There’s a business principle which is one of the most universally helpful concepts in terms of time management. It’s based on a study by a 19th century Italian economist called Vilfredo Pareto into land ownership in Italy. Pareto noticed that 80% of the land in Italy at the time was owned by 20% of the population, what he called the “vital few”.
Since then, the 80/20 rule, or Pareto Principle as it has become known, has been observed across a range of landscapes from Marriage and Marketing to Nutrition and Networking. The concept is always the same. 80% of the results that you will generate come from 20% of the work that you put in. So you should try and spend as much time as possible on the 20% of activities that will generate the 80% return you’re looking for.
Unsurprisingly, given I mentioned marketing above, the principle applies to PPC and AdWords as much as it does with any other marketing activity. So the key is to make use of as many time saving tools as possible in order to focus management time on the jobs which are going to make your improve ROI and increase overall marketing return.
Automation To Focus On The 20%
Fortunately, Google has a suite of tools to help you to save time and focus on what’s really important with your AdWords campaigns. For this post I’m going to focus on bid management and the time savings that can be found here.
Giving up control of the bidding on your search campaigns seems to be potentially worrying area to be lax with. Ensuring that your ad campaigns are bidding at an appropriate level is pretty vital to the performance of your marketing. Surely spending time on this is important.
Well that’s just it. Deciding on the bid strategy is important and ensuring that your campaigns are hitting their targets is key. The action of manually changing bids based on a complex set of calculations however, that is a different story. If you’re targeting a cost per lead (CPA) or a specific return on ad spend (ROAS) then you will be analysing the data and making changes constantly. Smart bidding can take this out of your hands, and there are a suite of different bidding strategies to suit your campaign goal.
Smart bidding covers the top level bid strategies which rely on your conversion data. However, there are other, simpler strategies if your goals are different. If, for example, your aim is to increase your visibility of your site you can choose either:
- Target: Outranking Share – specify a competitor and attempt to ensure that your ads appear above theirs.
- Target: Search Page Location – this is similar to the above strategy expect you indicate that you’d like to ensure that your ads are shown at either the Top of the first results page or anywhere on the first page.
If your goal is simply people clicking through to your website then you can set a Maximise Clicks strategy. This does exactly what it says on the tin and it tries to drive as many clicks as it can from your budget.
If conversions are your goal, then Smart Bidding really comes into it’s own. The key here is that the Google Smart Bidding algorithm makes adjustments in real time. This is done based on a huge range of signals including location, users interests, cross device conversions, in-market data, and a host of other information. So this system can help you to hit your goals if anything better than you can.
The bidding options available here are:
- eCPC – this is the simplest bid strategy and can be incorporated with manual bid strategies. AdWords can use the signals mentioned to bid more aggressively when a conversion appears more likely. This may be a good starting point if you’re just setting up Smart Bidding.
- tCPA – If you’re lead generation based and you know the amount you want to pay per lead, this bidding strategy will help you to hit that CPA.
- tROAS – For ecommerce clients, this number is more likely to be of interest than CPA. Setting this target will allow you to ensure that Google is optimising your bids to hit your targets.
- Maximise Conversions – Simply, this will spend all the budget assigned to the campaign while getting the maximum number of conversions available for this budget.
Setting one of these bid strategies can help to save time normally spent managing bids manually to develop ad copy, improve your product listings or explore new keyword opportunities. The more your embrace automation and use it to manage these elements of your campaigns, the more time you can spend developing your overall marketing strategy and really grow your business.