Welcome to the help center for Search Ads 360, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the Search Ads 360 product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

Switch conversion bid strategies to target value-based formula columns

Migrate formula-weighted conversion strategies

Starting in April 2022, Search Ads 360 will begin optional support for automated creation of value-based bid strategies to replace your existing formula-weighted conversions bid strategies. Please plan to review the created value-based bid strategies/budget plans ahead of activation. 

Once you have migrated your campaigns to value-based conversion strategies, you will no longer be able to create strategies targeting formula-weighted conversions columns.

Support for conversion bid strategies that target formula-weighted conversions may sunset sooner than July, 2022. Customers who are not currently using this feature should activate using value-based bid strategies.

Special cases: Budget bid strategies

Starting in May 2022, Search Ads 360 will begin optional support for automated creation of value-based budget plans to replace your existing formula-weighted conversions budget plans. The value-based budget plans will be effective at the start of the next plan cadence. For example, if you are using monthly plans, your plan for the following month (June) will be set as value-based. Exclusions may apply: If you’re using a non-monthly plan, reach out to your account representative for more details.

Starting in July 2022, Search Ads 360 will no longer support conversion bid strategies that target formula-weighted conversions. Any remaining formula-weighted conversion budget plans will automatically be migrated to value-based at the start of the next plan cadence.

Formula-weighted conversion bid strategies aim to maximize the number of conversions at a targeted cost per action (CPA). For example, if conversions originating on a specific page - say, Review Cart - are particularly valuable, you might have created a formula that assigns those conversions a weight of 4; conversions originating from another page may have a weight of 1, .25, or nothing. Each action from your Review Cart page will be recorded as 4 actions - four times as valuable as actions from the other pages. The example below describes a formula that assigns weights to Floodlight activities (tagA, tagB, tagC). With a weighting of 2 , tagB is twice as valuable as tagA but only half as valuable as tagC.

Weighted_conversions = tagA + 2*tagB + 4*tagC

Formula-weighted conversion bid strategies let you set the relative value of certain actions. This is useful when seeking to maximize the number of conversions at a targeted cost per action (CPA). However, conversion-based bidding systems are not explicitly designed to optimize for differences in relative value.

Value-based bid strategies (target ROAS or Max Revenue Budget bid strategies) have been intentionally designed to maximize value by explicitly modeling the relative value between different conversion actions.

Therefore, starting in July 2022, Search Ads 360 will no longer support formula-weighted conversion bid strategies. Instead, advertisers should update their campaigns to use value-based conversion bid strategies (target ROAS or Max Revenue Budget bid strategies) that provide the same or better performance. Starting in April 2022, Search Ads 360 will automatically create those strategies for you.

Value-based bid strategies can target a formula column that assigns specific values to conversion actions, based on their relative value to your business. In the example below, each action from tagB is worth $20, which is twice the value of tagA but only half that of tagC.

value_based = 10*to_money(tagA) + 20*to_money(tagB) + 40*to_money(tagC)

While conversion-based bid strategies (target CPA or Max Conversions Budget bid strategies) assume all conversions have the same value, value-based tROAS strategies are explicitly designed to model the relative value between conversions, and use this information to maximize overall value at a specified ROAS target. 

You can effectively replicate your weighted conversion strategy by ensuring that the relative values between conversions are the same as their weighted conversions formula column equivalent.

Migrate campaigns to the new value-based conversion bid strategy

Once you have migrated your campaigns to value-based conversion strategies, you will no longer be able to create strategies targeting formula-weighted conversions columns.

Starting in April 2022, Search Ads 360 will automatically create new value-based bid strategies and formula columns, based on your existing weighted formula columns.

To view these new columns:

  1. Click the Columns button in the toolbar above the performance summary graph.
    The column selection tool appears.
  2. Under the Available columns header, click Formula columns.
    A list of your existing formula columns appears. Your new formula column is listed as [previous column name] (value-based).

To find your new bid strategy:

  1. Navigate to an advertiser. 
  2. In the left menu, click Bid Strategies.

Your new bid strategy is listed as [previous strategy name] (value-based).

To migrate a campaign to the new value-based bidding strategy:

Google Ads Auction-time bidding: Google Ads recommends reporting conversion values for 4+ weeks before using value-based bidding. Therefore, if your bid strategies are enabled to use auction-time-bidding, Search Ads 360 will pre-train Google Ads value-bidding systems by configuring default values in Google Ads conversion action settings (based on the new value-based formula columns).
 
After four weeks, when the pre-training is complete, Search Ads 360 will create new bid strategies for you.
 
Creating and using your own value-based conversion bid strategies before training is complete may result in undesired initial volatility, so you should wait until the strategies are created for you. 
  1. Navigate to an advertiser.
  2. In the left menu, click Bid Strategies.
  3. Navigate to one of the new bid strategies, and then click the Campaigns tab.
  4. Select one or more campaigns.
  5. Click Edit, and then click Change bid strategy.

Under New bid strategy, select the new bid strategy.

Monitor performance

After transitioning to a new strategy, it's a good practice to actively monitor performance, adjusting targets and budgets as necessary.

For example, if you see that a campaign is not getting enough conversions on a specific conversion type, you can increase the value of that conversion action, relative to the others. 

If you want to reproduce exactly your previous weighted conversion formula, you can do so by updating values to mirror the weights you had previously assigned. For example, if your lowest targeted CPA is $100, the weighted conversion formula 0.25*tagA + 0.5*tagB + tagC + 2*tagD is functionally equivalent to value_based = 10*to_money(tagA) + 20*to_money(tagB) + 40*to_money(tagC) + 80*to_money(tagD).

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