Specify Search Ads 360 bid strategy conversions

About setting device targets in a Search Ads 360 bid strategy

Use a formula column to set device-specific bid adjustments
You can't directly specify device targets in a Search Ads 360 bid strategy. That is, you can't set a $5 CPA for mobile devices, a $10 CPA for desktops, and a $1 CPA to target tablets. Instead, you can create a formula column to calculate a conversion or revenue target that is derived from the sum of per device targets.

If you want a Search Ads 360 bid strategy to set or recommend bid adjustments for mobile devices, desktops, and tablets, you can "tell" the bid strategy to, for example, set higher bid adjustments for mobile devices and set lower bid adjustments for desktops and tablets if these conversions are less valuable to you.

In Search Ads 360, this type of device-specific targeting is done by specifying a formula column as the conversion source in a bid strategy. In the formula, you define a multiplier (also known as a weight) for each device type, thereby specifying a conversion or revenue target for each device.

A bid strategy with a weighted formula column functions the same as any other bid strategy. It evaluates the performance history of conversion sources and then manages bids and bid adjustments to optimize the performance of the portfolio and achieve the target. Learn more about using a formula column in a Search Ads 360 bid strategy.

Set device targets in a formula column

To indicate a value for each type of device in a formula column, use the for_device_type (type) function in the formula.

The format of the equation is as follows:
(Column_1.for_device_type(“Mobile”) * m_1) + (Column_1.for_device_type(“Desktop”) * m_2) + (Column_1.for_device_type(“Tablet”) * m_3)

where

  • Column_1 is a Floodlight or Google Analytics column.
    We recommend using the same column in each part of the equation when setting device-specific targets. For example Column_1 would be the same Revenue column or the same GA transactions column. 
  • m is a positive number that weights the device type and sets the target.
If the formula column doesn't include all three device types, a warning is displayed in the column editor.

Use only Floodlight or Google Analytics columns in the formula

You can use any pre-defined or custom Floodlight column that reports actions, transactions, or revenue with any attribution model. Floodlight columns can also include cross-environment conversions or report on custom Floodlight variables.

The formula column could also include Google Analytics activity columns that report conversions or revenue:

  • Google Analytics transactions 
  • Google Analytics revenue
  • Google Analytics goal completions
  • Google Analytics goal value

Examples

CPA device targets 

You want a bid strategy with a conversions goal to set a higher bid adjustment for mobile devices. The formula column you create might be as follows: 

         (Actions.for_device_type (“Mobile”) * 5.5
                                      +
         (Actions.for_device_type (“Desktop”) * 1)
                                      +
         (Actions.for_device_type (“Tablet”) * 1)

 

Revenue device targets 

You want to target tablets and achieve a certain ROAS:

        (c:"Demo Revenue".for_device_type (“Mobile”) * 1
                                      +
         (c:"Demo Revenue".for_device_type (“Desktop”) * 1)
                                      +
         (c:"Demo Revenue".for_device_type (“Tablet”) * 7.50)

To get a better idea of how to weight each type of device, segment a campaign or ad group report by device to review the performance of each device. 

Define a target in a Search Ads 360 bid strategy

As with any Search Ads 360 bid strategy with a conversions or revenue goal,  you specify a CPA or ROAS (or ERS) target when configuring the bid strategy.

Bid strategy settings. Target section with CPA target set to 1.00 circled.

The difference between the target for a device bid strategy and other bid strategies is how you decide upon the target CPA or ROAS. Because the conversion source is a formula column that weights each device type, you should use the device target formula to calculate the target CPA or ROAS target in the bid strategy.  Otherwise, your target could be inefficient for the devices.

How to calculate a CPA target for a device-specific bid strategy

Continuing the earlier example with formula column that weights an Actions metric for each device. To determine the CPA target, you would create and add a cost/[device-target formulacolumn to a campaigns or ad groups report that you want to apply the bid strategy to. In this example, the formula column that calculates the CPA target is named Avg CPA.

For example:

Avg CPA = $17,260 / [(Actions.for_device_type ("Mobile") *5.5) + (Actions.for_device_type (“Desktop”) * 1) +    (Actions.for_device_type (“Tablet”) * 1)]

 Then you'd set the Avg CPA value shown in the scorecard as the CPA target in the bid strategy.

