Testing AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: Tablet CPCs Suffering Thus Far

Michael Wiegand
PPC Adwords Enhanced Campaign blog image

With all the talk about enhanced campaigns results in the last week—on PPC Hero, most notably—we were curious to see how they would fly with a well-known brand, both from a smartphone and tablet perspective.

A quick enhanced campaigns case study

The methodology:

  • Chose 1 brand campaign, 1 non-brand campaign
  • Established baseline of performance for 2 days with legacy device-specific versions of those 2 campaigns
  • Migrated to enhanced campaigns for 2 days
  • Used Google’s suggested mobile bid modifier
  • Used same keyword lists for enhanced and legacy
  • Set same keyword-level bids for enhanced and legacy
  • Wrote same ad texts for both enhanced and legacy

The results:


  • Brand smartphone CPCs fell by 11%—Good.
  • Non-branded smartphone CPCs fell by 16%—Nice!


  • Brand tablet CPCs rose by 39%—ZOMGWTFBBQ?!
  • Non-branded tablet CPCs rose by 9%—I can live with that.

Chart time!

Enhanced Campaign CPCs



  • This is just one vertical—competition varies by industry, so that may have factored in.
  • I didn’t increase the budget in my non-brand enhanced campaign—this client allows us to spend unlimited amounts on brand, but has CPA expectations for non-brand that we couldn’t risk upsetting.
  • Because of how recently this was announced, I didn’t have time to do same days of the week for this test, but that probably would’ve affected CTR more than CPC, if anything.

Early impressions of AdWords enhanced campaigns

Enhanced campaigns will legitimately help folks interested in running ads on smartphones, even with Google’s out-of-the-box recommendations for the bid modifier.

That’ll make it really, really easy for small businesses to adopt a mobile advertising strategy.

But, this appears to really ream all of us who got great performance with tablet-specific campaigns.

The big brands and power users will really feel this tablet CPC increase both over time and in the short term with literally no average ad position benefit that I could see.

So, tell me: Are you guys seeing the same thing?

Michael Wiegand
Analytics Architect

In 17 years as a marketer, Michael's experience has run the gamut from design, development, direct mail, multivariate testing, print, and search. He now heads Portent's Analytics practice, overseeing everything from Google Tag Management, to CRM integration for closed-loop analytics, to solving ponderous digital marketing questions. Outside of work, he enjoys recording music, playing JRPGs and supporting Seattle Sounders FC.

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