Bidding automation in paid search is a hot topic and a growing area of opportunity for profit-minded advertisers. As the scope of digital marketing programs continues to increase, sophisticated bidding tools can provide greater scale and precision to reach optimal return targets.
It’s no surprise that AdWords has been emphasizing its own Smart Bidding tools. But, as a paid search specialist, I have found that these offer very little flexibility, especially for advertisers that have specific or complex business needs. To bridge the gap, various third-party bidding automation tools offer features designed to adapt to these unique challenges.
At Perficient Digital, we use Adobe Media Optimizer (soon to be rebranded to Adobe Advertising Cloud Search) for enterprise-level clients. Adobe Media Optimizer (AMO) is a tool that automates and optimizes bids across search campaigns using robust conversion and cost models to determine optimal bids and yield the highest possible return on ad spend.
Let’s go over a few of the powerful levers that have helped our clients succeed and scale their digital marketing programs.
Search Engine Account Integration
AMO integrates with virtually all major search engine players: AdWords, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and Yandex. This means that you get the same powerful automation tools across your entire search program, all in one platform for easy campaign management.
Many of our clients track multiple KPIs but need the ability to prioritize certain ones. AMO allows advertisers to not only select which KPIs to take into account in the conversion models, but to also determine the relative business value of each KPI when setting bids. In addition, advertisers can weigh KPIs by device, which is helpful if, for example, e-mail sign ups have higher conversion rates on mobile devices.
Automatic Campaign Budget Allocation
AMO can optimally allocate campaign budgets based on historical performance and its own forecast modeling. It learns each campaign’s performance at various spend levels and automatically redistributes budgets with a goal of maximizing overall return.
Learning Budget Allocation
Advertisers can set aside a percentage of campaign budget dedicated to systematically test performance for unlearned or new keywords. More performance data means greater bidding accuracy and efficiency.
Spend Target and Bidding Strategy Flexibility
AMO can optimize towards ROI, CPA, and even marginal CPA goals. It can also be customized to maximize conversions during certain days of the week or the month. For example, if conversions peak during the weekend, the tool provides the ability to set higher spend targets on Saturdays and Sundays. In this case, the system will not only open up the budgets then but also increase bidding to remain more competitive against other advertisers.
Robust Data Modeling Recency and Data Exclusion Flexibility
During seasonal peaks, bidding needs to react more quickly to market changes. By default, conversion data from the last 30 days is the primary basis for bidding optimization, but during peak periods this window can be shortened to favor high-performing or seasonal keywords based on more recent data.
Additionally, when an account suffers irregularities such as tracking issues, site outages, or one-off external events, AMO allows users to quickly exclude those days from the models so that bidding won’t be adversely affected.
Automatic Bidding Adjustments for Devices, Remarketing Lists, and Geo-targeting
AMO can also optimize bidding adjustments for devices, remarketing audiences, and geo-location targeting within a bidding range. Auto-adjust ranges can be set anywhere between -90% and 900%, providing a certain level of control.
Bidding Constraints for Specific One-off Objectives
Sometimes clients have specific requests, such as needing ads to be in position 1 during a promotion. Bidding Constraints allow advertisers to steer the auto-bidding to satisfy these one-off requirements. Available bidding constraints include bidding increase or decrease by x%, bid to a certain position, incremental bidding, search engine minimum, max. CPA, min. ROI, and more.
Integration with the Adobe Marketing Cloud
When the platform is integrated with Adobe Analytics, one can see the full conversion funnel between a click and a conversion, and much more. This one is definitely a plus for advertisers using other Adobe tools for insights or campaign management.
These are just a few of the capabilities that make AMO a great choice for sophisticated paid search marketers tackling enterprise challenges. While search engine-based bidding options offer strong performance at no added cost, they also lack the flexibility of third-party tools. AMO is an advanced power user tool, and may not be a fit for all advertisers, but is a smart alternative for those who want a powerful bidding solution to scale their accounts while also maintaining a certain degree of control.
At Perficient Digital, Adobe Media Optimizer has helped our clients grow conversions and revenue by over 30% at a lower CPA and reduce CPC by more than 15%.
Our digital marketing team of Adobe-certified experts works closely with dedicated specialists on the Adobe side to bring advertising solutions to our enterprise customers. Do you have complex paid search needs that need custom bidding solutions?
Tiffany Sung, Account Manager at Adobe, contributed to this article.