Set up your first campaign

Best practices

Campaign Management

DoubleClick Search offers an interface that is similar to AdWords, but there are some key features that are powerful in DoubleClick Search that can help you efficiently manage campaigns.

Editing objects in bulk

Performing changes across multiple objects in DoubleClick Search is simplified using a process called "bulksheet round-tripping". Bulksheet round-tripping allows you to download your objects into an Excel file that is already pre-formatted for upload back into DoubleClick Search. In the downloaded Excel file, you can make multiple bid changes to keywords, budget changes to campaigns, update landing pages, etc., and then simply upload the same sheet back into DoubleClick Search. This is especially effective for making changes across multiple engine accounts.

Refer to this article for more information on how to download a report with Editable Columns (for re-upload). After you have completed your edits, you can then upload the changes.

You can also make bulk edits to ads and keywords directly in the UI using the "Bulk operations" function. This feature is particularly helpful when editing ad copy text, and changing keyword CPCs & landing pages.

Refer to this article for more information on how to use the bulk operations feature in DS.

Making changes directly on the engine

If you decide to make changes directly on the engine instead of DoubleClick Search, you will need to import those changes into DoubleClick Search by running a sync from engine. If a sync isn't run, there will be discrepancies between DoubleClick Search and the engine accounts.

It is best practice to make changes directly in DoubleClick Search because those changes are automatically pushed out to the engines with API support (Google/MSN). However, in the event that you decide to build a new campaign or edit ad copy in the engine remember to run a sync from engine so the data can be tracked.

Managing dynamic URL parameters

When you first import your campaigns into DoubleClick Search, dynamic URL parameters originally on the landing page URL are automatically appended to the end of the clickserver URL directly on the engine. If you would like to add additional dynamic URL parameters, you can do so by adding them in the Keyword landing page column or to the end of the clickserver URL on the engine.

Refer to this article for more information on how to manage dynamic URL parameters and use macros in DoubleClick Search.

Tracking conversions in "other engines"

For tools that DoubleClick Search does not have an API connection with (e.g. Facebook, adMarketplace), you can traffic out clickserver URLs as landing pages for those engines for tracking conversions. Although you will not be able to acquire performance data (clicks, impressions, cost, etc), using this functionality in DoubleClick Search will not only track, but also de-duplicate conversions between the engine accounts and DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) using existing floodlight tags.

Refer to this article for more information on how to create objects in an "Other engine" account.


The DoubleClick Search reporting widget is located on every screen within an advertiser and can be accessed simply by clicking on the Download button.

Setting filters and views

In DoubleClick Search, you can customize columns, sort data and create filters for reporting on specific objects. Once you have the view that you desire, you have two options for preserving the view for future.

  • Copy the URL string in the browser (easy to send to others who have access to the account)
  • Save the view so that you can access it without having to bookmark the URL
    • Saved Custom report views are visible by all users who have access to the DoubleClick Search account

Using keyword labels

You can create and apply multiple labels to keywords to add another dimension to reporting. For example, you can label certain keywords as your "top performers" or "seasonal" and run reports just against those keywords. Labels are universal across all engine accounts so you can identify keywords that may be competing with each other.

Refer to this article for more information on how to create and manage labels.

Analyzing conversion and visit reports

Two advanced reports available in DoubleClick Search include the Conversions report and the Visits report, both of which are accessible by selecting their respective checkboxes under Include types when downloading a report.

Conversion reports provide a breakdown of each individual conversion, including the keyword that triggered the conversion and the date of the click that led to the conversion. This report can be helpful when determining appropriate lookback windows for tracking conversions.

Visit reports are similar to a search query report, where the report provides details on each click, including the keyword that was triggered and the actual search term. This report can be helpful when determining match types and negative keywords.

Refer to this article for more information on how to generate and analyze these types of reports.

Bid Optimization

DoubleClick Search provides bid optimization tools for position and conversion goals. These bid tools operate at a keyword level by defining a goal and setting minimum and maximum CPC bids for the respective keyword, providing more control on goal setting and spend.

Naming bid strategies

When creating a bid strategy, it is important to have a descriptive naming convention. This will facilitate campaign management and reporting.

For example, say you are creating a bid strategy with the following parameters:

  • Engine = Google
  • Type = CPA
  • Target CPA = $10
  • Position = 1-2.5

Suggested naming conversion: "Google CPA $10 Pos 1-2.5"

Applying bid strategies to multiple keywords

Once you have defined the parameters for the bid strategy, you can apply the strategy to particular keywords for the selected engine. Applying a bid strategy can be completed in the user interface or via a bulk sheet. The bulk sheet method is very effective when applying the bid strategy to multiple keywords across the engine.

To apply a bid strategy using a bulk sheet, you can download a keyword report with Editable Columns (for re-upload). You can then populate the Bid strategy name, Min strat bid and Max strat bid columns for the keywords. After populating the specific fields, you can upload the bulk sheet back in to DoubleClick Search.

Analyzing bid performance

There are a number of methods in DoubleClick Search to measure the effectiveness of a bid strategy. Using bid strategy specific columns, you can quickly understand which keywords are performing well and those that are not so you can make adjustments to your bid parameters. These types of indicators include whether your keywords are being constrained by the min/max bids or how far they are from the target goals. A default view, Bid strategy performance, adds a subset of these columns for you to get started.

You also have the ability to download a keyword's bid history, which can be particularly helpful if you are using bid strategies on top performing keywords. The bid history report will outline changes to the bids either by the user or by DoubleClick Search, as well as provide information on the bid strategy's status.