When it comes to advertising goals, the main objective is to get the best return for your investment. This is why most goals are defined around ROAS or ACoS. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that most bidding automation rules also use ACoS as its guideline. 

ACoS functions as a strong indicator for performance because it is the amalgamation of all other advertising metrics. Looking at CTR, CVR or CPC swing in one direction or another may not tell a story in isolation. But together by way of ACoS, we can understand how advertising is performing overall. Therefore, we can design Sellics rule sets that effectively execute on the following strategies:

  • Awareness maximization
  • Sales maximization
  • Sales efficiency

Assumptions for all three strategies

Target ACoS

We have designed the rule set recommendations such that it does not require you to change your everyday target ACoS. As we are using Target ACoS +/- by x% in order to achieve your strategic goal, you can continue using your Target ACoS.

Budgeting

The budget split between automatic and manual campaigns should be at most 30% automatic and at least 70% manual. This split is a general rule of thumb to ensure the bulk of your budget is allocated towards manual campaigns where you have greater control of bids at the target level. 

With the above campaign structure, we recommend moving relevant targets from automatic campaigns to manual campaigns, while simultaneously adding the target to negative within the automatic campaign. These two steps would ideally shift a target’s traffic, and subsequent budget, from an automatic campaign to manual campaign.

Therefore, as campaigns mature, and targets are continuously moved towards manual campaigns, so should the budget. 

Maximum bids

Maximum bids are higher in manual campaigns where advertisers can better refine bids at the target level. 

Automatic campaigns require less effort but offer less user control. Automatic campaigns tend to utilize daily budgets quickly and often run out of budget before the end of the day. The primary disadvantage for automatic campaigns is the lack of control in targeting, and therefore, potentially paying too much or too little per target to optimize for performance. Generally, suggested rules for automatic campaigns will have less strict thresholds to ensure we have flexibility as to not stifle performance before collecting sufficient data to make a statistically significant decision.

Manual campaigns require more effort since keywords, match types, and bids are all customizable. Due to these factors, suggested rules for manual campaigns will have stricter thresholds in order to dial in bids based on keywords that have proven their performance. 

Awareness Maximization

When awareness is the advertising goal, Impressions is the primary KPI. This scenario assumes the following:

  • 5,000 impressions in 2 days is the benchmark for sufficient awareness. As each category and budget is different, we recommend customizing the number of impressions you would like to achieve per the brand. Consider your budget and past performance in your category. 
  • Though maximizing awareness is the primary goal, we do not necessarily want to achieve this goal at any cost. Therefore the third rule ensures that when we reach an ACoS of target ACoS + 50%, we will reduce the bid once more.
  • There are no rules to address non-converting targets, as long as they are generating and therefore maximizing impressions.

Bid Rule Recommendation for Automatic Campaigns

  1. If Impressions < 5,000 after at least 2 days, increase ad group bid by 20% until max bid of $1.25.
  2. If ACoS < Target ACoS after at least 1.5x clicks, increase ad group bid by 20% until max bid of $1.25.
  3. If ACoS > Target ACoS + 50% after at least 2x clicks, decrease ad group bid by 20% until min bid of $0.05.

Bid Rule Recommendation for Manual Campaigns

  1. If Impressions < 5,000 after at least 2 days, increase target bid by 30% until max bid of $1.25.
  2. If ACoS < Target ACoS after at least 1x clicks, increase target bid by 30% until max bid of $2.00.
  3. If ACoS > Target + 50% after at least 1.5x clicks, decrease target bid by 30% until min bid of $0.05.

Keyword Rule Recommendation

  • Keep rules that harvest relevant search terms between ad groups.
  • Pause rule that sets search terms to negative if Orders = 0.

Sales Maximization

When sales maximization is the primary goal, sales is the primary KPI, with ACoS being the secondary KPI. This scenario assumes the following:

  • Bids are increased in low ACoS targets faster than bids are decreased on high ACoS targets, both in frequency and size of bid change.
  • Lack of orders will be addressed upon excessive ad waste.

