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Five best practices for bid management with enhanced campaigns

| 19 Nov, 2013

The AdWords switch from legacy campaigns to enhanced campaigns this past June was one of the biggest changes in the digital marketing arena that weŠ—Ève seen in 2013.

When Google revealed enhanced campaigns, the ultimate goal was to simplify ad management while reaching more customers across all devices. Strategically speaking, you need to be able to reach your target market across devices at all times and enhanced campaigns have made this possible. In this article, weŠ—Èll be discussing five best practices for bid management with enhanced campaigns.

1. Dig Deep into Your Performance Analysis

An integral part of any digital marketing campaign is performance analysis. Enhanced campaigns are no exception to this rule, and in fact the level of performance analysis youŠ—Ère able to accomplish with enhanced campaigns is more advanced and better than ever before. When you have PPC ads running on different devices, you absolutely have to analyze your performance data for each of the different devices. In addition, each device might perform somewhat differently on different networks so you need to drill down into your data to really understand the numbers across devices and networks.

With enhanced campaigns, many of your campaigns run on desktops, tablets and mobile devices with different cost-per-clicks (CPCs) that are controlled by bid modifiers. Analyzing this data at a more granular level is exciting because it allows companies to really understand their consumersŠ—È behavior and thereby target their advertising efforts much more efficiently.

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Image source: Hightable.com

2.ξ Utilize Granular Bid Modifiers

Now that youŠ—Ère able to dig deep into your performance analysis, you need to translate that data into action items. In enhanced campaigns, you can use bid modifiers more effectively both on an ad group level and on a more specific level.ξ

Based on your PPC goals, advertisers can adjust CPC bids for devices, geo locations, and even specific timeframes within a day or week. Using performance data, advertisers should optimize the performance of these elements and apply the findings in their campaigns. As an added bonus, Google has made these bid modifiers applicable on an ad group level. For example, certain ad groups may perform better on mobile devices than others. When this is the case, advertisers can apply different bid modifiers for these campaigns allowing them to have a greater impact on overall PPC goals. DonŠ—Èt forget to apply this strategy based on geo locations and time-of-day bids adjustments as well.ξξ

3.ξ DonŠ—Èt miss out on valuable online real estate!

ItŠ—Ès no coincidence that since Google rolled out sitelinks, digital marketers have seen an uplift on ad click through rates (CTRs). Keeping this in mind, you should take advantage of using sitelinks to increase your real estate on search pages and provide additional navigation options to customers (see image below).ξ

As a side note, while not specifically part of enhanced campaigns, Google has rolled out enhanced sitelinks and we think itŠ—Ès important to highlight them as well. Utilizing enhanced sitelinks, youŠ—Ère able to ad an additional two lines beneath your sitelink. Virtual real estate is as valuable to your business as brick and mortar real estate so take advantage of it!

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Image source: Google AdWords

4. Compare Data Metrics using AdWords Time Compression

Enhanced campaigns has made comparing data metrics on AdWords easier than ever before. AdWords time compression allows you to easily compare metrics across different time periods, whereas previously you had to download the data into Excel and compare your key performance indicators across different time periods. However, with AdWords Time Compression, all the data you need is in the interface and can easily be compared from campaign level to keyword level for every single metric.

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Image source: Google AdWords

By honing down to this level of detail and creating custom filters, youŠ—Ère able to identify the reasons that performance changes quickly over a given time period. Understanding these fluctuations allow you to optimize your campaigns at a level that was difficult to achieve with legacy campaigns.

5.ξ Use your competitorsŠ—È data to ensure that youŠ—Ère ahead of the Joneses, not just keeping up with them!

Keeping an eye on our competitors always makes rivalries more exciting. We all want to know what our competitor is doing so we can be more competitive in the game. Fortunately, the Adwords Auction insights report provides data at keyword-level and allows us to see what our competitors are doing as well.

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Image source: Google AdWords

This report provides us with five different statistics: impression share, average position, overlap rate, positive above rate, and top of page rate. By understanding and utilizing this data, advertisers can glean unique information about the auctions on keywords. Based on this data, well-adjusted CPCs on keywords will bring higher conversions with a lower CPA.

In conclusion, despite the initial headaches that enhanced campaigns might have caused, the advantages of enhanced campaigns far outweigh the old familiarity of legacy campaigns. Google has designed innovative tools that allow you to dig deeper into the data and access a virtual gold mine of information. Using the five best practices outlined above, you will be well on your way to ensuring your enhanced campaigns are optimized and outperforming your competition. Keep up the good work!

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