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More on Google’s Paid Search “Enhancements”: The SMB Angle

By: 12 February 2013

Last week, we reported on Google’s new Enhanced Campaigns which create a more federated process for running paid search campaigns across mobile, desktop and web. As promised, there are lots of implications behind the announcement to be explored.

In addition to lots of commentary to come in our reports and Leading in Local Conference next month, I examined this topic in my monthly Street Fight column, which published today. In particular, the move could force an acceleration of SMB mobile adoption.

I’ve pasted an excerpt below and you can read the whole thing here.

To wildly mixed reactions, Google last week announced a major redesign to its pervasive AdWords SEM platform. Known as enhanced campaigns, the redesign will force advertisers to run a single — though conditionally governed — campaign across desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.

SEM advertisers could previously run separate or solo campaigns on different devices. The name of the game was crafting bids and ad groups based on device-specific variances in anticipated search behavior (taking into consideration mobile users’ local intent, for example).

The new system essentially forces them into converged campaigns across all devices. This is built around preset rules for when, where, and to whom ads appear, meant to have a “one-stop shop” appeal that still preserves some level of customization.
Google gave an example:

“A breakfast cafe wants to reach people nearby searching for ‘coffee’ or ‘breakfast’ on a smartphone. Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 25% higher for people searching a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am, and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. These bid adjustments can apply to all ads and all keywords in one single campaign.”

This also includes items like specific creative or click-to-call buttons to complement mobile’s high-intent, proximity-oriented searches. And a new reporting construct will align with these options to measure desired actions like calls, app downloads, et cetera.

Meanwhile, tablet-specific campaigns will disappear with the notion that user behavior is close enough to that in desktop ones to combine SEM strategies accordingly. Too often we hear tablets lumped in as “mobile” which is a mistake (though it’s also not the same as desktop).

So this all sounds great right? It accommodates nuance around location-based mobile advertising, while simplifying the process for some constituents like time-starved and technically inept SMBs. But there are others that don’t like it so much and for good reason.

Read the rest.



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