When Google announced Smart Bidding Strategies in 2016, clients and agencies alike were hesitant to hand Google full control of pay-per-click (PPC) campaign management – and with good reason. Although the auto bidding strategies were supposed to yield superior results, for most of our clients, we continued to outperform the Google algorithm by using manual bidding and optimization techniques acquired through years of PPC campaign management experience.
To Google’s credit, the company has continued to heavily invest in improving the algorithms used in its Smart Bidding Strategies and has also rolled out a variety of bidding strategies with different performance goals, seasonality adjustments for smart bidding, and enhanced bid strategy reporting.
With these advances in automation, the agency role in PPC management is also shifting in a few important ways:
1 Agencies Are More Strategic
At True Interactive, we have seen the value in using smart bidding strategies for many of our clients. But it is important to note that it is not a “set-it and forget-It” approach when managing PPC campaigns using auto bidding. In fact, we need to remain very involved in managing these campaigns. Although the smart bidding strategies have removed some time-intensive tasks such as manually changing keyword bids, we are spending more time on understanding clients’ business goals and finding strategic solutions to help achieve them.
Understanding the KPIs most important to our clients helps us determine the best bidding strategies to use to reach those goals. Google offers bidding solutions focused on maximizing conversions, achieving a target cost per acquisition, maximizing clicks, or optimizing for impression share to name a few. Each of these bid strategies will yield very different results. Setting a target cost per acquisition that is too low can throttle traffic and limit search volume, while maximizing conversions may result in dramatically higher cost per clicks and more spend. We have also seen huge swings in performance when changing campaign daily budgets, hurting overall results for days (and in some cases weeks) following the changes. By playing a more strategic role in understanding our clients’ business goals, we are a more effective partner in managing bidding strategies.
2 Agencies Apply Deeper Specialty Skills and Knowledge
Understanding the nuances of the smart bidding strategies is key to achieving strong results. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to smart bidding strategies. At True Interactive, we work closely with our clients to ensure we set up their PPC campaigns for maximum success. The campaign structure plays a key role as does determining the appropriate bidding strategy. Our team is committed to closely monitoring performance so that we can be proactive in responding to changes in key metrics. And because automated bidding strategies have removed the need for manual keyword bid changes, we have more time to focus on strategic changes such as ad copy testing, campaign experiments, landing page tests, customized reporting dashboards, testing different bid strategies, or modifying existing ones based on performance and using Google Analytics to better understand full funnel results. As a result, we apply more of our deep specialty skills and knowledge. Working in tandem with clients’ marketing teams ensures we are all working towards the same business goals and using our experience to help achieve maximum results.
Contact True Interactive
If you are looking for a partner dedicated to helping you reach your business goals, we would love to work together. Contact True Interactive to get the conversation started.