Timeline for setting up other verticals

The best practice is to start out using basic features with default options, and then over time use more sophisticated features that you customize to meet your exact business needs. Keep in mind that these timelines are just suggestions based on experience with other new DS advertisers. Feel free to perform the tasks in the order that suits your business goals.




Build up your platform confidence

DS feature: DS Fundamentals and Certification

Take the DoubleClick Search Fundamentals eLearning, then show what you’ve learned by getting your certificate of completion. Learn more.


Month 1

Campaign management

Set up manual keyword campaigns

DS feature: Manual keyword campaigns

You can either create manual keyword campaigns in DS or sync existing campaigns in from engines.

Automate campaign management

DS features:

  • Rules-based actions
  • Scheduled edits

Automated rules change settings in specific campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, or product targets based on criteria you specify. You schedule a time for the rule to run, set up the conditions, and specify the action if the conditions are met. For example, a rule can run daily at 1 A.M. and increase all bids where an ad’s average position was worse than 3 the previous days. Learn more.

You can schedule bulk edits of campaigns, ad groups, ads or keywords to occur at a specific time or on a recurring basis. This allows you to keep your regular working hours and still have DS make needed changes any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For example, you can:

  • Activate ads or keywords at midnight to coincide with the launch of a promotion.
  • Change ad copy to coincide with the beginning of summer.
  • Lower bids on keywords during weekends or overnight, and raise them during week days.

Learn more.



Report outside the traditional campaign structure

DS feature: Labels

Labels make it possible to gain more insight by managing and report on campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords outside the traditional campaign structure. Instead of downloading performance data for campaigns and re-grouping the data manually in Excel, create and apply labels in DS.

Report and optimize based on data from analytics tools

If you're using Google Analytics to track activity on your site, you can send the data collected by Google Analytics to DS. DS reports can show the number and value of Google Analytics ecommerce transactions and conversions (goals), as well as attribute those transactions and conversions to keywords, ads, and other items in DS. You can also create bid strategies that use the data to optimize bids. Learn more.

Add intelligence to reports

DS feature: Formula columns

A formula column applies spreadsheet-like functions to reporting data in DS. When you need to apply your own calculations, such as weighting conversions based on their business value, instead of downloading the data and using spreadsheet functions, you can create a formula column in DS.

Streamline reporting

DS features:

  • Saved views
  • Budget pacing reports
  • Executive reports
  • Saved views: You can add and remove data from standard reports, apply filters and segments, and then save the report as a saved view. Then you can easily return to the saved view at any time. Learn more.
  • Budget pacing reports: If you have weekly, monthly, or quarterly budgets for groups of campaigns, use budget pacing reports to automatically track how the campaigns are pacing to budget without having to extrapolate in Excel.
  • Executive reports: When it's time to present performance metrics to your clients or executives, instead of manually downloading detailed data and distilling it into useful summaries, create an executive report. A DS executive report displays your DS metrics in terms of revenue, costs, trends, and other high-level concepts, all formatted as charts and tables. You can share a link to the report, or download it for printing and sharing. Learn more.
Include offline conversions

DS features:

  • Integration with call tracking services
  • Upload offline conversions with bulksheets
  • Upload offline conversions with the DS API

If some of your conversions start online and finish offline (such as in a call center), DS will automatically have data about the online portion. If you want to provide data about the offline portion—to enhance your reports, for use in automated rules, or for optimization in a bid strategy—you canu se a call-tracking service that automatically uploads conversions, or upload conversions using the DoubleClick Search API or bulksheets. Learn more.


Bid optimization

Get started with automated bid optimization

DS feature: Bid strategies for manual keyword campaigns

DS bid strategies automatically adjust bids to achieve a particular goal. When set up correctly, they can maximize return on investment (ROI), find hidden opportunities, and reduce the time needed to monitor and change bids manually.

During month 1, start analyzing your historical performance data in preparation for using bid strategies for your manual keyword campaigns. Learn more.


Month 2


Gain insight into upper funnel activity

DS feature: Attribution models

An attribution model determines how to distribute credit for a conversion across all of the activity in a conversion funnel. By default, DS reports give all credit to the last click that occurred before the conversion. If you want a Floodlight activity column, Google Analytics activity column, or DS bid strategy to give some amount of credit to clicks on paid search ads higher up in the funnel, you can use an alternate attribution model. Learn more.

Import DS data into other automated systems

DS feature: Reporting API

DS provides an API (application programming interface) that a computer program can use to automate the download of reporting data from DS. You can combine the downloaded data with data you already have about your products, customers, and business goals (from a CRM system, for example) to produce big-picture reporting. Learn more.


Bid optimization

Monitor and adjust bid strategy performance

DS feature: Bid strategies

After running a bid strategy for 3 or 4 weeks, use DS reports and bid strategy forecasts to answer the question, "Could I get better results with different settings or keywords?" Make small adjustments to your target amounts, if needed. Check the forecast again after a few days. Continue making small changes once every week or two until you've reached your ideal balance of cost and conversions. Learn more.


Month 3

Bid optimization

Evaluate bid strategy results

DS feature: Bid strategies

For the bid strategies that you launched in month 1 and adjusted in month 2, if you're satisfied that the bid strategy is performing as well as possible given your marketing goal, keywords, and business constraints, optionally run experiments to answer the question, "Does the bid strategy perform better than manual bidding or some other automated bid system?"  Learn more.


Month 4


Re-engage customers who have expressed an interest in your product

DS feature: Search to display remarketing

DS, AdWords display campaigns, and DoubleClick Bid Manager can work together to target display ads to audiences who have clicked on your paid search ads. This display remarketing from search helps you re-engage customers who have expressed an interest in your product or service by showing them relevant display ads on the Google Display Network (GDN) or across ad exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager. Learn more.


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