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Bidding and Optimization

Home > English > Bidding and Optimization > Bidding Basics > Bid Strategies

Bid Strategies


A Bid Strategy in MarinOne (known as a Folder in Marin Search) is a collection of campaigns and ad groups that allow you to define bidding goals and strategies based on your own business needs. These campaigns and groups should have the same goal (e.g. Cost-per-Lead Target or Awareness Targeting) and a shared budget, as spend is most effectively managed at the Bid Strategy level.

In this article, we'll explain how to create, structure, and assign your Bid Strategies. In this article, we'll cover Bid Strategies in MarinOne as well as Folders in Marin Search. So let's begin!

How to create a Bid Strategy/Folder

In MarinOne

When a new Bid Strategy is created in MarinOne, it will also be created in Marin Search. Vice versa is also true -- a new Folder created in Marin Search will result in a corresponding Bid Strategy in MarinOne. You do not need to create your Bid Strategy/Folder in both locations -- this will take place automatically.

To create a new Bid Strategy in MarinOne, follow the steps below.

  1. The first step, as always, is to log into MarinOne. 
  2. Next, click on the Optimization tab from the left-hand navigation. 


  3. From here, click on the Create button ('+' icon) above the grid. bs2.jpg
  4. Next, you will need to select what kind of targeting you'd like your new Bid Strategy to use. You select from one of the following options:
    1. Maximize Rev. to ROAS uses a target ROAS to maximize your revenue. 
    2. Awareness Targeting uses a target impression rate % or position target to maximize traffic.
    3. Maximize Convs. to CPA uses a target Cost per Lead to maximize your conversions.




  5. Once you've selected your targeting, you'll give your new Bid Strategy a name and enter an initial target. Don't worry, though, you'll have a chance to update your target once your Bid Strategy has been created. 


  6. Then, click Create


  7. That's all there is to it! We'll learn about how to assign campaigns, groups, and product groups to your new Bid Strategy in the next section. 
Want to create multiple Bid Strategies at once? You can use the platform's bulk upload feature to do exactly that. Read our dedicated Support Center article for more information about bulk uploads.

In Marin Search

When a new Folder is created in Marin Search, it will also be created in Marin Search. Vice versa is also true -- a new Bid Strategy created in MarinOne will result in a corresponding Folder in Marin Search. You do not need to create your Bid Strategy/Folder in both locations -- this will take place automatically.

To create a new Folder in Marin Search, follow the steps below.

  1. Click into the main Bidding tab.
  2. Click the + Create button above the grid.
  3. Give your new Folder a name.
  4. At this point, you can optionally choose to duplicate Folder settings from an existing Folder by checking the Duplicate Folder Settings From checkbox and selecting the relevant Folder from the drop-down.


  5. Click Save to create your new Folder. 


How to assign campaigns, groups, and product groups to Bid Strategies

In MarinOne

From the Optimization Tab

  1. The first step, as always, is to log into MarinOne. 
  2. Next, click on the Optimization tab from the left-hand navigation.


  3. Once you've identified the Bid Strategy where you'd like to assign campaigns, groups, or product groups, simply double-click on the Bid Strategy name to launch the Side Panel. This is where you'll find various settings associated with your Bid Strategy. 
  4. From the Side Panel, hover over the Campaigns & Ad Groups section until you see the Edit button ('pencil' icon) appear. Click this icon to make updates to your assignments. 


  5. You can use the toggles provided to switch between the level at which you'd like to make your assignments. Click the Campaigns toggle to map at the campaign level or the Group toggle to map at the group level. You can also use the Search Bar to identify specific campaigns or groups that you would like to assign. 



  6. From the list, simply click the check-box next to a specific campaign or group in order to assign it to this Bid Strategy. This will add the selected campaigns and groups to a narrower list below (in the Selected section) of only of those campaigns and groups that have been assigned to this Bid Strategy.


