Best practices for setting up Search Ads 360 Smart Bidding strategies

Find campaigns to optimize

Search Ads 360 bid strategies

Search Ads 360 bid strategies are more effective over larger portfolios of keywords or product groups that share similar performance characteristics. So ideally, you can start with one or more campaigns that have similar historical performance and similar goals. For example, you may find that you can group campaigns into the following portfolios:

  • Campaigns that drive leads and are currently generating 30 to 80 conversions per week with a CPA ranging from $5 to $20. 
  • Campaigns that drive revenue and are currently generating $2,000 to $5,000 revenue per week with an ERS ranging from 10% to 40%.
  • Campaigns that drive leads and are currently generating Google Analytics session lengths between 1 and 6 minutes. 

Search Ads 360 provides a couple of options for finding campaigns to group into a portfolio:

  • Bid strategy opportunities: Search Ads 360 can automatically find campaigns that would see significant optimization benefits from switching to an ROI bid strategy (at historical efficiency rates). Learn more about bid strategy opportunities.

  • Campaign report with Floodlight metrics: A campaign report with Floodlight metrics shows historical performance, and from there you can manually find campaigns with conversion rates and similar ROI.

Viewing a campaign report

  1. Navigate to an engine account.
    Steps for navigating to an engine account
    1. In the left navigation panel, click All accounts.
      What if the left navigation pane isn't visible?

    2. Click the navigation bar to display navigation options.

    3. 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.

    4. In the "Advertiser" list, click on the advertiser that contains the engine account.

    5. In the "Account" list, click on the engine account.

    6. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the engine account page.

  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. From the date range selector that appears above the tabs, select Last 30 days.
  4. From the View list that appears below the Campaigns tab, select one of the following:
    • Actions if you'll be using the number of Floodlight conversions as a KPI
    • Sales if you'll use revenue tracked by Floodlight activities as a KPI
  5. In an Actions report, view the Cost/action column to see the average CPA.
  6. In a Sales report, view the ERS or ROAS columns to see the average ERS or ROAS.

You can now see the number of actions or the revenue that each campaign has contributed to your goal during the last 30 days.

Group the similar campaigns together. You'll end up applying separate bid strategies to each group.

Google Analytics KPIs

If you want to use Google Analytics data as your KPI instead of Floodlight data:

  1. Navigate to an engine account.
    Steps for navigating to an engine account
    1. In the left navigation panel, click All accounts.
      What if the left navigation pane isn't visible?

    2. Click the navigation bar to display navigation options.

    3. 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.

    4. In the "Advertiser" list, click on the advertiser that contains the engine account.

    5. In the "Account" list, click on the engine account.

    6. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the engine account page.

  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. From the date range selector that appears above the tabs, select Last 30 days.
  4. From the View list that appears below the Campaigns tab, select one of the following:
    • GA - Visits if you'll be using number of visits or session length as a KPI
    • GA - Conversions if you'll use goal completions or revenue as a KPI
  5. To see session length, add the GA avg session duration column.
  6. Click the column headings to sort the campaign table by KPI you're interested in.

Conversion history and volume

Bid strategies need at least 3 weeks of conversion data before they can optimize bids. Be sure that the majority of keywords or product groups in the portfolio you identify has been driving traffic to your conversions for at least 3 weeks.

If there's a significant difference between the time a click occurs and the time a conversion that is attributed to the click occurs (referred to as conversion delay), a bid strategy requires more time (3 weeks plus the conversion delay) to effectively optimize bids.  For example, if the average conversion delay for the portfolio is 2 weeks, the bid strategy will require 5 weeks of historical data to optimize bids.

In addition, you'll need more than 20 conversions per week for the bid strategy to be effective. If the conversions in your portfolio don't add up to at least 20 per week, try adding more campaigns or more conversions.

Can I scope down to specific ad groups or keywords?

Although it's possible to be more fine-grained and use bid strategies to manage specific ad groups, keywords, or other biddable items, bid strategies work better with larger portfolios. For example, if you put just 10 high-cost keywords into a bid strategy, there might not be much the bid strategy could do to improve performance. The larger the portfolio, the more trade-offs and hidden opportunities Search Ads 360 can find to improve overall performance.

When you're first setting up a bid strategy, it is highly recommended that you work at the campaign level, and err on the side of putting too many campaigns in the bid strategy. As you monitor the bid strategy's performance, you can add or remove campaigns, ad groups, or other biddable items.

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