Search Ads 360 bid strategies adjust bids to achieve the most efficient spend for a specific advertising goal. By default, a Search Ads 360 bid strategy determines the value of a keyword or other biddable item based on how often it leads to the last click before a conversion. But focusing only on the last click could cause a bid strategy to undervalue biddable items that typically play a role higher up in the funnel.
Instead of focusing only on the last click, a bid strategy can use an attribution model, which distributes credit for a conversion across all of the activity in a conversion funnel. By distributing credit, the bid strategy can set bids based on the relative value each biddable item contributes to a conversion.
In other words, an attribution model enables a bid strategy to be even more efficient by setting optimal bids for upper funnel clicks as well as clicks that lead directly to conversions.Example of attribution models and bid strategies
For example, consider this funnel:
A customer searches on cars, clicks on a search ad, does some research, and leaves.
Later, the customer searches on family cars and clicks another search ad, but is not ready to buy.
Finally, the customer searches for minivans and requests a quote, a conversion that is tracked by a Floodlight activity named Request a quote.
A bid strategy that uses the default last click attribution model would give all credit for the Request a quote conversion to the minivans keyword and ignore the role that the cars and family cars keywords played higher up in the funnel. This doesn't necessarily mean that the bid strategy will increase bidding for the minivans keyword: a bid strategy attempts to optimize the performance of the entire portfolio of biddable items it manages. In some cases, this means increasing bids for stronger performing keywords. In other cases, it could lead to increased bids for lesser performing keywords when it appears that such an increase could improve overall performance.
A bid strategy that uses a different attribution model would distribute the credit differently. For example, the first paid search click attribution model would give all credit to the cars keyword, and thus focus on optimizing bids for keywords higher up in the funnel.
Data-driven or pre-defined attribution models
If you want a Search Ads 360 bid strategy to find the optimal bids for clicks all along the conversion funnel, select a data-driven attribution model created in Search Ads 360, or a pre-defined attribution model imported from Campaign Manager.
Data-driven attribution models learn how to distribute credit based on actual interactions that are driven by your search campaigns. Pre-defined attribution models distribute credit based on a static set of rules, such as linear (equal credit for all interactions), time decay (most heavily credits the interactions that occurred nearest to the time of conversion), and so on.
Only for Conversions, Revenue, and Advanced targeting bid strategies
You can select an attribution model only for bid strategies that meet the following criteria:
The Serach Ads 360 bid strategy's goal is set to: Conversions, Revenue, or Advanced targeting
The bid strategy's conversion source is one or more Floodlight activities, custom Floodlight columns, or a formula column that contains custom Floodlight columns.
Notes about conversion sources and attribution models
- Only some types of conversion sources and bid adjustments are supported with attribution models. See which types of attribution models can be applied to which types of conversions and bid adjustments.
- If you select a formula column as a conversion source in a bid strategy, and if the formula includes a Floodlight activity column, the bid strategy will automatically use the Floodlight column’s attribution model. (If the formula includes more than one Floodlight column, you'll only be able to use the column in a bid strategy if all of the Floodlight columns use the same attribution model.) Learn more about formula columns that can be used in a bid strategy.
- Bid strategies that use Google Analytics as the conversion source always use last-click attribution.
Ready to get started?
- Create a data-driven attribution model in Search Ads 360 or add a pre-defined attribution model (requires agency manager or advertiser manager permissions).
- Give Search Ads 360 time to generate the data-driven attribution model or sync the pre-defined model.
- Create a Search Ads 360 bid strategy and select an attribution model.