Portfolio Bid Strategy: What is it, Why you need it, How to use it?

Portfolio bid strategies automatically set bids to help you reach your performance goals. It automates the process of bidding and optimising for the best results. In this article, you will find out what a portfolio bid strategy exactly is, why you should create a bid strategy and how you set up your portfolio strategy!

In case you’re not yet familiar with Google’s many options for bidding on ads, it’ll be good to make sure you briefly learn about some of the bidding basics. A bidding strategy is a way in which Google will use your advertising budget, depending on your campaign goals. 

When creating ads with Google, users are able to select different ways to bid on their ads, based on what goals matter most for their business. 

Let’s say you’re selling products on your online store. Chances are big that you want more consumers to visit your shop, in the ultimate quest to increase your sales. Maybe you are running some type of online community and you’re looking for a way to increase the number of people that sign up to your monthly newsletter. 

Whatever your goals may be, knowing what they are will help you pick the most suitable bid strategies for your campaigns! If you want to learn more about the basics of Google’s bidding strategies, you can check out this article. 

Manual bidding vs. automated bidding

Manual bidding is when you manage your keyword bidding within the advertising platform by yourself. With manual bidding, people usually rely on their own advertising experience or analyses of past campaigns to make their decisions. 

Automated bidding is a Google Ads bid strategy designed to maximise results based on your set campaign goals. With automated bidding, Google automatically sets bid amounts based on the likelihood that your ad will result in a click or conversion and takes on the bulk work of setting bids as you try to reach your performance goals. Automated bid strategies learn as they go, using information about a bid’s performance to inform future bids. 

What is a portfolio bid strategy?

Simply put, a portfolio bid strategy is a strategy that advertisers can use a single bid strategy for multiple campaigns. This strategy can be set up at an account level, after which users can assign different campaigns within their account to that bid strategy. 

Let’s say you are setting up multiple campaigns focused on target CPA, and you want all these campaigns to have the same CPA target. In this case, using a portfolio bid strategy would be great, since you could just set the target CPA for one of the campaigns and then assign that bid strategy to all of the other campaigns as well. 

With the ‘standard’ bid strategy approach, you would give a bid target for each of your campaigns individually. This is what you would use if you’d want to limit your bidding preferences to a single campaign. 

*Note: Portfolio bid strategies were previously known as ‘flexible bid strategies’.

Why use a portfolio bid strategy?

Portfolio bid strategies were developed to help advertisers get a better understanding of their bidding efforts. Portfolio bid strategies optimise certain goals across set campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. When these strategies are created, they are shared across your account, to make it accessible in one location. This one-stop-shop also makes it easier to track the performances of your campaigns along the way.

Benefits of portfolio bid strategies

  1. As bids are set automatically, you’ll save valuable time as you do not have to manually set bid amounts for ad groups or individual keywords. This allows you to spend more time on top-level strategies and less on tedious work.
  2. Portfolio bid strategies use machine learning to evaluate performance over time and optimise for your specific goal. Since it updates bids regularly to ensure that your bids are always optimised for the target you have specified, it’s unlikely that manual bidding could achieve the same accuracy and consistency. Ultimately, in theory, you should see more conversions or clicks for your ads based on your set goal.

A guide for using portfolio bid strategies in the Google Search Autopilot:

  1. Enable expert mode via the champion toggle on the right top menu
  2. Go to Bid Strategies on the left-hand side. Below Assets.
  3. Insert the name of your Bid Strategy, that helps you understand what the strategy is about.
  4. Select Bid Strategy:
Maximise Clicks
    1. Goal: Increase site visits
    2. Description: The Maximise Clicks strategy aims to increase the number of visitors to your site. The strategy automatically sets bids to help you maximise clicks within your set budget. The strategy is available as a standard strategy in a single campaign or a portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.
    3. Best Used When: You have a solid conversion funnel and you want to send as many visitors to your website as possible.
    4. Select Maximum CPC bid limit

Want to have any control on the maximum you may pay for a click? Make sure you set a bid limit!

Target CPA
    1. Goal: Get more conversions with your target CPA.
    2. Description: Target CPA allows for more control over your automated bidding. With the strategy, Google automatically sets Search or Display bids to help you receive as many conversions as possible at your set target cost-per-acquisition (CPA). Some conversions may cost more or less than your target.
    3. Best Used When: You’ve established a CPA that you know you can spend to acquire a customer while still maintaining a profit.
Target ROAS
    1. Goal: Meet a target return on ad spend (ROAS) when you value each conversion differently.
    2. Description: Target ROAS automatically sets your bids to help you receive as much conversion value as possible at your set ROAS (the average value you receive in turn for every dollar you spend on ads). Some conversions may have a higher or lower return than your target. Target ROAS is available as a portfolio bid strategy and a standard strategy for individual campaigns.
    3. Best Used When: You want to focus efforts on driving the highest value of conversions versus trying to receive the highest number of conversions.

You’re all set for your automated goal-driven bidding strategy!

Over to you!

Now that you know a bit more about the basics of portfolio bid strategies, and how to use this in the Google Search Autopilot, we hope that you’ll be able to take your Google Search ads to a higher level! If you encounter any problems or if you need any assistance, don’t hesitate to message our support team via the chat or by sending an email at support@thenextad.com!

Are you looking for an easy way to advertise your business on Google? Well, look no further! Check out our free Google advertising tool, in which anybody can create simple Google Search text ads within only a matter of minutes! No prior experience required! Create your account for the Google Search Autopilot and receive up to €120 in ad budget in your second month of using the platform for FREE!

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