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Is Smart Bidding fostering a lackadaisical approach to account structuring?

30-second summary:

  • Advertisers should be using Smart Bidding in combination with a sound campaign and ad group structuring, to get the maximum results from their Google Ads budgets.
  • Using proper account structure opens all kinds of additional benefits that would not be available by simply bucketing various keywords all together in one campaign.
  • Moving forward, Advertisers should reflect on their own account structures and determine whether they are set up to maximize the potential of Smart Bidding.
  • If advertisers start by considering their goals, evaluating the levers and opportunities that exist at the campaign and ad group levels, and then take the approach that fits them, they will empower Smart Bidding to be even more effective in delivering powerful results.

What is Smart Bidding? Google Smart Bidding, a widely known series of automated bidding options, is available in Google Ads and set at the campaign level. Each of the options utilizes various pieces of information at the point of auction (auction-time bidding) to determine how aggressively to bid.

If the algorithm believes that the auction is likely to be valuable to the advertiser, then it will be more aggressive in getting the ad to serve.

Conversely, if the information that Google has about the consumer, as well as the goals of the advertiser, dictate that the two are not likely to align, then Google will not pursue that auction as aggressively.

Ultimately, Smart Bidding is a great option for advertisers looking to leverage the power of Google’s information to achieve scalable results. So, what’s the catch? Why are we seeing such a lackadaisical approach when it comes to advertiser account structuring?

Optimized bidding with Google Ad budgets

What we have found in doing dozens of opportunity assessments, is that far too many advertisers will fill a campaign with keywords that vary thematically, as well as from a match type standpoint, put smart bidding in place, and expect that Google’s algorithm will take care of the rest.

Although auction-time bidding does the work of instantly optimizing bidding against whichever keywords are in that campaign, that doesn’t mean that proper structure should be abandoned entirely.

Instead, advertisers should be using Smart Bidding in combination with a sound campaign and ad group structuring, to get the maximum results from their Google Ads budgets.

There are two likely explanations for why advertisers take this approach.

This first is that the advertiser has total faith in the Google algorithm and trusts that no matter what keywords go into what ad groups or campaigns, that Google will identify the right auctions to place their ads. Because of this, advertisers, therefore, assume those results will meet their set goals.

The second likely explanation is that the advertiser simply doesn’t want to take the time to build out a more robust structure. This is a short-sided viewpoint, however. In the end, Smart Bidding will not reach its full potential without a touch of personalization by the advertiser.

Balancing the pros and cons of time investments

Having total faith in the Google algorithm would make sense if the advertisers were only using a handful of broad match terms to cast a wide net to grab traffic that Smart Bidding can optimize against.

Instead, what we usually see is some combination of modified broad, phrase and exact match keywords. Building an exact match is an acknowledgment by the advertiser that smart bidding, on its own, is not the best solution.

With regard to the second likely explanation, everyone can appreciate that time is a scarce commodity. Advertisers need to weigh how much time they are investing into any endeavor, against how beneficial it will be to their program.

In this case, investing in a proper structure will save more time, in the long run, over the “time- saving” approach that so many may be taking.

Using proper account structure opens all kinds of additional benefits that would not be available by simply bucketing various keywords all together in one campaign.

This includes getting greater control over the budget, control over which ads serve with specific queries, improved quality scores, and improved analysis.

Does Smart Bidding work?

During the past couple of years, we have seen substantial improvements when advertisers combine sound structure with Google Smart Bidding.

For instance, we recently took on a new client that was focused on driving leads through Google Ads. Previously, they had utilized multiple match types within the same Non-Brand campaigns and used CPC (enhanced) bidding with a focus on optimizing for conversions.

We separated the match types into different campaigns and utilized Google Maximize Conversions Smart Bidding, and MoM conversions increased 640%.

Separating the match types allowed us to ensure that we maximized budget against our best performing match type, and also allowed us to utilize cross-match negatives so that our exact match terms got as much traffic as possible, without having to compete with any other match types that might also be eligible for the same traffic.

Moving forward, Advertisers should reflect on their own account structures and determine whether they are set up to maximize the potential of Smart Bidding.

They should be asking themselves whether they are doing what is best for performance, or whether they are just doing what is easiest. To be clear, the right account structure will vary from advertiser to advertiser. Over segmenting a structure can be just as big of a problem as under developing one.

If advertisers start by considering their goals, evaluating the levers and opportunities that exist at the campaign and ad group levels, and then take the approach that fits them, they will empower Smart Bidding to be even more effective in delivering powerful results.

David Grow is a Search Advisor at Goodway Group. He has 10 years’ experience in digital media, across multiple verticals and tactics, with a focus on ecommerce and Search Engine Marketing.

The post Is Smart Bidding fostering a lackadaisical approach to account structuring? appeared first on ClickZ.

Reblogged 1 month ago from www.clickz.com

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