When Google Ads launched in 2000, there were 350 active advertisers using the platform and only one type of bid strategy to target campaigns. Today, over one million advertisers utilize the platform and several strategies to choose from when it comes to bidding – so, with all the possible variations taken into account, you Google Ads strategy can get messy.
Google Ads Bidding (and How it Works)
Google Ads bidding is much like that of an auction: Marketers bid on relevant keywords (or queries), and the highest – or most qualified – bids show up on the search engine results page. Your maximum bid works in tandem with the perceived quality score that Google has assigned to your ad, resulting in your overall ad position. While Google considers many factors before placing your ad, bidding is one of the largest, most defined variables, and therefore, important to get right. While there are a variety of bidding strategies to choose from, not every bid is created equal, and the right one for you can vary based on your industry, competitors, and keywords lists.
Two Types of Bid Strategies
Much like car transmissions, when it comes to your bid strategies you have both a manual and automatic option. And just like with cars, there are pros and cons to each option.
Manual bidding will ultimately save you money – it’s the most cost effective approach because of how targeted and customizable it can be. However, automatic bidding is easier for a non-professional, reducing the grinding of your gears and saving you loads of time. If you choose to use automatic, your metrics can still be successful, but it will undoubtedly cost you more.
These are your options in Google Ads:
Manual Bid Strategies
Automated Bid Strategies
- Target CPA (cost per acquisition) *
- Target ROAS (return on ad spend) *
- Maximize clicks
- Maximize conversions*
- Target search page location
- Target outranking share
- Enhanced CPC (eCPC) *
*Smart Bidding Strategies
Smart Bidding Strategies
Smart Bidding Strategies are a subset of Google’s automated options. It’s a fancy way of saying Google’s robots, aka “machine-learning technology,” will decide the bids for you based on account history and conversion metrics. While a good option to base new campaigns on historical data, smart bidding is not a good option for new Google Ads accounts.
Goal-Based Bid Strategies
As with any marketing campaign, you’ll need to start with your goals: What do you want to achieve from running ads on Google? Whether it is gaining recognition for a new product you launched or driving more visitors to your website (which could help boost SEO efforts, too), some bid strategies will work better than others based on your business goals.
Maximize Your Brand’s Visibility
If you want customers to know about your business or your products, you could be in the market for a brand awareness campaign. These are useful for budding businesses or new product lines. The targeted KPI is not a specific action users can take, but your ad’s reach, or the number of individuals who see it. Maximize your visibility by choosing an automated bid strategy like Target Search Page Location or Target Outranking Share to help with brand awareness.
Drive Users To Your Website
Send customers to your website by generating more clicks on your ad. This is typically the lowest cost per click this strategy. And while this strategy can help improve your SOV (share of voice) too, more clicks doesn’t necessarily mean more customers. To maximize clicks, take advantage of proper audience segmentation, customer matching, and keyword targeting. Relevance and an understanding of user intent is key to make this strategy work.
Encourage a Direct Action On Your Site
Conversion-based bidding tends to be popular among advertisers and within Google Ads strategies because it is lower funnel and shows more clear-cut ROI. Conversions can include anything from filling out a contact or lead-gen form to making a purchase.Target CPA, Maximize Conversions and Target ROAS are your best strategies to use in conjunction with this goal. When it comes to Target ROAS, ensure some sort of revenue tracking is set up within your conversion goals for it to work properly.
Get the Best Bang for Your Buck
A manual strategy coupled with an automated strategy is often your best bet. This can be built out with time, and it’s important to remember that your campaigns should be in a good position before automation can effectively come into play. This hybrid approach has positive success metrics with a lower cost per lead.
Can’t Devote All Your Time to Google Ads?
Keep in mind that this is a full-time job. If you’re not a professional, either let Google Ads do the dirty work for you with a completely automated strategy, or invest in the experts. At Go Local, our Paid Media team understands the complexities of bidding in Google Ads and can optimize your campaigns for a variety of factors. Save yourself some time and get better results. Request an Google Ads account analysis today.
Maximize Clicks: With “Maximize clicks”, Google Ads automatically sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget. A maximum CPC bid limit caps each cost-per-click bid. This could limit the clicks on your ad.
Target CPA: With “Target CPA”, Google Ads automatically sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) you set. Some conversions may cost more or less than your target.
Target ROAS: With “Target ROAS”, Google Ads automatically sets bids to help get as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS) you set. Some conversions may have a higher or lower return than your target.
Maximize conversions: Google Ads automatically sets your bids to help you get the most conversions within your budget.
Target search page location: With Target search page location, Google Ads automatically sets your bids to increase the chances that your ads appear at the top of the page or on the first page of search results
Target outranking share: With “Target outranking share”, you choose a domain you want to outrank in search results and how often you want to outrank it, and Google Ads automatically sets your bids to help meet that target
Enhanced CPC: Google Ads automatically adjusts your manual bids to help maximize conversions.
Manual CPC: With “Manual CPC” bidding, you set your own maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads