Smart Goals in AdWords

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SEM · 21 / 04 / 2016

A few months ago Google Analytics was a new feature: Smart targets. As Good Account managers, we immediately started to investigate it and to turn to possible practical applications.

Today we bring you our first experience with the use of smart goals in AdWords and will not be the last!

How do smart targets work?

They use automatic learning to examine dozens of signs about website visits to determine which are most likely to perform a conversion. Each visit is assigned a score and the ‘ best ‘ visits become smart targets.

Therefore, these are not real conversions, but the posting of certain sessions with a high potential to convert.

Smart remarketing List

An extra of this new functionality is the possibility to use smart lists of Remarketing. These lists are able to distinguish, also through automatic learning, which users are more likely to convert to next sessions.

List of remarketing analytics

In the audiences in admin section you can create the smart list

How can we think of using the smart goals of AdWords in our favor?

In theory, these objectives are intended for use when it is impossible to configure real conversions. But in Digital Menta We take care that all customers have their conversions configured, so this utility could not take advantage.

After a lot of laps, we came up with two ways to apply the smart targets to get the most out of them:

  • The application of the smart remarketing list would allow us to configure a more efficient remarketing in terms of conversion, in any type of account. At least we had to prove it.
  • If the Smart Goals They were able to correctly distinguish sessions with high potential to convert, they would have a good practical application in those accounts where it is especially complex to define a conversion pattern, either because the purchase cycle is too long ( Overcoming the conversion window), either because the account seems to turn casually and without following any trend. In other words, we could use smart targets as internal microconversiones to optimize the account.

Now I have some bad news: ???? We don’t have enough time or space in a post to talk to you about how we put these two wonderful ideas into practice. So we’ll go into detail with the remarketing list and we’ll talk about using smart targets like microconversiones in another post, deal?

Practical application of the Remarketing list

For the practical application of the smart remarketing list We chose an unusually long purchase cycle client. The success of this customer’s campaigns is based on the knowledge of their potential audience, the discovery of the user profile that may be more susceptible to buying their product. It is also a premium product (average price €1,500).

The majority of the investment is directed towards Display by the inability to differentiate in Search the type of profile with potential of purchase and the shortage of searches.

This client uses Microconversiones as an indicator of the performance of the campaigns, since the purchase cycle is very long, surpassing the maximum conversion window available in AdWords, which makes the optimization considerably difficult.


The KPIs values in which your audience is believed to be located with the greatest potential are already defined as Microconversiones: Certain percentage of rebound, time on page, etc.

With these values are configured remarketing campaigns that offer good performance.

But the public is limited and we can never be sure whether the focus on the definition of the KPIs is correct (are we losing public with potential? Limiting your market too much?).


It proposes the use of intelligent objectives, the new functionality of analytics that discriminates the public with greater potential to convert in base to metrics of the sector and own of the client.

Before applying a campaign with smart target audiences it is very important to study whether it really can be beneficial to the business or not. To do this, a long period of time is chosen in analytics (3-6 months) and the behavior of the intelligent objectives is observed:

If the “smart targets” strip has a percentage of conversion-in the type of conversion that interests us-much higher than the other (the percentage is usually high), we can say that really the group that analytics distinguishes as intelligent objectives It works at the level of results, and therefore can serve us for our campaigns.

New Functionality Objectives Analytics

The “Yes” strip must have a percentage of conversions far superior to the “No” strip

How to Implement

If Smart targets have been enabled for client analytics ownership, we will find the smart list of remarketing among the remarketing lists available on the interface.

 ➡ For Smart targets to be enabled on a particular property is necessary the linked AdWords account has accumulated at least 1,000 clicks in 30 days.

Once the list is available among our AdWords audiences, we set up an intelligent remarketing campaign, with this audience in the “segmentation and bidding” modality.

To avoid redundancies and because these lists contain users with high conversion potential, it will be necessary to exclude users who have converted from the smart campaign.


The campaign aims at ways, showing an elevated CTR (review What they’ve never told you about the AdWords CTR) and great capacity to generate Microconversiones (remember that it is the main KPI of this client).

  • CTR Intelligent Campaign: 0.72%
  • CTR average rest of Display campaigns: 0.23%
  • Cost per microconversion Intelligent campaign: €1.81
  • Cost per microconversion rest of Display campaigns: €2.93

In this case, the application of the Smart remarketing list is contributing to the improvement of the customer’s results.

In the next episode of “Smart targets” we’ll see how to use them from microconversiones to facilitate optimization in accounts without clear conversion patterns will you join us?


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