Last week’s launch of ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ flags up Google’s new thinking about PPC Adwords in response to the smartphone and tablet-led change in consumer search behaviour.
Targeted online marketing is now focused more on user ‘context’ rather than by device. What this means for the SME site owner is that content for search is increasingly being driven by the ‘situation’, irrespective of the device used at the time.
It also means that Google will decide which is the most relevant result to return to a user’s search, based upon where it thinks the user is searching from – at home, at work or on the move.
Research shows that consumers tend to mostly use a different device at a different time of the day depending upon where they are and the content they need at that present moment. The changes being introduced by ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ means that a search by PPC ad will no longer target specifically by device and eCommerce will need to rethink their marketing strategies along the lines of intent ‘and’ context rather than by device formatting.
As 50 per cent of search traffic now comes from smartphones and 20 per cent from tablets with increasingly converging screen sizes and resolutions, the distinctions are becoming less clear. Where previously, content relevancy was simply based on just matching SEO keywords, irrespective of the device being used, today’s complex algorithms are tuned to responding to the user’s real-time situation and need. It’s crucial to be aware that SEO keyword campaigns are no longer separated by device but must now run on all devices and ‘Google will decide which is relevant to individual user search and context.’
Site owners will have to adjust their ad targeting by ‘context based user intent’, indicating if their PPC ads are intended for mobile search, and then allow Google to decide which is the most relevant result to show according to user location, and whether they’re on the move, searching online or in the real world.
It’s important to be aware of the merging of desktop and tablet bidding campaigns as separate from the ‘enhanced’ functionality of smartphone advertising. According to most studies, including Google’s own research, tablets are mostly used in the following order: (i) on the sofa (ii) in bed (iii) in the home (iv) at the table and (v) in the kitchen. What Google is essentially now saying is that they classify tablets closer to desktop search than the on-the-move mobile search of smartphones.
While SME site owners no longer need to create separate online marketing campaigns for desktop, tablet or smartphone, from now on they must streamline their ad targeting content based upon ‘where and when’ their audience consumer is conducting search and their likely requirement at that preciese moment.