In early 2013, Google introduced its new Enhanced Campaign settings that will be rolled out across all new & existing Ad Words accounts by July 2013. These new settings affect the structure of a campaign & allow for more specific keyword bidding within each campaign. These new settings include bidding adjustments for devices (computer/tablet & mobile), location & time of day and are adjusted by a percentage, to either increase or decrease a bid.
For an Ad Words account, Enhanced Campaign settings mean a simpler account structure and more granular reporting information. For example, a campaign that was previously duplicated for computer devices, mobile devices & tablet devices, can now target each device from one campaign while also considering the different bids required for each device. In one campaign rather than 3 campaigns, bid settings can be adjusted for each device or even excluded all together. Within the same campaign, the bids can also be adjusted for different locations as well as for different times of day depending on historical performance.
Bid adjustments are made for device, location & time of day by increasing or decreasing a percentage value that acts as a multiplier of the original bid. For example, if the historical performance of a campaign shows a 30% lower bid for mobile devices than for computer devices, the mobile bid for that campaign is set to -30%. The mobile bid adjustment for that campaign will then be -30% X the original CPC bid.
The bid adjustments work the same for location bidding; if a particular campaign’s historical performance shows that it had a 20% higher average bid in Sydney than it did in Perth, location targeting could then be set up by state/city & the bid in Perth would be -20%.
Bidding adjustments can also be made to exclude devices, locations & time of day. For example, if a new account did not yet have a mobile website, mobile searches could be excluded by setting campaign mobile bids to -100%. Also, if an advertiser did not service or ship to a certain country, region or city, they could exclude that location with a -100% bid adjustment.
For current accounts, historical data of at least 30 days is required to gather data on device, location & time bidding. For a new account, the account would need to run for at least 30 days before bidding adjustments are implemented.
What does this mean for small business?
The new Enhanced Campaign settings means greater account efficiency & improved ROI for small business Ad Words accounts. By implementing a bid adjustment strategy for devices, locations & time, a business can minimise lost Ad spend and maximise results.
Effectively setting bid adjustments by device then additionally setting bid adjustments for different locations & times of day creates a layered structure to the bids within each campaign. These layered bid multipliers then work together to increase and/or decrease the original keyword bid to maximise search opportunities and decrease lost Ad spend from irrelevant search volume.
For Example, a small trade business such as a plumber or electrician that services the Western Sydney region but can also service the Sydney CBD, wants to implement a bid adjustment strategy but has a limited Ad Words budget. The historical data in the account shows that the majority of search volume comes from mobile devices on weekday mornings with search volume largely coming from the Western Sydney region. The bid adjustments could then be as follows:
Device bid adjustments:
Mobile + 25%
Computer/tablet – 20%
Location bid adjustments:
Western Sydney region: + 30%
Sydney CBD + 15%
Time bid adjustments:
Weekdays 6am-10am +30%
The combination of these bid adjustments would ensure the trade’s minimal Ad Words budget is maximised across the highest performing elements of the account.