Just want to drop in some tips here about improving smart bidding performance on Google ads. No spam or tricks —
We all know that bid automation is one of the biggest potential time-savers.
But some of us still won’t see the results we were hoping for even after using that.
Sometimes it could be that bid automation isn’t the problem but that we didn’t give Google all the information needed to make smarter decisions.
The point is, you can never go hands-off with any kind of automation. Instead, what you should do is limit the time you are involved.
Optimizing conversion value should be a priority in a more automated PPC world, and there are 3 options Google offers advertisers.
Option 1: Offline Conversion Import (OCI)
Offline Conversion Tracking is the original way to tweak conversion data after something has already happened on your site.
It was primarily built for lead gen advertisers. But it’s surprisingly useful for eCommerce advertisers too. The idea is to capture a click identifier (called the GCLID or Google Click ID) and hold on to that in your own system until you’re ready to report that something desirable happened from that click.
At that time, you can send Google the GCLID, the conversion, and a value, and they are then able to connect that with all the attributes of the click.
That means the Google machine learning system can then start to figure out if any patterns correlate with users who tend to take the desired actions.
If they notice many people from Germany convert and return high values for lower click costs (hence delivering high ROAS), then the automations may decide to try to get more clicks from Germany.
Option 2: Conversion Value Adjustments
This second option of adjusting conversions is generally less known but it’s actually an easier to implement a variation of OCI.
Rather than capturing and storing the GCLID, advertisers can add a transaction ID to their existing conversion tracking code from Google at the time of the initial conversion. Then they have 55 days to restate the value of that conversion.
The advertiser sells $100 worth of goods, but $40 of goods are returned by the consumer before the return window closes. The initially reported value of $100 can now be restated by telling Google the original transaction ID of that sale and the new value, in this case, $60 ($100 – $40 which was returned).
By doing this, Google’s automation may come to realize that people in Germany return more stuff than those in the UK and appropriately tweak its decision-making process to account for that factor.
Option 3: Conversion Value Rules (beta)
The last option to teach the machine about value is to deploy conversion value rules which are currently in beta testing from Google.
This is a less precise methodology because it doesn’t allow advertisers to tweak individual conversions. It does however allow advertisers to tweak conversion values based on some high-level attributes that they may have already correlated with desirable behaviors.
As in the previous example of buyers in Germany and the UK, they could boost their reported conversion values for users from the UK because they do fewer returns. Other attributes around which these rules can be built are device types and audiences.
Yeah, it’s a bit of a long read. But I hope it’s useful to you. And happy to answer any questions. 🙂