Advertising automation is one of the most powerful solutions teams can use to navigate the identity crisis. Here, we break down what advertisers need to know.
In 2019, the paid search bidding process is more complicated than ever. Making accurate and optimized keyword bids is only the first step. There’s also a growing number of bid adjustment options you can utilize to improve the efficacy and efficiency of your campaigns. Automated Google PPC management appears to be the most comprehensive solution to take advantage of these benefits. Intelligent bid management is not only preferable to manual CPC calculations, but it’s also completely essential.
In general, automated bid management involves optimizing your cost-per-click (CPC) for marketing campaigns. This can be done on different advertising verticals, including PPC and display advertising. Automating the bid management process offers a number of benefits for advertisers. Here’s an overview of why every business needs intelligent PPC bid management today:
Google Ads is constantly introducing new dimensions that advertisers can use to optimize their campaigns. There’s dayparting, devices, geographic locations, demographics, audiences, and more. Within geotargeting, there are neighborhoods, zip codes, cities, regions, and states. With audience targeting there’s also remarketing, affinity audiences, in-market audiences, similar audiences, and more. You can use these dimensions for direct targeting or simply adjust bids to prioritize certain audiences and locations. To take full advantage of this, you could end up making more than 10,000 bids on a single account. This is only possible if you can keep up with data analysis and discover all these opportunities as they arise.
It doesn’t matter how many data scientists you have on your PPC team, or how much time/money you spend on bid adjustments - there’s no way to take full advantage of these data opportunities using manual bidding. Intelligent bid management uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to process large volumes of relevant bidding data.
A third-party bid management tool like QuanticMind by Centro is also uniquely positioned to utilize other important data to make more precise bidding decisions. Google relies solely on data from the search bid landscape and other Google properties to make bids. Our solution considers this and other relevant business data, such as:
Making full use of available data helps advertisers make more targeted bidding decisions to optimize their campaigns and beat the competition.
Google automated bidding and third-party bid management tools can make informed decisions faster than individual PPC managers ever could. And the truth is the bid landscape is constantly changing. Even if you make accurate bids based on the latest data insights, it will quickly become irrelevant because of changes in the bid landscape. Industry trends, seasonality, and competitor changes all impact how much you need to spend targeting keywords and audiences to reach your business goals.
Google bid management technology is able to quickly react to these market changes by analysing data inputs in real-time. It’s possible to make daily micro-changes to your bids to take full advantage of changes in competition, seasonality, and the market landscape. Some third-party bid management tools also have intelligent forecasting capabilities. This employs historical performance data, seasonality, and more to predict how bidding decisions will perform long-term.
Automated bidding isn’t just about maximizing campaign performance overall. Intelligent PPC bid management can help you make targeted changes to your strategy to work towards specific business goals.
Google Smart Bidding offers many different automated bid strategies:
Enhanced cost-per-click (CPC): Designed to help you increase conversions while staying in control of your keyword bids. This is available at the campaign, ad group, and keyword level.
Maximize Conversions: Allows you to maximize possible conversions within a set budget. Available at the campaign level.
Target cost-per-acquisition (CPA): Designed to help you get more conversions at your target CPA. Available in campaigns and ad groups.
Target return on ad spend (ROAS): Allows you to meet a target ROAS while valuing each conversion differently. Available at the campaign, ad group, or keyword level.
Maximize Clicks: Designed to increase the number of visitors to your site.
Target Impression Share: Automatically sets bids with the goal of showing your ad on the absolute top of the page, on the top of the page, or anywhere on the page of search results. Designed to increase ad visibility.
Target Search Page Location: Designed to help your ads show in one of the top positions in search results, increasing visibility in the process.
Target Outranking Share: Designed to help you beat competitor ad rank and increase ad visibility in search results.
Using the bid strategy that best aligns with your business goals allows you to make more specific optimizations to meet said goals. Some Google bid management platforms also allow you to target specific marketing goals at the account level instead of campaign level. This is called using a portfolio bidding strategy. Portfolio strategies are advantageous because they optimize keyword-level bids to reach overall marketing goals.
Using all valuable market data including competition and seasonality to make bidding decisions ensures you only spend what you need on specific keywords to reach your marketing goals. Improving keyword bids as well as dimension and audience targeting allows you to improve budget spend efficiency.
Say, for example, you want to allocate more of your budget targeting in-market audiences because they have a lower cost-per-conversion (CPC). How much should your bid adjustment be? 10%? 15%? 20%? To answer the question with manual CPC, you’d simply need to test out different bid adjustments to see which drives the best results with the least spend. You’ll have to spend some time spending your budget inefficiently in order to get the answer. And by the time you do, the market landscape may have changed entirely.
Google bid management technology uses AI and forecasting capabilities to figure out just how much you need to bid on specific keywords or audiences to reach your advertising goals. Using technology like this to reduce wasted ad spend frees up more of your budget that you can then reinvest in new keywords, ad groups, and campaigns.
Manual CPC bidding offers advertisers one main benefit: complete control over keyword bids and bid adjustments. But in the age of AI and automation, this benefit only serves to leave advertisers behind their competitors. The bid management process is too complicated, with too many options to accurately and efficiently handle manually. Meanwhile, the competitive landscape is changing so quickly that even the most talented PPC teams could never keep up with these opportunities as they arise. But intelligent Google bid management technology can.
Beyond making quick bidding decisions, Google bid management technology has a number of additional benefits as well. Accurate forecasting and automating time-consuming tasks frees up more time and budget for PPC managers to work on other important initiatives, such as identifying new audiences or growth opportunities.
As more advertisers continue to adopt intelligent PPC bid management solutions, it will only become more essential for success in 2019 and beyond. Google continues to roll out and promote automated solutions for advertisers. But there are also a number of third-party bid management tools that can give PPC managers the extra edge they need to beat out the competition, even when everyone starts using automated bidding in the years to come.