The importance of custom columns with value based bidding

June 02, 2022

Value based bidding is a really interesting evolution of Google Ads. Optimizing  multiple events at the same time is something that you’ve always been able to do with Google (Uhhh, Facebook. When will you let us do this, too?). In fact, bidding to tROAS and max conv value also isn’t that new — what’s new is Google pushing this concept hard. Does it work? Ehhh, not quite yet in our experience! But we’re confident we (and Google) will figure it out soon. 

But beyond VBB, what else do you need to do to make sure your campaigns don’t take a step backwards in your migration?

In short, VBB is just a method of bidding to support your goals. To monitor if you are hitting these goals, it’s really important to make custom columns. 

For example, say your VBB strategy is to assign ‘raw leads’ $X, ‘MQLs’ $2x and ‘Opportunities’ $10x. Your overall marketing goal is still likely a cost/Opp metric. That is, your actual goals are likely more focused than all the various VBB strategies you are tracking. I’m not saying this is ‘correct’, but I am saying that’s likely the word you’ve gotten from up above. 

Since now your ‘conversions’ column in Google Ads  is tracking 3 different events, you’ll need to find a way to segment out just ‘opportunities’ in order to monitor your TRUE goal. 

This is apurpose of ‘custom columns’ 

Setting up a custom column is pretty easy to do. 

Hit “columns” from the campaign view —> ‘modify columns’ and scroll down to ‘custom column’


To make a new column, hit the ‘add’ button to bring this up 

There are all sorts of things you can do here to provide additional reporting! You can now use formulas such as the examples shown to the right. Remember your calculator in high school? This is kind of like that — don’t forget parentheses where needed

Most commonly, however, Four15Digital is just using custom columns for basic metric monitoring. Please keep in mind that ‘conversions’ will be referencing your account settings. So, if you want to see how many conversions you got for an event that is set as ‘secondary’, you’d need to use ‘all conversions’ in your formula rather than ‘conversions’. 

Also, on that note, make sure ‘all conversions’ is showing what you want. Does it include view through conversions? Check this section out to confirm if yes or no. 


Have fun with custom columns and VBB! It’s a nice evolution of the platform and, more importantly, how we think about Google ads and machine learning.