The answer to increasing your number of conversions isn’t always to spend more. At some point - the earlier the better - you need to start thinking about conversion rate. That is, getting a greater number of conversions for the same spend.

Due to the continuous improvement of Google’s machine learning algorithms, it’s more possible now than it’s ever been to increase your conversion rate using automation and Smart Bidding.

Of course, there are myriad ways to increase your conversion rate, and not all of them have anything to do with the advertising itself. Click here for more information about what a good conversion rate looks like, and 10 advanced conversion tips >>>

How to Increase Conversions Using Machine Learning

You may find the prospect of relinquishing control to machine learning a scary one, or you might have experience of trying it in the past and not getting the desired results. However, when used correctly, Google’s algorithms can give you a competitive edge and improve your conversions.

To be clear, the implementation of Smart Bidding and other automated features doesn’t mean that you click a button and sit back. To maximise the benefit of Google’s algorithms, you need to go the extra mile. Embrace the future of Google Ads and stay ahead of the competition with the five crucial steps below.

1) Ensure Accurate Tracking

Accurate conversion tracking is the cornerstone of any successful automated Google Ads campaign. Google uses historic data to ensure that the right ad is shown to the right user at the right time. In order for Google to do this, you have to ensure that the data you provide Google is as accurate as possible.

If your conversion tracking is not set up correctly, or the data that you provide Google with your tracking is inaccurate, then Google’s automation will not work as well as it could and you won’t get the return on investment you need for your business.

For more information about common tracking mistakes and other errors we commonly see in Google Analytics, click here >>>

2) Set Clear KPIs

Before setting an automated campaign live, you should decide on the metrics you want to place the most importance on; confirm your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Agreeing on KPIs prior to using Smart Bidding is important because Google will optimise the campaign to meet the target you have set, and this can sometimes come at the cost of other metrics.

For example, if you just want to increase conversions, you can set that as a goal and watch the conversion numbers improve. But this will likely mean that the cost per conversion will go up and you may not necessarily get the best return on ad spend.

This may cause some concern, but if the agreed KPI is conversions, then Google’s algorithm has done its job. It’s up to you to pick the right KPIs, and shape the campaign and bidding strategy going forward.

And remember, if you have an account optimising towards several difference conversion goals, you might want to think about using Conversion Action Sets >>>

3) Choose the Right Bidding Strategy

Provided your tracking is accurate, and you have a clear KPI in the front of your mind, picking the right bidding strategy should be straightforward. Google Ads provides a choice between five different bidding strategies:

Maximise Clicks should be used if you want to drive more traffic to your website. With this strategy Google will get as many clicks as possible with the allotted budget.

Maximise Conversions can be used when you want to increase the number of conversions within your budget. This can be a useful bidding strategy if your conversions values are the same and you just want to get more conversions.

Target Cost Per Action (tCPA) is a smart bidding strategy that aims to get as many conversions as possible at or under the target cost per action. TCPA can be a useful strategy when you know the value of each conversion and know exactly how much budget you are prepared to spend on one conversion.

Target Impression Share provides a strategy for those who want to increase visibility. You can choose where you want your ad to show; on the absolute top of the page, on the top page or anywhere on the page. For example you could set a target impression share of 75% on the absolute top of the page, Google Ads will automatically set your CPC bids to help show your ads on the absolute top of the page 75% of the total possible amount of times they could show.

Target Return On Ad Spend (tROAS) allows you to focus on getting as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend. TROAS can be a useful strategy when you want to ensure you are getting the best return on investment in terms of revenue.

For a deeper look at all of the bidding strategies that you have access to on Google Ads, click here >>>

4) Use Automated Creatives

Not only has Google’s machine learning helped in terms of bidding strategies, but they have introduced ad formats that could help to increase your account’s performance. By utilising the ad formats below, along with expanded search ads, you can reap the rewards of diversifying your ad strategy. It will also free up your time to focus on a long term marketing plan.

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) are an effective way of reaching potential customers on Google that are looking for exactly what you provide. DSAs crawl the content of your website to target people that are searching for what you offer but have not used a keyword that you have in the account.

DSAs headlines and landing pages are created through content on your website, ensuring that the ads are as relevant as possible to the search query and saving you more time when it comes to writing ad copy.

It should be noted that to get the best performance from DSAs your website must be well designed and of a high quality.

Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) allow Google to pick and choose different headlines and descriptions from a pool of assets that it thinks will have the best chance of converting. Simply submit up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions and allow Google to find the best combination of the two to serve as your ad. In addition, the ads adapt to device widths, so your ads will look as appealing as possible across all devices.

This is a great way of utilising Google’s advanced machine learning to find the best ad for the people searching for your products/services.

5) Take Advantage of a Learning Period

As with any digital marketing effort, an optimisation period is required before you will see the best results for your campaigns; this is the same for Google machine learning and automation in general.

Google’s learning phase will depend on the amount of data it has: if your account is relatively big, then Google may only need a couple of days. But if you have a smaller account, Google could require two week’s worth of data before you start seeing good results. It’s likely that you will not see the campaign’s best results until after the learning period.

So, you need to stay patient and give Google a fair test before reviewing the automated campaigns performance or making any significant changes.

Final Thoughts: Working In Tandem With Automation

Google’s machine learning and automation’s effectiveness will likely improve even further going forward; by getting to grips with it now, you can keep ahead of the curve. If you are able to find success with Google’s machine learning, then that can open up a whole lot of opportunities.

Automation can become a useful tool when properly implemented and can free up additional time for you to execute more complex and effective strategies, which you will benefit from in the long term.

If you have any questions about conversion and machine learning, want specific advice or need help setting yours up, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today >>>