Google Adwords Enhanced Campaigns for Lawyers

Hopefully by now you understand the difference between paid and organic search results and you’re not paying Google to advertise on porn sites. And whether you’re still considering if you should advertise with Adwords or your law firm is currently advertising on Adwords, you should know about Google’s recent enhanced campaigns upgrade.

Google recently announced the enhanced campaigns as an upgrade designed to help advertisers “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.”

As explained by Susan Wojcicki, SVP Advertising for Google:

“We want to provide the best search results for users regardless of where they are and what device they are using.”

But some advertisers (and particularly their agencies) have serious concerns about this upgrade. RKG’s Mark Ballard calls the upgrade, “a flawed step in the right direction.” According to Ballard:

At a high level, Enhanced Campaigns is a step in a direction RKG has requested a number of times in the past. Instead of having to duplicate campaigns and keywords multiple times in order to segment certain keyword bids and ad copy, advertisers will be able to apply a bid multiplier to their campaigns based on device type, time, and location, and we will have the option to run different ad copy from the same campaign based on device type.

That’s all great, and we’ve been anticipating those changes for a while now, but in gaining these new capabilities and others, we may be losing functionality of greater value.

At the root of the concern is the trade-off for simplicity in managing campaigns across a variety of devices at the sacrifice of campaign control. In other words, while enhanced campaigns may make certain aspects of multi-device campaign management less complex, they also strip out some of the core campaign control mechanisms upon which advertisers and managers have come to rely.

If you’re currently advertising on Adwords, you’re going to want to read the Adwords Help Center documentation on enhanced campaigns and their resources on upgrading. If you pay someone to manage your Adwords campaigns, you might want to ask them what their plans are in light of the upgrade.


The most obvious consequences from this upgrade are a likely increasing in mobile costs per click (cpc), a loss of some of the campaign control options we’ve become accustomed to and the need to rebuild existing campaigns. If you haven’t done so already, you should also make it a priority to make your site (or at least your paid search landing pages) optimized for mobile. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be surprised to see conversion rates plummet as you’ll be landing searchers on pages that they can’t easily use on mobile devices.

On the plus side, as Larry Kim explains at SearchEngineLand, enhanced campaigns may benefit small to medium-sized businesses. According to Kim, enhanced campaigns:

  • Simplify the process of device targeting.
  • Simplify the process of geo targeting.
  • Increase the adoption of mobile advertising for small businesses (which may or may not actually be beneficial in my opinion).

When you boil it all down, while this is arguably the biggest change to Adwords in years, for advertisers that integrating these changes into their campaigns, it is likely to be more of a benefit than a burden. On the other hand, at least in the short term, unsophisticated advertisers are going to be spending a bit more on mobile clicks and may even suffer conversion drops if their sites aren’t optimized for mobile.

In the long-run, this is probably an inevitable upgrade as more and more search users access the web via mobile devices. Hopefully, this is just the first iteration on enhanced campaigns and advertisers will get more advanced control over their campaigns moving forward.

Has your Adwords account “upgraded” to enhanced campaigns? Have you noticed any significant changes in click volume, mobile cost per click or conversion?


  1. Does this apply to Adwords Express too? It seems that as a solo attorney with a local market, that Adwords Express is the better option.

  2. Avatar Hal says:

    I only see this change as a loss of control for the campaigns and forcing users to market to mobile devices and tablets even if their sites are not ready for the traffic. Just as campaign defaults enable the display network which may or may not be cost-effective, this just appears to be designed to increase advertiser cost for the unwary and even the savvy since even if you know what you want, the past level of control is now missing.

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