Google ads balance automated bids with user control

In "3 Practical Google Ad Scripts for Automating Tasks," I addressed methods to speed up pay-per-click management. However, in my experience, advertisers should gently adopt Google's drive to automate campaigns. The key is to find the right balance between automation and user control.

Bid strategies are among the most common forms of automation. Google's "smart bidding" process uses machine learning to optimize ad performance through:

  • Target CPA. Set the desired cost per acquisition. For example, this could be a CPA of less than $ 25 if a higher amount is unprofitable
  • Measure ROAS. The desired return on advertising spend is similar to Target CPA. For example, create a target return of 300 percent if that level is necessary for profit.
  • Maximize conversions. Google will show ads to consumers who are most likely to convert based on their behavior and other information.
  • Maximize conversion value. Like Maximize Conversions, this process attempts to collect clicks that produce the highest conversion value.
  • Maximize clicks. Google sets your bids as many clicks as possible within your budget.
  • MÃ¥lvisningsandel. Specifies the percentage of search impressions to target a given phrase. More impressions generally require more budget.

But there are steps advertisers can take for more control.

Check automated bids

Set ad group level Target CPA. By default, Target CPA is set at the campaign level. For example, a campaign that advertises coffee tables may have a Target CPA of $ 50. However, not all ad groups in the campaign can guarantee the goal of $ 50. Some ad groups may justify a higher amount, while others require lower ones. For example, oval coffee tables may have high gross profit margins and may therefore support a target CPA of $ 75. However, square coffee tables may have lower margins and require a target of $ 35.

Google can estimate the performance of your target CPAs if you have enough historical data.

Google can estimate the target CPA performance, provided that there is sufficient historical data.

Google can estimate the target CPA performance, provided that there is sufficient historical data.

Set maximum cost-per-click limits. Always set the highest cost-per-click you are willing to pay with bidding strategies to maximize clicks and target impression share. This is a requirement for Goal Display Share, but not to maximize clicks. Setting a maximum CPC helps gather more traffic. For example, setting your maximum CPC to $ 2 for a $ 50 budget will result in at least 25 clicks. Otherwise, you can pay more per click and get just 18 for example.

Choose the most influential conversion measures. Optimize for top conversion actions with all smart bidding strategies. This is especially true of Maximize Conversions and Maximize Conversion Value. Both attract users who are most likely to convert. But none of them allow for maximum CPC limits. A keyword with an average CPC of $ 5 can increase to $ 10 if Google believes that the user is more likely to convert. It's not the problem of paying more for the click. The key is to make sure you optimize around the right conversion – for example, a user who buys products versus one who signs up for a newsletter.

Use portfolio bidding strategies. Advertisers can apply bid strategies in multiple campaigns, similar negative keywords, and ad extensions. Say you want to maximize conversions or target a single impression share across multiple campaigns. You can assign each tactic to all portfolio bidding strategies.

Frequently review bid strategies. Bid strategies change over time. A target CPA for a campaign or ad group for one month may change the next. Advertisers often switch between volume and efficiency. During Q4, for example, a high target CPA may be desirable. In January, efficiency can be more important, which requires a lower cost.

Similarly, the method of smart bidding can be changed. An advertiser could use the Maximize Click strategy from the beginning to get traffic and then switch to Target ROAS. Or, an advertiser can optimize to maximize conversions and then realize that a higher target impression share is more fruitful. In short, when it comes to automatic bidding strategies, "never set it and forget it."

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