Portfolio Bidding In PPC – Should You Be Using It?

Portfolio bidding is a feature available on both Google & Microsoft Ads. Portfolio bid strategies are very similar to traditional bid strategies, but they allow you to combine data from multiple different campaigns.

 

The options for portfolio bidding on Google include Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximise conversions, Maximise conversion value, Maximise clicks and Target impression share. Microsoft Ads offers all of the above except Maximise conversion value.

For both platforms, portfolio bid strategies can be managed from the Shared Library (under Tools & Settings):

 

Portfolio Bidding

 

Now let’s get into what you probably really want to know – should you be using them in your PPC strategy? And if so, why?

Portfolio bidding might be beneficial for you if:

 

  • You don’t have enough conversion data in individual campaigns to use individual smart bidding strategies (or you want to group more data together for better performance)
  • You want to separate your campaigns by location, language, budget or any other campaign level settings, but you still want them to use the same bid strategy
  • You want to make account management more simple – portfolio bidding allows you to manage your targets & bidding for multiple campaigns in one place
  • Your campaigns perform similarly but you want to keep them separate for reporting, or any other reasons
  • You have a top-level performance target and don’t mind how performance between campaigns contributes to this

 

While portfolio bidding has many benefits, it’s worth keeping a few things in mind:

 

  • To give the strategy the best chances of performing well, the total conversions across all campaigns that will sit under the portfolio strategy should have at least 30 conversions a month (additional conversions beyond that will help reduce the learning period & make it more stable)
  • The strategy needs time to learn – arm yourself with patience, and try not to change things too frequently. Give it at least a few weeks before evaluating results
  • The target needs to be realistic – set a target equal to your current performance, or for optimal learning give the strategy some flexibility
  • Not all campaign types are supported – portfolio bidding is mostly aimed at search & depending on the platform and strategy, shopping
  • Sometimes, applying a shared budget can be a solution that works well with portfolio bidding – especially if you’re looking to simplify your account management further

As an agency that’s always looking to improve our results through testing, we decided to specifically test this feature on clients that had some campaigns with low conversion volume data, and we’ve seen positive results across metrics like CPA, Conversion Volume & CvR. We’re planning to share our test results & testing methodology in another blog post soon!

More details for each platform can be found here:

Google – https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6263058?hl=en-GB

Microsoft Ads – https://help.ads.microsoft.com/apex/index/3/en/56962

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