08.02.21

How to automate paid search

Abbie Dunne

Senior Paid Search Manager

Whether you’re new to pay per click (PPC) or trying to understand whether your current strategy is right for your business, this article will shed some light on how to take an automated approach that’s right for you.

First and most importantly, most of these bid strategies need conversion tracking in place to optimise, so ensure this is in place and working correctly before proceeding with your set up. Additionally, those wishing to use auction-time bidding enabled SA360 bid strategies will require data-driven attribution to be in place, you can find more information on this at the end of the article.

What automation is available?

Max. conversions

Designed to maximise your conversions, whether a newsletter sign up or form fill, within your given budget.

Who’s it for: Those looking to maximise conversions within a given budget, without efficiency constraints e.g. return on ad spend (ROAS), cost per action (CPA)

KPI: Conversions and spend

Limitations: None

Target ROAS

If efficiency of ad spend is what you’re looking for from revenue driving activity, then this is the automation for you. The advertiser is in complete control of how much budget is spent to drive revenue. For example, if your ROAS target is set to two then you are telling the bid strategy to drive £2 revenue for every £1 spent, and that where this is not met to optimise your bids for efficiency.

Who’s it for: Those who are more cautious about budget and value the efficiency of their activity.

KPI: Revenue and efficiency

Limitations: 15 conversions in the last 30 days, budget must be freely available

Max. conversion value

Like maximise conversions, this bid strategy maximises the revenue volume driven by your campaign budget.

Who’s it for: Those looking to maximise conversion value within a given budget, without efficiency constraints e.g. ROAS, CPA

KPI: Revenue and spend

Limitations: None

Target ERS (effective revenue share)

If you work towards profitability, then target ERS will allow you to target the percentage of revenue that is captured by your campaign budget. Therefore, like target ROAS this bid strategy is about achieving efficiency from your ad spend.

Who’s it for: Those who are more cautious about budget and value the efficiency of their activity.

KPI: Revenue and efficiency

Limitations: None known

Target CPA

Much like the target ROAS bid strategy, the target CPA bid strategy allows you to set constraints on how much money you would like to pay on one conversion. For example, if your CPA target is set at £5, you are telling the strategy that for every £5 spent that one conversion must be driven. Google Ads will recommend a target CPA for you based on that campaigns previous performance, however for new campaigns do ensure that the CPA target is a reasonable representation of how much that conversion is worth to your business being careful that you don’t go too aggressively.

Who’s it for: Those who are more cautious about budget and value the efficiency of their activity.

KPI: Conversions and efficiency

Limitations: Budget must be freely available

Target spend (with or without ROAS constraints)

If you have a monthly budget that you want to use to its last penny as well as drive the maximum amount of conversions or revenue within this, with the option of targeting the most efficient return then this bid strategy is a winner. Proceed with caution however, as this bid strategy’s main KPI is spending your monthly budget where conversions occur so make sure you choose your conversions wisely.  Any remaining manual optimisations you can make while on automation, such as campaign budget optimisations, are out of your control e.g. if you track product sales and newsletter sign-ups then target only the most important conversion.

Who’s it for: Those looking to drive the maximum volume of their given KPI within a monthly spend target.

KPI: Meeting your monthly budget and conversions

Limitations: None

Target impression share

Pick this bid strategy if you’re looking to increase the share of impressions you are eligible to receive among your keywords. For example, if you want to target 100% of impressions for your brand terms, then this is possible. You’ll notice the limitation is that budget must be freely available, and this is important. Targeting high impression shares comes with competition and with ads spends and advertisers continuing to increase, you risk high spend and CPC’s as you battle for the top positions.

Who’s it for: Those looking to increase awareness of their brand.

KPI: Market share

Limitations: Budget must be freely available

Max. clicks

Designed to optimise your CPC to maximise click volumes to your website within your campaign budget. As with target impression share bid strategies, it is good to set yourself a spend target before you begin this campaign, otherwise you risk endlessly increasing budgets to find your ceiling which for some keywords may take lots of time and money.

Who’s it for: Those looking to increase website traffic regardless of conversions or revenue.

KPI: Website traffic

Limitations: Budget must be freely available

 

Finally, most SA360 and all Google Ads bid strategies are compatible with auction-time bidding, to learn more about this feature and why you need it you can read more here.

To understand more on how we can be a growth partner for your paid search campaigns through automation, contact results@icrossing.co.uk.

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