  7. In the Selected section, the Type column identifies the level at which the assignment was made, either campaign or group. 
  8. If you wish to remove a campaign or group assignment, simply click the Delete button ('trash can' icon) next to the corresponding campaign or group. bs12.jpg
  9. When you're happy with your campaign and group assignments, click the Save button. 



From the Grid

  1. The first step, as always, is to log into MarinOne. 
  2. Next, navigate to the Campaigns or Groups tab, depending on the granularity with which you'd like to assign objects to your Bid Strategy. 
  3. Select the check-boxes next to the campaigns or groups you would like to assign to your Bid Strategy. You can even use filters to help narrow down what's visible in the grid. 
  4. Select the Edit button ('pencil' icon) above the grid. 
  5. From the multi-edit pane, select Map Bid Strategy


  6. Next, you'll have the opportunity to create a new Bid Strategy or assign your campaigns or groups to an existing Bid Strategy by selecting the corresponding radio button.
  7. If you choose to create a new Bid Strategy, you'll have the opportunity to give your Bid Strategy a name, select what kind of targeting you'd like to use, and set an introductory target.
  8. If you choose to assign your objects to an existing Bid Strategy, simply select the right one from the drop-down. 
  9. Lastly, click Apply


In Marin Search

To make assignments from Marin Search without using the Quick Link in MarinOne, simply follow the steps below. 

  1. Head to the main Bidding tab, then click on the Folder to which you'd like to assign objects.
  2. In the Folder Settings menu on the left, click Folder Mapping.



  3. Next, click + Add Entire Campaign or + Add Groups.



  4. From the pop-up grid which appears, use the checkboxes on the left to select the campaigns or groups to be assigned to the Folder.


  5. To finish the assignment, just click Save.
It may take up to 2 hours for Folder assignments to be shown in the main Campaigns or Groups tabs. and for Folders to show accurate data on the Bidding tab. This depends on the number of campaign/group assignments you've carried out. If the Folder is still not visible on the Bidding tab, we recommend that you remove all metrics columns from the grid using the platform's View Builder.

How to edit your bid strategy

In MarinOne

  1. The first step, as always, is to log into MarinOne. 
  2. Next, click on the Optimization tab from the left-hand navigation. 


  3. From here, you will see a grid of your existing Bid Strategies. Click on the Bid Strategy you would like to edit to launch the Side Panel. The Side Panel is an overlay that sits on top of the grid and can be launched without navigating away from the grid, in order to adjust a number of different fields, including your Bid Strategy's targeting, Rules, mode (On/Off/Preview), and more. 
  4. When you see a field that you would like to edit, simply hover over it until the Edit ('pencil') icon is visible. Click on the Edit ('pencil') iconbs6.jpg

    You can make updates to your targeting in this same manner.
  5. Make any necessary updates, then click Save. If you have multiple fields you would like to edit (for example, targeting and traffic mode), be sure to click Save in each section before moving to the next. 


  6. That's all there is to it! 

In Marin Search

  1. Click into the main Bidding tab.
  2. Once you've determined the Folder you'd like to edit, click into the Folder to open its Settings page. 
  3. Once on the Settings page, you can adjust your Folder's targeting, Rules, and more. 
  4. When you've finished making updates, don't forget to click Save

How To Structure Your Bid Strategies

Now that you know how to create Bid Strategies, it's a good idea to understand how best to structure them.

The key to a successful Bid Strategy structure is alignment with your business goals while also ensuring that each Bid Strategy has a statistically significant amount of monthly conversion volume. 100 conversions per month is ideal and 11 conversions all-time is a requirement, but anything over 40 conversions per month may still work for your business.

If your Bid Strategy has fewer than 100 conversions per month (but greater than 40 conversions per month) and you've used Marin's automated bidding successfully in the past, you do not need to discontinue using Bid Strategies, but keep in mind that you might see better performance if your Bid Strategy is able to reach the 100 conversion threshold. 

