The Good, The Bad, and the Enhanced

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Well, PPC friends, the day we’ve all been dreading is upon us: the date we’ll be forced to convert to Enhanced Campaigns. Yes, Monday is the day that Google will “upgrade” our campaigns if we haven’t already done so ourselves.

Enhanced Campaigns have been talked to death in the PPC community. I’ve written about them myself. Since we now have no choice in the matter, I won’t resort to complaining. Well, not too much.

Many people have written about the good parts of enhanced campaigns. There are several features that you should be embracing if you’re not already:

The list goes on, but these are my favorites. Enhanced sitelinks take up even more screen real estate than “regular” sitelinks, so it’s worth it to convert to enhanced campaigns for this alone. Geo bid modifiers are great for advertisers with relatively uncomplicated campaigns. The display network is truly enhanced. And mobile-preferred ads are helpful for local advertisers or for those who may want to have different calls to action for mobile vs. desktop.

And yet, there is still so much bad with enhanced campaigns. The most egregious is the lack of tablet bidding. I continue to maintain that tablets are not the same as desktop. They just aren’t the same. It’s frustrating.

We’re also seeing noticeably higher CPCs on campaigns that have been moved to Enhanced and are opted in to mobile. A lot of our clients don’t use mobile at all, so those campaigns are all fine and we haven’t noticed any differences in performance. But the campaigns that are in mobile and desktop have seen CPC spikes of 20-30% or more. While some in the industry deny that this is going on, in our case I’ve seen the data, and the data doesn’t lie. It’s frustrating, because even playing with mobile bid modifiers is limited – because it’s all at the campaign level. It’s too macro. We PPC’ers want micro control.

I won’t even go into the fact that we can no longer have mobile-only campaigns. Argh.

While we’re at it, let me grumble about the lack of separate bids for search partners. If Google really wanted to enhance things, they’d let us set separate bids for search partners, and would let us easily exclude certain search partners. Why they haven’t done this is beyond me. I’m starting to think that this is a wish that will never be fulfilled.

Alas, none of these lamentations matter. At this point we’re stuck with it. So I spent a chunk of time this week porting over my remaining campaigns to enhanced, lest Google do it for me (heaven forbid).

How about you? What are your good and bad experiences with Enhanced Campaigns?

Note: Huge credit goes to Lisa Sanner for the title of this post. If you’re looking for a fun meme, check out this Facebook post by Clix Marketing. There’s also a good post, complete with photo memes, over at Search Engine Land. Better to laugh about enhanced campaigns than cry.

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  1. Lisa Sanner says

    Great post Melissa! (nice title – thanks for the credit.) I agree with all of your pro’s and con’s, and yes, we’ve seen the same thing with our data – some good, some bad, and many…meh. The really interesting thing will be when all those poor folks who don’t have smart people like you managing their campaigns are auto-upgraded and what the impact on the auctions will be in the next few weeks. I don’t think we’ve even seen close to what the real effects will be yet.

    Also some of our Conversion Optimizer campaigns are tanking because the system is not responsive enough to how bad tablets really perform for a few of our clients. We’ve seen a 200%+ increase in our CPAs on these campaigns. We’ve had to abandon some CPA bidding and reps have not been helpful at all… no surprises there. Interesting that their own bid systems can’t do well with new device traffic…

    In any case, good luck all. Onward and upward!

    • Melissa Mackey says

      Thanks Lisa! Re your Conversion Optimizer results… ouch. I just moved some CPA campaigns to Enhanced so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for that!


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