Specify Search Ads 360 bid strategy conversions

Use a custom Floodlight dimension in a Search Ads 360 bid strategy

A custom dimension enables Search Ads 360 to report on specific types of conversions that you identify using custom Floodlight variables. After you set up a custom dimension, you can create a Search Ads 360 bid strategy that finds the most efficient bids for maximizing the specific conversions you've identified while targeting a specific CPA.

Example: bid strategy 

On a web page that generates insurance quotes, you use a Floodlight tag to track the number of quotes that are generated. In addition to tracking the number of quotes, you categorize quotes by value: high (house and car insurance) , medium (car only), or low (bike insurance). To set up a bid strategy that finds the best bids for high, medium, and low value quotes, do the following:

  1. Add a custom Floodlight variable to the Floodlight tag. The additional variable reports "high", "medium", or "low" for each conversion.
  2. Create custom Floodlight columns that report on each type of quote. That is, you create the following columns:
    • c:"quote-high" - reports the number of "high" quotes
    • c:"quote-medium" - reports "medium" quotes
    • c:"quote-low" -  reports "low" quotes.
  3. Create a formula column that assigns a weighted value to your insurance quotes. For example, you create this formula:
    (5 * c:"quote-high") + (2 * c:"quote-medium") + c:"quote-low"
  4. Create a bid strategy that targets the formula column and specifies a $10 CPA goal. 

To achieve the $10 CPA, the bid strategy uses the formula and bids the most for keywords such as “house and car insurance” because it maps to “high” insurance quotes. The bid strategy will bid less for keywords such as “car only insurance” because it maps to “medium” insurance quotes. The bid strategy will bid the least for keywords such as “bike insurance”, because it maps to “low” insurance quotes.

Overview of steps for setting up Floodlight dimensions in a bid strategy

Here's an overview of the steps for maximizing efficiency for conversions identified by custom Floodlight dimensions (follow the links in each step for details):

  1. Set up custom Floodlight dimensions in Search Ads 360.
  2. For each custom dimension, create a Floodlight activity column that reports conversions identified by the dimension.
  3. Create a formula column that weights values for each custom dimension.
  4. Create and apply a bid strategy that uses the weighted formula column.

Create a Floodlight activity column that reports conversions identified by a specific dimension

  1. Navigate to an advertiser or lower scope. Then click any tab.
    For example, click the Campaigns tab.

  2. Click the Columns button in the toolbar above the performance summary graph.
    The column selection tool appears.

  3. Under Available columns, click ▸Custom conversions, then click Floodlight.
    A list of your existing Floodlight columns appears.

  4. Click +New column.

  5. Name the column.

  6. Click Select Floodlight activities and then select one or more Floodlight activities that are set up to report custom dimensions
    If you accidentally include Floodlight activities that don't report custom dimensions, that's OK: the filters you set up later will prevent data reported by those activities from appearing in the column.

  7. From the Metric list, select ActionsTransactions, or Revenue, depending on the type of conversion the selected Floodlight activities report.
    Other metrics can't be used in bid strategies.

  8. Under Custom dimension filter, click + Add Filter and do the following:

    1. Select the custom dimension in the dropdown list.
    2. In the filter criteria list, don't change the Equals criteria.
      The column counts only conversions for which the custom dimension exactly matches one or more of the values you enter. (The match is not case sensitive.)

      The Contains criteria can't be used in bid strategies.

    3. Enter one or more values to match. The filter is not case sensitive.
      Separate each value with | (vertical bar). For example:
      Northeast|Central

      In the image shown below,  the column reports only those Actions for which the Floodlight tag specified "Hi" or "hi" in the "Customer value" dimension.

      Specify criteria for matching dimension data.

    4. If you set up a segmentation group, an additional + Add Filter list appears just below the filter you created. Click + Add Filter to further filter the column with an additional custom dimension from the group.
      An additional "Add filter" button appears if you

      If the additional + Add Filter button doesn't appear below the filter you created, make sure you've set up a segmentation group. Depending on how much Floodlight data you advertiser generates, you may need to wait a day or two after setting up the segmentation group before you can create additional filters. 

  9. Optional. Click the arrow  next to Attribution model to apply a different model to the data.

    The Cross-environment conversions check box isn't available with custom dimensions. 
  10. Click Save.
    Search Ads 360 automatically adds the column to your reporting table. You can remove the column from the reporting table if you don't want it to appear in your report.

  11. Click Apply.
  12. Repeat these steps to create other columns that report the other variables.

Can't edit custom columns that are in use

When you add a custom column—such as a formula column or a Floodlight activity column—to a bid strategy or conversion goal, you can't edit or remove the column as long as it's being used. Here are some options if you want to make changes to a custom column:

Bid strategy

  • Create a new custom column that contains the edits you want. Then use the new column in your reports, or edit the bid strategy to use the new column instead of the old column.
  • If want to remove a custom column but the bid strategy is also removed, follow these steps:
    • Find the removed bid strategy and click on it. 
    • After you've opened the bid strategy, click the edit button to navigate to its settings.
    • Click on Target.
    • Now, either change the conversion source, or the referenced column.

Conversion goal 

Conversion goals can't be edited. If you want to use a different custom column in a conversion goal, create a new goal and select the custom column as the conversion source. Then you can use the conversion goal in campaigns and bid strategy opportunities. You can't select a different conversion goal in a budget plan.

Custom columns that include custom dimensions aren't supported in conversion goals.

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