The New SA360: 5 Features That Will Impact Your 2024 Strategy

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As we approach the start of a brand new year, we are excited to guide you in maximizing your usage of the new Search Ads 360. To elevate your digital advertising efforts in the upcoming year, we have compiled a list of five enhanced or new features that deserve your attention.

5 Exciting Features That Will Impact Your 2024 Strategy

1)Value-Based Bidding 

Although forms of value-based bidding (VBB) have been around for quite some time, in the new SA360 experience, bidding to value on counter-based conversion actions has never been easier to configure. With VBB in the New Experience, you can focus on capturing the actions and customers that matter most instead of just acquiring leads at a set cost.

The Power of Floodlights

If you're already harnessing the power of Sales Floodlight activities, additional configuration isn't necessary but may be relevant if you're missing out on offline conversion data. If you aren't using Sales Floodlights, all you need to do in the New UI is assign a performance-based monetary "value" to one or more conversion actions. 

Tips for Determining Conversion Value

While assigning the value is easy, determining the value takes some thought. Here are some methods to consider:

  1. Lead Value: Google's Conversion Value Calculator can be utilized to calculate the value of each lead.
  2. Lead-based Profit Margin: If your CRM reports that 30% of leads become customers, and the average order value is $350 with a profit margin of 60%, the conversion value would amount to $63 (350 x 0.60 x 0.30).
  3. Estimated Lead Lifetime Value: If it is determined that over their lifetime, a customer spends on average an additional $1,000, and the profit margin remains the same, the profit per customer would be $810 (($350 + $1,000) x 0.60). With a conversion rate of 30%, the conversion value would be $243.

Enhancing VBB through Custom Variable Adjustments and Conversion Value Rules

In addition to defining the value of a conversion action, you can enhance VBB even more by employing Custom Variable Adjustments or Conversion Value Rules in your campaign settings. 

  • Through Custom Variable Adjustments, you can optimize VBB by bidding towards specific custom variables passed through your floodlight tags, such as travel and location, loyalty, products, and more. This allows you to consider additional factors that are important to your business, in addition to the base value of a conversion. 
  • With Conversion Value Rules, you can fine-tune assigned values based on the user's geographical location, device, or audience. This can be helpful if you have a national campaign but want to be able to bid more aggressively towards higher converting areas. In this scenario, you can assign different values to customers based on their geographical location. 
    • For example, customers in New York may be worth $500 to your business, while customers in Los Angeles are valued at $300 and customers in smaller metros like Kansas City are valued at $100. By creating value rules based on location, you can tailor your bidding strategy to prioritize specific areas and optimize your return on investment. 

Conversion bidding vs value bidding in new SA360

2) GA4 Linking

While GA4 property linking was initially available in the Legacy SA360 UI, capabilities have improved for advertisers who have migrated to the new experience. In the previous UI, only one GA4 property could be linked to each SA360 advertiser. In the new UI, each SA360 sub-manager can be associated with up to 200 GA4 properties. Additionally, the New SA360 UI now supports auction-time bidding with GA4 conversions for Google Ads campaigns and intra-day bidding for Microsoft Ads campaigns. In 2024, GA4 data-driven attribution will also be rolling out to the New SA360 UI. 

CM360's GA4 Integration

If you'd rather optimize and view conversion reporting based on CM360 attribution, you now have that option through CM360's GA4 integration.
Any GA4 conversions imported through that connection will automatically port into SA360 as Floodlights and will be reattributed based on CM360 modeling after GA4 conversion data is ingested.

GA4 conversions imported into SA360 directly must stay on a GA4 attribution model, so setting up the GA4 integration for both CM360 and SA360 opens up the full suite of GA4 conversion reporting in the New SA360 UI.

3) Performance Center 

Another feature that has been completely revamped is SA360’s Performance Center, which now combines the best parts of Performance Planner from Google Ads with the legacy Budget Management feature to provide an improved planning, forecasting, and budget optimization suite. 

Example of SA360's performance center
With this tool, your team can plan, optimize, and report on ad spend for the fiscal year, quarter, month, or week. When combined with one of SA360's robust budget bid strategies, you can supercharge your budget and efforts by automating your performance plan to not only hit your desired spend target but bid towards a set performance goal. 

