Whether you have a small local business or an international audience when setting up a new Google Ads campaign you will need to select a bid strategy.
Choosing the right bid strategy for your campaign will focus around the goals, whether it's driving store visits, sales or increasing brand awareness.
While Google will suggest a bid strategy (which you can ignore), we want to make sure you don't just pick from the hat. So, we've written this simplified guide.
The 3 Groups of Bid Strategies
There are three groups which bidding strategies fall into; automated, smart and manual.
Manual – This type of bid strategy puts you in control by allowing you to manually select the maximum amount you want to pay per click (CPC). While you can set an overall bid for your campaign you can go more granular and set different bids for specific ad groups, keywords or placements depending on their profitability.
Automated – This type of bid strategy automatically sets bids for your ads based on the likelihood that they're going to result in your chosen action (whether that's a click, conversion, etc.)
Each bid strategy which falls into this category is designed to help you reach you goal by taking the guess work and continued nurturing out of managing a campaign.
Smart Bidding - While smart bidding is an automated bid strategy, it uses machine learning to optimise for conversions or conversion value in each auction, this feature is known as auction time bidding.
Individual Types of Bid Strategy
1. Target Search Page Location - Automated Bid Strategy Group
This bid strategy's aim is to show your ad on the top of the page or on the first page of the Google Search Results (although this is not guaranteed as the auction is influenced by competition and quality score).
2. Target Outranking Share - Automated Bid Strategy Group
This bid strategy's aim is to help you outrank another domain (which you select) by either placing above that domain's ads or showing when it doesn't.
3. Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM)
With this bid strategy, you'll pay based on the number of times your ad is shown (impressions) on YouTube or the Google Display Network.
4. Cost-Per-Thousand Viewable Impressions (vCPM) – Manual Bid Strategy Group
This bid strategy allows you to set the highest amount you want to pay for each 1,000 viewable ad impressions you receive on the Google Display Network.
5. Manual CPC Bidding – Manual Bid Strategy Group
This bid strategy puts you in control by allowing you to manually select the maximum amount you want to pay per click (CPC). While you can set an overall bid for your campaign you can go more granular and set different bids for ad groups, specific keywords or placements depending on their profitability.
6. Maximise Clicks – Automated Bid Strategy Group
This bid strategy is the simplest way to bid for clicks. All you need to do is set a daily campaign budget and Google will manage your bids to bring you the most clicks for your budget.
7. Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) – Smart Bidding Strategy Group
This bid strategy sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-acquisition that you set.
8. Target ROAS (Return-On-Ad-Spend) – Smart Bidding Strategy Group
This bid strategy helps you to generate more conversion or revenue at the target return on ad spend you choose.
9. Maximise Conversions – Smart Bidding Strategy Group
This bid strategy automatically sets bids using advanced machine learning to help you get the most conversions while spending your campaign budget.
10. Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC) – Smart Bidding Strategy Group
This bid strategy automatically adjusts your manual bids for clicks which seem more likely to lead to a conversion.
Unlike Target CPA where it automatically sets bids based on the target CPA you set, ECPC will try to keep your cost per conversion the same as you're getting with your manual bids.
Aligning Bid Strategies to Your Business’ Goals
Whether you want to raise brand awareness through impressions or drive more clicks or conversions through your website, take a look at the table below and discover the bid strategies you should use when trying to achieve specific goals.
- Target Search Page Location
- Target Outranking Share
- Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM)
- Cost-Per-Thousand Viewable Impressions (vCPM)
- Manual CPC bidding
- Maximise Clicks
- Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)
- Target ROAS (Return-On-Ad-Spend)
- Maximise Conversions
- Enhanced cost per click (ECPC)
Quality Still Counts:
While choosing the correct bid strategy will help you achieve your business goals, you will still be required to achieve and maintain standards related to relevance and landing page experience. These and other factors impact your ad rank which will affect the click cost and conversion cost.
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Digital Marketing Assistant / PPC Specialist (Google Certified)
For over 5 years, Jess has been Talkativeonline’s digital marketing assistant and PPC specialist. She can often be found in her natural habitat (the production office) writing content (you can see some of her work on Talkativeonline’s blog), creating graphics, analysing data, creating targeted PPC campaigns and training clients.
Outside her role at Talkativeonline, Jess is a great lover of food, board games, comic books and Dungeons and Dragons. If you look up ‘nerd’ in the dictionary, you’ll find her picture there.