Budget and bid management can be tricky in complex accounts, especially when the account is constrained by budget with a large number of campaigns. In this scenario, setting up automated bidding strategies at the individual campaign level could potentially limit CPCs and keep an advertiser from bidding competitively, which could subsequently limit lead volume and revenue.

Google offers a number of free tools that can help you effectively manage budgets and bids across multiple budget constrained campaigns, and with the right strategy, you can drive major performance improvements even with limited budgets. One such strategy is using a portfolio strategy with Google’s automation features.

What is a portfolio strategy?

A portfolio strategy combines campaigns with the same KPIs and Goals into a shared budget with a shared portfolio bidding strategy. This allows you to achieve the maximum leads/revenue/etc within a goal budget, all while targeting a goal CPA/ROAS/etc. Basically, bucketing campaigns into bidding portfolios will provide Google’s algorithm a larger dataset, which in theory means more accurate bidding and better results.

Portfolio bidding is not just a good idea for budget-constrained campaigns; it can be effectively applied across multiple campaigns that are not budget constrained as well. For example, if you have a number of campaigns that all have low conversion volume over the past 30 days, you can combine all such campaigns into a bidding portfolio in order to leverage data from all campaigns as one.

Here’s a simple portfolio strategy that is easy to set up within Google:

  1. Identify all campaigns with the same KPI and goal: bucket campaigns by goal, region, product, etc.
  2. Create Shared Budgets: Set overall budget target for bucketed campaigns. This budget will be shared across all campaigns within the shared budget.
  3. Create Bidding Portfolio: Assign automated bidding portfolios, designed to achieve your goal (e.g. maximize conversions, target CPA, etc.).

This strategy will be limited depending on how an advertiser segments budget internally (e.g. by region, channel, product, etc). If you choose to use a portfolio bidding strategy, you still have the ability to manually adjust other bid modifiers outside of just keyword bids (e.g. location, device, Time of Day, etc). Google’s bidding algorithms in theory should account for these factors and adjust bids accordingly, but in some situations you may want a bit more control. For example, if you have a poor onsite mobile experience that converts very poorly, it may be in your best interest to negate mobile devices entirely while running a portfolio bidding strategy.

Below are some results that we were able to generate by applying a portfolio bidding strategy to a B2B lead gen client’s non-brand campaigns that were constrained by budget:

*Seasonality and budget adjustments considered

For more information on Google automated bidding, check out our Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Smart Bidding blog post, or contact our team for help.