5 Pro Tips for maximising seasonal PPC outcomes when using automated bidding

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by Amanda Butler

September 7, 2020

How to get the most from automated bidding for the upcoming holiday season

If you’re an adopter of Google’s automated bidding strategies, a vital part of this year’s seasonal PPC planning will include a strong, best practice strategy for helping the bidding algorithm to make the most of fast-paced changes in demand. To give you a head start, we’ve put together our 5 Pro-tips for maximising seasonal PPC outcomes when using automated bidding.

1. Make sure you’ve got enough budget

An obvious but important consideration! Any seasonal event opportunities (including and outside of automated bidding) will not be fully realised if you have a limited budget.

Make sure you’ve checked how much was spent last year and what demand might be this year, especially if you’ve seen an uplift in performance from the automated bidding strategy. Don’t be caught short!

2. Be conscious of value vs volume

With huge increases in search volume and conversions, seasonal periods are a key time to year to maximise sales AND traffic.

Be clear on your highest acceptable CPA or lowest acceptable ROAS and if you’re seeing great results, push the limit of your targets to make sure that you’re not leaving incremental opportunity on the table.

3. What to do about short and sharp campaigns

If your campaign will be live for less than 7 days before an event, and meets the criteria for implementing an automated bid strategy, you can still use Target CPA or Target ROAS – just with relaxed targets.

Try a goal like 2x your usual CPA or ½ your usual ROAS to allow the campaign to optimise more quickly and capture as much short-term opportunity as possible.

4. Max Conversions or Max Conversion Value

If you’re using Max Conversions or Max Conversion Value as your bidding strategy, the system is able to handle and optimise for both long term trends and short term event bursts, so you can sit back and relax (just kidding, we know you’re super busy) – no changes to your bidding strategy are necessary to take advantage of seasonal fluctuations.

5. Target CPA or Target ROAS

The machine learning algorithm can handle medium-long term changes to traffic and conversion just fine, so there is no need to make any adjustments for these trends.

However, if you’re expecting a short burst change to conversion rate – rule of thumb is an expected change of 30%+ within a 3 day period – you’ll need to provide the bidding algorithm with additional information. In this situation, you can either adjust your goal or or implement Google’s seasonality adjustments. To help in decision making, and as a quick reference guide, we’ve created a flowchart as a guide.

Googles seasonality adjustment flowchart

Build your calendar and some more super helpful resources

Some links to help you build out your seasonal calendar – don’t forget the essentials like – ‘Guacamole Day’ coming up on the 16th or ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day on the 19th of this month!


For more information on seasonal preparedness, check out our best practice guide on how to prepare your digital agency for the holiday season.

Want to know more about automated bidding in general? Check out our quick reference guide.

If you have any questions though about how to implement this, of course our automation team is happy to help 🙂

Keen to know more about advertising automation and what PPC Samurai can do for you? AWESOME! Schedule a free demo with one of our specialists. We’d love to know more about you and what we can do to help you.

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