Smart Bidding is only as smart as the data you give it

Smart Bidding. Where to start? With your business and marketing objectives.

All too often we see Paid Media accounts that have been set up misaligned to what the brand wants to achieve. For example: optimising towards all leads without factoring in valuable offline data into Google Ads. To unlock maximum growth, it’s essential to nail the fundamentals first.

Smart Bidding is only as smart as the data you give it and good quality data traditionally involves importing offline conversion events from CRM systems such as HubSpot or Salesforce. These events can include MQLs, SQLs, Opportunities and Customers, each at a different stage of the sales funnel.

By adopting this approach, you can measure what happens after an ad has been clicked. This provides Smart Bidding a more detailed view of which keywords and other targeting criteria are driving the most valuable conversions for the business, allowing it to make more valuable bidding decisions.

Offline conversion data and Smart Bidding strategies aligned to your target and objective will result in outputs that deliver business value. This will allow you to flex volume if targets change.

By implementing this approach for one of our lead gen clients, we saved over £27,000 in what would have been wasted ad spend.

The account had a number of weak upper funnel conversion actions included for optimisation which rarely resulted in a qualified lead (alongside using a maximise conversion bidding strategy).

The Smart Bidding strategy was doing the job it was tasked to do, it was upweighting bids for keywords and users that displayed a higher propensity to convert on the conversion actions it was being fed. However, this was resulting in a significant amount of wasted ad spend because it was chasing conversions that had no chance of ever reaching the qualified stage.

We stripped out the conversion column, leaving qualified leads as the only optimisation point and applied a target CPA bidding strategy; we also fully restructured the account to further reduce wastage.



  • We saved £27,000, with no loss in qualified leads
  • We saw a -70% decrease in Cost Per Qualified Lead YoY whilst maintaining the same volume of conversions
  • The conversion rate from online form submission to qualified grew from 6% to 21%


Combining human nature and machine intelligence is a key part of our Paid Search proposition – we don’t let the machine ‘do its thing’, we work with it to ensure objectives and targets are set correctly to guide machine learning. If the wrong objective and target is set, the machine is likely to not work in the way that is needed in order to hit our client’s business goals – and quite simply, that wouldn’t be good for business.

If you want to learn more about how you can incorporate your first party business data into your Google Ads account, get in touch.