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Am I Bidding Against Myself?

Today I’m going to be answering a question that somebody emailed in. The question comes from Oren. It’s in reference to smart campaigns, but this applies in other situations also.

He says:

“So I have an upsetting situation. I’m running two campaigns for the same product. One is a search campaign, and the other is a smart campaign. The ads are almost identical. However, the smart campaign is by far beating my search campaign.  Am I bidding against myself in some way?”

There’s a couple of things I want to address here. 

First, the thought about bidding against yourself. 

As long as these campaigns are in the same account, no, you’re not somehow bidding against yourself.

And this applies in all situations. If you have two different search campaigns running, (perhaps using different bidding methods), no, you’re not going to be bidding against yourself. Google is simply going to decide for each impression that comes along as to which campaign it is going to send that person to. 

It doesn’t bid against yourself. In fact, in many instances, it’s advantageous to have multiple campaigns because Google’s going to send the traffic to the campaign that it thinks is going to actually do the best with it (and have the best chance of meeting that campaign goal). 

This also applies to YouTube ads. For example, you might have different campaigns set up with different types of targeting. Maybe you have a placement campaign, and a keyword campaign, and an audience campaign. Well, each impression and each view is only going to go to one campaign at a time. And again, Google’s going to send that person to the campaign that it thinks is going to have the best chance of meeting the campaign goals within. 

Let’s say you had a frequency cap sets in each campaign of two impressions per day. Someone could still potentially see your ad, more than twice a day (if they had qualifying targeting met in multiple campaigns). 

Maybe they hit the two impressions per day in your placement campaign. They won’t see that ad anymore, but you have another threshold set in your audiences campaign. And they’re also in an audience you’re targeting. Now that person could see your ad again in the audience campaign. 

But in all these instances, you’re not bidding against yourself. 

The only time that would happen is if you are running ads in different accounts. As long as all your campaigns are in the same account, you’re not bidding against yourself, Google is simply going to send that traffic to one of your campaigns. 

Now, let me also address this part of the question:

“The smart campaign is, by far, beating my search campaign.”

Well, that mostly brings up more questions for me: 

  • What are you looking at as this metric? 
  • Are you looking at the cost per click, (which doesn’t matter a whole lot)? 
  • Are you looking at conversions? 

Maybe the smart campaign is tracking more conversions than your search campaign is. That’s usually how smart campaigns are defaulted to set up. They’re actually going to be tracking more things as conversions that you normally wouldn’t be tracking as conversions in your regular search campaign. 

So if that’s the case, I’d look into that. Now, if you actually are tracking the exact same conversions in both campaigns, and you’re still finding the smart campaign is beating your search campaign, I’d really look into the search campaign setup. 

If a search campaign is set up well, and if you need some guidance on that, I’d start by finding my Google Ads setup tutorial on YouTube. If you just search “Google Ads Setup Kyle Sulerud” on YouTube, you should find that tutorial. That’ll help you set up a good solid search campaign.

With a good solid search campaign, a smart campaign should not be beating it. It just shouldn’t. 

Thank you very much, Oren for asking this question.

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