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How-To: Create an Automated Bidding Strategy to Cover SEM Gaps

Published: November 21, 2018

Author: Dan Gilgannon

Bidding is essential to the work we do, particularly in paid search where manual bidding is still (for now) the dominant strategy. Making bid adjustments can at times be tedious and feel a bit arbitrary. Pulling keyword reports and making obvious adjustments to top-performing and poor-performing keywords with high volume can be effective, but what about the other hundreds of keywords contained within an account?

At 3Q, we’ve created an automated bidding spreadsheet to help get full bid-adjustment coverage across our accounts. Here’s how to set it up:
– Leave the left side of the sheet for pulling in your keyword report using your preferred lookback window.
– Use the right side of the sheet to enter in your logical statements to pull information on your keywords i.e. Brand or NB? Alpha or Beta? Any Conversions? Spend?

Set up a performance matrix in a separate tab to reference for your bid adjustment columns. Reference these using a VLOOKUP corresponding to the correct category in the matrix — e.g. whether your keyword is brand or non-brand or if it has conversions or no conversions.

Now you have a standardized bidding strategy!
Simply plug in your keywords and watch the bidding sheet do the work. All you need to do is create an upload sheet using your new max CPC column, and upload your adjustments. It’s a real game-changer.
Note: Be sure to double-check your bid adjustments by reviewing their impression share and headroom. You don’t want to increase bids on keywords that have a ton of headroom and have maxed out their impression share! In addition, when reducing your bids, you should make sure to lower your new max CPC below your avg. CPC — otherwise your bid reduction won’t have an impact.
This bidding sheet is an effective way to make bid adjustments at scale within your account. You can optimize all your keyword bids instead of only optimizing towards your top keywords. This will save you time and can improve overall efficiency within your account!

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