An Overview of Google Ads Bidding Strategies

June 03 / Clare J. / filed under Pay-Per-Click

When it comes to Google Ads, there are a variety of hands-on and automated features to help boost your marketing campaign performance. One of the biggest impact changes you can make is your bidding strategy. There are both manual and smart bidding strategies, each with different benefits and drawbacks. In this article we’ll focus on the most popular and effective bid strategies for search campaigns. To start off, let’s learn a bit about how the difference between smart bidding and manual bidding:

A Quick Review of Pay-Per-Click Bidding

The first thing you’ll need to understand when it comes to bidding strategy is how pay per click advertising campaigns actually work. Every time a keyword is searched on Google, there is a specific and instantaneous auction that occurs behind the scenes that determines which ads will appear in the search results. There are many factors that play into this auction, such as keyword relevancy, ad quality, landing page quality, and keyword bid. Your bid on certain keywords is one of the biggest factors in determining which ad will show and where on the page. This is why the bidding strategy plays such a large role in your pay-per-click campaign. 

Smart Bidding v. Manual Bidding

The primary difference between smart bidding and manual bidding is how the maximum bid is set for each keyword. When manual bidding is used, the account manager is able to determine and set bids for keywords at an individual level. This gives the manager a lot of control over how much they’d like to bid for each keyword. With smart bidding, Google uses automated machine learning to determine the bid for a specific keyword in a specific auction. This enables the campaign to adjust itself automatically as needed to reach your campaign goals. 

Manual Bidding

Manual bidding allows you to set the maximum amount you’d like to be charged for a click on your ad. You can adjust how much you’d like to pay for a keyword at the individual level, so you can bid as much or as little as you want on specific keywords. This means you can bid more on high-value keywords that drive a lot of conversions, and less on keywords that typically generate less ad traffic or lower quality conversions. This enables you to have a lot of control, but less flexibility in bidding. Manual bidding runs the risk of missing out on certain searches if your bid isn’t high enough. 

Smart Bidding: Maximize Conversions

One of the most effective formats of smart bidding for search campaigns is Maximize Conversions bidding. Maximize conversions bidding allows your campaign to get as many conversions as possible without exceeding your budget. Google’s machine learning enables the campaign to balance the potential quality of a click with the amount you need to bid to drive the most possible conversions for your campaign. This bid strategy automatically adjusts to every particular auction to increase the chances of a searcher converting. This is a great strategy if your campaigns are limited by budget. 

Smart Bidding: Target Cost per Conversion

Target Cost per Conversion (tCPA) bidding is another great bidding strategy for search campaigns. tCPA bidding allows you to set a target cost per conversion in your campaigns. This means you can determine exactly how much you want to pay for a certain conversion and Google uses machine learning to drive as many conversions as possible at that cost. tCPA is a great option for campaigns that are unlimited by budget.

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