Monitoring Bidding Performance

The following table provides issues that affect Strategy performance. How to identify the cause and corrective actions for each issue is listed in the following section.

Issue Strategy below CPL Target Strategy above CPL Target
Bid Override
Google Optimizer
Conversion Rate / Value Change
Headroom % Change
Some historical dates do not reflect the expected performance
Using Min Bid Setting  
Latent Conversions / Revenue  
Keyword bids using Max. CPL i.e., below Min Bid  
Lack of Inventory  

Corrective Actions 

1. Several Keywords Within The Strategy Are Set To Bid Override 

Identify: In the Keywords tab, filter the Override column for 'On' to determine if keywords are set to Override.

Corrective action: Remove campaigns containing Keywords on override from the Strategy or turn off Override.

2. Conversion Rate And/Or Conversion Value Has Changed 

No corrective action is needed. The Marin Bidding algorithm adapts to the most recent data.

3. Headroom % Has Changed 

The Headroom % is typically between 10-40% for most Strategies. The Headroom % for a Strategy does not typically change unless additional campaigns are added, removed, or paused.

Corrective action: Add the Headroom % and Boost columns to the grid. Use the last two weeks of data to determine Headroom % and adjust the Boost accordingly.

4. Some Historical Dates Do Not Reflect The Expected Performance 

Any historical dates that do not reflect expected performance (e.g., days with promotions, holidays, bad conversion/revenue data) should be excluded from bidding.

Identify: Confirm that Conversions data is accurate for all historical dates not excluded from bidding. The History tab can be used to quickly check if conversions appear accurate for all history.

Corrective action: Exclude dates from the Strategy.

5. First Page Bid (Min Bid) Is Being Applied 

Identify: Check the Strategy Rules to see if Always keep above bid for first page /Minimum Bid box is checked.

Corrective action: Uncheck the Always keep above bid for first page / Minimum Bid box for the relvant Strategy.

6. Latent Conversions/Revenue Are Still Being Uploaded 

Corrective action: Wait until >95% of Conversions (and the corresponding Revenue) have been uploaded for a date range before checking if the Strategy is meeting financial objectives.

7. Bids Are Being Automatically Increased For Search Keywords That Are Below The Min Bid (First Page Bid): Using Max. CPL 

If Marin calculates a bid that is below the publisher-specified Min bid (first page bid), Marin will automatically increase the bid up to the lesser of the Min Bid or the Bid that would achieve the Max. CPL Target. Most clients prefer specifying a Max. CPL because it helps maintain volume.

Identify: Add the Search Bid and Min Bid columns to the Keywords tab. A keyword bid is being increased (to hit the Max. CPL) if the Search Bid is less than or equal to the Min Bid.

Corrective action: Change the Max. CPL target in the Strategy to equal the Strategy CPL target, then turn this feature off. For example, to target a $2 CPL, set both the CPL Target and the Max. CPL Target to $2.

8. Lack Of Inventory 

In the lead generation vertical, it is common to run out of inventory. When this happens, it no longer makes sense to bid on affected campaigns.

Identify: Look at the Rev/Click in the History tab. The Rev/Click typically drops if there is no inventory, but users are still clicking on ads.

Corrective action: The most effective method to reduce ad spend after running out of inventory is to Pause affected campaigns and later unpause the campaigns when the inventory is replenished. With this methodology, no changes to the bidding solution need to be made.

Written by Marketing @ Marin Software

Last published at: January 18th, 2024