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Flexible bid strategy with ACE

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# 1
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Hi everybody,

 

I would like to test the different bidding strategies in the same campaigns, so I thought I would duplicate all my Ad Groups in these campaigns and set up an Adwords Experiment with a 50/50 split/control. The original duplicated Ad Groups will be control group (lets say Max. CPC) and the other Ad Group would be CPA targeting.

Well, and as you guys probably know Google doesn't allow flexible bid strategies in combination with ACE. But that leaves me with the question how I can test the different bidding strategies without creating campaigns or Ad Groups that are competiting against each together. 

If anybody has some advice or could share his own experiences, that would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance,
Bram 

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Bram K
September 2015

Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi Bram,

 

With the US I would strongly recommend splitting your Campaigns up to address separate geographical areas.  I usually split the US by time zone (by which I mean targeting the individual states for each zone - I lump Alaska and Hawaii into PDT as their contribution to a Campaign is usually low).  Apart from anything else it makes managing the Campaign slightly easier, but it also allows you some greater control over regional variations.  The East and West coast can be quite different in their attitudes and buying patterns.

 

If you did this, it would allow you to do the same experiment - try CPA for one Campaign, CPC for another, etc.

 

As for the data, even with a relatively high number of conversions per day, it's the days that matter.  Optimisation takes into Account daily and hourly buying patterns so you'll need at least a full week for that data to be available and I'd still say a minimum of two.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

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Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Hi Bram,

Creating a duplicate ad groups with different bid strategy isn't a good practice, as it would cause your ads to compete with each other.

Instead, you can switch to a bid strategy, monitor the performance for a couple of weeks and compare the statistics with previous time period that had the original bid strategy.

Hope that helps!
Sumanth
Sumanth Sridhar

Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

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# 3
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Hi Sumanth,

Thanks for your reply.

I know it wouldn't be a good practice, that's why I tried doing it through Adwords Experiments, but that's unfortunetly not possible. So the only proper way to test is just to switch the bid strategy for a couple of weeks? I find that a bit risky to be honest

Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
Your concern is quite understandable, Bram!

Switching between bid strategies may cause performance fluctuations which isn't good. However, if you're looking for results of one bid strategy Vs other for the same keywords, they would certainly compete. Going by the minimum damage theory, you can choose to test bid strategies that wouldn't create much fluctuations. For instance: first vs top page location or maximize clicks vs search page location. As long as you're comparing strategies that don't consider conversion data, fluctuations shouldn't be that high or low.

Cheers,
Sumanth
Sumanth Sridhar

Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi Bram,

 

What sort of location targeting are you using?  In the past I've experimented with different strategies targeted simply at different regions of the US; so for example, I'd try CPA for East Coast States and Target ROAS for the West Coast.  Although performance will vary across regions, it's likely that what works for one area will work for another, so that's one option.  

 

Alternatively you could try different strategies for different products within the same category; for example men's shoes vs women's shoes.  Again, although the two may vary in performance, the "winning" strategy in such a test has a good chance of working for the other.

 

Whatever you do, ensure you give these strategies enough data and enough time to perform.  Two weeks is almost certainly not long enough unless you have a very high volume of conversions.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
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I get what you’re saying Sumanth, but I’m looking for strategies that can (significantly) improve my results, so I think not taking any risk in this way would not get me to the point where I want to get. Maybe interesting for the context, right now I’m using Max. CPC and I’m considering to switch to target CPA. What would you advice be? Just try it, or do you think the results could be drastically influenced?

@Jon; I’m using targeting per country and I’m mainly active in LATAM America. And I actually already tried your suggestion only a bit different. I started testing in the smaller countries to see what performs better and then expend to the bigger countries (CPC to CPA), however now I am at point I have to decide what to with the United States, which is roughly 70% of my total spend a day. Therefore I’m a bit hesitant to do so.

One of the big advantages is that I only sell one product and all the countries show a very similar response to landing pages and banners and therefore it’s (usually!) safe to assume what works in the smaller ones also works in the bigger ones.

And if you say make sure you have enough data; I’m wondering what you would call enough data? I’m in lead generation and the costs differ between $0.10 and $1.00 on average with an average of 6.000 leads a day. Would you call that a very high volume of conversion??
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Bram K
September 2015

Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi Bram,

 

With the US I would strongly recommend splitting your Campaigns up to address separate geographical areas.  I usually split the US by time zone (by which I mean targeting the individual states for each zone - I lump Alaska and Hawaii into PDT as their contribution to a Campaign is usually low).  Apart from anything else it makes managing the Campaign slightly easier, but it also allows you some greater control over regional variations.  The East and West coast can be quite different in their attitudes and buying patterns.

 

If you did this, it would allow you to do the same experiment - try CPA for one Campaign, CPC for another, etc.

 

As for the data, even with a relatively high number of conversions per day, it's the days that matter.  Optimisation takes into Account daily and hourly buying patterns so you'll need at least a full week for that data to be available and I'd still say a minimum of two.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Jon_Gritton wrote:

Hi Bram,

 

What sort of location targeting are you using?  In the past I've experimented with different strategies targeted simply at different regions of the US; so for example, I'd try CPA for East Coast States and Target ROAS for the West Coast.  Although performance will vary across regions, it's likely that what works for one area will work for another, so that's one option.

 

Jon


Great idea, Jon.

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Re: Flexible bid strategy with ACE

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# 9
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Hi Jon,
Great idea! I have thought about it before, but never to put it to practice.
I will do it right away and set up try experimenting with the bidding methods.
Thank you all very much for all the advice! Helped me a lot Smiley Happy
Bram