Google Ads Bid Strategies

google ads bid strategies

Google Ads continues to add more bid strategies for your campaigns. In the past, bidding was manual and you would bid specifically for clicks, impressions, or video views. Today, there are automated bidding strategies in Google Ads that will optimize for conversions like leads and sales.

You can start by watching our video below or directly on YouTube, and then scrolling for more information below. If you have any questions about Google Ads bidding strategies, feel free to leave a comment.

Google Ads Bid Strategies

 


Google Ads Bidding Definition

Google AdWords is an auction for advertisers to serve their advertisements to potential customers. A huge part of any auction is a bid. When you set-up your Google Ads campaigns, you will need to choose one of the available bidding strategies for your advertisements. Google takes into account different factors at the time of the auction, including your overall ad quality score. Your auction-time quality score and your bid will make up your ad rank. You set-up bid strategies for search, display, shopping, and video campaigns. Bidding strategies can optimize for conversion value, conversions, clicks, impressions, video views, or engagement.

Google Ads Bid Strategies

Bidding strategies that drive and optimize for Conversions like Leads and Sales:

Target ROAS (Return On Ad Spend)
Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)
Maximize Conversions
Enhanced CPC

Bidding strategies that drive and optimize for Clicks:

Maximize Clicks
Manual CPC

Bidding strategies that drive and optimize for views and engagement:

Maximum CPV
Cost Per Engagement

Bidding strategies that drive and optimize for Impressions:

Target Impression Share
Target Search Page Location
Target Outranking Share
Viewable CPM (vCPM)
Target CPM

So what does it take to execute a successful Google Ads campaign? One important component of any campaign is your bidding strategy. In this article we will go over the different bid strategies and explain how each one varies. We also have a corresponding video tutorial on the Surfside PPC YouTube Channel that a provides good visual examples and in-depth explanations for each.

What is a Bidding Strategy?
The Google Ads auction takes into account your bid and other auction-time factors that make up your quality score. The Google bid strategy you choose will determine how much you bid when you enter the ad auction. One of the factors that make up your Ad Rank is your bid, so your bidding strategy is the bidding method you choose for your Google Ads advertising campaign. You have to set-up a bidding strategy for Search, Display, Shopping, and Video campaigns, and generally your strategy will be to drive conversions, conversion value, clicks, impressions, video views, or engagement.

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There are several different types of bid strategies available on Google Ads; which we have outlined below, separated by goals.

Google Ads Bid Strategies

Goal – drive and optimize for sales and leads (conversions)

Target ROAS (Return-on-ad-spend)
If you want to optimize for conversion value, you can use Target ROAS to help increase value while targeting a specific return-on-ad-spend (ROAS). For example, if you set it at 100 percent, for every dollar you spend you will gain a dollar in revenue. At Surfside PPC we usually start around 110 percent when beginning a campaign; and we will scale up from there in order to keep up profitability.

Target CPA (Cost-per-acquisition)
If you want to optimize for conversions, you can use Target CPA to help increase conversions while targeting a specific cost-per-acquisition (CPA). While setting this up, you will need to enter a monetary amount that indicates what a conversion is worth to your business. You can also set maximum bid limits to ensure you are not over bidding.

Maximize Conversions
If you want to optimize for conversions, but just want to spend your entire budget instead of targeting a specific CPA, you can use Maximize Conversions.

Enhanced CPC
If you want to automatically adjust your manual bids to try to maximize conversions, you can use ECPC. It’s an optional feature you can use with Manual CPC bidding.

Goal – drive and optimize for clicks

Maximize Clicks
This is an automated bid strategy. It’s the simplest way to bid for clicks. All you have to do is set a daily budget, and the Google Ads system automatically manages your bids to bring you the most clicks possible within your budget.

Manual CPC
This lets you manage your maximum CPC bids yourself. You can set different bids for each ad group in your campaign, or for individual keywords or placements. If you’ve found that certain keywords or placements are more profitable, you can use manual bidding to allocate more of your advertising budget to those keywords or placements.

Goal – drive and optimize for views and engagement

Maximum CPV
If you run video ads, you can use cost-per-view (CPV) bidding. With CPV bidding, you’ll pay for video views and other video interactions, such as clicks on the calls-to-action overlay (CTAs), cards, and companion banners. You just enter the highest price you want to pay for a view while setting up your TrueView video campaign.

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Cost Per Engagement
With cost-per-engagement (CPE) bidding, advertisers only pay when users actively engage with ads. For example, advertisers pay for lightbox ads (a type of expandable ad that can expand to a very large size) on a CPE basis, which means that publishers generate earnings from lightbox ads when users choose to engage with the ads, e.g., by hovering over them for two seconds to expand the ads.

Goal – drive and optimize for impressions

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 Google search results. Target Impression Share is available either as a standard strategy in a single campaign or as a portfolio strategy across multiple campaigns.

Target Search Page Location
This is an automated bid strategy that automatically sets your bids to help increase the chances that your ads appear at the top of the page, or on the first page of search results.

Target Outranking Share
This is an automated bid strategy that lets you choose a domain you want to outrank so that your ad is displayed above that domain’s ads or shows when that domain’s ad does not. You can set how often you want to outrank that domain, and Google Ads automatically sets your Search bids to help meet that target.

Viewable CPM (vCPM)
This is a manual bidding strategy you can use if your ads are designed to increase awareness, but not necessarily generate clicks or traffic. It lets you set the highest amount you want to pay for each 1,000 viewable ad impressions on the Google Display Network. vCPM bidding probably isn’t for you if the goal of your campaign is a direct response from customers, like buying a product or filling out a form

Target CPM
With this bid strategy, you’ll pay based on the number of impressions (times your ads are shown) that you receive on YouTube or the Google Display Network.

How to set up bidding

You can set up your bidding during the campaign creation process in Google Ads. If you would like more information on setting up a campaign, watch our Google Ads Tutorial. There are different bidding strategies for both display and search campaigns; which are all outlined in our video tutorial.

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One important item to note is that during campaign set-up you have the option of selecting smart (automated) bidding strategies. These allow you to create your campaign, create your ad groups, target keywords, and create advertisements without worrying about bidding on them. Google Ads will automatically optimize your bids with certain bid; and strategies include Target ROAS, Target CPA, Maximize Conversions, Maximize Clicks, and more.

Portfolio bid strategies

Portfolio bid strategies automatically set bids to help you reach your performance goals. They include three Smart bidding strategies — Target CPA, Target ROAS, and Enhanced CPC — and other strategies including Maximize Clicks, Target Search Page Location, and Target Outranking Share. We have outlined each of these strategies above.

Once you create a portfolio strategy, it will be stored in your Shared library. This is the central location for managing your portfolio bid strategies and tracking their performance. By clicking on the “tools” menu and next “Shared library”, you can see the portfolio bid strategy option. This tool can be used on Campaigns, Ad groups, and Keywords pages to add items to a portfolio bid strategy.

We have included some screen shots from our video tutorial with examples of different strategies and how they appear in the portfolio bid strategy menu. Once you have a campaign created, you can either change the bid strategy through campaign settings, or you can use portfolio bidding strategies and apply them to your campaign.

Portfolio Bid Strategies

Portfolio bid strategies let you automatically set bids for multiple campaigns. Create a portfolio bid strategy, or see the performance of an existing bid strategy.

In Summary

Bidding strategies are an important part of your Google Ads and Bing Ads campaigns. How to set a bidding strategy and improve your bid strategy can have a positive impact on campaign performance. If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment and we will answer them.

If you would like more information, including access to our Google Ads Tutorials, we invite you to subscribe to the Surfside PPC YouTube Channel.



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