Google have just introduced their so-called AdWords enhanced campaigns. Here are a few thoughts provoked by these recent AdWords changes, which I would like to share with you.
At first sight, introducing new possibilities always looks good but after I've given the changes a second thought I am not so convinced about their benefits and I wouldn't called them "enhanced" if I had to name them.
What does not sound good is Google's intention to "upgrade" all AdWords campaigns to "enhanced" after June 2013. As I see, enhanced campaigns actually have some limitations: impossibility to target specific device types, sitelinks' character limit, etc. I do not see why it won't be possible to have separate dedicated campaigns for desktop or mobile devices. In many cases the separate campaigns would be far more convenient, not to mention that probably there are advertisers who want to target just mobile or just desktop users.
Apart from that, I also do not see any significant benefits coming from any of the new possibilities introduced with AdWords enhanced campaigns. They are not useless but I do not find them very useful either. Combining all kind of devices in one campaign will save usually just one redundant campaign at most and at the expense of a weakened control. In the case of combining many locations in one campaign the advantage could be bigger but at the same time if you want to have a separate bid for a particular location, most probably you would like to have separate ads and keywords too, which is actually not possible and practically devaluates the new feature.
On the other hand, if I have to think of some useful changes in a similar to the enhanced campaigns vein and give some actual suggestions, I can immediately think of two things.
1) A possibility to choose (or at least to exclude) locations per ad group would be very helpful. It will limit unnecessary keyword replication across multiple campaigns and will be also more convenient for initial creation and subsequent management. For example, if I would like to create a campaign with 50 ad groups and 100 locations but I want to exclude a particular location (one of these 100) different per each ad group, at the moment I have to create 100 separate campaigns with these 50 ad groups and their keywords. In case of having location targeting per ad group this would be achieved with just a single campaign.
2) Another good feature would be the possibility to select (or at least to enable/disable) sitelinks per ad group (if not per ad). I think this is probably a better treatment in regard to sitelinks cause each ad has it's own destination URL so setting sitelinks at campaign level only doesn't seem very logical. Apart from logic, it would be just more convenient cause the same pack of sitelinks is not always the most appropriate one for each ad in a campaign. In addition, AdWords system does not always show the ads with their sitelinks (depending on where the ad is shown on the page with the search results), so an option to have a different main destination URL per ad depending on whether sitelinks are displayed or not seems also a proper and useful addition.
I think these suggestions are quite easy for implementation, which could be achieved in various ways. I do appreciate Google's work to improve AdWords so my intention is not just to criticize the new features but to offer some constructive feedback. I saw missing AdWords features in the past, which I thought would be helpful, had been implemented later. So it seems Google actually use users feedback to improve AdWords and I hope they will reconsider their current plans in regard to enhanced campaigns and come out with another (better) solution.