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From Google Marketing Next 2017, we know that machine learning and automation is going to be a key focus this year. This is why Google have introduced ‘Maximise Conversions’ as an Automated Bid Strategy in Adwords.

What does the ‘Maximise Conversions’ Bid Strategy actually do? What can you expect to happen? How should you use it? We explore the hubbub and give you actionable insight to takeaway with you.


The hubbub…

Search Engine Land – Google adds Maximise conversions automated strategy in Adwords

Google Inside Adwords – Maximise Conversions with Smart Bidding

Search Engine Roundtable – Google Adwords New Maximise Conversions Smart Bidding


What is the ‘Maximise Conversions’ Smart Bidding Strategy?

Maximize Conversions: a new Smart Bidding strategy that automatically sets the right bid for each auction to help get you the most conversions within your daily budget. (Inside Adwords, 2017)

In essence, it’s a smart bidding option in Google Adwords that will look to drive as many conversions for you as possible within your campaign daily budget.


How does it work?

Machine Learning & Contextual Signals

By opting into the bid strategy, Google will factor in signals such as historical data, time of day, browser, operating system, remarketing lists, device and more. You can find out more about signals here.

PPC hubbub - Maximise Conversions Bid Strategy

Credit: Google Adwords Help, 2017

Google will adjust bids in every ad auction (also known as “auction-time bidding” to spend your daily budget in pursuit of maximising your conversions. Maximise Conversions finds an optimal CPC for your ad each time your ad is eligible to appear.

It’s different to other Smart Bidding Strategies

It’s different to other Smart Bidding Strategies such as eCPC as ‘Maximise Conversions’ will look to spend your daily budget and maximise your conversions for that campaign budget. This is in contrast to eCPC which also look to get you the most conversions, but this looks to increase your conversions whilst trying to keep your cost-per-conversion the same.


How do you implement it?

It’s super easy to implement in Google Adwords.

New Adwords Interface:

Just go to your campaign settings in Adwords, go to ‘Bidding’ and click on ‘Maximise Conversions’ under ‘Select Your Bid Strategy’.

Credit: Google Inside Adwords, 2017

Old Adwords Interface:

Go to your campaign settings, scroll down to where it says ‘Bid Strategy’, press Edit and then drop down the automated bid strategy options to find ‘Maximise Conversions’.

Credit: Search Engine Land, 2017


What do you need to look out for?

Before you opt in, you need to make sure you are ready by looking at the below top tips.

PPC hubbub - LightbulbTop Tips

Adwords conversion tracking needs to be set up. Might be worth double checking your set up is correct before you pursue. Make sure you have all of your most important conversions tracked!

Ensure Campaigns have to have their own budget. You can’t use it if you have Shared Budgets across your campaigns.

Google will look to spend your campaign daily budget. Make sure that you are ready for the inevitable increase in spend. It should stay within your daily budget though.

What kind of attribution model are you using? Check that the conversions being used in Adwords are appropriate for your objectives and end game.


How should you look to use it?

Rule No.1 – Understand Your Objectives

Understanding your goals is key to success in paid search. Without this, you are bidding blind. It goes without saying, but make sure you are tracking the correct conversions in Adwords so that bids can be adjusted in each auction correctly.

Test it on your Generic and Competitor campaigns.

This could help make them more efficient in every ad auction. Ideally your Brand keywords should be maxed out in Position 1, so there wouldn’t be too many use cases for it here.

Remember, ensure that your campaign daily budgets are set to a limit that you can afford.

Use the reporting available to gain insight on results before & after

Create campaign drafts and experiments in Adwords beforehand to determine the impact of Smart Bidding. More information can be found here.

Understand your bid strategies through Bid Strategy Statuses here.

If you need efficiencies, eCPCs may be a better choice

If you want to try and utilise a bidding strategy where you would still like auction-time bidding, whilst still driving an efficient level of cost-per-conversion, then eCPC may be a better choice for your budget.

Remember, Google has recently announced changes for eCPC to remove the 30% Max Bid cap in order to fully account for differences in conversion rates across dimensions such as Location and Audiences.

PPC hubbub - Maximise Conversions

Credit: Google Adwords Help, 2017

Dan Roberts
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Dan Roberts

Founder & Author at PPC hubbub
Dan is a Google Shopping Specialist and was recently awarded Rising Star at The Drum Search Awards for the work delivered for his clients, agency and wider industry. Dan founded PPC hubbub after becoming frustrated with the lack of actionable insight and meaningful points of view for the industry.

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Dan Roberts
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