Bid Rule Recommendation for Automatic Campaigns

The purpose of automatic campaigns is to mine for new targets while maintaining a level of performance that is complementary to the overall strategy. The below rule set will ensure that bids are high enough to support continued impressions for the campaign, while maintaining high and low ACoS guardrails to optimize for performance.

  1. If Impressions < 1000 after at least 2 days, increase ad group bid by 10% until max bid $1.25.
  2. If ACoS < Target after at least 1.5x clicks, increase ad group bid by 20% until max bid $1.25.
  3. If ACoS > Target + 10% after at least 2x clicks, decrease ad group bid by 15% until min bid $0.05.

Bid Rule Recommendation for Manual Campaigns

Unlike automatic campaigns, manual campaigns narrow your focus on previously converted targets, which allow for greater control of bids. Here, the rule set is designed with the same strategy as automatic campaigns but you will notice the criteria to meet the rule is stricter for manual than for automatic. For example, the number of impressions required to trigger an awareness rule is much lower (500 vs. 1,000). The max bid for the impressions rule is capped at $1.00 to allow for targets to generate enough visibility. If the target performs well, then the low ACoS rule has a higher max bid of $2.00 to reward targets that have proven performance.

  1. If Impressions < 500 after at least 2 days, increase target bid by 10% until max bid $1.00.
  2. If ACoS < Target after at least 1x clicks, increase target bid by 30% until max bid of $2.00.
  3. If ACoS > Target + 10% after at least 1.5x clicks, decrease target bid by 20% until min bid of $0.05.

Keyword Rule Recommendation

  • Keep rule that harvests relevant search terms between ad groups.
  • For rule of Orders = 0 after at least __ clicks, move search term to negative, set click threshold to at least 40 clicks. If there is indeed 1 Order after 40 clicks, that would assume a 2.5% CVR on the target. Setting the 40 clicks threshold means you are willing to accept a CVR as low as 2.5% before deciding the target is generating excess ad waste.

Sales Efficiency

Once a campaign has reached maturity with sufficient sales and search history, sales efficiency may become the ongoing advertising goal. In this strategy, ACoS becomes the primary KPI with sales the secondary KPI. There is no standard high or low ACoS – this is entirely dependent on the competitiveness of your category, awareness of your brand, and maturity of your products. The sales efficiency goal assumes the following:

  • Bids are increased on low ACoS targets equally as frequently as bids are decreased in high ACoS targets, with custom adjustments made based on maintaining symmetry on bid changes.
  • There is no rule to increase bids on low impressions for manual campaigns to reduce risk of excessive ad spend.
  • Lack of orders will be addressed at the current efficient recommended rate.
  • If the campaign’s Target ACoS significantly deviates from current actual ACoS, start with setting Target ACoS at 10% below actual ACoS. Once campaigns are within 5% of Target ACoS, re-adjust Target ACoS to go down another 10%. Repeat this process until the Target ACoS set within Sellics is truly the campaign’s everyday Target ACoS.

Bid Rule Recommendation for Automatic Campaigns

  1. If Impressions < 1000 after at least 5 days, increase ad group bid by 10% until max bid of $1.25.
  2. If ACoS < Target - 5 % after at least 1.5x clicks, increase ad group bid by 20% until max bid of $1.25.
  3. If ACoS > Target + 5% after at least 1.5x clicks, decrease ad group bid by 20% until min bid of $0.05.

Bid Rule Recommendation for Manual Campaigns

  1. If ACoS < Target - 2.5% after at least 1x clicks, increase target bid by 30% until max bid of $2.00.
  2. If ACoS > Target + 2.5% after at least 1x clicks, decrease target bid by 30% until min bid of $0.05.

Keyword Rule Recommendation

  • Leverage Sellics pre-loaded keyword rule sets for both automatic and manual campaigns.
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