  1. Navigate to an advertiser.

    Steps for navigating to an advertiser
    1. Click the navigation bar to display navigation options.

    2. 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.

    3. In the "Advertiser" list, click on the advertiser.

    4. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the advertiser page, which contains data for all of the advertiser’s engine accounts.

  2. In the left navigation panel, click All accounts.

  3. Click the Campaigns tab.

  4. Select the check boxes of the campaigns that you want or filter the report to display only the campaigns that you want to include in a Search Ads 360 bid strategy.
  5. Create a formula column with device-specific weighting as described earlier in this article.
  6. Create another formula column that divides the cost by the device-target formula and add the column to the report.
  7. Enter the Avg CPA reported in the summary card as the bid strategy target CPA.

 

How to calculate a ROAS target for a device-specific bid strategy

For a bid strategy that targets revenue, you would calculate the ROAS target by creating and adding a device-target formula/cost column to the campaigns or ad groups report.

To calculate a desired ERS, you would would create and add a device-target formula/cost column.

Once you save a bid strategy, you can change the target, as well select a different conversion source. You can't edit the formula column itself, as long as it's used by the bid strategy.

Bid strategy requirements for device targets

You can specify a device-specific formula column in bid strategies with a conversions, revenue, or advanced targeting goal. 

Even though a device-weighted formula column is the conversion source in a bid strategy, the bid strategy can be configured to only recommend device bid adjustments instead of set them.

The bid strategy isn't required to set keyword bids either. The bid strategy can be configured to set bid adjustments only.

Changes to conversion source allowed

You can change the conversion source in Search Ads 360 bid strategy even after it has been applied to campaigns and ad groups. Previously, you couldn't edit the conversion source in a bid strategy.

If you select a different conversion source in a bid strategy, it might enter learning mode, and recalibrate based on the new data.

 

  1. Navigate to a bid strategy.

    Steps for navigating to a bid strategy
    1. Navigate to an advertiser.

    2. In the left navigation panel, click Bid strategies.

    3. Click a bid strategy name from the reporting table.

      Alternatively, you can do the following:

      1. Click the more icon Expander (or more) icon at the end of the navigation bar to display navigation options.

      2. In the Agency list, click on the agency that contains the bid strategy. You can search for an agency by name or scroll through the list.

      3. In the Advertiser list, click on the advertiser that contains the bid strategy.

      4. In the Bid strategy list, click on the bid strategy.

      5. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the bid strategy page.

  2. Select the check box for a conversions or revenue bid strategy.

  3. Click Edit ▼, and then click Edit details.

  4. Click Next.

  5. Next to Conversion source. click the ▼ (arrow) and then click Formula columns.

  6. Next to Select a formula column, click the ▼ (arrow) and then click the formula column.

  7. Optionally change other settings in the bid strategy, and then click Save bid strategy.

 

Device-specific formula column changes in change history

Changes to a bid strategy's conversion source (or other bid strategy settings) are logged in Change details column the change history report.

For example, if you change the conversion source in a bid strategy with a CPA target from selected Floodlight conversions to a formula column, the change history report might include the following:

Advertiser bid strategy changed

CPA target changed from Selected actions to Formula column 000001

  1. Navigate to an advertiser.

    Steps for navigating to an advertiser
    1. Click the navigation bar to display navigation options.

    2. 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.

    3. In the "Advertiser" list, click on the advertiser.

    4. Click Apply or press the Enter key.

    Search Ads 360 displays the advertiser page, which contains data for all of the advertiser’s engine accounts.

  2. In the left navigation panel, click Change history to display the list of changes made in the account.

  3. Filter the list to display changes to bid strategy settings:

    1. Click the Filter button.

    2. Click +Attribute and select Change type.

    3. Next to number selected, click the arrow to display the list.

    4. Click Clear to remove any selections.

    5. Select the Bid strategy settings changed check box, and then click OK.

    6. Click Apply filters.

 

Device target formula columns not supported with some Search Ads 360 features

Device-specific formula columns can't be used with the following Search Ads 360 features:

 

Next steps

 

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