Overview of the 6 Best AI Tools in Online Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEA) is subject to constant adjustments, and Google is known for continuously introducing new updates and features. However, in a recent release, the industry leader announces a significant change for advertisers: the discontinuation of auto-optimized CPC (Enhanced CPC or ECPC) for shopping campaigns. In our article, the team at our online marketing agency takes a close look at this change as well as new formats like Performance Max and explains what they mean for online marketing experts and advertisers.

Google Ads discontinues auto-optimized CPC (ECPC) for Shopping.

The auto-optimized Cost-per-Click (ECPC) has long been a popular choice in the Online Marketing Strategy of advertisers who made manual bid adjustments in Google Ads.

This smart bidding search engine advertising was designed to increase conversions while keeping the average CPC lower than the maximum CPC (including bid adjustments) within the marketing budget.

However, the introduction of ECPC occurred approximately ten years ago, and since then, Google has consistently developed more efficient solutions for bid management. Now, ECPC is being discontinued in early October 2023.

What can advertisers expect with the end of ECPC campaigns?

Starting in October, Shopping campaigns that relied on ECPC will behave similarly to campaigns with manual CPC bids in SEA. Google is shifting its focus towards other bidding strategies, particularly Performance Max campaigns.

In 2021, Smart Shopping and Local campaigns were replaced by Performance Max campaigns, and advertisers were required to transition their campaigns by the end of September 2022.

Performance Max campaigns are a type of Google Ads campaigns aimed at maximizing performance and reach. They provide access to various Google platforms, including the Search Network, Display Network, YouTube, Discovery Network, and Gmail, offering numerous ways to reach potential customers across different channels.

Performance Max campaigns leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize keywords, bids, and ad placements in real-time. Advertisers can set clear objectives for Performance Max campaigns, whether it's increasing conversions, maximizing revenue, or enhancing brand awareness.

These campaigns use dynamic ads that automatically adjust to users' preferences and behavior. This enables personalized ads tailored to the needs and interests of the target audience.

In this context, Google suggests an option in Online Marketing, which is conducting ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) tests for shopping campaigns. These tests allow for a comparison of bid settings with the "Manual CPC" strategy versus the "Auto-optimized CPC" strategy in standard shopping campaigns and analyzing their effects.

This test allocates the marketing budget between the test campaign and the original campaign, enabling a reliable analysis of bidding and SEA (Search Engine Advertising) strategy.

What does the future hold for Smart Bidding and Performance Max?

Performance Max campaigns are expected to play a key role in the world of search engine advertising, providing the opportunity to reach the entire Google ecosystem.

Furthermore, these campaigns are supported by Google's Gen AI Support, which generates dedicated recommendations, texts, and even images based on the insights learned about the brand.

Conclusion: Embrace the Future of SEA in Your Business

The evolution promises exciting opportunities for advertisers in the field of search engine advertising, offering new avenues for optimizing SEA strategies and enhancing performance.

For further insights and practical tips on bidding strategies and the use of AI in search engine advertising, please feel free to get in touch with our online marketing agency's team.

Together, we will develop an optimal strategy and suitable ways to practically implement your Google Ads.