4) Additional Campaign Support

Back in 2018, Adwords was officially rebranded to Google Ads in order to better represent all available creative formats. Google hasn't looked back since then, continuously updating its landmark Search platform by introducing new campaign types and features. More recently, Google transitioned Smart Shopping campaigns into Performance Max, uniting search, shopping, display, and video formats in one powerful configuration. 

With all of these changes, SA360 needed to adapt. The New SA360 UI now supports the creation and management of the most commonly used campaign types in Google Ads, including Performance Max, Demand Gen (Discovery), Display, and Video (YouTube). 

The new SA360 now offers a variety of additional campaign support, including creative management through the integration of Google Ads' Asset Library. And Performance Max campaigns can now employ SA360 bid strategies optimizing towards Floodlight activities, which is expected to roll out to other campaign types in the future. You can even include a Performance Max campaign within a Performance Plan, and manage its spend with a Budget Bid Strategy, allocating spend between Search and Performance Max campaigns based on current and historical performance. 

5) Looker + New Reporting

If you have experience with Google Ads reporting, you'll easily adapt to SA360's new reporting interface. The New SA360 offers 77 pre-defined reports that can be customized and utilized at all levels of the New SA360 hierarchy. If none of the available templates fit your reporting needs, you can also build a custom report from scratch. Although Executive Reports have been deprecated, executive-level reporting hasn't gone away. At the Manager account level (previously Agency), any Custom Columns with manager-level ownership can now be added to reports, giving users the ability to see overall account performance with greater precision. 

Speaking of reports in the Legacy UI, if you were using Conversions & Visits reports to filter out Scaled Conversions modeling, that report has now been split into two within the New UI. The Conversion events report outlines every attributed conversion event that has occurred, detailed with a timestamp, click ID, and attribution information. Like the Legacy Conversions & Visits report, this report excludes Scaled Conversions. The Visit events report is very similar but focuses on visits instead of conversions and provides greater granularity. Both of these reports must be downloaded, as several dimensions aren't supported within the UI.

The New SA360 UI also incorporates dashboards, allowing you to easily combine multiple reports all within a user-friendly navigation. If creating an impressive visualization is your goal, however, Looker Studio might be a better option. By tapping into SA360's new Looker Studio data connector, you can present performance data in highly customizable charts, scorecards, and tables. Unlike the Legacy SA360 data connector in Looker Studio, the new connector allows you to pull in custom conversion and formula columns for increased precision in conversion reporting and attribution. You can even blend SA360 data with other channel data in Looker Studio to get a better picture of how your various marketing channels are working together to drive performance.

Honorable Mentions 

Facebook Gateway

Another exciting update to the new Search Ads 360 is the incorporation of Gateway technology. The current state of this feature allows Facebook Ad accounts to ultimately sync into SA360. However, even with the Gateway feature available, there is a significant technical and resource lift in order to enable the feature properly and get vital social data in Search Ads 360. That is where Adswerve’s patented technology, called UNIFIRE, comes in.

Our UNIFIRE app simplifies the complex process through UNIFIRE’s simple UI; only a few button clicks are needed to automate the Gateway creation process, a process that typically calls for IT or a developer. Instead, UNIFIRE enables you to fast forward to creating your Facebook Ads client account in SA360 and begin reaping the benefits of SA360’s tried and true auto-tagging, reporting, and management capabilities.

Recommendations Tab

In recent years, Google and Microsoft have been putting more emphasis on Optimization Scores, which Google describes as "an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform." While the exact impact of the Optimization Score on performance is unknown, Google notes that a score of 100% means that an account will be able to perform at full potential. Optimization scores can be improved by either manually or auto-applying system recommendations, which are now available for both Google and Microsoft Ads in the New SA360 UI. When scoped down to the Google Ads client-account level, you'll be able to see your current Optimization Score and the percentage improvement that accepting specific recommendations will yield. At the sub-manager level, recommendations can also factor in Floodlight conversion data if Floodlights are shared with Google Ads and applied as a conversion goal.

Interested in learning more about the powerful potential of the new Search Ads 360? We’d love to chat! Contact us today.