Machine learning is not just for Sci-Fi movies anymore. Google, not Skynet, is one of the global leaders in machine learning development. Across most of their products, if not all, you will find some sort of automated program analyzing data that identifies patterns and makes decisions with as little human intervention as possible. These algorithms factor in a wider range of parameters that impact performance than any one person or even a team of people could figure out in a timely manner.
Yes, machine learning is well on its way to evolutionizing or maybe revolutionizing the world. Would you like to know how to use this technology to your advantage and not only save money but make money with Google Ads? Then allow me to introduce you to Smart Bidding.
What is Smart Bidding?
Smart Bidding is a subset of bid strategies that are automated to utilize machine learning for optimizing conversions or conversion value in every ad auction — a feature known as “auction-time bidding.” It factors in millions of signal values like type of device and physical location then determines the optimal bid. It will continue to refine the analytical models of your conversion performance at different bid levels to systematically improve the efficiency of your budget. Since its release in May 2017, the Smart Bidding strategies consist of Target CPA, Target ROAS, and Enhanced CPC:
- Target CPA sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-action (CPA) you set.
- Target ROAS sets bids based on a target return on ad spend (ROAS).
- Enhanced CPC (ECPC) adjusts your manual bids for clicks that seem more or less likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website.
Why Use Smart Bidding
You receive four extremely powerful assets that help save you time and improve your ad performance:
- Advanced Machine Learning is algorithms that learn from data at a vast scale to make more accurate predictions.
- Wide Range of Contextual Signals is a wide range of signals are factored into your bid optimizations.
- Flexible Performance Controls set performance targets and customize settings to your unique business goals.
- Transparent Performance Reporting provides tools that give you deeper insight into your bidding performance and help you quickly troubleshoot any issues.
Smart Bidding Case Studies
Secret Escapes, an exclusive members-only travel club, tested out Smart Bidding and managed to cut costs per lead by 38%. They also managed a 23% better click-through rate contributing to 65% more conversions based on their case study.
Sage, a multinational enterprise software company, boosted conversions by 53% and decreased cost per acquisition by 26% after switching from manual bidding to Google Ads Smart Bidding. As their case study explains, they are now using automated bidding for 98% of their accounts.
Is Smart Bidding Right for Your Business?
Whether your business is large or small, Smart Bidding works successfully for all. In order to maximize your results and give machine learning algorithms enough data to make informed bidding decisions, you must feed it data. For instance, Google recommends at least 30 conversions in the past 30 days before using the Target CPA smart bidding strategy. For the Target ROAS bid strategy, they recommend 50 conversions. Now Smart Bidding is learning what conversions matter to your business the most. You are tracking your conversions, aren’t you? Obviosuly, there are many different ways to track conversions.
What’s New to Smart Bidding?
On May 14th Anthony Chavez, Director of Product Management for Google Ads, introduced a few new innovations for Smart Bidding during Google Marketing Live 2019. As the video shows, he announced these four new features:
- Maximize conversion value optimizes for the most conversion value within a specified budget.
- Campaign-level conversions choose the conversion action you want to use for optimization at the campaign level such as in-store visit conversions for search campaigns.
- Conversion value rules differentiate conversion values based on characteristics like location, device and audience.
- Seasonality adjustments schedules an appropriate adjustment if you know that your conversion rates will spike to upcoming promotions or seasons.
Get Started with Google Ads Smart Bidding
Even though some features are not yet fully available, you can start with an automated bidding strategy today. If you feel you require our expertise as Google Partners, give us a call and we will schedule a Google Ads strategy session to discuss your business goals.