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UPDATE: Download the Complete Guide to AdWords Enhanced Campaigns today!

Back on February 6, Google threw a curveball called Enhanced Campaigns. The upgrade from current ‘Legacy’ campaigns to ‘Enhanced’ is mandatory on July 22 and was implemented by Google in an effort to simplify campaign management across multiple devices.

What does this mean? Well, the current structure of PPC campaigns as we know it is completely changing. Google recognizes that mobile searches continue to grow and wants to accommodate this change by eliminating device targeting and consolidating mobile, desktop, and tablet device options into one. Ultimately, this upgrade will provide the ability to properly utilize features across all devices without creating separate campaigns for each device. In the meantime, there are several new features and changes that you need to familiarize yourself with before making the switch.

Device Targeting Changes

Desktop / Tablets

Once campaigns have been transitioned to Enhanced, desktop campaigns will no longer exist. Google has automatically grouped tablet devices with desktops based on their findings that search behavior across both devices has become increasingly similar. With tablets becoming more popular, users are switching devices throughout their searching process, so it only makes sense to consolidate these devices together to simplify management and create consistency.


It has previously been best practice to create separate campaigns for mobile devices. With Enhanced campaigns, mobile devices will be grouped in targeting along with desktop and tablets. However, Google is providing more flexibility  and customization with mobile devices, enabling the ability to set bid multipliers to a percentage of your default bid. Currently, the percentages range from -100% (ads won’t be shown to mobile users) and reach the ceiling at 300%. If you were previously bidding on mobile devices, you can use that historical data to determine an appropriate percentage for the bid multiplier, otherwise, you may have to experiment until you find the bid that is most successful.


Display campaigns will be affected by this upgrade as well. The most noticeable change is a new bidding feature: custom bids. This will allow users to select which targeting level (audiences, keywords, or placements) receives the custom bid. Once that level is selected, the custom bid can be set. For the targeting methods that are not selected, a bid adjustment factor can be set, ranging from -90% to 900%.

This change will help advertisers serve ads to users that correspond to where they are at in the buying cycle. Each targeting level works very differently and can represent different stages of the process, so allowing customization at each level will increase efficiency for Display campaigns.

New Features

  • Detailed call reporting
    • Google previously charged a dollar for phone calls and statistics were available in the ‘call details’ section in AdWords. Now, you won’t have to do that. Phone calls produced in Enhanced campaigns won’t incur a $1 cost, encouraging more users and smaller businesses to utilize mobile ads.
    • Measuring conversions in mobile campaigns has also been a challenge. A phone call doesn’t necessarily mean a conversion, they could be calling to check store hours, get driving directions, or possibly could have dialed by accident. With Enhanced campaigns, you can specify a conversion for mobile ads based on call duration. For example, if a phone call lasts longer than 120 seconds, you can designate that as a conversion.
  • Smarter Ads
    • Enhanced campaigns also provide the ability to prioritize which ads in your account you want to show on each device. If you have ads that you have composed specifically for mobile, you can ensure that they will be shown just for mobile. The same is true for desktop or you can have the same ad run across multiple devices.
  • Upgraded extensions
    • As is similar with ad copy, you can specify which sitelink(s) you want to appear on mobile or desktop, allowing for more customization for the user experience.
    • Another great feature with ad extensions is you can specify which campaign or adgroup you want your ad extension to show with. The ability to create unique ad extensions for each adgroup is a great addition, allowing for increased personalization.
    • Start and end dates can also be set for each ad extension, which can come in handy for seasonal products or promotions / sales.
    • My favorite new feature allows advertisers to receive performance data with each extension. This will make it much easier to manage this feature and determine what users are responding to. You can also edit extensions without resetting performance statistics.
  • Geographic location and ad scheduling bid multipliers are another welcome edition with Enhanced campaigns, allowing advertisers to bid more depending on geographic location and time. For example, bids could be increased during store hours for a brick and mortar location, as well as for users searching within a certain radius of the location.

The transition from Legacy to Enhanced campaigns is initially a lot to take in and it is imperative to create a plan of attack for your own campaigns. See part 2 in this series that explains how you can map out a course of action and provide recommendations for the upgrade in our next post, The Insider’s Guide to Enhanced Campaigns: Part II.

Stay tuned and let us know if you have any questions in the comments!

Need help with your PPC campaigns? Add3 offers PPC services for medium sized and enterprise businesses. Contact us today to chat about your strategy!

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