Smart Bidding Solutions: A Recap of Google’s Expert Series Training - Part 1

As a Google Premier Partner, Bayshore Solutions receives exclusive benefits that include attending Google Expert Series trainings that make us better paid media marketers. Our Digital Media Strategist, Meghann Anderson-Russell participated in the training in Chicago this past June and had some great takeaways related to smart bidding.

Read on to learn more about the different smart bidding strategies available in Google Ads.

Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding is Google’s solution that combines an exclusive set of signals to set a precise bid for every auction to help you achieve your goals. Thanks to advances in machine learning, smart bidding has come a long way since it was first introduced a few years ago.

Just looking at enhancements in the last 6 months, smart bidding no longer relies solely on data from the campaign level but considers data at the account-level, and even the MCC level. With these enhancements, it is now recommended that most smart bidding strategies can launch on day one of new campaigns.

Just remember that there is a learning period that usually lasts 1-2 weeks when turning on smart bidding. This learning period should be considered when comparing metrics of the campaign before and after implementing the strategy. Making too many changes to a campaign can throw off its optimization and throw it back into the learning period.

Be patient and try not to make daily changes to your campaign.

Smart bidding strategies include:

Enhanced CPC (eCPC)

Only a semi-automated bidding strategy, eCPC works in a 50/50 split model with 50% at “fully” automated bidding and 50% manual bidding. Due to greater performance of complete smart bidding strategies, eCPC is no longer recommended.

Maximize Conversions

This is our go-to smart bidding strategy since we started testing these strategies a year ago. It works best when campaigns are limited by budget and you want to drive as many conversions as possible within that budget. Remember to give the campaign room to grow as ideal Impression share is 70% to start these campaigns.

Target CPA

This option works best with companies that have a target CPA to hit and an open budget. Campaigns should launch with a CPA that is higher than goal, and then gradually brought down as campaign optimizes. Budget should not be constrained and should keep the tCPA realistic. Unrealistic tCPAs means the campaign won’t receive enough impressions to run.

Target ROAS

Available for both search and shopping, this smart bidding option requires 15 conversions passing conversion values through Google Ads within 30 days (50 is ideal).

If you have an omnichannel approach with a goal of driving online transactions and store visits, it’s recommended to assign a value to a store visit. That way the campaigns are working towards that revenue goal, which includes what store visits are worthwhile.

Remember, you should look at conversion-based metrics to determine success. If the campaign is set to Target ROAS and you see a drop in lead forms, it’s because the goal of the campaign is revenue, not forms.

Maximize Conversion Value

This is currently only available for Smart Shopping but will be rolled out to Search soon.

As you can see, there are various smart bidding options designed to fit the varying needs of a business.  Determine your budget and goals, then see which of the above options makes the most sense to test. Bayshore Solutions has been helping companies manage their paid media campaigns to maximize their value.

Get in touch with us today at 866-356-4791 or info@bayshoresolutions.com to learn how we can help make the most out of your paid media efforts.

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