Below we'll outline some best practices for structuring your Bid Strategy. 

1. Many marketers choose to use our Awareness Targeting to maintain an impression rate % or average position for Brand campaigns and groups. In this case, we recommend that you create separate Brand and Non-Brand Bid Strategies to leverage Awareness Targeting bidding against brand terms, and financial bidding for non-brand terms.


2. Create a Bid Strategy called Exploratory Spend for all ad groups and product groups with very little historical data -- i.e. those with less than 10-50 clicks all-time, depending on the importance of short-term vs long-term performance needs. Groups with little historical click data will require more data to be gathered in order to determine if they will perform at your efficiency target.

  • If a short-term performance gain is your top priority, use a higher click threshold such as 50 clicks.
  • If you are interested in investing spend into data for long-term performance gains, consider a lower click threshold such as 10 or 20 clicks.

3. Create a separate Bid Strategy for each of your business goals. For example:

  • If you want to maintain a certain position or impression rate % for brand terms and achieve a specific Cost-per-Lead for non-brand terms, create a Bid Strategy for each.
  • A retail marketer has different Cost-per-Lead goals for different product lines, and should therefore create a Bid Strategy for each product line.

4. Make sure that your Bid Strategies align with your budgets. For example:

  • An education marketer has different budgets for targeting undergraduate students and graduate students, and should therefore create a Bid Strategy for each corresponding set of campaigns.
  • A marketer has a separate budget for traditional search ads and shopping ads, and should therefore create two Bid Strategies accordingly.

5. For advanced segmentation of performance-based Bid Strategies, consider segmenting high volume Bid Strategies by an attribute with a large variance in performance. 

Note: Do not do this if the resulting Bid Strategies will have less than 100 conversions per week.

For example:

  • A travel marketer has a single ROI goal for all non-brand campaigns, but the conversion rate is significantly different between Flight and Hotel campaigns. They can choose to create separate Bid Strategies so that the data shared for low volume keywords is more relevant.


It's important to know that keywords with very little historical data will borrow data from similar keywords within the same Bid Strategy.

A note on Segmenting Non-brand Bid Strategies

If you have just one consistent goal across all Non-Brand Search campaigns and groups, we recommend keeping all of these Non-Brand Search campaigns and groups in just one Bid Strategy.

If you have varying business goals or products, it is possible to create separate Bid Strategies if each segment averages more than 40 conversions per month. Having more available conversions per Bid Strategy improves performance, since the statistical confidence of the bid calculations is increased with the amount of sample data.

If each segment will maintain 40 conversions, we'd recommend that you consider the following approaches:

  • Segment by bidding goal, including Awareness Targeting, conversion (lead)-based bidding or revenue-based bidding.

  • If you have a large portion of spend on low-volume keywords, consider segmenting by product lines.

  • Generally, we recommend against segmenting by publisher.

  • To reduce potential risk from volatile bids on extremely low-volume Campaigns and Groups, consider mapping Groups with fewer than 10 clicks all-time to an Exploratory Spend Bid Strategy and set it to Off. As groups accrue clicks and budgets permit, you can move them to the appropriate Bid Strategy.

Device Bidding

To set up device bidding, from the Side Panel, click into the Traffic to Publisher section and check the box for Device Bidding. Then click Save to finalize your changes.




Important notes

Below are a few things to bear in mind when working with Bid Strategies in the platform.

  • Campaigns and groups can also be assigned to a Bid Strategy by using the platform's Multi-Edit or Bulk Upload features.
  • If you'd like to assign product groups within the same ad group to different Bid Strategy, you must use the bulk upload method.
  • By default, all campaigns and groups will be assigned to the Unassigned Bid Strategy. To remove a campaign or group from a Bid Strategy you created, you can re-assign it to the Unassigned Bid Strategy using the steps listed above.
  • If you would like additional recommendations for keeping your bidding running smoothly, check out our Bidding Health Recommendations article.



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