Unlocking the Potential of Value-Based Bidding: A Complete Guide for Marketers
If you’re a digital marketer looking to maximize the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns, value-based bidding (VBB) could be a pivotal strategy to consider. But what exactly is VBB, and how does it differ from traditional conversion bidding methods? In this article, we’ll demystify VBB, explore its potential advantages, and discuss methods to implement VBB on your Google Ads account.
A Closer Look at Value-Based Bidding
Put simply, value-based bidding is a strategy where conversions are prioritized based on their perceived value to your business. This gives marketers a refined approach to ad bidding that goes beyond mere conversion count, instead aligning ad campaigns with business profitability. By assigning values to different actions, the bidding algorithm is directed towards optimizing for those actions that have a higher value to your business. Some examples of conversion actions that can be weighed by priority include:
- Filling out a form
- Watching a video
- Downloading a whitepaper
- Utilizing website functionalities like chat or quote systems
Notably, these actions, which are referred to as “micro-conversions”, are not necessarily the most desirable conversion event but still hold business value. The VBB algorithm can factor in these different conversion actions and aim to optimize the overall value generated from the conversion set.
A Comparison with Traditional ‘Maximize conversions’ bidding
Traditional maximize conversion bidding typically focuses purely on conversion volume without considering the diverse values of various conversion actions. While this method can be effective, it has its pitfalls. One significant drawback is its failure to account for the intricate dynamics of the customer journey.
In certain businesses, phone calls and lead forms might carry a higher customer lifetime value as compared to form submissions. This is a detail traditional bidding strategies don’t fully account for. The result can be an account optimization sidetracked for form fills, translating to a significant impact on business performance and profitability.
Not to mention, focusing solely on maximizing conversions can impart inaccurate data for Google’s machine learning and bidding algorithms, particularly in accounts with smaller budgets.
Value-based bidding provides a solution for these shortfalls, augmenting traditional bidding strategies with business intelligence, thus empowering advertisers to make data-informed decisions for more beneficial outcomes.
Implementing Value-Based Bidding: Two Prominent Approaches
There are two main methods to implement value-based bidding, each with their unique advantages:
1. The Ranking Values Method
This involves assigning importance rankings to conversions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.), guiding the algorithm to prioritize higher-ranking actions. While more sophisticated than traditional conversion bidding, this approach may lack the precision required to accurately represent ROI.
2. Calculating Actual Business Value for Each Conversion (Google’s Recommended Approach)
In this method, each conversion action is assigned a real monetary value based on factors like customer lifetime value, profit margin, and sales process knowledge. This comprehensive and calculated evaluation of conversions provides a more accurate reflection of the campaign’s effectiveness.
There’s a shift observed in the PPC community towards this evolved strategy, with Google promoting it as a way for advertisers to manage their multiple conversions effectively, focusing on higher-value conversions to maximize value.
Leveraging Value-Based Bidding: The Final Verdict
The applicability and success of value-based bidding heavily depend on your business data. It’s especially beneficial for businesses with limited budgets, allowing them to get the most out of their ad spend by bidding for actions that result in higher value rather than just increasing conversion volume.
An important part of a successful VBB strategy is consistent data analysis to make informed decisions around marketing effectiveness. By defining valuable conversions and aligning their advertising strategy with the identified conversion values, advertisers can use a target ROAS strategy to meet their advertising objectives.
In short, a strategic mind trumps mere automation. As we advance into the automated world of Google Ads, a strategic tool like value-based bidding stands out, allowing advertisers to adopt a more informed and strategic approach to their campaigns.
For additional insights, check out this article on how to make PPC automation work for lead gen.
Please note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Search Engine Land.
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