Help for the Holidays: 4 Ways SA360 Automation Can Boost Search Performance

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2020 has been an unpredictable year so it should come as no surprise that there may be uncertainty surrounding this year's holiday season as well. To stay ahead of the game, businesses are rethinking business models and adapting to current trends. Being dynamic and adaptable during this seasonal period is key as customer’s behaviors are constantly changing. Luckily, Search Ads 360 (SA360) has the tools and automation solution that can help search marketers succeed and navigate the complexities of what the 2020 season brings.  As a component of the Google Marketing Platform, SA360 is known for streamlining Search efforts across multiple engines on a daily basis. That being said, the platform's automation capabilities become even more invaluable during busy holiday seasons. Here are four ways in which SA360 automation can help boost search performance during this seasonal time. SA360 Automation Solutions Thrive in Dynamic Markets It’s recommended to keep automation on throughout the holiday season to help maximize your Search performance and capture as many opportunities as possible that align with your business goals. SA360 bid strategies are built to handle frequent or sudden changes in queries and demand, which includes changes that happen seasonally or during unpredictable periods. The goal of fully automated bid strategies is to optimize bids to meet your KPIs. SA360 automation features can help you save time and leverage additional data points, making this an ideal tool during the dynamic holiday season.  Faster Reactions via Auction-Time Bidding Auction-time bidding (ATB) is one of the best bidding solutions offered in SA360. It is available for Google engines and uses Google signals to optimize in real-time in order to improve campaign performance. ATB adds query level and proprietary signals - combining Google Ads and SA360 - to open up the possibility to optimize towards these rich sets of signals and set a distinct bid for every auction.  Another benefit of this solution is that it adjusts bids at every auction according to unique ATB signals rather than just a few times a day. In addition, bidding decisions can respond rapidly to sudden changes in performance, while also taking the wider search environment into account. In a busy holiday season where auctions are plentiful, ATB can lead to more informed bids that help you achieve better performance while also saving you the time of having to manually make these adjustments yourself. Informed Predictions via Seasonality Adjustments Seasonality adjustments will allow you to make adjustments for future special events or times of the year. This feature has the ability to inform your ROI bid strategies of an upcoming sale or promotional period so you can avoid missed opportunities by boosting bids during the seasonal periods. The best time to use seasonality adjustments would be for short periods that will have significant changes in your conversion rate, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. For example, if your promotional period is less than 7 days and your conversion rate change is more than 30%, it is recommended to use this feature to allow SA360 to efficiently make adjustments for you. Seasonality adjustments work by allowing you to inform the algorithm of the upcoming event and inputting the expected conversion rate change. The bid strategy will automatically factor in the expected impact on performance and will take this into account for overall bidding during the event. This feature will be able to capture the increase in demand and give you greater control to hit your goals during the holiday season.  Optimize Bids with Data-Driven Attribution Data-driven attribution (DDA) will analyze the interactions in your campaigns and create a model for attributing conversion credit based on where an interaction occurs in a conversion path. A customer’s journey is often more complex than only taking into account the last click, especially during the holiday season. With the DDA model, attribution will be based on the value the clicks played in influencing a customer’s decision to convert. Here, the DDA model will learn how to distribute credit for conversions across all of the click-based interactions in a conversion path and assign a specific credit to all touchpoints that contributed to a conversion.  Include data-driven attribution for new and existing bid strategies to better boost performance during the holiday season. Doing this will allow the system to access more signals for better optimization, as the automated bidding will be able to take into account all the touchpoints that mattered. DDA will not only assign credit to each interaction, but you will be able to use the DDA model to understand your consumer’s behavior and the path they took before purchasing. With this feature, you will be able to better evaluate your upper and lower funnel keywords, bring more value to cross-device interactions and acquire more signals for improved automation.