Enhanced Campaigns Update: Ad Group Mobile Bid Modifiers

by John Petry on Wednesday 10 April 2013
On Tuesday, Google announced on the Official AdWords blog that they would be providing an extra level of control within enhanced campaigns by introducing ad group level bid modifiers for mobile devices.

On Tuesday, Google announced on the Official AdWords blog that they would be providing an extra level of control within enhanced campaigns by introducing ad group level bid modifiers for mobile devices.

 

This is functionality Forward3D requested when Enhanced Campaigns were announced back in February and following our involvement in the consultation process with Google, we’re delighted to know this will be released mid May.

 

What does this mean?

Paid search advertisers who have been operating mobile-only campaigns in their legacy structure and are transitioning to enhanced campaigns will be very happy. Many advertisers have Mobile-split campaigns with the knowledge that mobile traffic and performance differs greatly to desktop or tablet traffic. Within legacy mobile-only campaigns, this means that high volume keywords which are run on desktop and tablet can paused on mobile, or run with lower bids.

 

With ad group level mobile bid modifiers, enhanced campaigns get a step closer to this level of control. So long as similar keywords are grouped together within ad groups as Google best practice recommends, keywords which we know perform differently on mobile can be given reduced (or increased) bids , or not run at all with the -100% bid modification.

 

Example

Consider a campaign of related keywords which has three ad groups, called Short Tail, Medium Tail and Long Tail. The Short Tail ad group has high volume keywords with a fair conversion rate, the Medium Tail ad group has medium volume keywords with a better conversion rate, and the Long Tail ad group well, you get the picture:

 

Imagine that you are working to a maximum CPA of 30 and an average of 20 for this campaign. Whilst Short Tail desktop/tablet CPA is at the maximum, you might accept this for the new keyword discovery these keywords bring. On mobile, however, these keywords have a higher CPA due to lower conversion rates. This puts CPA above your target maximum: within legacy campaigns this would recommend that you pause or amend bids within this ad group on Mobile. The Medium and Long tail ad groups also have a high CPA compared to the acceptable average: you would lower maximum bids in these ad groups.

 

For the previous mobile bid modifiers available in enhanced campaigns, the only way to achieve this level of control would be to split the campaign into three. This is counterintuitive to the aim of enhanced campaigns: reducing the amount of campaigns advertisers should run! With the update, you can keep this level of control on an ad group level whilst rolling your device campaigns together.

 

Conclusions and Timelines

In effect, this update from Google recognises the importance of having tighter control over mobile activity and will also allow advertisers to use enhanced campaigns to reduce the amount of campaigns they run, without having to split campaigns further.

 

Google have announced that API access to these ad group bid modifiers will be available in early May, whilst general access will be available in mid-May. This gives advertisers around 2 months to implement ad group level mobile bids before the automatic switchover starts on the 22nd of July.