seo strategy

What You Need to Know About Google’s Max Conversions Bid Strategy

Updated By: Grant Edrington

In May 2017, Google had an exclusive beta kept under wraps for select accounts at Seer. At the time, this beta was a new bidding strategy called Maximize Conversions.

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What is Google Ads Maximize Conversions Bidding Strategy?

Maximize conversions on Google Ads automatically sets bids to get the most possible conversions for your daily allotted budget. The max conversions strategy is one of many automated bidding strategies offered in Google Ads today.

Depending on your return on ad spend (ROAS) or cost per acquisition (CPA) goals, Maximize Conversions can be a great strategy to obtain the highest number of conversions while efficiently spending your daily budget in its entirety.

With the idea of spending your entire daily budget within a campaign, this bidding strategy can be wildly effective if you operate on a “use it or lose it” advertising budget as Google will leverage every opportunity to spend that daily budget to drive as many conversions as possible.

💡 Pro Tip: In order to leverage the Maximize Conversions strategy, be sure that you’re already tracking conversions especially conversions that closely align with your business goals.

Maximize Conversions 4-Week Experiment

The maximize conversions beta was initially only available to run as a 4-week experiment within a select number of campaigns that Google chose based on a specific set of criteria.

When Google first introduced this exclusive beta to only four accounts at Seer, we asked what factors they were using to determine which campaigns could test the beta. There were two main pieces of criteria that we could get our hands on:

  1. If your campaign generates at least 15 conversions/week
  2. If your campaign is consistently hitting its daily budgets

One thing to note is that the control in this experiment was whatever other bidding strategy your campaign is currently running. For example, if the campaign that you are running the experiment within is currently using the bidding strategy Optimize For Conversions, then that will be the control in the experiment.

Since being offered this beta, Seer was able to run over 10 experiments within various industries.

As of May 2017, the max conversions bidding strategy is now out of beta and available to all accounts/campaigns at Seer and has been rolled out fully to all advertisers in Q2 2017.

Below I will take you through the lessons we learned from the experiments we ran & recommendations for when to test the maximize conversions bidding strategy in your accounts.

Max Conversions – Lessons Learned & Recommendations

Lesson #1: It takes about 2 weeks for Google to learn how to optimize the campaign.

  • For several of the campaigns that we ran this test with, we saw performance decline slightly in those first two weeks then head up into the right for the remaining two weeks.
  • Recommendation: Don’t pause the experiment two weeks in once you see that performance is down. Let the experiment run for the whole 4 weeks.

Below is an example of one B2C client that saw performance decline after the first two weeks but then pick back up the last two weeks.

First two weeks:

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Last two weeks:

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Lesson #2: This will not work for all campaigns in all industries

  • At Seer, we ran 10+ tests and of the test, about 15% of the time, the max conversions bidding experiment performed worse than the control, which was the campaign original bidding strategy.
  • Recommendation: ALWAYS run this as an experiment first at a 50/50 split before rolling out 100% to your campaign. There is no consistent theme in terms of what types of campaigns this experiment did not perform well in, therefore, you should always run an experiment first.

Below is an example from one of our B2C clients where the experiment performed worse than the control:

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No one industry performed better than another. Seer was able to test this for education, a medical device company, healthcare, and a decking material company. Each of these industries saw at least one very successful test with this automated bidding strategy.

  • Recommendation: Run an experiment! We have yet to find an industry that this experiment does not work for at all.

Education Client

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Medical Sales Client

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Additional Recommendations

  1. Since the control in the experiment is the original bidding strategy (rotate evenly, rotate indefinitely, etc), Seer recommends that the original bidding strategy have already run for 30 days. If not, then you could run into the issue that Google is trying to optimize for two different bidding strategies at the same time rather than focusing on the new maximize conversions strategy.
  2. If there is one thing that you should take away from this entire post, it should be that you should always run this new bidding strategy as an experiment with a 50/50 split before rolling it out 100% to your campaign. This will allow for a completely even test and determine a clear winner at the end of the 4 week experiment.

Enjoy the conversions!