Google Ads Bidding Strategies Explained [2019]

Selecting the right Google Ads bidding strategy is key to a campaign success. Google Ads offers multiple bidding strategies tailored to specific campaign needs. You might want to ask yourself – what is the goal of my campaign? It could be to increase clicks, impressions or conversions.

In this blog post, I am going to explain current Google Ads bidding strategies, how to use and the Goals type to use with.

Key to Success?

Determine a bid strategy based on your goals.

Google ads Bidding Strategy & Goal Types

Determine a bid strategy based on your SEM goals. Having the right Google Ads bidding strategy will help you win more auctions to improve your chances of conversions. Each of Google Ads bidding strategies has weaknesses, advantages, and recommended applications.


Google Ads Bidding Strategies & Goal Types
Google Ads Bidding Strategies & Goal Types

What is Manual Bidding Strategy?

Manual Cost-Per-Click (CPC) bidding lets you set your own maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads.

Falls into the category of PPC which stands for Pay-per-Click.

The key distinction between Manual Bidding and Automated Bidding is that with Automated Bidding Google sets the bids for you and with Manual bidding you set the bid. 


Pros and Cons of Manual Bidding strategy

Pros:

  • Easiest bid strategy
  • Advertisers set their own bids manually at the keyword level. 
  • Best for folks who are thinking to start testing with Google Ads
  • No delay in changes
  • You start by setting a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid for your entire ad group (called your default bid), but you can also set separate bids for individual keywords or placements. For example, if you’ve found that certain keywords are more profitable, you can use manual bidding to allocate more of your advertising budget to those keywords.

Cons:

  • Requires time investment to look at the performance
  • Manual bidding can be under-informed. In other words – might be a disconnect from other Google systems such as AI and ML
  • Leverage fewer data points
  • No Automation
  • The larger the account, the larger the challenge
  • Chance for inefficiencies
  • Bidding can eat up your time
  • Limited segmentation options

Manual CPC

Manual CPC provides more control overspend. It lets you set your own maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads, whereas, in automated bidding strategy Google sets the bid for you.

You can set a maximum CPC bid for your entire ad-group.

You can also set separate bids for individual keywords or placements.

Manual CPC Bidding Strategy - TimeZ Marketing
Manual CPC – Google ADs

Automated Bidding Strategies

Automated bidding takes the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals. Each type of Automated bidding strategy is designed to help you achieve a specific goal for your business.

Google Ads Bidding Strategies and What it does
Google Ads Bidding Strategies and What it does

Enhanced eCPC

  • Enhanced CPC stands for Enhanced Cost-per-Click.
  • Enhanced CPC automatically adjusts your bids for clicks that are likely to convert.
  • Another way for Google to increase bids if it thinks you are bidding too low for a well-performing ad and likely to get a conversion.
  • Google Ads will increase your max bid by 30% so that you can win the ad space you want and get more conversions.
  • Use when you want to get more conversion but still want control over your bids.
  • Do not use when you are limited by budget.
  • Enhanced eCPC can be applied at Campaign and Ad-group level.

Target CPA

  • Target CPA is a Google Ads Smart Bidding Strategy
  • Target CPA sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at or below the target cost per action (CPA) you set.
  • Target CPA advanced machine learning to automatically optimize bids and offers auction time bidding capabilities that tailor bids for each and every auction.
  • Target CPA is available as either a standard strategy or portfolio strategy across multiple campaigns.
  • Use when you want to get the most conversions for a target CPA.
  • Do not use when you want control over bids and ad scheduling.
  • Target CPA can be applied at Campaign and Ad-group level.

Target ROAS

  • Target ROAS is Google Ads Smart Bidding strategy that helps you get more conversion value or revenue at the target return-on-ad spend (ROAS) you set.
  • Target ROAS lets you bid based on a target return on ad spend (ROAS).
  • Target ROAS is available as either a standard strategy or portfolio strategy across multiple campaigns.
  • Use when conversions have different values and you want them to meet a target return.
  • Do not use when you do not know the different values of your conversions.
  • Target ROAS can be applied at Campaign and Ad-group level.

Maximize Clicks

  • Sets bids to get the most clicks for a target spent amount.
  • Use when your goal is to get traffic to your site.
  • Do not use when you have strict ROI and CPA Goals.
  • It can be applied at Campaign, Ad-group and keywords level.

Maximize Conversions

  • Maximize conversions automatically sets bids to help get the most conversions.
  • Maximize conversions use machine learning to automatically optimize bids and offer auction-time bidding capabilities that tailor bids for each and every auction.
  • Maximize Conversions also takes historical performance into account. Unlike Target ROAS or Target CPA bid strategies, Maximize Conversions is concerned with conversion volume rather than return on investment goals.

Target Impression Share

  • Target impression share is a Smart Bidding Strategy that automatically sets bids with the goal of showing your ad on the absolute top of the page, on the top of the page, or anywhere on the page of SERPs.
  • Target impression share is available either as a standard strategy in a single campaign or as a portfolio strategy across multiple campaigns.
  • Impression Share only includes the Google Search Network.
  • User Target Impression share to increase brand awareness.
  • For some situations, ideal performance means being present on certain search terms.

Target Page Search Location

  • Google set your bids in accordance with the first page or top of the page bid estimates.
  • Use when you want to be on the first page or top of the page and cost is not an issue.
  • Do not use if you have a small budget or strict ROI and CPA goals.
  • It can be applied at Campaign, Ad-group and keywords level.

Maximize Conversion Value Smart Bidding Strategy

Introduced during Google Marketing Live 2019 – Maximize Conversion Value is the newest smart bidding strategy in Google Ads line up. Maximize is available starting August 21st, 2019.

Maximize Conversion Value aims to optimize the greatest conversion value within the budget.

Maximize conversion value uses historical campaign data and the searcher’s contextual signals to determine the optimal CPC bid at auction time.

Best works with transaction-specific values or have set conversion values for the conversion types you’re optimizing for.

Maximize Conversion Value Smart Bidding Strategy | Google Ads
Maximize Conversion Value Smart Bidding Strategy | Google Ads

Google Ads – Introduces Seasonality Adjustments for Smart Bidding

August 28, 2019 – Google introduced seasonality adjustments for smart bidding.

What is seasonality adjustments?

Smart Bidding strategies like Target CPA and Target ROAS use machine learning to automatically set bids at auction time to help improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns. Though these strategies already take into consideration seasonality. Google knows there are key moments for businesses to anticipate significant shifts in conversion rate, like during sales or when a new product launches.

To provide businesses more control in such rate situations, you can no apply seasonality adjusts for search and display marketing campaigns. Please see screenshot example.

Google Ads - Seasonality Adjustments for Smart Bidding
Seasonality Adjustments for Smart Bidding

“Let’s say you’re planning a flash sale for the weekend. Historically, you’ve seen a 50% increase in conversion rates when you’ve run a similar sale. With seasonality adjustments, you can apply a predicted conversion rate adjustment and Smart Bidding will consider that adjustment for the date range selected, while trying to hit your target CPA.”

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