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february 09, 2013 • 03:56 PM

Google Updates AdWords to Simplify Advertising Across Multiple Devices

At work, people are likely surfing the web from a desktop or laptop computer. Other times during the day, they might be connected via a smartphone, tablet or television. This means at least one thing for business owners: Advertising to the right people, on the right device and at the right time of day can be a multi-pronged hassle. Search giant Google is trying to simplify this process with an update to its AdWords service.

In a blog post today, Google said it's rolling out enhanced Adwords campaigns, which will essentially enable advertisers large and small to manage several ad campaigns at once. The enhanced tool will help business owners manage all aspects of their campaigns, including details such as the types of devices, times, and locations to be targeted as well as their analytics reports all from one place.

"For example, a pizza restaurant probably wants to show one ad to someone searching for 'pizza' at 1 p.m. on their PC at work (perhaps a link to an online order form or menu), and a different ad to someone searching for 'pizza' at 8 p.m. on a smartphone a half-mile from the restaurant (perhaps a click-to-call phone number and restaurant locator)," wrote Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google's senior vice president of engineering. "Signals like location, time of day and the capabilities of the device people are using have become increasingly important in showing them the right ad."

Some key features of AdWords' enhanced campaigns include:

Optimized ads: With enhanced campaigns, advertisers should be able to show their ads across devices with the appropriate text, sitelink or app without having to edit each campaign individually, depending on the type of device, location, time, etc.The new AdWords bid adjustment feature

Bid adjustments: For instance, you can bid 25 percent higher for people searching a half-mile away or, say, 50 percent higher for searches on smartphones -- all in two simple entries. No need to bounce between separate campaigns, Google says.

Advanced reports: The goal is to be able to measure new conversion types over all types of devices. With enhanced campaigns, Google says users will be able to count calls and app downloads as conversions in their AdWords reports. A business owner could, for instance, track phone calls that result from a click-to-call ad as a conversion, then compare those to other types of conversions, such as sales and downloads.

Google says it expects enhanced campaigns to roll out to advertisers as an option over the next few weeks. The upgrades will be featured on all campaigns by mid-2013, the company says.