The Future of Paid Search – Enhanced Campaigns

Croud’s co-founder and Operations Director Ben Knight, talks about the much anticipated Google Adwords platform – Enhanced Campaigns, and how you succeed with Paid Search

Welcome to the past.

This post is the follow up to a client asking me about the pros and cons of Enhanced Campaigns and actually, however simple it is to use, it’s the basics that will drag the majority of advertisers down.

Google’s Enhanced Campaigns is their step towards making it easier for the 99% of businesses using Adwords who do it badly (their words) to get better results – the simple calculation for Google is that this will lead to more money for them.

For the top 1% of agencies and client teams, the last five years of breaking out ad groups and campaigns, devices, targeting and messaging will make Enhanced Campaigns childs play. For this top-tier, the ability to get the best out of Enhanced Campaigns is now a case of becoming experts in ‘modifiers’. The kind of tweaking that any seasoned PPC optimisation expert will complete beautifully while drinking diet coke and downloading the latest version of doom onto their 7th device.

So Enhanced Campaigns – are they that good? In my opinion, not much better than previous, and sometimes limiting, but there are a few key and useful features – nothing game changing but they are worth pointing out for the less familiar:

Key Features!

• Powerful marketing tools for a multi-device world!

• Smarter ads optimised for varying user contexts

• Advanced reports to measure new conversion types


Key Features!

• Calls: Count calls as conversions

• Digital downloads: Track app downloads as conversions

• In-store purchases: Measure offline redemption of saved offers from ad extensions

• Cross-device conversions: Measure conversions that start on one device and finish on another (coming soon)

Key Features!

• Bid adjustments and reporting by location, time and device

• Multiple bid adjustments: Customise bidding strategies to optimise for any combination like location + device or time + location

 Key Features!

• Customised messages on mobile: Show headlines, ad text, URLs and extensions that target users on the move

• Scheduled extensions: Set extensions to appear only during certain times of day and days of the week

• Enhanced sitelinks: Manage individual sitelinks in customised ways


Enhanced Campaigns aside, and transgressing back to the initial statement: ‘Welcome to the past

There are some core things where experience has taught me that 99% of the time, 99% of the users doing it badly will continue to do so in some form, even with the progression to Enhanced Campaigns.

These areas, unlike the more commonly titled 10 key mistakes that small businesses make, are more a few simple rules to help you succeed with Paid Search. If I labelled it with a number at this point I’m sure it would wrong by the time this is finished – although a Part 2 will almost certainly follow. Welcome to the past is based on having spent 10 years in this industry managing budgets of £5m/month through to being a Google partner, training and presenting to more than 10,000 small businesses.


Succeeding with paid search – part 1

Rule 1

Ad-groups – keep them thematically relevant – 20 – 30 keywords – any more is of limited value and more likely of detriment.

Rule 2

Ad text – make it more relevant – if your ad group is aligned to rule 1 and is well themed, the ad text can be more relevant – if I am searching on Google for “pink t-shirts” I want an ad that says “pink t-shirts”. Do that and I’m more likely to click.

Rule 3

Negatives – add way more of them!! Simple. Do it monthly as a minimum; and check that you are not blocking keywords.

Rule 4

Match types, you don’t need everything on broad and you should certainly have the same number of exact match phrases as broad. Broad match modifier – why have you put a + in front of every keyword, think about it!

Rule 5

Love the data – look at the results and performance as often as possible. If you don’t have enough time to do it, don’t bother doing it.

Rule 6

Duplicate keywords – remove them – easy mistake to do with larger campaigns and easy to remove.

Rule 7

Ad text – have three or four in every ad group – time consuming maybe but CTR is the key to Quality score. Quality score, however mythical the formula created and held in the shrine of the unknowing, is 70%+ related to CTR.

Rule 8

Select your landing pages wisely, and build more that work. A company I would recommend in this space is Digital Labs; one of the great companies that cover amongst the core digital specialisms, performance based design. Check out their Design Lab! The relationship of keywords to ad text to landing page content can be the difference of £0.20/click to £50/click.

Paid search, PPC, SEM or CPC – whatever you choose to call it, it’s a beautiful thing when you deliver it with excellence. Make sure you get it right and you will reap the rewards, do it badly and the Google gods will punish you and your wallet.

Part 2 is going to provide more detail for the more experienced users – but for now Viva la future!