Google: Nearly 2 Million AdWords Campaigns Are Now Enhanced, Early Results Are In

google-adwords-square-logoIn an update on the early progress of the transition to enhanced campaigns last night, Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP, Ads and Commerce at Google — and the lead on enhanced campaigns — said that close to two million campaigns have been set to enhanced. That’s up from 1.5 million Google quoted on the first quarter earnings call on April 18.

Results From Early Adopters

Based on positive case studies from clothing retailer American Apparel, financial services provider Woodbridge Structured Funding, and an unnamed luxury shopping brand among others, Ramaswamy says early adopters of enhanced campaigns are seeing better conversion rates and lower costs-per-click, while saving time on management.

Ramaswamy was also keen to point out that several companies that had not bothered with mobile targeting in the past are now driving calls and conversions from mobile ads. The new phone call conversion metric now available in the AdWords UI allows companies to capture call conversions. Ramaswamy says that, on average, total conversions reported in AdWords have risen 150% for those advertisers tracking click-to-call conversions.

A classifieds website in France now sees one-third of its traffic and conversions coming from mobile. With the mobile bid adjustment set at 125%, CPA has remained steady. Woodbridge Structured Funding, also with a 125% mobile bid adjustment, has doubled leads from smartphone calls.

No More Big Feature Updates Before July 22

Given the recent introductions of Upgrade Center and ad group level mobile bid adjustments, several companies have been waiting to transition to enhanced campaigns in the event other new features are announced. I asked Ramaswamy if other changes are coming and if those companies should continue to wait.

Not surprisingly, his answer was, “No,” companies should transition now and not wait until the last minute. “I’m pretty confident that the feature set that we have now will fully support the migration,” he stated, and continued saying it’s unlikely there will be any other large features introduced before the July 22nd migration date.  His advice: “Migrate now instead of waiting to fight for time later.”

The Great Tablet Debate

One of the biggest objections to enhanced campaigns from advertisers has been the loss of tablet targeting. Tablets and desktops are now combined, and only smartphones can be bid on separately. Ramaswamy said Google does not have any case studies on companies that had been running legacy tablet-only campaigns and have now transitioned to enhanced campaigns, but would look into getting some.

As Google has maintained since February, he says the need for tablet targeting is “as much a matter of perception as it is a kind of reality,”  and most advertisers did not split out tablets, in part because it was too complicated to set up and manage separate campaigns. His replies won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following this issue and asking Google to revert back to device targeting available in legacy campaigns.

Google has consistently said that while savvy marketers did see tablets as a predictor of demographics in the early days of the iPad, tablets are now a mainstream device, and those differentiators between tablet and desktop activity have largely disappeared. Nothing has changed, publicly at least, on that position.

Advertisers Of All Sizes Have Been Migrating

Ramaswamy says advertisers across the board have been transitioning to enhanced. Many large advertisers who rely on the API exclusively were among the earliest adopters. Google is also seeing mid- and small-level advertisers transition quickly, as well. Ramaswamy said they track the migration data by advertiser type internally, but would not be making that information publicly available.

Has your company made the transition yet? If so, what kind of results are you seeing?

Correction: This article originally stated that total conversions have risen 150% with the inclusion of click-to-call conversions and has been corrected to state that the increase is an average seen in AdWords reporting by those advertisers tracking phone call conversions.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Features: Analysis | Google: AdWords: Enhanced Campaigns | Top News

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About The Author: writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. Beyond Search Engine Land, Ginny provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bigalittlea Aaron Levy

    I think the major oversight on Google’s part with regard to the tablet issue is not whether or not we can split them out. Historically I’d seen that when tablets worked, they worked just as well as desktop and didn’t really need their own campaigns. However when tablets did NOT work, splitting them out didn’t help them at all. That’s the main problem here.

