It has been clear for some time that websites need to be adapted to fit different devices in this many screened world. Those who reacted to this trend early on and used responsive web design to automatically adapt their sites to display sizes can now sit back and watch the recent Google AdWords modifications. For the rest, it is now or never to act.
One topic in particular has been on the agenda in the online marketing world: Enhanced Campaigns. Website operators who have not adapted their pages to iPads and other mobile devices risk compromising parts of their budget.
It is possible to manage traffic and performance data for different devices in a transparent way by separating them on the campaign level. In addition, you are able to retain the decision-making authority over how much of the daily budget should be attributed to which device. This freedom of choice is now taken from the advertising customers, since Google allows only one joint setting for tablets and desktop. In July, Google automatically converted all existing campaigns, and campaigns which are started today are automatically converted to Enhanced Campaigns.
While there are no exceptions to the campaign settings for desktop and tablet, you still have a choice for smartphones. The small displays depend on specially optimized pages, and even after the transition it will still be possible to adapt bids for this device type. If you set your customization to -100% for mobile devices you deactivate the distribution of ads for smartphones.
The reason for the transition to Enhanced Campaigns is that Google is relying more heavily on mobile advertising formats, due to the strong growth in the tablet and smartphone market. In return, desktop computers and laptops are less and less in demand, and website visitors from these device types are dropping rapidly. In the first quarter of 2013 sales figures declined in the EMEA region by 20.2%. With this transition, Google tries to further motivate website operators to make their websites accessible for mobile devices.
The changed usage patterns have led to a change in the market from stationary to mobile devices. For instance, the change in accessing your news via a smartphone or tablet at home opposed to via a newspaper. In the news sector the transition from a printed to a digital medium is simply due to advantages such as lower or no subscription fees, more up-to-date information, and higher convenience.
Analysis of the search volume in this field revealed that within one year, search queries via stationary devices decreased by 33 percent, but increased via tablets by 75%.
This result shows there is a transition between devices among users. It is to be debated whether Google picked the right time for the changeover. However, in the future there will be no way around a targeted mobile campaign distribution, whether with Google’s pressure or without.