Google is switching over all its customers for AdWords, the text ads that appear on Google’s search-results pages, to a new version called “Enhanced Campaigns”. The bottom line for small, local businesses: Google wants you to take a more targeted approach to your search advertising, and the new AdWords tools make that easier.
Before Enhanced Campaigns, you could target ads to people who search for a business type by a city or neighborhood name, or people who search on their desktop computer vs. people who search from their mobile phone. But you had to set up separate campaigns for each target, and that’s a lot to track.
With Enhanced Campaigns, you select a variety of targets, set one budget and some bid percentages, and Google does the rest, all in one campaign. Additionally, Google has added some new features to entice local businesses to try more targeting.
Let’s dig into the details of Enhanced Campaigns for local business:
Mobile vs. Desktop Computer Searches
Few small businesses run AdWords campaigns targeted to Google searches on mobile phones. In fact, mobile campaigns could be winners for many local businesses – a mobile phone user is likely to be searching for a product or service she needs right now, near your place of business.
Enhanced Campaigns makes it easier to add mobile advertising to the mix; you just set your bid for mobile as a multiplier of your desktop bid and Google takes care of distributing your buy between mobile and desktop.
Targeting by Location
Say you’re a pizza restaurant; you might want to target customers nearby for a message about carry out, and customers farther away for a message about delivery. Enhanced Campaigns gives you that flexibility within one ad campaign.
And here’s something new from Google: You can now bid higher to reach customers who are within 2 miles of your location, and have your full address and phone number appear on those ads, as a way of attracting walk-ins.
Discounts, Offers and Coupons
Also new, you can attach a special offer to your ad and target it by location or for a limited time period. Customers who click will be taken to a Google offers page for your business.
Better Reporting on Ad Results
In general, if you take advantage of the increased flexibility in ad targeting and monitor the results, you’ll get a more detailed picture of which messages are working with your customers. To take full advantage, you should link your AdWords account to the Google Analytics reporting service.
For reporting on mobile phone calls to your business, Google has made some significant improvements. For instance, you can now track completed phone calls of a set time period and see what keywords in your ad text netted those sorts of serious phone inquiries.
The price of mobile search ads has run much lower than the price of desktop search ads because of lower demand. But search ad prices are set by auction; the more demand, the higher the price. With Google automatically putting more advertisers into mobile, expect those prices to rise.
And while it’s great for Google to give you the opportunity to set your bid for mobile based on your desktop ad prices – how do you know what to bid? It’s on you to have a clear idea of the value of a lead generated through mobile advertising. Always measure your conversion rates, because expensive traffic with a high conversion rate can out-perform cheap clicks that never convert into a lead or sale.
–Co-author: Ryan Iyengar, SEM Manager, Dex Media