How to use Google’s automated bidding feature

Google’s automated bidding features are a powerful tool for optimizing ad spend and achieving maximum results for ecommerce brands. 

These features utilize machine learning algorithms to analyze user behavior and adjust bids in real-time, ensuring that ads are shown to the right people at the right time, and at the right price. 

Here are the key steps to using Google’s automated bidding features to optimize your ad spend for maximum results, along with relevant examples from ecommerce brands.

Step 1: Set Your Campaign Goals

Before you can start using Google’s automated bidding features, you need to establish clear campaign goals. These goals will help guide your bidding strategy and ensure that your ads are optimized for the right metrics. Some common campaign goals for ecommerce brands include increasing sales, generating leads, and driving website traffic.

Example: An ecommerce brand wants to increase sales of a new product line. Their campaign goal is to achieve a 10% increase in sales compared to the previous month.

Step 2: Choose the Right Bidding Strategy

Once you have established your campaign goals, it’s time to choose the right bidding strategy. Google offers several bidding strategies to choose from, including Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition), Target ROAS (return-on-ad-spend), and Maximize Conversions.

Target CPA is a bidding strategy that automatically sets bids to help you achieve a specific cost-per-acquisition (CPA) goal. This strategy works well for ecommerce brands that want to maximize their return on investment (ROI) by keeping their costs low.

Target ROAS is a bidding strategy that automatically sets bids to help you achieve a specific return on ad spend (ROAS) goal. This strategy works well for ecommerce brands that have a clear understanding of their profit margins and want to maximize their revenue.

Maximize Conversions is a bidding strategy that automatically sets bids to help you get the most conversions for your budget. This strategy works well for ecommerce brands that want to drive website traffic and generate leads.

Example: The ecommerce brand in our previous example decides to use the Target CPA bidding strategy to achieve their 10% increase in sales goal.

Step 3: Set Your Bid Limits

Once you have chosen your bidding strategy, it’s time to set your bid limits. Bid limits are the maximum and minimum amounts that you are willing to pay for each click or conversion. These limits ensure that you stay within your budget and don’t overspend on bids.

Example: The ecommerce brand sets a maximum bid limit of $2 per click and a minimum bid limit of $1 per click for their Target CPA bidding strategy.

Step 4: Enable Conversion Tracking

To use Google’s automated bidding features, you need to enable conversion tracking. Conversion tracking allows you to track the actions that users take on your website after clicking on your ads, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. This information is used by Google’s algorithms to optimize your bids and ensure that your ads are shown to users who are more likely to convert.

Example: The ecommerce brand sets up conversion tracking on their website to track purchases made after clicking on their ads.

Step 5: Implement Smart Bidding Strategies

Google’s automated bidding features include several smart bidding strategies that use machine learning to optimize your bids in real-time. These strategies include:

  • Seasonality adjustments: adjusts your bids based on seasonal trends or events that impact user behavior.
  • Target impression share: helps you reach a specific percentage of impressions for your ads in a specific location, ad group, or campaign.
  • Target search page location: helps you show your ads on the top of the search results page or anywhere on the search results page.
  • Target outranking share: helps you outrank a specific competitor in the search results page.

Example: The ecommerce brand implements the seasonality adjustments smart bidding strategy to adjust their bids during the holiday season when their top-selling product is in high demand.

Step 6: Monitor and Adjust Your Bids

Once your campaign is up and running, it’s important to monitor your bids and optimize your campaign regularly. You can monitor your campaign using Google Ads’ reporting tools, such as the Campaigns, Ad Groups, and Keywords tabs, which provide insights into the performance of your ads. You can also set up custom alerts to receive notifications when certain performance metrics fall below or exceed a certain threshold.

To optimize your campaign, you can use the insights from your reporting tools to adjust your bidding strategy, bid limits, and smart bidding strategies. For example, if you notice that your ads are not performing well in a specific location or on a certain device, you can adjust your bidding strategy or smart bidding strategy to target that location or device more effectively.

It’s important to remember that Google’s automated bidding features work best when you have enough data to train the machine learning algorithms. Therefore, it’s important to give your campaigns enough time to gather data and adjust your bidding strategy accordingly.

Example: The ecommerce brand notices that their ads are performing well on mobile devices but not on desktop devices. They adjust their bidding strategy to increase bids for mobile devices and decrease bids for desktop devices.

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