Enhanced Campaigns: SEM best practices in a multi-device world

In a constantly changing digital world, consumer behaviour has become multifaceted in terms of devices used, time and location. We need to ask ourselves, in what ways are users searching the web. Are they searching on their desktop or executing a quick search on their mobile? Are they surfing the net at home on a Saturday night or on their way to the office on Monday morning?

Google’s Enhanced Campaigns promises advertisers more flexibility in running campaigns targeting various kinds of consumer behaviour in more detail. The three key features of Enhanced Campaigns include:

  1.  New tools to adapt to a multi-device world
  2. Options for creating smarter ads to target varying user behaviour and contexts
  3. Advanced reports to measure more conversion types

With Enhanced Campaigns, fewer campaigns are needed for the same amount of variations in settings.

Image courtesy of Google                                                                                                Image courtesy of Google

So what does this mean for the AdWords advertiser? Instead of hitting that upgrade button without any further thought, it is a good time to rethink your campaigns and consider how you can use Enhanced Campaigns to target users on any device, at any location and at any time of the day.

Below are a few tips for applying best practices to your SEM accounts.

Account structure and settings

Split Search and Display

If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to split your Search and Display accounts. Search and Display ads behave differently and are triggered by different signals so splitting them will give you more control over your campaigns and budget.

Keywords per AdGroup

Fill your ad groups with the fewest amounts of keywords possible, clustered around a theme or concept. Since Enhanced Campaigns allows for more variations within one campaign, this will give you more control over your bids.

Schedule your ads

Ad scheduling is not a new feature of Enhanced Campaigns, but it is set up differently. You can now adjust the day and time of when your ad is showing, giving you the option to increase your bid for those times that yield higher conversion rates.

Keyword relevance

A great campaign kicks off with keyword research (this doesn’t change with Enhanced Campaigns and is still highly relevant). You will still need to do your basic research, as well-matched keywords will increase your Quality Score.

Searches for a given topic made on a mobile device may result in different keywords when compared to a desktop search; they may be shorter in length, more focused on local amenities, etc. Therefore, when establishing your list of keywords, keep the following considerations in mind for including the most relevant keywords:

  • Search intent:          What are users searching for?
  • Time of day:             When are they searching for it?
  • Location:                  Where are they searching for it?
  • Device:                     On what device do they search?
  • Search terms:           Which keywords do they use for their searches?
  • Keyword matching:   Are those keywords of relevance for what you are offering?


Local Search

Image courtesy of Google

Remember to regularly check your search query report to expand your keyword list. Also, include a negatives list and update it as you go to ensure you aren’t missing out on impressions due to conflicting negatives.


Now you have your list of relevant keywords, it is time to write your AdCopy. In Enhanced Campaigns you will be able to write several ads for one campaign, so when writing your ads take into consideration the search context such as the device used, search location and time of search, to target the ad appropriately:

  • Unique AdCopy: Create several unique ads for the various contexts your user might be searching in (time of day, location, device)
  • AdCopy relevance: Make sure to include in the ad the relevant keyword for the specified search context
  • Creatively on topic: Be creative and enticing in your AdCopy writing, but stay on topic to keep relevancy up to scratch
  • Call to Action: Include an appropriate Call to Action that reflects the search context (for example,  for mobile “Call Now”, for desktop “Apply Online”)

Enhanced Campaigns

 Image courtesy of Google

In addition, remember you can take advantage of the scheduled SiteLinks, even on AdGroup level and tie it to the keyword, to customise the user experience in various contexts.

Landing Pages

As with your keywords and AdCopy, your landing pages should be relevant and useful to users and provide a seamless experience across a wide range of devices. Implementing responsive design to your landing pages will take care of issues in browser size, scale and search behaviour variations.

Landing Pages

Image: Wikimedia.org

Incorporate responsive design for a multi-device strategy and check for the following considerations:

  • Accessibility: your page should work on all platforms and devices
  • Light and fast: your page should load quickly
  • Design for visibility: users should be able to read the page properly
  • Simple navigation: maintain a simple hierarchy in your navigation
  • Thumb friendly: buttons must be easy to click on even in a mobile environment
  • Call friendly: implement phone call options to cater for mobile users
  • Briefness: briefly identify what users will get and why they will love it, space might be limited
  • Make it local: cater for your searchers on the move
  • Easy to convert: describe how users can get it now by including an easily identifiable call to action based on the primary search goal of the user

Remember that user-friendliness is a key factor in getting those conversions in. In fact, users are unlikely to return to your site if a page isn’t user-friendly, so you want to make sure your landing pages are optimised for all users.

In summary, be sure to get ahead before the Enhanced Campaigns roll out and check up on your accounts. Be ready for advertising on all devices, anytime, and anywhere!

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