Paid Search

Six-step Migration to Enhanced Paid Search campaigns

Monday, April 22nd, 2013 by James Faulkner

Google’s new enhanced PPC Campaigns offer a scalable solution to meet today’s multi-device, always-on-the-go consumer search habits. Google faced several limiting factors with its legacy campaign approach; primarily the adoption of mobile paid search and bloated unworkable account structures. Enhanced campaigns address these issues, offering core functionality around three areas:

• Device targeting
• Ad scheduling
• Geo targeting

Also wrapped up are changes to Extensions, Ads and Reporting Enhancements:

• Show different Ads to different devices
• Extensions can be set at AdGroup & Campaign Level
• Schedule extensions
• Set mobile-preferred SiteLinks
• Monitor and review performance of each SiteLink individually
• New reports for Call and Digital downloads
• Use % bid modifiers to adjust bids
• Ad Group-level mobile bid adjustments coming soon

Let’s take a closer look at migrating to Google’s enhanced campaigns. Our simple six-step approach should make it easy…

#1: Dedicate some time – make the switch today

You want to get this right, so we’d recommend ensuring your campaigns are transitioned fully. As there are many considerations to take into account (bids, devices, scheduling, geo targets, ads, extensions, historic data, quality score etc.), it’s probably best to block yourself out in a darkened room (warm sunlight works equally well)

We recently attended Google’s latest Engage event in London and asked if its forced automatic transition in June was worth holding out for. Let’s just say we recommend switching sooner rather than later! Otherwise you are reliant on Google’s automated system making decisions on your behalf. Having anything forced on you will never seem particularly appealing. It’s worth noting that June/“mid 2013” is the deadline.

#2: Analyse your current setup

It’s important to review your current settings. Are you reaching mobile devices currently? How is your Ad Scheduling set? What is your budget and your delivery methods? View your campaign settings tab to review this crucial information.

#3: Select an appropriate upgrade route

Essentially you have three choices – three different ways to upgrade, depending on your setup and the conclusions drawn in step three. These are:

• Single campaigns – Upgrade one campaign at a time
• Merge campaigns – Join 2 campaigns if they are similar
• Bulk upgrade – Use Adwords Editor v10.0+ to upgrade multiple campaigns at a time

#4: Merge and upgrade any identical campaigns

If you have two or more campaigns targeting different devices, you may choose to merge them together. Google advises merging two legacy campaigns at a time. Identify which has the “most current AdGroups, largest keyword list, highest investment, longest history, most statistics” and use this as your primary. The secondary will be merged in and later deleted.

After you have checked your current setup, you’ll need to review your existing Adgroups. Copy over any from the secondary campaign into the primary, using editor or AdWords online. In a similar vein, review your keywords; ensure the primary contains all keywords or any used in the secondary campaign. Copy as required. Again, check any display placements or audiences, add any required to ensure the primary has them covered. Do the same for Extensions.

Once all that is complete you can transition the primary and make bid adjustments as required. You’ll need to check your budget allocation and set accordingly.

#5: Upgrade individual campaigns online

You should have now merged any campaigns which were similar or identical. You’ll be left with unique campaigns which can be enhanced en masse or individually.

To enhance individual campaigns, login to Adwords online and select a single campaign. You’ll be greeted with an upgrade message. Select the ‘Get Started’ button within the enhanced campaign notification message, then follow the simple wizard to set your mobile bid adjustments.

#6: Upgrade in bulk with Adwords Editor v10.0+

Download the latest Editor v 10.0+ and make changes in bulk to any remaining campaigns. Select multiple campaigns and choose the ‘edit selected campaigns’ link. Under enhanced campaign, select ‘Enabled’ from the drop-down menu. Set Mobile Bid adjustments accordingly (ideally between -100% and 300%). Post your changes.


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About the author

James Faulkner

James Faulkner

James manages the Paid Search Team at Vertical Leap. He loves the data driven nature of PPC and is passionate about Increasing Return on Ad Spend. His wealth of experience and skills enables him to devise unique strategies across paid search platforms such as Google Adwords, LinkedIn Ads, Bing Ads and Facebook Ads. He also loves his motorbike and his tent. Follow me on Google+