Dean Marsden

A Step By Step Guide For Switching To AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

22nd Mar 2013 PPC Blog, Google AdWords 12 minutes to read

upgrade to enhanced campaignsOur week long focus on PPC is almost over but we still have time to look at what the experts we interviewed on Wednesday called the biggest change to PPC in 2013. If you’ve put off switching to Enhanced Campaigns, Dean has put together this guide on exactly how to change over.

Upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns

Before you press that big shiny upgrade button in your AdWords interface, you should  make a backup of your current settings and data. Export csv reports of your keyword data, ad group data, Campaign data, ad extensions, ad scheduling, location targeting, etc. Although the chances of encountering issues when upgrading are very slim, the 5 minutes needed to make backups could save you a lot of heartache if things go wrong.  It’s worth noting that once you’ve forced the upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns there is no going back to legacy mode!

You might want to take the steps to upgrade as described by Google’ Guide if you already have separate mobile and desktop Campaigns because you need to merge the two carefully. If you simply want to upgrade a standard desktop Campaign or one that has previously targeted all devices read through the steps below for a quick guide.

1. When you are viewing your Campaigns in the AdWords interface you should see the banner message about the upgrade. Click on “Get started” to learn more about the upgrade process. You can still cancel it after this option is clicked.

upgrade to enhanced campaigns message in adwords

2. This launches the pop up box giving an overview of the features for enhanced Campaigns. Click on “Start now” to begin the upgrade.

enhanced campaign upgrade step 1

3. The next screen shown will depend on if you’ve got any history from mobile Campaigns that have been run before. If you have then you will see a nice table explaining the calculation for the recommended mobile bid adjustment. If you haven’t had any history targeting your Campaign on mobile devices then AdWords will attempt to calculate a bid adjustment based on other advertiser’s data in your niche or industry.

enhanced campaign upgrade step 2

4. Once you have chosen and set a mobile bid multiplier then that’s the upgrade process done. On the next screen you will see links to learn more about Enhanced Campaigns, edit your ads and ad extensions, plus a link to read more about making your website mobile friendly. A key reason why mobile has been integrated into the same targeting as desktop and tablet devices through Enhanced Campaigns is the increasing implementation of responsive websites.

enhanced campaign upgrade step 3

5. Now you need to know how to take advantage of the extra data reported in Enhanced Campaigns and optimise your Campaigns with this. The following four areas of AdWords have been improved with the upgraded Enhanced Campaigns:

Mobile Bid Optimisation

Let’s start with the most common reason Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns have been rolled out to Campaigns; integrated mobile targeting. Tara has posted about Mobile PPC Strategies in detail earlier this week, so you should check that out.

Mobile bids are set in the Campaign settings as a multiplier of your Desktop/Tablet bids. If you’ve merged previous Mobile Campaigns, Google will have recommended a percentage increase or decrease based on past performance.

This should not just be set and forgotten about, you should be looking at the performance reports by device and working out which Campaigns need mobile bids to be increased.

1. At Campaign level, click on segment then device.

device segment option in adwords

2. Look at the Average Position column to view where ads tend to be shown on the mobile device results. They may be showing as a higher position on Mobile devices depending on your industry niche, however you should be aiming to get this figure as close to 1.0 as much as possible as only one or two ads are displayed in the mobile results. Also review the average cost per click for each device, this will give you an idea of whether the Campaign’s keywords are more or less expensive on mobiles.

device average position in adwords

3. In the analysis above, we can see that the first Campaign has a higher average CPC on mobile devices than on desktop and the position is good but could be improved using a higher bid amount. The second Campaign has a lower average CPC and good average position so no increase in bid multiplier is needed.

4. Once you’ve decided what adjustments to make for each Campaign, head back to the settings tab, then the devices sub-tab. Then for each Campaign click on the bid adjustment figure in the table to edit it. Set some bid increases or decreases then analyse the statistics again in a week or two.

mobile bid adjustment in enhance campaigns

Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling is not a new option for Enhanced Campaigns but it is set up differently from the Legacy Campaigns method.

Adjusting the hour of day and day of the week your adverts are shown along with bid increases or decreases is a great way to avoid wastage on the times when your adverts have shown to not convert. Before you start changing these settings you really need to take a good look at the statistics from your adverts that have run consistently over the past three months (at least). You can then build a good average of these figures to base your hourly and daily schedule on.

To view the performance data, you’ll need to view you Campaigns at Campaign level as this is the only level we can change the scheduling at. You may feel it necessary to split out ad groups into smaller Campaigns if you would like to make the ad scheduling more effective in each ad group.

Once in Campaign level you can choose to use the segment option to view the statistics or use the shortcuts in the Ad Schedule page (see next section). If you want to use the segments, go to Time in the list, then choose either Day of the Week or Hour of Day. Each will need to be reviewed separately.

time segment in adwords

The alternative way can be to use the shortcuts in the Ad Schedule settings page.

ad scheduling shortcut in adwords

To work out when you want to have your adverts shown and what the bid increase or decrease adjustment will be, I recommend putting together a ‘matrix’ table in Excel where you can list the days across the top with their performance statistics, then list every hour of the day down the side with their performance. In the table marry up the two values to create your bid adjustments for each hour of the day throughout the week.

