eCommerce Insiders

Enhanced Campaigns – 3 Steps for Retailers to Survive the Apocalypse

One of my favorite songs of all time is “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by R.E.M. It seems to embody the fervor and frenetic nature by which advertisers and retailers are scrambling to grasp Enhanced Campaigns.  With all the commentary in cyberspace about the AdWords changes in Enhanced Campaigns, it seems as though the final apocalypse is upon us. All types of speculation is raging, from the thoughts that CPCs will soar to the travesty of tablets not warranting their own bid adjustment.

Perhaps many of these fears are justified, however, that does not change the fact that this modification to the AdWords campaigns will be official in less than a month. While we can sit around speculating and complaining, retailers planning to capitalize on these features will have a better level of control and optimizations. Making the enhanced campaigns upgrade now, instead of waiting, will increase odds of profitably surviving the shift. Use these three steps to get started.

Step One – Understand Mobile Performance

Whether the investment has been made in a new mobile website or not, retailers can no longer ignore mobile. Mobile devices and mobile user behavior are changing the face of retail – both online and offline. Ecommerce retailers need to understand how mobile devices are affecting their bottom-line in their AdWords campaigns. Considering that web traffic from mobile devices is up 78% year-over-year according to the Quarterly Traffic Report, mobile traffic is bound to be a significant source of sales for retailers in the coming years.

(NOTE: AdWords does NOT include tablet devices when referring to mobile device preference and bid adjustment. Tablet bidding is combined with desktops and laptops with no sign of being separated any time soon.)

To better understand mobile performance, running a campaign report segmented by device will give a clear picture of how well mobile traffic converts on a website. From this report, retailers can determine the percentage bid adjustment that fits their goal for conversion rate or cost-per-acquisition. If mobile targeting in legacy AdWords campaigns is excluded altogether, then look at the mobile device report in Google Analytics to determine how big of a bid adjustment to make for mobile devices in enhanced campaigns.

Step Two – Find Top & Bottom Performing States

Location targeting in Enhanced Campaigns is a huge win for pure play ecommerce retailers. For the first time, online only retailers can hyper-target profitable (and unprofitable) areas of the country without creating duplicate AdWords campaigns.

To find the top and bottom performing states, download a geographic report segmented by campaign. A quick sort and formatting will highlight the states that are most profitable as well as the low converting states. Then, retailers can make a bid adjustment according to these metrics for optimal performance in the states, cities, or zip codes where customers are buying their products.

Step Three. –  Maximize New Ad Extension Features

Ad extensions saw a major overhaul in Enhanced Campaigns. We lost two extensions, added one extension, and made several upgrades to sitelinks and call extensions. Additionally, location extensions can now be used to target users who are in a close proximity to a physical storefront. Retailers looking to survive this shift and gain more real estate on the results page are best advised to upgrade their extensions with their campaigns and implement these features as soon as possible. Download this Enhanced Ad Extensions report and checklist for all the details.

“…and I feel fine.”

Warranted or unwarranted the Enhanced Campaign frenzy is sure to settle once the official rollout happens. Retailers who are ready will survive this apocalypse and live to see another (more profitable) day in their AdWords account. To learn more about optimizing AdWords campaigns for Enhanced Campaigns, I recommend downloading this “10 Tips for Optimizing Enhanced Campaigns” report.

Chris Crompton is the Group Marketing Manager at ROI Revolution, a retail-focused digital marketing agency.

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