Can Google’s Smart Goals Make Adwords Smarter?

Date 31 Jul 2017
Posted in PPC


As an advertiser, your SEO efforts would have definitely included dealing with Google AdWords and/or Analytics on a regular basis. Now with the introduction of Google’s Smart Goals, you are once again faced with the marketing conundrum of whether to expend your time and energy on this. Our SEO experts at GR Imagine don’t want you scratching your head any further, and with this post are going to get you up to date with Smart Goals so you can decide for yourself.

What are Smart Goals?
Smart Goals track your website’s most engaged visits and convert them into Goals. It can be described as a ‘pseudo’ conversion tool as it is basically measuring the visits that are most likely to convert into sales, leads or any other intended actions put forth on your site. Goals are based on the learnings from complex algorithms, that analyze and track sessions that score high in duration, pages per session, location, device, and browser. The top 5% scorers are turned into Goals. You can then use these Goals to optimize your AdWords bidding. This is especially helpful when you don’t have ecommerce tracking or are still a fairly small advertiser.

A few prerequisites…
If you want to authorize the use of Smart Goals, you will first and foremost need to have an AdWords account, which is linked to your Google Analytics. Of course, you have to have permission to Edit at the View level to set it all up.

According to the Google’s Help Page ‘, your linked AdWords account must have sent at least 500 clicks to the selected Analytics view over the past 30 days before you can set up Smart Goals. If the linked account falls below 250 clicks over the past 30 days for the selected view, Smart Goals will be deactivated until the clicks rise again to 500 or more.’ Additionally, your reporting view must not have received more than 10 million sessions in 30 days, if you want Smart Goals to be enabled.

If you’ve met the above prerequisites, we can finally begin.

Setting up Smart Goals and importing it into AdWords.
In your Admin’s account, ‘VIEW’ Column, click Goal. Click +New Goal. If are eligible, you should be able to see an option of ‘Smart Goal’. Select it, name your new smart goal and save it.

Now if you want to optimize your AdWords performance, you will have to import these smart goals into AdWords. For that, sign into your AdWords account, select conversions under the Tools tab. In the left-hand menu, click on Analytics. You can then select the goals or transactions you want to import. The following page will have all the applicable settings of the goals you want to import, choose and click import.

How do Smart Goals optimize your AdWords performance?
When Smart Goals has accumulated substantial data in AdWords over the course of a few weeks, then divide the cost of your ads by the number of completed Smart Goals, to give you your cost per acquisition (CPA). After you get a fair idea of the numbers, you can set the target CPA in the future.

How Google thinks you will benefit from Smart Goals?
Google created Smart Goals, so that advertisers who didn’t have large enough conversion volumes to be able to use AdWords’ optimization tools like ‘Maximize Clicks’ ,should also have the opportunity to set their target CPAs backed by some substantial data. If you are a small or medium sized advertiser, who cannot measure conversions, Smart Goals is a good short-term solution. On the other hand, if your conversions have low volumes, Smart Goals can aid those figures.

Limitations of Smart Goals

According to Google, Smart Goals come with many limitations. These include, not being configurable or customizable. You have only one Smart Goal per view and only available for desktop and not mobile app views.
Another important concern is that when Smart Goals supports the automated bidding in Adwords, an advertiser will not be able to take into account any other external changes, like website updates or offline campaigns. And obviously, if your Google Views have are tracking a large volume of conversions, it will be pointless to use Smart Goals.

Our team is of the opinion that you need to firstly understand where you stand in your business, before adopting any new tool from Google. If you are having trouble measuring conversions and want to be able to better control you CPA, you may want to enable Smart Goals.

Now, are you feeling a bit smarter about Smart Goals?

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