A switch to Google Ads auto bidding sees Sage boost conversions by 53%

Sage is a multinational enterprise software company providing everything a business needs to manage accounting and financials, operations, people, payroll and payments. The Sage team uses digital marketing to help potential customers find out about their integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, and were interested in improving their marketing efficiency in order to improve performance and create more time for strategic tasks.

About Sage
Enterprise software
6.1 million customers worldwide
Founded in 1981
Headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne
Goals
Make digital marketing tasks easier
Improve efficiency in order to divert resource to value-adding tasks
Drive marketing performance
Approach
Switched from manual bidding to Google Ads Smart Bidding
Results
Now using automated bidding for 98% of accounts
Overall conversions increased by 53% and cost per acquisition has dropped by 26%
For generic keywords, conversions went up by 29% and cost per acquisition fell by 35%
For branded terms, clicks increased by 10% and cost per click decreased by 16%

“The vast majority of our accounts were managed manually, with less than 1% of active keywords undergoing bid changes”, explains Sage’s Director of Global Media Kevin Alderson. “We were aware of the potential value of machine learning and were keen to apply automation across our accounts to drive both efficiency and performance.”

Google Ads Smart Bidding uses advanced machine learning to drive informed, accurate bidding decisions. In contrast to a manual approach – where bidding is adjusted a few times a day or week, if at all – automated bidding adjusts bids for each and every auction.

Once Sage made the decision to switch their search campaigns to automated bidding, the first step was to align their campaign goals with an optimal automation strategy. They then identified appropriate conversion and micro-conversion events, identified their relative values and allowed Google’s system to optimise over time.

“Almost unilaterally we have seen positive impacts since moving to this approach – and who doesn’t like to see CPCs fall while volume and conversion rate increase”

– Kevin Alderson, Director of Global Media, Sage

Today Sage is using automated bidding for 98% of their accounts. Conversions have increased by 53% while cost per acquisition has dropped by 26% overall. Looking at generic keywords only, conversions are up by 29% and cost per acquisition is down by 35%. And for branded terms, clicks have increased by 10%, while cost per click has been reduced by 16%.

“Almost unilaterally we have seen positive impacts since moving to this approach”, Kevin says. “And who doesn’t like to see CPCs fall while volume and conversion rate increase! We’re now working in a matrix whereby time is spent more on testing and optimisation rather than chasing our tails on manual bid management. And as our data continues to be refined we continue to see further leaps forward in performance.”

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