    Sure, the line between tablet and laptop is getting a little fuzzy but the fact of the matter is that tablet’s are used on the go, in meetings, in coffee shops and on couches. I’m sure for low consideration campaigns the behavior is the same, but for high priced, long funnel products tablets just don’t do as well. When they don’t perform as well and generate a negative return, I want to exclude them. But alas…

  • http://www.facebook.com/pedro.martheyn Pedrito Lopez Martheyn

    While it is certainly true that enhanced campaigns add a few features and provides people behind managing the accounts a “time saver” approach, it also forces companies and corporations to opt into the mobile world. Most of them are not nearly ready for that big step, yet and unfortunately with Google being the big player in the space all companies have to do as they told. Up to now if you decided not to be part of the space it was due to not having the proper mobile experience, but now good or bad you have to go for it and at the end it could be damaging for brands.

    On the positive side, I like that we don’t have to reach out to reps anymore for some features that are now included within the enhanced option.

  • http://twitter.com/GinnyMarvin Ginny Marvin

    Good point, Aaron. The ability to exclude tablets has been as much a part of the discussion as the ability to split them out and bid on tablets specifically.

  • ronniesmustache

    Bottom line: Google has access to Analytics for millions of sites.

    They must know there’s a HUGE difference in PPC performance between tablets and laptops/desktops.

  • http://twitter.com/tysonkirksey Tyson Kirksey

    Our Google reps have been hammering us to upgrade all of our clients to enhanced, but for the most part we are still waiting. I’ve yet to see some independent data that shows that Enhanced campaigns have better conversion rates, lower CPCs, etc. Anybody know of any? Please share.

    Furthermore, the tablet thing just infuriates me. Google knows full-well that tablets do not perform the same as desktops today. It’s ridiculous to not have the ability to target specific devices like iPads and Kindles separately. This is the main reason we are waiting, because we do not want to pay higher CPCs for clicks that we know will not convert.

  • http://twitter.com/jmloquist Jeff Loquist

    This is because Google does not look at “performance” the same way most marketers look at performance. Talk to any Google rep or sit in on a Webinar and you will hear over and over CTR% & CPC’s are similar. This is Google’s idea of performance. Their ROI is getting more clicks, not how well those clicks do once they get to your website.

  • http://twitter.com/jmloquist Jeff Loquist

    This is the same reason they push Broad match like it’s crack.

  • http://twitter.com/jmloquist Jeff Loquist

    I’m always interested when companies toss out a new feature, like the “new phone call conversion metric” and then boast about how much better conversions are.

    Of course they are, you didn’t have the ability to track this before and now you can. Kind of a “Duh” moment there.

    And of course the numbers are rising drastically for people moving to enhanced. When you set a deadline and tell people “move or else” these things happen.

    Marketers will figure out enhanced just like everything else, it’s just funny to see numbers like these as if we’re supposed to go “Oh! This MUST be awesome if everyone is doing it!”

  • http://twitter.com/GinnyMarvin Ginny Marvin

    True, and we can’t expect to see them putting out negative case studies. There is absolutely a unified message to “migrate ASAP”, and the positive data they do share (including saying that a new conversion metric increases reported conversions) helps bolster their message. That said, I haven’t heard any horror stories yet, either. Many I’ve heard from are either still waiting or haven’t had much to report performance-wise.

  • http://twitter.com/jmloquist Jeff Loquist

    Same here, the way I figure is you can’t fight the inevitable, so may as well adapt.

  • ronniesmustache

    Right. But advertisers DO measure roi. And if the ROI isn’t there, google will lose money.

    It’s frustrating!

  • http://twitter.com/DudleyAntoine Dudley Antoine

    Agreed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/themattboland Matt Boland

    What they also don’t mention is that many tracking providers are struggling to get their reporting features updated to support enhanced campaigns; who is going to update to Enhanced Campaigns if it breaks their reporting systems (especially for large agencies).

    If Double Click doesn’t offer full Enhanced Campaign support yet, then how can other suppliers be expected to?

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