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When To Test Google Ads Portfolio Bidding


Automation is a feature that isn’t going away anytime soon and Google continues to offer additional features. Portfolio bidding has been around for a while, but it’s something I’ve just recently started experimenting with after having a lot of success with automation at the campaign level. In this post, I’ll break down portfolio bidding and 5 scenarios when I tested it.

What Is Portfolio Bidding?

Portfolio bidding allows you to group campaigns together under one bidding strategy. This gives you the opportunity to feed more data into Google’s AI and ultimately drive better performance. 

There are some other smaller benefits too. You can save time by managing multiple campaigns at once and set maximum bid limits on Target CPA and Target ROAS campaigns. If you’re seeing success with those strategies but are plagued by high CPCs, this could be an option to help mitigate those risks.

target cpa settings in google ads

How to Create a Portfolio Bidding Strategy

These are all saved in the shared library under the bid strategies tab. Here you’ll have the opportunity to create new strategies and check on performance. You can find details under each strategy along with useful tips that should yield better results. 

If you’ve set up an automated bidding strategy in the past, you should be well familiar with the process and what strategies work best for you. Keep in mind, picking the right strategy is still important (maybe more important). The larger amount of data isn’t going to offset the wrong choice.

When To Test Google Ads Portfolio Bidding

Based on my experience, I recommend using the underlying intent of each campaign to guide which campaigns get grouped together for portfolio bidding. Oftentimes, campaigns are over-segmented based on other account goals: controlling budget, match types, devices, audiences, etc. Portfolio bidding allows us to unify those campaigns while keeping some of that segmentation in place. 

Here are a few Google Ads account scenarios when I’ve tested portfolio bidding.

Campaigns Segmented by Location

This was one of the first scenarios in which I tested portfolio bidding. For one brand, campaigns were segmented by location between the brand’s home state and other high-value areas. This allowed the brand to allocate more budget to its closest audience but also slightly tweak ads to people living further away.

The underlying objective & theme of the campaigns were the same which prompted the test. 

Campaigns Segmented by Audience

We expect remarketing audiences to perform better and we can use that to our advantage in a unified strategy. If you have the budget, you can use a Target CPA or Target ROAS strategy to offset more expensive conversions at the top of the funnel from the remarketing audience. 

Campaigns Segmented by Match Type

While I’ve been moving away from breaking campaigns out by match type, it still makes sense in some instances or if restructuring hasn’t been a priority. Utilizing portfolio bidding will allow you to combine those campaigns from a bidding standpoint.

Campaigns Segmented by Theme

I’m currently testing portfolio bidding on an account that has insurance-related keywords segmented at the campaign level. These campaigns are smaller in volume and by combining them for bidding, we are likely to see greater success as we feed more data into the algorithm.

Campaigns with Shared Budgets

By creating a shared budget between a portfolio of campaigns, you should be able to let Google allocate spend based entirely on performance. I’ve begun testing this with mixed results but it could be an option, especially for campaigns that are limited by budget. Let demand decide where you spend money rather than what you’ve set as the daily budget limit.



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