Enhanced campaigns: New bidding tools and mobile bid adjustments

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Today, people are constantly connected and searching from all kinds of devices. Advertisers are looking for ways to reach people with ads that are relevant to their context, like their location, the time of day and the device they are using. With an enhanced campaign, you can easily vary your bids across devices, locations, and time of day – all within a single campaign.
Example: A multichannel retailer wants to reach people close to their stores searching for “party supplies.” Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 50% higher for people searching up to a mile away, 20% lower for searches on weekdays, and 25% higher for searches on smartphones.
In this post and a Learn with Google webinar this Thursday, February 21st, at 10am PST (sign-up here), we’ll look more closely at the new bidding tools and mobile bid adjustments. This Thursday’s webinar will also dive deeper into some of the improvements with mobile ads.

Bid adjustments
With an enhanced campaign, you start by setting default bids that reach all devices. You can then set bid adjustments to increase or decrease your bids for mobile devices and different contexts – like location and time of day. Setting higher bids when and where you’re more likely to satisfy a customer’s intent can boost your ad’s visibility and potentially lead to more visits and sales. Setting lower bids for contexts where your lead quality or average order value is lower can improve your ROI, although you may see fewer visits and lower total sales.

Bidding for devices with larger screens, like desktops, laptops and tablets, is grouped together in enhanced campaigns. We and others in the industry see that users’ search behavior on these larger devices is very similar, and likewise, overall advertiser performance is very similar across these devices.

Bid adjustments combine using multiplication. If you set multiple location-based bid adjustments, only the most specific adjustment will apply.

Continuing the example above: The retailer’s max CPC bid for the keyword [party supplies] is $1. When someone searches for “party supplies” on a smartphone within a mile radius from the store on Wednesday, then the location, time, and mobile bid adjustments set will apply. So this retailer’s CPC bid for this particular search would be adjusted to $1.50 ($1 x (100% + 50%) x (100% - 20%) x (100% + 25%) = $1.50).
The AdWords interface provides a calculator to show you how multiple bid adjustments might combine to affect your bids.

bid adjustment calculator
(click image to expand)

Valuing mobile and setting a mobile bid adjustment
People can take a wide range of actions on smartphones. Beyond purchasing directly from your mobile site, customers might call your business, click on driving directions to visit a store, download an app, or even convert on another device later. But traditional online conversion reporting may not show the full consumer journey across devices and can therefore lead to undervaluing mobile. Savvy marketers are looking deeper to consider the full value that mobile brings to their business. Check out how Radio Shack, a large multi-channel consumer electronics retailer, approaches their mobile bidding and measurement strategy here as an example.

With an enhanced campaign, you can choose a mobile bid adjustment to influence your ad position, clicks and cost on mobile devices. For a bit of perspective, here are a few of examples of how advertisers set their mobile bids as a percentage of desktop over the course of the last several months (actual CPCs may differ).
  • On average, advertisers in the Australian retail sector set mobile bids to 103% of desktop.
  • On average, advertisers in the US real estate sector set mobile bids to 91% of desktop.
  • On average, advertisers in the Canadian travel sector set mobile bids to 88% of desktop.
With each campaign you upgrade to an enhanced campaign, you’ll see the estimated change in impressions, clicks and cost depending on your selected mobile bid adjustment. The suggested bid adjustment shows you how similar advertisers bid on mobile compared to other devices.

traffic estimates based on different mobile bid adjustments
(click image to expand)

Experienced search marketers know that bids are one of many factors that influence overall campaign performance, along with keywords, ads, extensions, and landing pages. So after setting a mobile bid adjustment, periodically measure your results and make changes as needed to better meet your campaign goals.

We want you to succeed with AdWords, so we’re very interested in hearing your feedback. As you begin using enhanced campaigns, please share your thoughts using this form so we can continue to improve the product.

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