A brief introduction to Search Ads 360

28 Aug 2020

Paid Media Account Executive

A brief introduction to Search Ads 360

Formally known as DoubleClick, Search Ads 360 serves as an integrated search management platform. It offers a contoured approach to advertising by housing multiple search engines under one user interface.

Why is this necessary?

In the UK, Google accounts for over 85% of all online searches, with Bing procuring ~9% of the remaining traffic. Lack of resource and time deficits result in advertisers focusing their attention on Google ads alone, often overlooking Bing in the process.

Why is this potentially problematic?

Bing can provide a more cost-effective solution to SERP advertising. On average, CPCs come in at around 70% lower than Google Ads. Competition across Bing is smaller which, in turn, creates a less expensive landscape. The opportunity to have a stronger ROI here is overriding and its impact should not be undervalued.

Search Ads 360 provides a solution to this challenge by consolidating each platform under one umbrella using a direct API connector – enabling the advertiser to implement a strategy across both search engines. This provides a greater insight into the relationship between each advertising platform, improving the efficiency whilst reducing the complexity of the tasks at hand.

In this article we will offer a brief introduction into the following:

  • Smart Bidding
  • Budget Management
  • Forecasting/Planning

Drive performance with SA360s Smart Bidding strategies

With SA360s smart bidding capabilities, you can optimise your campaigns based on your client’s primary goals and KPIs. Provided you have floodlight tracking in place, you can target your bids by creating weighted goals across multiple search engines.

Smart Bidding uses machine learnings to influence performance. There are two primary bidding strategy types across SA 360: ‘metric focused’ and ‘budget focused’. Where the former strategy optimises towards conversions set within a KPI (e.g. target CPA), the latter paces towards a strict budget. Across both strategies, smart bids are customisable. There internal algorithm takes ad scheduling, device, remarketing lists, and location targeting into consideration.

SA360 allows you to combine several conversion types under one umbrella. For example, you can measure the volume of transactions, quick quotes, newsletter signups and more. You can also weight each conversion separately. Here, you can measure a conversion rate by weighting 20% on transactions with 80% on quick quotes.

Top tip: Ensure that these columns are weighted appropriately otherwise performance runs the risk of overinflating.

Unlike Google Ads, these conversion goals and attribution models can be set up at campaign level. Within SA360, max CPC bids are updated 4 times a day instead of corresponding with Google Ads auction time system.

 

Bid modifiers can also be adjusted to take seasonal periods – such as public holidays and sales – into account.

Why is this important?  

Traffic during these periods’ can significantly shift which, in turn, can skew your campaigns’ performance.  By adjusting you bidding strategy to take these seasonal fluxes into account, the campaign will run more optimally as well as eliminating the risk of wasted spend.

There are lots of factors to take into consideration when setting up a smart bidding strategy.

Here are just a few:

  • These strategies can be applied at campaign, ad group and keyword level akin to manual bidding.
  • When making alterations, note that adjustments at keyword level supersede campaign level bidding strategies.
  • Auction time bidding – This bid strategy cannot be changed once this function is enabled.
  • Bid strategies set up at engine level will always override SA360s – ensure these are removed when making changes within the SA360 platform.

Forecast and report on performance with SA360s Budget Management plan

SA360’s budget management tool analyses and predicts campaign performance success. It reliably mangers your client’s budget, helping to eliminate the chance of overspending.

Start your management plan by organising your campaign into budget groups where you can create a structure which aligns itself with your client’s business model. Whilst budget groups can contain an unlimited number of campaigns, they can only be individually assigned to one budget group at a time. Here, you can set up the budget for your campaign(s) as well as a custom conversion goal(s).

Before you can measure how your campaign(s) has paced against your conversion goal(s), the Budget Management tool needs a 7-day learning phase period. During this period: be sure to not make any changes to the following:

  • CPA/ ROAS target.
  • Adding or removing any campaigns
  • Manually adjusting keywords or modifier bids
  • Change conversion target or attribution model.

Once the appropriate settings have been established, SA360 devises a budget plan, including graphs and charts which forecasts how your campaign is set to pace.

Scale performance and save time with SA360s automated reporting system

SA360 provides a real time executive reporting system, eliminating human analysis error. Real time reports can be directly sent to your client, saving your valuable time in the process. At This Point, you can design and tailor the report in line with your clients KPIs. Reports can be amended and adapted at any time. The structure/design is user friendly, and understood by all. Below is an image of what a report may look like:

Top Tip:

For clarity, split you campaigns with labels. This way, when the client looks at the top line results, the generic versus brand split will be easily visible. Labels can also be automated, so that you can receive a notification when there is a problem with said label.

Conclusion:

This Google marketing platform has many benefits. However, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag as the cost is based on the % of your media spend across all linked engine accounts. As a result, SA 360 is predominantly geared towards larger advertisers who manage a few different search engines.

For those who fall under this bracket, we believe that the advantages provided by SA360 are invaluable. By integrating each search engine under one roof, SA360 allows you to strategize your campaigns more efficiently and optimally. The platform allows you to optimise your cross-channel campaigns towards the same conversion point via floodlights, streamlining your tags into one coherent space. By housing multiple search engines under one user interface, users can fluently detect anomalies, trouble shoot issues, create custom strategies and rules.

We hope you have found this brief introduction helpful. Please keep an eye out for any further SA360 updates.

Bibliography:

Statistica – Market Share held by search engines in the United Kingdom

Croud – An Introduction to SA360

Google Support – Search Ads 

Insta Page – Bing Ads vs. Google Ads: The Pros & Cons of Each Platform

Search Laboratory – What bidding strategies are available in Search Ads 360?

Google Support – About Search Ads 360 bid strategies- Introduction to Search Ads 360 bid strategies

 

Paid Media Account Executive

As a Paid Media Account Executive, Maddie has had experience across each major Paid Search and Social channel and has worked with industrial software, retail and insurance brands. Working alongside her team, Maddie helps improve the performance of each account in line with their individual KPIs.

Maddie began her career in the Paid Media team in July 2019 after graduating from the University of Southampton with a degree in History and English.