Google has made the one of the largest updates to Adwords in its recent history. The update will allow advertisers to target multiple devices and locations from a single “enhanced” campaign much more easily. This is all part of Google’s long term initiative to make Adwords easier to use for small businesses. The only problem with simplifying Adwords is that it usually comes at the expense of control. A loss of control is bad for agencies and also for the user because it becomes more difficult to show the most relevant adcopy possible. Below I will outline the changes and what the implications will be.

What Are Enhanced Campaigns

Enhanced campaigns will allow a single campaign to target users by device, location and time of day differently. For example, the same adgroup could serve you a desktop ad when you are on your computer at work and then serve you a mobile specific ad when you’re on your iPhone during your lunch break. In theory, this should prevent people from having to build out campaigns for each device and location.

One of the biggest changes will be the use of bid multipliers to set your bid. Bid multipliers will allow you to bid differently based on device, location and time of day. All starting bids will be based off of your desktop bid, which means you must run ads on desktop.

Another smaller change is that they are going to lump Desktop and Tablet users together.

Why Are Enhanced Campaigns Coming Out

From the mobile side of things, Google reported the following reason for moving to Enhanced Campaigns:

“People are constantly connected and moving from one device to another to communicate, shop and stay entertained. In fact, a recent study of multi-device consumers found that 90% move sequentially between several screens to accomplish a task.”

What this really means is that advertisers need to run both mobile and desktop ads because it is the same user trying to accomplish the same task. The problem before, was that small businesses didn’t have time to create mobile only adcopy, so they just ended up running the same adcopy for both mobile and desktop users. This provided a bad user experience for people searching on mobile devices and a bad conversion rate for businesses. So Google set off to fix this by making it easier to create mobile adcopy from within the same campaigns as desktops and thus the Enhanced Campaign was created.

Another less obvious reason that Google may be trying to make mobile more accessible is for financial reasons. Over the past few years, the average CPC has been decreasing because of the increase in mobile device clicks. Mobile device CPCs are typically a lot lower than desktop due to a lack of competition. By making mobile more accessible to small businesses it will create more competition and drive up the CPC.

What Problems Do Enhanced Campaigns Create?

Here are just a few of the major issues we see with the new Enhanced Campaigns:

  • Desktop and tablets are grouped together: You will not be able to target these users differently. This will be brutal for mobile app makers that want to target tablet and mobile phone users but do not want to target desktop users.
  • Search partners and Google search are grouped together: Search partners are Google search engines that run on other people’s websites. The click-through rates and conversion rates on search partners is considerably lower than regular Google Search.
  • No more mobile only campaigns: Mobile is now only available to targeted inside a campaign that is also targeting desktop and tablet.
  • Mobile bid is based off of desktop bid: This is bad because PPC bidding best practices for mobile and desktop are very different; When targeting mobile devices it is good to bid higher on head terms because people tend to use shorter search queries on mobile. On desktop if you bid high on head terms the ROI is going to be really bad because there is a lot of competition and the user is showing less intent.
  • Bid multiplier is set at the campaign level: They could of easily done a multiplier at the adgroup level and avoided the above mentioned issue, but they chose not to. So when you need to set a different bid multiplier you will now have to create a separate campaign.
  • Enhanced campaigns are not optional: In June all campaigns will be migrated over to Enhanced Campaigns.
  • Call forwarding is not available in Canada: One of the coolest features with Enhanced Campaigns is the ability to track call metrics for free.


Start testing Enhanced Campaigns by only switching over 1 campaign at a time. Then once you get the hang of things switch all campaigns over.