The impact of Enhanced Campaigns on device CPCs

Enhanced Campaigns were launched in Summer 2013, representing the largest change to Google’s Adwords platform since it was established. At the time we published an overview of the changes, projections, and the potential impact on advertisers.


Since then there has been much interest in how the migration has affected Search spend. Are CPCs higher, lower or the same?


Since the launch, we have been monitoring the CPC levels across all campaigns. We thought it might be useful to share some of the insights gained from one client account, and offer some recommendations on how to best manage any changes you may have found with your CPCs.


The background:

We have been running Paid Search for a UK clothing retailer successfully for 5 years. Following the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns we have monitored and analysed CPC data for the past few months post-migration. For comparison, we have analysed CPC data for the same time period prior to the migration.


Before migration: Our strategy had been to run separate campaigns across devices, with refined campaigns on tablet and on mobile. The account operated individual campaigns for each device and recorded CPCs across each; desktop CPCs averaged at £0.13, mobile CPCs averaged at £0.07 and tablet CPCs averaged at £0.11.


During migration: We analysed historic performance to set bid adjustments across the entire campaign targeting by devices. We calculated the mobile bid multiplier at -40% for brand and -50% for brand generics. For generics, we set a bid multiplier of -100% for mobile, since we did not want to show on these terms.


Taking advantage of the targeting features available we set bid adjustments for times, days and locations in order to help ensure that the client appeared in the optimum positions on their keywords. To drive further performance from the campaign we also scheduled extensions to show time-specific messages, such as the opening hours of each store.


The impact on CPCs:

Since the migration CPCs across all devices have been impacted, and some seem more susceptible to fluctuations, as the graph below shows.


The impact of Enhanced Campaigns on device CPCs


On tablet –

There was an initial increase in tablet CPCs immediately after transition but they have since levelled out and are currently averaging at £0.11 – similar to what it was before migration.


Overall, we have seen the expected additional cost from opting in all desktop keywords onto tablet, though traffic levels have increased as well.


On mobile –

Interestingly mobile CPCs decreased by -43%, from £0.07 to £0.04, for the same position. This was probably due to a better keyword Quality Score, since the Quality Score on the desktop campaigns was greater than on the mobile campaigns before migration.


The migration to Enhanced Campaigns has so far been positive for mobile – CPCs have gone down since migration and additional brand generic keywords have been opted in with no extra cost.


On desktop –

On desktop, there have been fluctuations over the period with an increase in CPC in the latter stage of our analysis. We believe that this was due to increased competition from other brands.


In conclusion:

While Enhanced Campaigns brought an initial increase on CPCs, this recovered quickly, and since then there has been relatively little impact on CPCs.


We believe that we have been able to effectively manage CPCs for a number of reasons and offer the following recommendations:

  • Review your bid multipliers and ensure that they are accurate – ad group bid multipliers allow this to be at a more granular level and hence more accurate.
  • Review and streamline your account as much as possible; more tightly related keywords will perform better.
  • Test different bid multipliers to ensure you are paying the least required for your optimal position.
  • Utilise geographic bid multipliers to focus on areas that tend to be the most successful at delivering conversions and ensuring strong positioning there, while decreasing bidding in geographic areas that don’t typically convert.
  • Test the new targeting features to help drive performance from our campaigns.


We hope you found these insights useful. We will continue to test and monitor our campaigns, and will share with you on-going insights and findings on Enhanced Campaigns. In the meantime if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team!