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Google announces big changes to the way it does mobile advertising

Adver­tis­ers are about to find that cross-plat­form adver­tis­ing will be a whole lot eas­i­er, thanks to sweep­ing changes to the way Google intends to sell mobile ads.

Mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies will now be spared the labo­ri­ous process of sub­mit­ting dif­fer­ent strate­gies for dif­fer­ent devices – a process that some­times means run­ning hun­dreds of sim­i­lar cam­paigns at once – in favor of cen­tral­ized con­trols encom­pass­ing both desk­top and mobile adver­tis­ing simultaneously.

A major overhaul

Describ­ing the sim­pli­fi­ca­tion as “the biggest change in AdWords over the last five years”, inter­net mar­ket­ing ana­lyst Lar­ry Kim acknowl­edged that mobile phones adver­tis­ing has grown into a sig­nif­i­cant road­block for Google. Kim, who found­ed Word­stream, has helped the search leviathan to devise its new strategy.

Mobile search­es gen­er­ate only half the val­ue of desk­top hits at present, he says, but they’re grow­ing sig­nif­i­cant­ly. Because of that, Google had to find a way of reduc­ing the cost gap between mobile and desk­top advertising.

But why is mobile adver­tis­ing so chal­leng­ing? For one thing, Kim notes, it’s proven excep­tion­al­ly hard to pro­duce a good ad for a small­er screen which isn’t intru­sive. And mobile ad cam­paigns are dif­fi­cult to get going, not least because, until now, Goog­leAd­Words has required adver­tis­ers to sub­mit sep­a­rate cam­paigns for dif­fer­ent devices, times and locations.

Thank­ful­ly, that’s all about to change. From now on, mul­ti­ple branch­es of a sin­gle cam­paign, cus­tomized for dif­fer­ent times and loca­tions whether the ads are desk­top or mobile, can be con­trolled from a sin­gle place.

New met­rics, new control

Kim cites the exam­ple of a den­tist based in D.C. In the same cam­paign, she can now attract reg­u­lar cus­tomers with a desk­top ad and emer­gency cus­tomers with a mobile ad fea­tur­ing a num­ber to call. He adds:

“She could also choose to have her cam­paign bid high­er for peo­ple search­ing on mobile devices with­in D.C. dur­ing her busi­ness hours, then switch to high­er bids for peo­ple in the sub­urbs look­ing for a good den­tist at night. That makes it 10, maybe a 100 times eas­i­er to build these mobile campaigns.”

More tools and data will also be offered, Kim explains, which will allow more adver­tis­ers to gauge the val­ue of mobile ads — met­rics which are like­ly to enhance the cost of those ads and boost Google’s bot­tom line into the bargain.

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