I’ve created an Excel document template to get you started. You can download a copy from the shared Google Spreadsheet file at

Then to input this schedule data you’ll need to be in the Campaign settings tab then the ad schedule sub-tab. Click on the Edit ad schedule button to set the hour and day schedules.

edit ad schedule in adwords

Entering the ad schedules is slightly different to the old method; you choose the days and time ranges from a start and end drop down, then you are able to set the next day or time period after that. It can be quite a timely process if you are setting up a custom routine for the whole week, but you may just want to set it up for a day or two according to the conversion data you have. You have the option for the times of day to be replicated across all days or just all weekdays to speed things up if your AdWords performance data is similar for multiple days.

ad scheduling drop downs in adwords

Once you have set the time periods you then have to save them before being able to edit the bid adjustment increases or decreases back in the main ad schedule sub-tab. Like in the Mobile bid optimisation, click on the cell in the table for the bid to be able to set or edit the bid adjustment.

Location Optimisation

Yes that’s right, Location optimisation is something you should now be looking at doing. When you have traditionally set up your location targeting, you added your places and that was it, done.  Now with the new Enhanced Campaigns you have full control over how aggressive you target different countries, regions or cities and you can enjoy full reporting on which of these locations your adverts were actually shown (depending on your settings).

First let’s look at how you set up location targeting with Enhanced Campaigns:

1.You can access the location settings via the all settings page at campaign level or go straight to the new locations sub-tab under the main settings tab

2. Once on this page simply bring up the location options by clicking the Edit locations button.

edit location targeting in adwords

3. You can then either add or exclude target locations via this field or click on the Advanced search link to bring up a more powerful locations targeting screen.

quickly add or exclude locations in adwords

Once you’ve chosen your target locations or exclusions and saved them you can then get into tweaking your bids for each by clicking on the cell in the locations table. As per with the device and scheduling tables, enter your bid adjustment as a percentage.

You can see how to build up a single Campaign that performs differently for different locations without having to split out into separate Campaigns to assign more budget to each location,etc.

At this stage, you’ve probably chosen to set your bid adjustment based on the areas you want to target, but have you previously wondered about which areas actually convert? Now you can with the location reporting in Enhanced AdWords.

To view this data you’ll need to still be in the location setting sub-tab. To the right of the Edit and Delete buttons you’ll find a Location details drop down with two options.

location details options in adwords

By clicking on the ‘what triggered your ad’ option you’ll be able to see reporting of your Campaign statistics by each target location, once your Campaigns have been running a short of while of course. This is your first stop for working out which of your target locations deserves to have higher or lower keyword bids.

You can drill down to see data from regions and city performance, not just top level county data (if you target international audiences). This is really powerful reporting allowing you to tailor bids for each country, region and city depending on how well it has previously performed.

choosing a region or city location in adwords

The second option ‘Where your users were’ provides insight to which other locations (outside of your targeting) saw the advert. You might be surprised at how many different locations your advert was shown whilst being set to the ‘People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location’ option in the advanced location option, under the All settings sub-tab.

advanced location targeting options in adwords

In the report for ‘Where your users were’ you get statistics for all locations in which users saw your adverts. You should initially be looking at excluding people in locations you did not want your adverts to be shown to. There could be a variety of reasons for this, perhaps you don’t ship your products to these locations or can’t help potential clients in those locations, even if they were searching as they were in your target locations.

On the other hand, you may discover that your adverts are performing well in other locations. You may want to consider adding the location to your target locations to test how they perform. All with most AdWords optimisation, look at conversion data to decide if it’s worth targeting.

To add or exclude a location from these reports quickly, you can simply tick the checkbox for each location then choose either ‘Add targets’ or ‘Exclude’ using the buttons at the top of the table. These will get added to your target locations table where you can set the bid adjustments.

where users were - adding or excluding locations in adwords

Build up a list of locations within target locations for a well optimised Campaign. For example, you may target the UK as a whole, but from the analysis of the cities you found that users in Manchester and London converted a lot higher than the rest of the UK. In this case you’d specifically add these cities to the list of your target locations and set the bid adjustment to a positive figure.

Sitelinks Extensions

Although you may not be planning on testing and optimising your Sitelinks regularly, the new Enhanced AdWords Campaigns allow you to set Sitelinks at Ad Group level rather than just Campaign level.

This means you can create Sitelinks that are more tailored to each Ad Group’s theme. You may find it worthwhile to spend more time incorporating analysis of the Sitelink performance to your regular checks then test and optimise variations on a regular basis.

You can find all the Sitelink extension reporting and settings at Ad Group level under the Ad Extensions tab:

sitelinks at ad group level in adwords

Click on the Edit link to bring up the Sitelink options. In here you can choose to use your Campaign Sitelinks, Ad Group Sitelinks or turn them off completely for this ad group. This is quite useful if you continue to use Sitelinks set at Campaign level as you can disable them from being shown on selected ad groups.

choose sitelinks dropdown in adwords

Sitelinks usually make an advert stand out in the results and the more relevant they are the more they are likely to attract clicks. For a fully optimised AdWords account you should have Sitelinks for each of your Ad Groups and then periodically review their performance and test different Sitelinks.


The above four areas are the main reasons why AdWords Enhanced Campaigns deserve to be implemented and optimised now. You may be used to the way things work in the Legacy Campaigns mode, but everyone will be forced to upgrade in the summer of 2013 so get ahead of your competition and create better optimised Campaigns.

Once you have made the painless upgrade you’ll be rewarded with more options to fine tune your Campaigns and get more from your budget. Some of the methods you need to follow to set the options for the above areas of AdWords can be a bit fiddly at first but you’ll get used to it… that is until Google changes the way things work again!

Found this post useful? Then spread the word that Enhanced Campaigns are not big or scary and share with others. Comments, tips and questions are all welcome in the comments below.


Image Credit: upgrade to next latest software version, upgrading website to new generation, download updated model of computer program, updating product improved quality by Bigstock

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