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Is Your Mobile Website Ready for Enhanced Campaigns?

Today's car shopper prefers a mobile-responsive experience. Tomorrow's search ads demand it...

In an attempt to drag all of its advertisers into the new multiscreen reality, willingly or otherwise, Google recently announced the impending switch to Enhanced Campaigns. Ads in all campaigns will have the potential to run across all devices, so whether your prospective buyer is researching a car on a phone, tablet, or desktop, she may be served the same ad. 

If your site isn't flexible enough to take users directly to the page they want – regardless of the device they are shopping on – then it's time to start tweaking your stylesheets. Otherwise, you risk wasting thousands on mobile and tablet users who bounce the moment they're redirected to your homepage instead of the inventory, lease offers, or service coupons advertised.

What's changing?

Along with disabling the ability to select which devices you want your campaigns to target, Google Enhanced Campaigns usher in greater flexibility in device preference, ad extensions, geographic targeting, and conversion optimization.

In legacy campaigns, AdWords set device targeting and ad extensions at the campaign level. So, all ads in a particular campaign were set to show on phones, tablets, desktops, or a combination thereof, all with the same sitelinks, phone number, or address extension attached. Enhanced Campaigns let you drill down and select devices and ad extensions in a much more granular manner.

Here’s an example of a new Enhanced Campaign in action:

A dealership is ramping up its Service Enhanced Campaign. During business hours, mobile users are served ads with copy boasting quick wait times, an address with one-click directions, and a click-to-call phone number. Desktop users see coupon-focused copy with a tracking phone number and expanded sitelinks to soft-sell service pages. Once the dealership closes, ads with links to service forms go live in place of the phone numbers.

Another big change arriving with Enhanced Campaigns is geographic bid adjustment. Dealerships can now boost bids in zip codes where they sell the most cars. Before, advertisers chose geographic targets for their ads at the campaign level, and you were forced to create different campaigns for every zone in which you wanted to have separate bids. With Enhanced Campaigns, you can easily adjust bids by location without having to create dozens of separate campaigns.

Here’s an example in action: 

Browsing sales reports, a dealership sees that a significant number of their new vehicle sales are coming from users in select zip codes. Using bid adjustments in Enhanced Campaigns, the auto dealer can quickly and easily increase their bids by 50% for targeted keywords in that zip code, leading to a greater market share in an already receptive area, while decreasing bids in zips known to have a weaker return.

Four things dealers can do right now:

1. Ensure that you have Google Analytics installed on your site, and link your AdWords and Analytics so that you can measure the effectiveness of your ad traffic.

Before you begin upgrading your account, make sure that you know what's happening with the traffic you're paying for. If you're not looking at what's happening after a user clicks on your ad, then you're flying half-blind.

Linking accounts is easy – just make sure you're an administrator on both your AdWords and Analytics accounts, and you're halfway there. Follow the instructions here to close the loop.

2. Make sure the destination URLs on ads for inventory or other deep links won't redirect mobile users to the homepage.

If you have a responsive-mobile site – that is, a singular site for all devices that doesn't redirect mobile users to a mobile.yourdealership.com or yourdealership.com/mobile/ version of your site – then you're already ahead of the game. 

Otherwise, contact your PPC provider and make sure that they create new Enhanced Campaign mobile ads with destination URLs that go right to the relevant page. Even if they have separate mobile campaigns right now, once they're upgraded to Enhanced, those ads will show on any device.

3. Adjust bids based on location to make sure you dominate in zip codes you know have high sales numbers.

Take a look at your sales data over the last 12 months and send your PPC provider a list of the zip codes where you know you do well. Start with those locations, and concentrate on building out more sophisticated targeting in the future.  Focus on areas aren’t ranking well Organically.

4. Use upgraded call extensions to get free call tracking on your search ads.

Upgraded call extensions on Enhanced Campaigns no longer charge $1 per call, so take advantage of that free call tracking by adding it to any ads where a phone number will make a difference. You can also set up conversion tracking through AdWords to register any call greater than a specific duration to count as a conversion. That extra data will help guide on where the call extensions are most effective.

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Tags: Ad, Analytics, Automotive, Campaigns, Enhanced, Google, Mobile, PPC, Responsive, SEM, More…SEO, Websites, Words

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Comment by Alexander Lau on June 11, 2013 at 6:55am

You'll be able to show certain extensions for certain keywords based on historical conversion data.  You'll also now able to schedule specific site extensions whereas before site extensions were at the mercy of whichever extensions Google wanted to show. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on June 11, 2013 at 6:37am

We're in agreement, hence the recommendation on responsive web design, which they've listed as #1. It's not just for advertising purposes, a site should mold, adapt itself based upon any device. It's easier for a load of reasons, not just advertising. The same code (front end framework maintenance, typically HTML5 and CSS3), analytic reports are made simpler (in a lot of cases), etc.

Comment by Charlie Bass on June 11, 2013 at 6:27am

I'm not the smartest man...but when Google puts something in BOLD on their website, I'm going to listen.

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details 

Building Smartphone-Optimized Websites

Details of recommendations

Google supports smartphone-optimized sites in three configurations:

  1. Sites that use responsive web design, i.e. sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google's recommended configuration.
  2. Sites that dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs, but each URL serves different HTML (and CSS) depending on whether the user agent is a desktop or a mobile device.
  3. Sites that have separate mobile and desktop URLs.
Comment by Alexander Lau on June 11, 2013 at 6:19am

I'm a little confused, a responsive website / better user experience should be compulsory no matter the medium of marketing. Google AdWords or not. It seems as if Google is opening a giant can of maintenance worms by allowing for more granular control. Yes, a stronger and probably better way of doing it, but at what maintenance cost...? In this instance, are they forcing website provider's hands into the responsive web world? That's their ultimate goal, forcing users to provide better overall user experiences. Either keep up with the Jones' or watch your site fall in indexing.

You're better off served creating a responsive website no matter what (and using a fellow LOR quote, "to rule them all", in an attempt to to rank organically). Regardless of how you plan on marketing your site, a responsive website is a must, and obviously, mobile isn't going anywhere.

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