According to the great Greek philosopher Heraclitus, change is the only constant. As you have most likely heard by now, Google is making major adjustments to its AdWords platform that will have sweeping changes to the ways and means of how you execute your search campaigns.
For B2B search, this is going to have a specific impact on your programs, and getting ready for the coming changes will require a bit of forethought into how you maximize the results of your campaigns.
In a realm like B2B, there is always the dual challenge of a diffuse customer base with ever changing needs and a limited pool of resources and time to comprehensively capture and engage this diverse host of potential customers.
While there may be some who contend the new enhanced campaigns are going to limit targeting potential, for B2Bs, there is a chance to jump the curve if they focus on the following platform changes that will benefit their marketplace.
The Impact Of Geo & Device
Among other implications, two key shifts in both focus and control for Enhanced Campaigns come down to the destinations and devices. With Enhanced Campaigns, Google will be enabling its platform to reach mobile users (sans tablet, which is bundled with desktop) in a more comprehensive manner.
In the past, Search Marketers would create duplicate campaigns for targeting and reporting on specific geos or mobile. Now, this can be accomplished within the same campaign, which could be considered a lifesaver for those with robust accounts where geo and device dimensions are a challenge. Although the number of campaigns will decrease for those wanting to target mobile users or specific geos, it is key to understand the new bidding structure.
Under the traditional way of targeting mobile users and geos (pre-EC), bids can be explicitly set, meaning a keyword in a desktop campaign can be set at a bid $5.26, and the same term can be set at $4.10 in the mobile campaign, and changes to one would not affect the other. With EC, bids will be based on multipliers and controlled within one campaign.
This presents challenges for advertisers that need to make frequent bid changes for a large number of keywords because bid changes will then impact both mobile and desktop or multiple geos that are selected based on their bid multiply settings.
How does this impact the B2B advertiser? Maybe the KPIs for mobile are different than those of desktops/tablets, or strategy and audience vary by geo.
The previous woes of managing duplicate campaigns for geos or multiple devices comes at the cost of speaking differently/directly to audiences to KPIs or interest in different locations.
Before jumping into Enhanced Campaigns, it is key to consider how best to control the message you deliver to your potential customers because moving toward general messaging for a large audience across multiple match types and geos may not be worth the newly saved manpower hours of managing duplicate campaigns.
The Google Display Network & Increased Bidding Options
You will, however, now have more bidding options with your GDN campaigns. Currently, there is a bidding hierarchy, and you can’t use multiple bids at one time in display.
Bid adjustments for display will be able to layer/stack across multiple targeting criteria types. If you set adjustments across placements, interests, and topics, and all three match for an impression, all of three adjustments can be used to determine the max CPC/CPM that can be used for this impression.
In essence, there will be three bid types to leverage in your display network:
- The Standard Default Bid – the dollar amount bids will work the same way as they do today. This bid type will be the system default when you don’t have a more specific (custom) bid set.
- Custom Bid – this bid type will allow more control in your choices in GDN. Essentially, it is a dollar amount bid for individual placements, keywords, etc. Choosing this will help you manage more of your investment in GDN and allows more oversight than the default bids.
- Bid Adjustments – you can also control bids through bid adjustments (-90% to +900%) for individual Placements, Topics, Interests & Remarketing, Gender and Age. This allows for more granularity and control in your targets; which, for B2B, becomes very attractive to isolate and target only relevant customers.
One other interesting feature in the Google Enhanced Campaigns for GDN is the ability to target operating systems. This will allow a new dimension of targeting based on the technological profiles of both the system and the demographics associated with those operating systems.
More Capability With Call Extensions
For any B2B marketer who relies on inbound calls to generate leads and sales, there are going to be some improvements that will benefit your efforts through the call extensions in EC. Call tracking will become free on all devices within the countries where the campaign is launched. This will be a boon for desktops and tablets where there is currently a minimum $1 fee associated with the feature.
The Call Extension number will be displayed on all devices without requiring use of call tracking by advertiser, which might prove useful to help B2B campaigns where tracking has proved to be a challenging measure.
A few ways and means of leveraging Call Extensions include:
- Leveraging calls as a conversion measure: one key attribute for advertisers in B2B search will be the ability to track conversions for click- to-calls. Beyond simply being able to measure the appetite for talking to your company directly, you will also be able to specify the call length to qualify for what you deem a conversion. This added metric will be a new category of value to further optimize your overarching B2B search program. The call conversions will be reported in a new column in Campaign and Ad Group tabs, which can be monitored alongside other KPI’s.
- In addition, the call extensions aspect will now support scheduling in the campaign, using the same mechanism as other extensions. For example, if an advertiser’s call center is only open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., they can use scheduling to only show their phone number in the ad at those times of the day. For any client where IVR or other call center efficiency programs are in place, this ability to control scheduling will enable companies to measure the impact and potentially decrease costs associated with driving calls. One idea would be to compare the click-to-call in search juxtapositioned with DTV or Direct Mail to assess efficiency. This opens up an entirely new business case budget opportunity.
- One added component to note is that call bid will be deprecated. Since Call Metrics are becoming free, even on desktops, call bid is no longer relevant and will be deprecated. Ad rank for ads with call extension will be based solely on the click bid (Max CPC).
No matter your opinion on Google Enhanced Campaigns, the fact remains they are a coming reality and represent an evolution in the AdWords platform. The changes will be rolled out in the coming months and every search marketer should take note and begin testing.
In search, the most effective approaches always include a healthy degree of testing, and this new AdWords platform is no different. As change is the only constant, being ready for the new AdWords Enhanced Campaigns is how you can jump the curve and capitalize in your B2B search program.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.