• andrekibbe

    “As someone who works with a customer list of more than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses, I’ve found that mobile advertising adoption rates are exceedingly low with these advertisers. Probably only around 1 in 25 SMBs (4%!) had the time or expertise to create and manage separate mobile-optimized campaigns.”

    I’ve yet to see the evidence that the adoption rates are exceedingly low, at least in terms of advertisers’ wishes. Your guess (“probably”) is framed as a statistic (“4%!”), and your description of the actual problem is equivocally open-ended—”had the time or expertise”? Do you mean they aren’t actually running separate mobile campaigns? If not, have they explicitly attributed this “wasted opportunity” to lack of time or expertise—or a lack of interest? Several books on AdWords (Perry Marshall’s come to mind), advise right from the beginning to turn of mobile advertising unless it provides some discernable advantage, e.g. for geotargeting.

    Anyone adopting AdWords has to deal with its learning curve just to stay cash flow positive. If they’ve learned enough to split test ad groups and continually update their negative keyword list, managing the mobile device preferences is simple by comparison. It’s a couple of checkboxes and radio buttons that, for most advertisers, are going to be set-and-forget.

    I do PPC for an ecommerce company whose products are usually pricey enough make them unrealistic conversion targets for smartphones. It’s one thing buy flowers or make a reservation for a local restaurant; it’s another for actually go through the full checkout process for a $600 product on a smartphone. For non-local ecommerce, conflating mobile and desktop impressions does nothing but increase the cost per conversion.

    That said, I can accept the changes as long as I can keep handheld devices completely switched off; our conversions on tablets and desktops are comparable.

  • http://twitter.com/larrykim Larry Kim

    hi. thanks for this comment.

    just to clarify: i did a database search across all my customers to see how many had campaigns that targeted mobile and/or tablet only. I’m able to do this because my company sells PPC software and so it’s easy to just query across my customer data. the answer was 4%.

    I am hopeful that google will roll out some additional targeting options in the future. who knows.

  • andrekibbe

    Ah, so the 4% referred to running those running mobile campaigns. I still think the low adoption has less to do with lack of time or expertise than it does with lack of interest in mobile advertising.

    Google purchased Android expressly to cash in on the hockey stick growth in mobile traffic (before the iPhone existed, G feared the MS’ then-dominant Windows Mobile would lock them out of the mobile advertising market), but that type of traffic isn’t ideal for many advertisers. If we ever get to a point where mobile and tablet targeting on forced on generic AdWords campaigns, impressions will go up disproportionately to conversions.

    I’m also hopeful that G will add some more targeting options, maybe even reaching the number of options we have now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/philibuster82 Phil Segal

    Larry, love Wordstream and love your content, but this article I cannot agree with.

    In my experience running many, many Adwords campaigns, the primary reason that I and/or the client have decided not to run Search on Mobile is because of poor conversion.

    The real problem in the industry right now is cross-channel attribution; many users research on their mobile device but take conversion actions at home or at work on a computer or tablet. This change does not solve that problem, but rather it strong-arms advertisers to adopt Mobile, which will ultimately boost Google’s revenue and Stock price.

    That’s what this is about.

    I’ve never heard anyone complain that their targeting options on Adwords were too vast; that’s what makes the medium so popular compared to traditional media advertising.

    Like so many of Google’s money-making changes wrapped in PR, this is a barely-sugar-coated step backwards for the advertiser.

  • http://twitter.com/craigabarrett Craig Barrett

    I think the major flaw in your argument is that all of these useful features are being removed. If Google was really out to help small advertisers, they would simply default to “enhanced campaigns” and leave the advanced targeting features in place. The reality is they are crippling their own tools to intentionally increase CPCs. That is the wrong way to go about it. I would much rather they give me new features and charge me for them.

  • John Langley

    I disagree about enhanced campaigns. Have you noticed for example that conversion 1 per click still exists at campaign level, but no longer at Adgroup and Keyword level? How can removing the number of conversion an adgroup or keyword recieves be an improvement? Far too many advertising still don’t track conversions values. Vital metrics are being removed in order to prevent adwords advertisers making informed decisions. This is a just a profit enhancement excercise for google. Remember CPC have fallen for 10 quaters in a row.

  • http://twitter.com/JayneReddyhoff Jayne Reddyhoff

    I really disagree with this article!

    I won’t repeat all the other comments, but I concur with the point made by Craig Barrett “If Google was really out to help small advertisers, they would simply default to “enhanced campaigns” and leave the advanced targeting features in place”… for those of us who need to use them.

    Some people can’t cope with using the self checkout lanes at Tesco and Sainsbury. Is that a reason to force everyone to use the manned tills?

  • http://www.facebook.com/philibuster82 Phil Segal


    I’m on a call with a Google rep specifically about this change. Enhanced Campaigns is paving the way for technology that will allow Cross-Device Attribution in Adwords.

    SO maybe eventually it will solve this problem.