Google release enhanced campaigns in an attempt to reverse falling ad prices

Ad prices fall as mobile gains traction

In the last couple of years there has been a slow but steady decline in Google ad prices as an ever greater chunk of internet users favour their mobile devices over desktops which carry a much lower average CPC (cost per click). The reason for the lower average CPC is that not only does the lack of screen space mean that fewer ads can be shown but many sites don’t even have mobile friendly landing pages, making conversion rates considerably lower. Furthermore the difficulty in tracking ROI on mobile ad spend makes it more difficult for marketing managers to present a water tight business case to their CEO’s. However, for many the biggest barrier is simply the time required to manage ads across both mobile and desktop.

Enter enhanced campaigns; one platform that allows you to manage your entire campaign across all devices – desktop, mobile and tablet.

What will this actually change

It’s pretty obvious what Google hope the outcome will be; increased mobile CPC which would raise their overall ad prices with share prices following suit. But what about the businesses forced into using these enhanced campaigns (the plan is for all campaigns to be “upgraded” by mid-2013)?

  • Easier and more sophisticated management of your campaign – if you’d like to push out one message to mobile users and another to those on desktop, or perhaps target desktop during certain times of the day and mobile at others, then that can all be managed via your enhanced campaign. You can even vary bid price based on the circumstances of the searcher, so a restaurant could bid higher for those searches where the user was within a certain radius and making the search at a particular time of day. And the results are also bespoke, so perhaps the restaurant would rather show a ‘click to call’ message for mobiles and a menu for desktop.
  • Improved tracking of ROI – one of the major barriers for mobile advertising has been the difficulty in tracking return. So if someone is walking through town and searches for a local electronics store, how does the store know if the ad resulted in the searcher walking to the store and making a purchase? While the enhanced campaigns certainly don’t resolve all the issues they will at least provide more comprehensive tracking including app downloads and calls above a length (such as 30 seconds), all pre-defined by the business.
  • Decline in cheap mobile ads – this isn’t all roses for businesses unfortunately as the savvier amongst them have been capitalising on the low mobile CPC for the last few years. If the enhanced campaigns achieve their intended goals then this will all come to an end.
  • Businesses forced to consider mobile – the separation of mobile advertising from desktop advertising has allowed the less forward thinking businesses to bury their heads in the sand on the issue of mobile. Their integration within enhanced campaigns, however, will force even the slowest of business to acknowledge the massive role of mobile and ensure that this is part of a more holistic strategy.

For more information on the enhanced campaigns you can read Google’s blog post here.

Dan