In February 2013, Google announced that it was making changes to its Adwords platform to simplify mobile ad campaign management.

There were now two levels of Adwords campaign - the existing Legacy version and the new Enhanced version. For most of us mere mortals, it was better to stick to Legacy until forced to make the switch to Enhanced - now rumoured to be by June 2013.

So, it was with great interest that I viewed a webinar by Larry Kim of Wordstream giving an overview of the new Enhanced features.

Enhanced Google Adwords

Basically, the new enhanced Google Adwords all about mobile, so if you know that the majority of your customers view your ads on smartphones, then you might want to think about upgrading your campaigns sooner rather than later.

Today's advertisers know that customers are constantly switching between these ever changing devices and so user context is now the name of the game. Whereas in the past, keyword based targeting allowed us to show adverts to people searching for specific stuff, now we need to know why, where and how they're searching.

User context is about location, time and device. If someone is searching for pizza on their mobile at lunchtime, they're looking for a snack on the run. They need directions and lunch offers. If another person is making the same search on a PC in the evening, they are more likely to want delivery options, dinner specials and a click to call phone number.

The new Enhanced Google Adwords campaign will allow advertisers to show the right ads for a more exact search and, better still, you won't have to do separate campaigns for each of the permutations. You just need to check the box to enable mobile.

Now, we will be able to adjust bids depending on device, location and time from within a single campaign and these new smarter ads will also offer customised mobile ad extensions that control how those ads show up on different devices.

It means that you can bid more on mobile when your store is open and offer a click to call phone number or less when it is closed but be able to push those enquiries to the contact form on the website.

Site links can also be set for individual ad groups rather than across a campaign making them more relevant to the needs of that particular searcher, depending on how and where and when they are making their search.

You need to start asking yourself what site links your potential customers are going to want to see in a variety of different scenarios and change the way you talk to them accordingly.

The one caveat was that, whereas Google used to automatically set mobile ad bids on your behalf, now users will have responsibility for setting that price. Google will give you default bid prices for your mobile campaigns but you are advised to use your own knowledge of the niche to specify your bid for both desk top and mobile.

It is done with a +/-% factor so if you know that your market mostly uses mobile, the experts say that you will be looking to set your mobile campaign bids at +100-300%.

I think the thing I am most looking forward to is being able to track calls. Whereas previously, this cost $1 per call and meant that customers called a tracking phone number which was different to the main business number making it expensive and irritating to use, now the call conversion monitor will be free - although they did not mention if it would be a tracking phone number or not.

Automatic updates from Legacy to Enhanced are set to take place in June 2013 and the experts advise that you make the change manually before then to ensure that your ads serve your customers in the best possible way, rather than allowing Google to do it.

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