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PPC Opinion

AdWords Enhanced Campaigns and Impression Share

With the advent of Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers will need to have coverage on desktop and tablet devices at the very least. Therefore, mobile-only advertisers are at a loss. Even more importantly, impression share will now be aggregated across all devices. AdWords will include extended reporting when campaigns are segmented by device, so presumably impression share by device can be viewed. However, what is the benefit of viewing this metric by device if it cannot be used to manipulate coverage?

Since overall campaign budgets can still be changed and keyword bids for tablet/desktop keywords, these campaign elements can be increased to attain more impression share. But if your campaign is low on specifically desktop impression share but high on tablets, you will not be able to target this low impression share area. You will have to increase budgets and bids that influence tablets too.

If your mobile impression share is lost due to bid, you can use the mobile bid multiplier to influence this but impression share on mobiles lost to budget cannot be specifically targeted and improved. Instead, an increase in the campaign budget may not even gain more mobile impression share as it could just influence the desktop/tablet activity – there is no way of knowing that a change in campaign budget influences impression share on a specific device.

What Google is asking advertisers to do is no longer think about coverage per device. This affects advertisers whose KPI is specifically coverage on mobiles or tablets or desktops singly, for example, tablet only software, mobile accessories. These advertisers now have to increase their overall marketing budget as coverage across 2 or 3 devices is mandatory – if the same budget they previously used to advertise on just tablets used to attain 100% impression share, e.g. £500, when applied to the new enhanced campaigns, will be spread across at least tablet and desktops, thus £500 will no longer attain 100% impression share on tablets but a mix of coverage on tablets and desktops. Google are automatically requiring these advertisers to increase budgets. To achieve 100% impression share on tablets, these advertisers will need to target 100% impression share on desktops too, and the advertiser may view this as wastage. Google’s point of view is that users search across multiple screens now so even for sites that sell something relevant only for a single device, the initial search may occur on a different device, e.g. I am looking for a new PC game, but I research on the go on my mobile although I will obviously purchase on my desktop. Another great example is music: all the major music sites have launched a cloud service such that it no longer matters from which device you purchase MP3’s because they are available via the cloud across all devices, so music purchase is now device neutral.

Google wants advertisers to no longer think about impression share on one device alone. Advertisers are being forced to move away from this segmented KPI and instead aim for coverage across multiple screens, since coverage on a single device can no longer be manipulated and optimised. Although this sounds like budget wastage of 33%-66% for previously single device advertisers, if Google’s opinion on multi-screen is true, then this should be beneficial to advertisers, gaining them incremental relevant traffic. If Google’s opinion is incorrect, then advertisers will suffer poor PPC performance from AdWords and may start looking for other more granular targeting options.

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