Smart Bidding is a hot topic at the moment.
Advertisers, PPC managers, and agencies are debating whether to move campaigns to Smart Bidding.
Google’s Machine learning has evolved its capabilities over the years, and now it can process 70 million signals in 100 milliseconds.
The Smart Bidding algorithms look at different signals to optimise your bids, such as Device, Physical location, Location intent, Day of week and time of day, Remarketing list and many others.
Google Ads evaluates how signals interact with each other.
Smart Bidding is designed to maximise performance and to save time, while Manual bidding can be very difficult to handle, and time-consuming considering all the endless bid adjustment combinations.
This is especially true if you have large number of keywords in your campaigns, make frequent bid changes, or you need constant optimisation for match type, device, location and other metrics.
The machine learning period is typically 1-2 weeks, however, a large amount of conversion data helps to get faster results.
Smart Bidding only uses the information from Google Ads, and relies on conversion data to recommend accordingly, but it does not always take into consideration factors that may be very important to you such as client lifetime value (CLV), telephone calls, seasonality, errors in data, your website changes and revenues.
Each Smart Bidding strategy supports different marketing goals, there’s no one size fits all bidding strategy, and each strategy has its own pros and cons.
Smart Bidding may or may not be the best solution for you, always test it extensively and optimise campaigns based on your results.
Smart Bidding strategies for conversions
The Smart Bidding strategies that focus on conversions are:
Maximise conversions with a Target CPA – Cost per acquisition (Optional)
– Maximize Conversion Value with a Target return on ad spend (Optional)
These strategies operate in real-time.
With Experiments you can test changes, understand their impact and measure your results before committing Smart Bidding to a campaign.
You can test Smart Bidding and Manual bidding with a 50-50 split budget.
Test Manual CPC (Cost per click) bidding and Smart Bidding.
Test Enhanced CPC and Smart Bidding.
Run your Experiments for 1-2 weeks or until you have at least 150-200 clicks.
If the Experiment outperforms your original campaign (The Control), apply that Experiment to it.
If The Control outperforms the Experiment, stop the Experiment.
If the Experiment and Control campaigns are both performing well, continue your Experiment until one campaign clearly outperforms the other.
As Smart Bidding relies on conversions data, it is recommended to test campaigns with 30 or more conversions in the past 30 days.
You should also consider the type of conversions you are tracking to make sure these are your most profitable conversions within the required numbers.
If you don’t have enough conversions in your campaigns, try a Portfolio strategy.
From Rob Watson, freewheelingtraffic.com
Extract from my Book ‘Making Google Ads Work’.