Merging campaign objects in the transition to Google’s enhanced campaigns

This is the third of three pieces by Roland Irwin on how search marketers can prepare, migrate and merge their campaigns as Google flicks the switch on AdWords to ‘enhanced campaigns’ on 22 July 2013.

 

After adequate preparation and migration, merging campaigns is another critical step for search marketers to undertake in advance of the imminent 22 July migration deadline to Google’s enhanced campaigns.

In a recent article I discussed the migration workflow at a high level by highlighting the five key stages of the enhanced campaign migration process. I referenced five stages that should be completed for every set of matching campaigns, and the fourth stage was to ‘merge sibling campaign objects.’

In this article I’ll talk about the campaign objects that search marketers need to account for when merging a sibling campaign into its parent campaign. While not all of these objects will apply to all matching campaigns, I will give an overview of how to approach each campaign object and provide paid search best practices for successfully executing a merge.

1. Campaign settings

For matching campaigns, compare settings between the parent and sibling campaigns. Ensure the parent campaign settings are properly configured and they align with your business needs. Review the following settings: Status, Location, Language, Networks, Ad Schedule, Bid Type, Delivery Method, Ad rotation, Campaign Start and End Dates. Advanced settings include: Demographic, Social settings, Keyword matching options, IP Exclusions and Tracking URL. Note that Devices for targeting specific devices has been removed from the campaign settings page.

Location targeting: At this point in time, advertisers are not required to merge separate, location-targeted campaigns.

Without a Google ValueTrack parameter for location targets, paid search management platforms will be unable to report on and optimise campaigns based on location target. For advertisers that have separate matching campaigns targeting specific locations, continue to separate campaigns by location target. This will enable you to calculate optimal bids based on performance by location, rather than relying on campaign-level location bid adjustments.

Campaign budgets: Upon merging your matching campaigns, your enhanced campaign daily budgets will likely need to be increased due to the additional click volume from expanded device targeting. Add the daily budget of the sibling campaigns to the parent campaign. Review the budget of the parent campaign and ensure it meets your business requirements.

Mobile bid adjustments: For advertisers that separated their campaigns by device target, a mobile bid adjustment can now be set at the campaign or group level to bid on mobile devices separately from desktop and tablet devices. Mobile bid adjustments are set as a percentage of the keyword-level (desktop and tablet) bid.

The approach to bidding for the following types of legacy campaigns will be unaffected when migrating to enhanced campaigns:

  • If the campaign previously targeted all devices (or desktop and mobile), set the mobile bid adjustment to 0%. Your mobile bids will be the same as your desktop and tablet bids.
  • If the campaign previously targeted desktop and tablet devices and has no matching mobile campaign, set the mobile bid adjustment to -100%. This will prevent your creative from being delivered on mobile devices.
  • If the campaign previously targeted desktop devices only, or tablet devices only, and has no matching sibling campaigns, set the mobile bid adjustment to -100%.

 

2. Ad extensions

There are seven types of ad extensions that need to be addressed during a campaign merge. These include: Location Extensions, Call Extensions, Sitelinks Extensions, Product Extensions, Social Extensions, Dynamic Search Ad Extensions, and Mobile App Extensions. Ensure all the extensions in sibling campaigns are present in the parent campaign.

If your mobile sitelink or call extensions are unique from your desktop ad extensions, leverage Upgraded extensions. Specify ‘Mobile’ next to device preferences to customise your extensions for a mobile-optimised experience. Mobile-optimised extensions will be triggered more frequently over standard extensions for searches on mobile devices.

3. Ad groups

For matching campaigns, ensure all the groups in the sibling campaigns exist in the parent campaign. Copy any missing groups from the sibling campaigns to the parent campaign.

4. Keywords

For matching campaigns, ensure all the keywords in the sibling campaigns exist in the parent campaign. If matching keywords have different bids, set the bid in the parent campaign to the keyword bid set within the campaign targeting desktop and tablet devices. A mobile bid adjustment can be set at the campaign or group level to bid on mobile devices separately from desktop and tablet devices. Mobile bid adjustments are set as a percentage of the keyword-level (desktop and tablet) bid.

If matching keywords leverage different destination URLs that direct users to device-optimised landing pages, use the {ifmobile} and {ifnotmobile} ValueTrack parameters.

5. Creative

For matching campaigns, ensure all the creative in the sibling campaigns exist in the parent campaign. If you have creative that specifically target mobile devices, set the device preference to ‘Mobile’ for these creative in the parent campaign. Note if you have only mobile-optimised creative, these creative can also be delivered on desktop and tablet devices. If you copy over groups from a sibling campaign that only contain mobile-optimised creative, be sure to create separate desktop- and tablet-optimised creative in the parent campaign.

To preserve historical Quality Score information for mobile-targeted sibling campaigns that contain unique creative, copy those creative into the parent campaign and set their device preference to ‘Mobile’. Remember, historical Quality Score information for all devices will remain intact as long as keyword, creative, landing page, and device combinations remain the same.

6. Negative keywords

For matching campaigns, ensure all the negative keywords in the sibling campaigns exist in the parent campaign. Keep in mind as you add or remove groups and keywords during the merging process, your negative keyword lists may require adjustment.

7. The display network

At this point in time, advertisers are not required to merge separate, network-targeted campaigns. For advertisers that separate campaigns by search and display, continue to separate search campaigns from display campaigns. This will enable you to calculate optimal display mobile bid adjustments based on display performance.

For matching campaigns targeting the display network, compare the placements, audience categories, and Remarketing lists between the parent and sibling campaigns. Add any missing placements to the parent campaign. Copy all audience settings from the sibling campaigns to the parent campaign. Add any missing Remarketing lists to the parent campaign.

 

Roland Irwin
BY Roland Irwin ON 12 July 2013
Roland is the general manager of Marin Software Australia. Roland co-founded the Sydney office in 2011 and has helped grow the business since its inception. Roland’s hands-on experience has given him extensive local search industry knowledge and a high-level understanding of global trends. He is passionate about how Marin Software can acquires revenue for advertisers and agencies and loves a yarn about emerging digital trends and Marin’s predictions for the future.