When news trickled through a couple of months ago about the proposed changeover from Google’s Legacy campaigns to their successor Enhanced Campaigns, similar to many other PPC account managers I was unsure about the future of the PPC landscape and the effects it would have on smaller, low-budget or low converting campaigns. Talk of increased CPCs and costs as a result of newly introduced bid multipliers had me asking myself, “How am I going to be able to compete with the bigger players in the small-to-medium-sized market in the future?” It would appear that we could end up being priced out of the market. Solution – For one of my campaigns with a budget of approx £600 per month, I decided to switch the campaign over to the Enhanced Campaign model at the earliest opportunity. By getting up to speed on the new interface layout and taking time to research the various new options available to me with Enhanced Campaigns, it meant I could choose the most appropriate strategy for the client. After studying the account data for the previous 60 days and applying this knowledge to the campaign, hopefully we could make the transition from Legacy to Enhanced as smooth as possible for the client – and for us.
First of all, I checked the last 2 months’ worth of data and sorted it by what conversions came through on what day of the week so that I could experiment with the new bid multiplier feature. As this data did not have any particular trend, I decided to go deeper and look at the hour of the day conversions came through most frequently and this gave me some better information.
As conversions were coming through between 8am and 2pm, I decided to use the Enhanced Campaign bid multiplier to increase my bids on my keywords between 6 am and 2pm by 20%, as this is when clicks started to come through in the morning.
Not only did I use the bid multiplier to bid up on CPC during the best converting hours of the day, I also applied this to the country that they were targeting in order to further maintain strong advert average positions throughout the day to users in the desired locations.
All of these changes meant that a bid of 35p on a keyword that triggers an advert at, say, 9am in the morning in our targeted location, may end up being as high as 46p under the new bid multiplier. A possible 31% increase in CPC would make some advertisers quiver in trepidation at the increased costs of the campaign that this may produce, but let’s have a look at the 60 day comparison since switching to Enhanced Campaigns and adding the bid multipliers to the campaign below.
While overall traffic and exposure has reduced a little in the last 60 days, CTR and CPC has remained stable but conversions have increased and cost per conversion reduced. I was surprised to see the CPC stay the same despite the introduction of bid multipliers – just because the keyword Max CPC bids increase, it doesn’t mean that the actual CPC you pay for the click will dramatically change and this is good news for my client.
One slight admission during this process was that I did not simply let the campaign run – the one cardinal sin of PPC management. Constant bid assessment, search query monitoring and other work was carried out in the last 2 months. The campaign budget stayed the same, making this exercise a rather fruitful one, especially when we look at pre and post Enhanced Campaign data.
Switching to Enhanced campaigns need not be a scary proposition for advertisers with a small-to-medium-sized PPC budget. Be sure to take to time to analyze your account data from previous months/years and familiarize yourselves with all of the new features of Enhanced Campaigns – then you will be armed with the tools to make even a small campaign continue to deliver cost effective results. Written by Dominic Hart