Should You Use the Newest AdWords Enhanced Features?

In recent months, Google has slowly rolled out its Enhanced AdWords tools and in the next couple of weeks, it will become a mandatory inclusion in new campaigns. While the features it offers can certainly be turned off, they will be part of the core AdWords experience, so we wanted to take a moment and run through what these new features are and who they will most benefit.

Keep in mind that the majority of these are campaign-level options, meaning you can turn them on for all or only individual ad groups depending on your needs.

  • Google+ Integration – If you are a big brand or have a solid following on Google+ you can now turn on a feature that will show exactly how many followers you have on Google+ in your ads. This is great for anyone with a large social integration or an ad that benefits from social proof (almost all of them).
  • In App Targeting – App advertising is everywhere, but it’s woefully bad at targeting the right offers to the right people. Enhanced AdWords hopes to solve this problem by improving the quality of matches in app ads.
  • Mobile Changes – At the same time, you can no longer make mobile specific bids, nor can you choose specific mobile carriers or devices. Mobile search and advertising are becoming too ubiquitous to target in this way (an interesting decision by Google nonetheless).
  • Geography Bidding – Bid changes by geography are a hugely valuable tool that allow you to really narrow down your target audience according to where they live and change the bid.

The first question we get whenever a major change occurs on an ad network like AdWords is whether it’s necessary to get results, and how to do it best. In this case, most of the changes are mandatory, but some of them are true testing opportunities.

Testing for New Benefits

The most important changes for many users will be social integration. Facebook ads have taken off in recent months, as has their extended ad network, because of the value of social proof in an advertisement. Seeing that 10,000 people like a product makes someone much more likely to click it.

Will this work for your brand? It depends largely on what you are selling and to whom you are selling it. We are seeing most brands improve ROI with social proof, but not all, so it’s a definite test point.

You’ll also want to test geographic impacts and the mobile advertising options, but of course these are all different campaign level options that you’ll need to choose from. For those with already finely tuned AdWords campaigns, these new features are all good things. For those yet to start using AdWords, they represent an extra barrier to entry, but a worthy one of understanding.