Evaluating the success of a Search Ads 360 bid strategy typically involves answering two broad questions:
- Is performance better than manual bidding (or other automated bidding systems)?
- Could you get better results with different settings (higher CPA, wider min/max bid range)?
While you may be tempted to start your evaluation by comparing a bid strategy's performance to manual bidding, it's best to start by understanding how your current settings affect performance, make adjustments if necessary, and wait for the adjustments to take effect. Otherwise, you're not really giving bid strategies a fair chance.
In addition, because search engine marketing is directly affected from one day to the next by unpredictable forces—such as competitors' actions, news events, and so on—success should be understood of terms of performance over a period of weeks.
So be prepared that a realistic evaluation of bid strategy performance requires at least several weeks.
Here's an overview of the timeline and recommended steps to take when evaluating a bid strategy:
|Week 1||Do nothing in the first week after you launch a Search Ads 360 bid strategy.
During the first two weeks, Search Ads 360 needs time to observe performance, adjust bids, and respond to those adjustments. In addition, if the bid strategy contains new keywords without performance history, Search Ads 360 will engage in startup learning behavior for those keywords.
|Week 2||Check if the bid strategy constraints you specified (such as min and max bids) are slowing optimization. Adjust the constraints if your business goals allow.
Avoid changing the target amount (such as the CPA amount) at this time. Just address any issues that arise from constraints.
|Week 4||Use Search Ads 360 reports and bid strategy forecasts to answer the question, "Could I get better results with different settings or keywords?"
Make small adjustments to your target amounts, if needed. Check the forecast again after a few days. Continue making small changes once every week or two until you've reached your ideal balance of cost and conversions.
Once you're satisfied that the Search Ads 360 bid strategy is performing as well as possible given your marketing goal, keywords, and business constraints, optionally run experiments to answer the question, "Does the Search Ads 360 bid strategy perform better than manual bidding or some other automated bid system?"