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Last month, Google released a set of new features in its AdWords system to help businesses adapt to an increasingly multi-screen world. We at 9 Clouds want to show you how your business can benefit from these changes and put a little more bang into your AdWords bucks.
In the right place. At the right time. On the right device.
From its throne at the top of the internet, Google has created a digital kingdom with a solid base of revenue from it's popular AdWords platform.
Businesses large and small have flocked to Google's AdWords system with a healthy portion of their marketing budgets in their outstretched arms. It's a business model that sets up a three-way win for Google, consumers, and the businesses who rely on one to catch the other.
But for the consumer, there's nothing more annoying than being bombarded with a sidebar of irrelevant ads. (BTW – This happens on Facebook too.) Even well-intentioned ads can be horribly useless if they're delivered in the wrong place, on the wrong device, or at the wrong time.
That's why Google is stepping in to help with some new features.
Last month, Google released what it calls “enhanced campaigns” to help businesses show the right ads to the right people.
A recent study found that 90% of multi-device users move sequentially between screens during the day. This creates an opportunity for business to provide more useful information in their ads. Google gives this example:
For example, a pizza restaurant probably wants to show one ad to someone searching for “pizza” at 1pm on their PC at work (perhaps a link to an online order form or menu), and a different ad to someone searching for “pizza” at 8pm on a smartphone a half-mile from the restaurant (perhaps a click-to-call phone number and restaurant locator). Signals like location, time of day, and the capabilities of the device people are using have become increasingly important in showing them the right ad.
This sort of contextual marketing is aimed at helping you – the advertiser – succeed in our multi-screen world.
How to enhance your AdWords campaigns
There are three key features in the newly enhanced Adwords campaigns, and here's what you can do to take advantage of them:
1. Make different bids for different devices: People who search on Google will want search results that match the context they are in. As the campaign manager, you can make different bids for different situations. Big for certain geographic locations (Gotta love that GPS.), the time of day and the devices your audience is using. So, if you want to target people who are searching for pizza within one mile of your pizza place around dinner time, you can do that! These bid adjustments allow you to manage your ads from a single campaign in AdWords.
2. Get smart with your ads: Just as people use different devices throughout the day, they're also in different contexts or situations throughout the day. People on-the-go Google differently than people sitting at their desks. Enhanced campaigns allow you to create and show ads for varying contexts. The more appropriate your ad for the Googler's situation, the more likely they'll click on it. The key feature here is that you can now manage this context-based advertising from one place within your AdWords campaigns. Here's the example that Google gives:
A national retailer with both physical locations and a website can show ads with click-to-call and location extensions for people searching on their smartphones, while showing an ad for their e-commerce website to people searching on a PC — all within a single campaign.
3. Crunch the (new) numbers: There are two under-appreciated features in AdWords that are now easier to use and understand with enhanced campaigns: the click-to-call feature for smartphone users and direct app downloads. A new AdWords reporting feature allows you to count phone calls and app downloads as conversions. You can then compare these conversions to data from other marketing sources.
Bonus AdWords advice from 9 Clouds
The most helpful thing you can do for your AdWords account – whether it's “enhanced” or not – is to check it frequently. Google provides a long list of features to help you gain some traction, but only if you actually use them. So, make some time in your day to log in, check your stats, and make some adjustments.
The second most helpful thing? Measure the right numbers. Although it's tempting to shoot for more impressions (the number of times your ad is shown in a given period of time), you should instead focus on the click-through rate (CTR) and compare it to your average cost-per-click (CPC). It's great if your ad is showing to thousands of people, but only if those people are actually clicking on it. Your ad's CTR and CPC correlate with its Quality Score – but that's a whole ‘nother post.
Lastly, when you set up a campaign in AdWords, make sure to create a variety of ads that share keywords and then compare their performance. This way, you can see what does and doesn't resonate for your audience.
Google will make enhanced campaigns available to all AdWords users by mid 2013.