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6 Steps to Structure Your Bid Portfolios for Education Clients

A portfolio bid strategy is an automated, goal-driven bid strategy that groups together multiple campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. Portfolio bid strategies automatically set bids to help you reach your performance goals. They include the following Smart bidding strategies: Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximize conversions, Maximize conversion value, Maximize clicks, and Target impression share.

Once you create a portfolio strategy, it will be stored in your Shared library. This is the central location for managing your portfolio bid strategies and tracking their performance. Portfolio bid strategies were previously referred to as “flexible bid strategies.”

Many educational institutions offer a myriad of different programs and classes, which likely have different enrollment goals, costs, and challenges. All of these factors play a pivotal role in both the structure of the campaigns and your different bidding strategies.

Portfolio management offers numerous benefits when dealing with different program offerings as it allows you to lump together campaigns that share a common goal or theme. Lumping these campaigns together feeds Google’s algorithm with more data and balances the challenges within each individual campaign to achieve an overall goal.

For example, if you are offering an animation course, you can lump all of your animation campaigns together with one common CPA goal. Google’s algorithm will work towards the collaborative goal of all of your campaigns in order to achieve the overall CPA goal as one unit. Below you will find our animation example live in an account:

Below we have highlighted the steps to take to structure your portfolio bid strategies:

  1. Create a common theme in your campaign structure – Broken out by programs or classes that share a common CPA goal.
  2. Determine the overall cpa goal for these programs combined – Google will provide a suggestion, but you should set these goals to what you would like to achieve. If your desired CPA goal is way below your current CPA, then we suggest setting it slightly higher than you would like and work your way down gradually to the desired CPA goal.
  3. Add all campaigns that belong in this campaign – In our example, we got even more granular and broke them out by: Campus, Geo Targeting, and Online only
  4. Repeat this structure for all programs you are offering so that all specific programs or classes are tied to a CPA goal.
  5. If your programs are tied to specific budgets, create a shared budget for these portfolio strategies – This will diversify the budget across all campaigns within each portfolio strategy.
  6. Keep an eye on the portfolio and allow for fluctuations in CPA as Google’s algorithm learns and makes the correct changes to achieve your desired CPA goals.
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