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When it comes to managing SEM campaigns, especially within big accounts, you get to deal with a lot of keywords and you need to be sure that you’re using the right tools to avoid wasting time and money. In this article, we want to help you in that by telling you about DoubleClick Search (DS) Bid Strategies.

What are DoubleClick Search Bid Strategies?

DS bid strategies optimize your advertising spend across the supported search engine accounts. They monitor the performance of keywords and adjust bids to achieve different kind of goals, according to what you want to achieve:

– The highest number of conversions or the greatest amount of revenue: if you use Floodlight activities or Google Analytics to track activity on your site, you can create Smart Bidding strategies that find the optimal bids for maximizing the number of conversions or the revenue generated on your site at a targeted cost per action (CPA), effective revenue share (ERS), or return on advertising spend (ROAS).

– The best ranking position: this goal adjusts bids so that your ads appear in a specific position that you target. It’s often used for branding campaigns in which brand exposure is a top priority.

– The highest number of clicks your campaign budgets allow: this goal finds the optimal bids for driving the most traffic to your site. Note that this bid strategy doesn’t consider the actions that users take once they’re on your website. Instead, this bid strategy simply focuses on driving traffic.

– Monthly spend: if you have a fixed monthly budget and you want to make sure you spend that exact amount this bid strategy allows you to adjust bids to spend your budget exactly and evenly each month while maximizing the conversions you specify.

Applying DS Bid Strategies: case study

Let’s say we want to optimize our spending, that is lowering our average CPC in this case, and we want to focus on those keywords that are converting by reducing budget allocation to those that are not contributing in revenue generation.

First thing to bear in mind is that we need a certain portfolio for our bid strategy to work properly. That’s why we took into consideration all our keywords.

Before we create bid strategies, it is important to set parameters for them to be instructed on what to do and how to change the bids. Therefore, we need to identify the keywords that converted within a certain amount of time and differentiate them from the other ones. As we also want to be sure that our average CPC decreases, we decided to split the non-converting keywords into two separate groups according to their current CPC.

The fundamental DS feature that helps us doing this is Labels.

Once we’re done labelling our portfolio of keywords, we can start creating our bid strategies by setting the different goals we want to achieve. In our case both revenue and CPC. These two metrics can also be combined with other factors, like for instance the average position we want to maintain. Careful though not to set too many items otherwise at some point your bid strategy could end up being constrained.

This happened to us as you can see from the following image:

You may think, what if we add new keywords to our campaigns? Well, you just need to set a few rules in order for them to be automatically labelled by the system and to be applied a certain bid strategy to. 😉

DS Bid Strategies Health

About one or two weeks after you add a portfolio of keywords to a DS bid strategy, you’re ready to check in on the bid strategy’s health and performance on the bid strategy’s Overview tab.

This tab includes different sections that together provide an at-a-glance view of a bid strategy’s efficiency. The Overview includes:

– A health panel that indicates whether a bid strategy is operating efficiently;
– A performance summary graph shows the bid strategy’s performance over a specified time range;
– A color-coded timeline that shows when an issue that impacts the health of a bid strategy starts and ends. Hover on the timeline to display a summary of the issue;
– A scorecard that displays the bid strategy’s metrics such as average position, actions, cost, and total number of biddable items in the portfolio (keywords in the case we presented).

Results achieved with the Bid Strategies implementation

By comparing the period during which we applied Bid Strategies to our keywords with the previous one, we noticed that the KPI we considered improved notably.
The average CPC was 17% cheaper, going from $1.36 to $1.12, and the trend also indicates that there will be further improvement in the future.
This way, with the same budget spent, we have been able to get +20% in qualified traffic and we registered the same amount of transactions. Nevertheless, we improved the overall account profitability by increasing the revenue by +30%.

As you can see, thanks to DS Bid Strategies, you can achieve remarkable results, even in the short run.

If you want to learn more about the advantages of using the DoubleClick Search platform, stay tuned, there’s a lot more to come!

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