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Changes to Google AdWords "a big win" for start-ups

Thursday, 7 February 2013 | By Cara Waters

Google today announced big changes to its AdWords money-making machine in a move which experts say will be a boon to small business.


The changes, known as "Enhanced Campaigns", aim to dramatically increase mobile advertising adoption and the cost-per-click (CPC) of mobile search ads by making Google's advanced mobile search advertising features work by default, rather than requiring extra effort on the part of the advertiser to make them work.


The internet search giant is also changing the way mobile CPCs are set.


Enhanced Campaigns will become available to customers by the end of February and will be applied automatically to all advertisers by mid-year.


Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of engineering at Google, announced the changes on Google's blog and said the changes would help advertisers more simply and smartly manage ad campaigns in a multi-device world.


"Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns," he said.


Jim Stewart, search engine optimisation expert at StewArt Media, told SmartCompany Google is getting clever about the capabilities of mobile devices.


"The changes will reduce the time and effort to put a campaign together, one of the things you have to do at the moment is look for words to target on desktop and mobile," he says.


"Currently you have to basically set up a different campaign for mobile and this will eliminate the need for that."


Stewart says the changes will also allow a business to automatically increase its bid if the person making a search query is on a mobile device because businesses want that person because they are local.


One issue Stewart says businesses need to look out for is what the cost of Enhanced Campaigns will be.


"Mobile is much cheaper than desktop campaigns so I will be interested to see what the CPC will be," he says.


Larry Kim, the founder of internet marketing software company WordStream, told SmartCompany the changes represent the biggest single change to the basic structure of AdWords campaigns in the past 10 years.


"Enhanced Campaigns are great news for advertisers at small and medium-sized businesses," he says.


"Previously, mobile campaign management was too complicated and time-consuming for all but the biggest-budget, most sophisticated advertisers. Now even small companies can take advantage of the exciting opportunities in mobile search."


Kim says Enhanced Campaigns give businesses more bidding options and smarter ads.


Google will be able to choose and adjust ads and settings based on user context, so mobile users will get an optimised ad experience, without businesses having to build out separate campaigns.


He says small businesses in particular have never been able to fully take advantage of the potential return on investment in mobile search.


"Not only was the set-up and maintenance process prohibitively complex, but conversion tracking was much more challenging, and the reporting costs were being offloaded onto the advertiser," he says.


"All of these factors acted as disincentives. With Enhanced Campaigns, Google is making it much simpler and more attractive for even small businesses to get ROI from mobile advertising."


This story first appeared on SmartCompany.