Auction-time bidding in Search Ads 360 bid strategies

About Shopping campaigns and auction-time bidding

Google Ads Shopping campaigns (also known as standard Shopping campaigns) and Google Ads Smart Shopping campaigns can be included in auction-time bid strategies. However, there a few things to keep in mind when doing so.

Using auction-time bidding with Google Ads Shopping and Smart Shopping campaigns

We recommend including a standard Google Ads Shopping or Smart Shopping campaign in an auction-time bid strategy only when the bid strategy has a goal of Target ROAS. Shopping and Smart Shopping campaigns in budget bid strategies and Shopping campaigns in bid strategies targeting CPA are not compatible with auction-time bidding. Consequently, these types of Shopping campaigns will continue to run on intraday bidding.

In addition, auction-time bid strategies must be aligned to the default conversion goal in order for Shopping campaigns that are included in the bid strategy to be enabled for auction-time bidding. Shopping campaigns in auction-time bid strategies that are not aligned to the default conversion goal will continue to run on intraday bidding if placed in an auction-time enabled bid strategy.

While Google Ads Shopping and Smart Shopping campaigns must be in Search Ads 360 bid strategies that are aligned to the default conversion goal, Google Ads Shopping and Smart Shopping campaigns can (optionally) be placed in auction-time bid strategies that use the default conversion goal and either a Google Ads "Store Visit" goal, a Google Ads "Store Visit Value" goal, or a Google Ads "Store Sales" goal.

If you choose this option, the default conversion goal and the "Store Visit," "Store Visit Value," or "Store Sales" goal will appear as a separate goal from the default conversion goal in Search Ads 360. In addition, a separate conversion action set from the default conversion goal will appear in Google Ads. Although these bid strategy goals will be displayed as not being aligned to the default conversion goal, Google Ads Shopping campaigns within the bid strategy will continue to use auction-time bidding as expected.

Note that the Google Ads "New Customer Value" Shopping conversion goal is not supported by Search Ads 360 auction-time bidding for Shopping campaigns at this time. Any value set in Google Ads for this goal will not be visible in Search Ads 360, and performance might not be optimal.

For more information, see About conversion goals in Shopping campaigns.

 Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns

To use auction-time bidding to target Search Ads 360 conversions for Shopping campaigns, all Shopping campaigns in an advertiser are required to use the Search Ads 360 default conversion goal, which will also be used in the Google Ads "Conversions" column. You can control this with the Advertiser setting "Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns". 

By default, the "Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns" setting is turned off. When "Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns" is off, the conversion sources of Google Ads Shopping campaigns related to your Search Ads 360 advertiser will not be changed. In addition, Shopping campaigns will not be eligible to use auction-time bidding, even if the Shopping campaigns are included in Search Ads 360 auction-time bid strategies.

When the "Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns" setting is turned on, all Google Ads Shopping campaigns managed by the Search Ads 360 advertiser will have their Google Ads conversion source updated to match the Search Ads 360 default conversion goal. After turning on this setting, any Google Ads conversion-based bid strategies will start targeting the Search Ads 360 default conversion goal. Before you turn on this setting, we recommend that you ensure your Search Ads 360 default conversion goal is set in a way that corresponds to your Shopping needs.

After you turn on "Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns", for best initial performance, we recommend waiting one week before adding Shopping campaigns to auction-time bid strategies. If Shopping campaigns are already in auction-time bid strategies, we recommend removing them and adding the campaigns back one week later for best initial performance.

If "Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns" is turned off after being turned on, any Shopping campaigns in auction-time bid strategies will be moved to intraday bidding. We recommend that you always check the conversion source of Shopping campaigns after changing the "Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns" setting.

Turn on conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns

  1. Navigate to an advertiser.
    Steps for navigating to an advertiser
    1. Click the navigation bar to display navigation options.

    2. In the "Agency" list, click on the agency that contains the advertiser. You can search for an agency by name or scroll through the list.

    3. In the "Advertiser" list, click on the advertiser.

    4. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the advertiser page, which contains data for all of the advertiser’s engine accounts.

  2. In the left navigation panel, click Advertiser settings.
  3. Click Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns to expand the section.
  4. Toggle the Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns switch to On.
  5. Click Save.

Auction-time bidding with bid strategy constraints

Auction-time bidding "Minimum bid" and "Maximum bid" constraints don't apply to Google Ads Shopping or Google Ads Smart Shopping campaigns.

Adaptive campaigns

Campaign adaptive options are supported with auction-time bidding. However, because auction-time bidding doesn't bid toward target groups, we don't recommend adding adaptive Shopping campaigns to auction-time bid strategies.

Default conversion goal and impact on Google Ads

Shopping campaigns must be in a bid strategy that is:

Shopping campaigns not meeting the above criteria will use intraday bidding.

When the default conversion goal is configured, Search Ads 360 applies the conversion action set associated with the default conversion goal to all Google Ads campaigns managed by Search Ads 360 that are not using Google Ads full conversion-based automated bidding on text/search campaigns. Search Ads 360 will update all Shopping campaigns (even those in Shopping full conversion-based autobidding).

As soon as a default conversion goal is set in the advertiser, each Shopping campaign in the advertiser will align its conversion target with the default conversion goal (regardless of the bid strategy that it is in). The bid strategies themselves will not change conversion goals.

After you enable Conversion mapping for Shopping campaigns, we recommend that you manually sync all Google Ads engines related to the advertiser. This ensures that all Shopping campaigns are properly synced with Search Ads 360 and that other settings between Search Ads 360 and the Google Ads engine are consistent. This is important because Google Ads does the actual serving of your ads.

Example

Problem:

A default conversion goal has been set for an advertiser. The advertiser has 3 Shopping campaigns in 3 different bid strategies. 

Bid strategy 1 is a ROAS, auction-time enabled bid strategy that is set to use a conversion source different than the default conversion goal.

Bid strategy 2 is a CPA bid strategy running on intraday bidding that is set to use the default conversion goal as the conversion source.

Bid strategy 3 is a ROAS, auction-time strategy that is set to use the default conversion goal as the conversion source.

How default conversion goal and shopping campaigns interact with one another.

 

Solution:

To make sure Shopping and Smart Shopping campaigns are running on auction-time bidding, ensure that your bid strategy is:

1. A Target ROAS bid strategy

2. Enabled for auction-time bidding

3. Aligned to the default conversion goal

Different conversion source

Unlike with other kinds of campaigns, auction-time bidding enabled Shopping campaigns must use the default conversion goal. You can't select a different conversion target for Shopping campaigns. However, auction-time bid strategies can target the default conversion goal and either "Store Visits" or "Store Visit Value" when using Shopping campaigns.

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