June 30, 2020
How to Use Portfolio Smart Bidding Strategies in Google Ads
You’re looking to increase ad spend – maybe account performance is at or above your profitability goals, or perhaps you’re headed into the holiday season and you want to spend more when your customers are shopping.
You’re probably hoping to spend more on paid search and get a similar return on your investment. Seems reasonable, right? Not quite. Scaling ad spend is more complicated than just increasing bids in the top-performing areas of your account. In fact, this strategy will almost never yield proportional returns.
In reality, you’re probably already targeting the most relevant and targeted keywords in your brand and top-performing non-brand campaigns. That’s why you’ve seen success in the first place. Don’t fret—there are always opportunities for responsible growth. You just have to get creative.
Here are three ways to grow your paid search account while maintaining profitability:
Expanding keyword coverage is the best way to grow an account while maintaining similar efficiency, but only if you do it correctly. You may be tempted to immediately roll out new keyword sets if you notice gaps in your keyword coverage. However, if you’re not careful, you can waste a lot of money by over-bidding on keywords that don’t convert, or adding keywords that don’t get searched. RLSA broad match campaigns can tell you what’s being searched, and what search terms convert most effectively.
If you run an ecommerce business and you don’t currently have at least one shopping campaign in your account, stop reading right now and set one up. Shopping ads typically have a higher CTR than text ads, and Shopping ads are getting more impressions on the SERP now that right-hand text ads are gone.
The Google Display Network has near-infinite reach, covering 90%+ of the internet. The GDN is typically used to drive top-of-funnel brand awareness, but it can also drive direct conversions with the right strategy.
YouTube is another channel with massive reach. YouTube advertising is an effective tool for advertisers with robust video content, and can massively expand your brand reach. If you do have robust video content, then you should at least test YouTube remarketing, which can in some cases perform even better than GDN remarketing.
If you want to grow, then sticking to a strict efficiency goal will limit your growth options. Consider the following (simplified) example:
In this example, spend nearly doubles from June to July, and revenue increases 50%. As a result, profit increased 35%, but at the same time, ROAS dipped 23% from a 3.94 to 3.03. Even though the account was less efficient from a ROAS perspective, it was also 35% more profitable.
This example is simplified, and profitability is usually more complex than subtracting ad spend from total revenue. However, when looking to increase revenue, you will usually need to reevaluate your goals, especially if those goals are tied to an efficiency-based KPI.
Finally, practice patience. If a new campaign isn’t performing as well as you hoped, don’t give up too quickly. Instead, try dropping your bids, adding negative keywords, and allowing the campaign to run until there’s enough data to make a meaningful decision.