Point It is always looking for innovative ways to manage online ads for its roster of international clients. So, when AdWords' flexible bid strategies were announced in May 2013, the search marketing agency was among the first to try them out. It worked with client Gamehouse to integrate a Target Return on Ad Spend strategy, which led to an increase in ROAS of 47 percentage points. Point It also chose to move from using just one bidding approach across all keywords in a campaign to a multi-strategy approach across other client accounts, which led to a 65% increase in conversions while reducing CPAs by 4%.

Goals

  • Increase PC game downloads
  • Increase revenue

Approach

  • Implemented the Target ROAS bid strategy

Results

  • Increased ROAS by 47 percentage points
  • Increased revenue by 8%
  • Increased conversions by 65% with a multi-strategy approach with other clients
  • Decreased CPA by 4% with a multi-strategy approach with other clients
Published
December 2013
Topics

Located less than a mile from Seattle’s famous Space Needle, search marketing agency Point It serves international clients in diverse verticals including, retail, hospitality, finance, education and more. The agency has been hailed by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of Washington’s top 100 fastest-growing private companies.

Freedom to mix and match

Point It client managers are always looking for innovative ways to manage online ads, so when flexible bid strategies were announced in May 2013, they were eager to try them out. Flexible bid strategies allow advertisers to automatically set bids and optimize for performance goals. Specific strategy types include: Maximize clicks, Target search page location, Target CPA, Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) and Target return on ad spend (ROAS). The strategies can be mixed and matched and applied to and across specific campaigns, ad groups and keywords.

Samuel James, a director of analytics, shares,“What excited me immediately was the ability to apply the strategies at different levels and to mix the strategies within the same ad group or campaign. It was great being able to do this without having to restructure my account.”

With flexible bid strategies, we can enable a strategy and leave it running, removing the need for us to manually manage bids for thousands and thousands of keywords in a given account.

Flexible bid strategies to the test

Point It’s client Gamehouse—the world’s largest developer, publisher and distributor of download games and free online games—was one of the first to test the new strategies. Gamehouse’s goals were to increase both PC game downloads and revenue. To achieve this, Point It implemented the Target Return on Ad Spend strategy (Target ROAS) on all PC game-related campaigns. This bid strategy aims to maximize conversion value, such as revenue or valuable leads, while maintaining an average return on ad spend by changing bids during each auction. Bids are changed based on the predicted performance of ads depending on user context signals such as time of day, location, device, operating system and much more.

Point It also chose to move from using just one bidding approach across all keywords in a campaign to a multi-strategy approach across other client accounts. This included a mix of Target search page location to easily drive volume for promotions, Maximize clicks to increase traffic on keywords with brand/assist value while still retaining budget for conversion-driving keywords, and Target CPA strategies to maximize conversions on last-click conversion keywords. The multi-strategy approach led to a 65% increase in conversions while reducing CPAs by 4%.

Many happy returns

Soon after implementing flexible bid strategies, Point It and Gamehouse saw compelling results. PC-related campaigns saw an 8% increase in revenue and an increase in ROAS of 47 percentage points.

But Gamehouse wasn’t the only winner with the new bid strategies. Point It’s client managers were also able to save valuable time they had previously spent on repetitive optimizations. This extra time gave managers the opportunity to focus on more strategic initiatives such as ad copy and landing page testing.

James highlights, “With flexible bid strategies, we can enable a strategy and leave it running, removing the need for us to manually manage bids for thousands and thousands of keywords in a given account. We use the reporting that comes with flexible bid strategies to review performance on regular intervals and the data to easily communicate results with clients. I get an at-a-glance view that tells me what’s working and what’s not so I can quickly make adjustments.”