Last week we kicked off our mini blog series addressing some Google Universal App campaign (UAC) FAQs. The first topic of discussion–different bid types. As you probably know by now, Google’s newest ad offering gives marketers an all-in-one solution to advertise their applications across the Google network. They differ from other channels in that most of the optimization is done by the Google algorithm. There are, however, several levers to tweak in optimizing your Google UAC.
This blog post will explore the basics of setting bid amount and budget, expanding on last week’s post on the different types of Google UAC bid types.
Setting Your Bid
As we explored in our previous post, you can optimize your campaign targeting to focus on getting app installs or finding valuable users based on actions you care about, like in-app conversions. Once you’ve determined which route is best for your business goals, it’s time to set the bid amount.
How to Set Your App Install Bid
When optimizing for app installs, AdWords will optimize your bids and targeting to help you get the greatest number of new users for your app. The bid you set should be the average amount you'd like to spend each time someone installs your app. As an advanced option in the new UAC experience, you can also target 'users likely to install and perform a specific action,' although you will still be bidding against cost per install (CPI).
🐼 Pointer: In determining the appropriate app install bid, look to your existing AdWords campaigns as well as other paid acquisition channels, and start at the higher range as you’ll see your average CPI or CPA come in significantly below your target.
How to Set Your In-app Event Bid
When optimizing for in-app actions, AdWords will focus on people who are most likely to complete the specific in-app events you've set up and selected for this campaign. Set the target CPA (cost per action) to be the average amount you'd like to spend each time someone performs the selected in-app action in your app.
🐼 Pointer: Try to align your CPA target as closely as possible to what the actual monetary value is.
Setting Your Budget
Regardless of what bid type you’re using, how you set your daily budget is critical, as it determines how your ads will pace. Google recommends setting your daily budget at least 50 times greater than your bid. It should, however, be realistic for your business, and bigger isn’t always better. We’ll talk about that in the troubleshooting section of this post.
In the budget section of Google UAC, advertisers are also given two delivery method options–standard and accelerated delivery.
🐼 Pointer: 99% of the time we recommend not using accelerated delivery.
Also keep in mind that because traffic fluctuates from day to day, Google may allow your campaign to spend up to 20% more in one day than your daily budget specifies. However, Google attempts to make sure it evens out over a billing cycle, not charging more than 30.4 times your daily budget. If you do go over, your account will automatically be credited at the end of the billing cycle.
Adjusting and Troubleshooting
Google UAC’s simplicity is both a pro and a con. When your campaigns aren’t performing as expected, it’s hard to determine why, and the only way is to troubleshoot. While we always recommend giving your campaigns time to adjust to updates–at least two weeks–there are ways to adjust your budget if you’re spending too much or too little.
What to do if you're hitting your budget cap
As we mentioned, Google recommends 50x tCPI and to stay budget uncapped. Most obviously, if you’re hitting your cap, upping your budget should help. You can also lower your bid, change your bid type or tweak your location targeting.
🐼 Pointer: We recommend that you start by adjusting your bid down. If you’re still hitting your budget cap and have the resources to, start incrementally upping your budget by no more than 20% at a time.
What to do if you're not coming close to your budget cap
Although more uncommon, we have seen clients struggle to meet daily budget. If you’re falling short and having a hard time scaling on Google UAC, the obvious solution is to increase your bid, but there are other levers at your disposal.
🐼 Pointer: If you can, broaden your location targeting and pause additional campaigns that are running to avoid competing with yourself. If your campaigns don’t begin to pace over the next weeks, we recommend that you try lowering your max budget, as it can help re-calibrate the Google algorithm.
In addition to those tweaks, you should also be making the most of the creative asset space at your disposal. By utilizing all the different asset, the Google algorithm can perform at it's best. Watch out for next week's post for more on this topic.
Adjusting budget to encourage desired actions
Budgets can be adjusted across multiple campaigns within single accounts to steer the algorithm in specific directions. Google provides some great examples in this ‘Inside AdWords’ blog post.
Google UAC can certainly drive success for organizations, and we've been able to help our clients make the most of them. We worked with one of our clients, ChimpChange, to launch this channel and within weeks they saw tremendous app install volume, a decreased CPI, and improved in-app conversions.
Get the ChimpChange case study >
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