How did we get anywhere before that distance pin?
Finally, nothing says, “we love the local store” like offer extensions. As it sounds, this enables your customer to view the offer online and print it for use offline; or, in a preserve-the-rainforest mode, save it online to that customer’s “My Offers” page. Yes, Mr. Search Account Manager, I want that too, please! I forecast a spike in hugging your dedicated rep come Q3.
In sum, for small to medium-sized companies it should be easier to target smartphones. In the short term, get prepared for CPCs to rise as existing campaigns adjust to greater competition in mobile. Budgets may need to be revised upward to take advantage of the new traffic. For all, Enhanced should provide a more streamlined experience to target time of day and location -- and we'll keep an eye out for further developments....