Google Ads Bidding Strategies: Complete Guide 2023

When you create Google Ads campaigns, you are entering an auction every time your advertisement is shown. If there is an auction, that means there are bids as well. Since there are so many Google Ads campaign objectives and campaign types, there are different bid strategies you can choose from. In the video below and the article, I will cover all of the different Google Ads bidding strategies and options that you can choose from.

Keep in mind, your bid strategy should match the goal of your campaign. I would highly recommend using Smart Bidding strategies that are focused on driving conversions and revenue.

Google Ads Bid Strategies Video

First, you can watch the video below to learn more about selecting your bid strategy, benefits of certain strategies, and how everything works. Next, scroll further to read everything you need to know. You can also watch the video directly on YouTube.

Google Ads Bidding Strategies

You will find the complete list of Google AdWords bid strategies below. Some of the options require conversion tracking and some options are only available for certain campaign types.

  • Target Cost Per Action or Target CPA
  • You can target how much you want to pay for each conversion on your website. For example, if you want to drive conversions at a cost/conversion of $25 or less, then you can set your Target CPA at $25. Google Ads will automatically optimize your bids based on your targeting to try to deliver your business conversions at $25 or less.

  • Target Return on Ad Spend or Target ROAS
  • You can target the revenue return as a percentage based on your ad spend. For example, if you need $3 in revenue for every $1 in Google Ads spend, then you would set your Target ROAS at 300%. Google Ads will automatically optimize your bids based on your target to try to deliver your business a 300% ROAS or better.

  • Maximize Conversions
  • Google Ads considers your targeting and your budget to try to drive the most conversions possible within your budget. You do not set any targets or any bids.

  • Maximize Conversion Value
  • Google Ads considers your targeting and your budget to try to drive the most conversion value as possible within your budget. You do not set any targets or any bids.

  • Enhanced Cost Per Click or ECPC
  • If you are using Manual CPC bidding along with conversion tracking, you can choose to use Enhanced CPC. Google Ads will automatically raise or lower your bids to make you more competitive or less competitive in auctions. Google Ads adjusts your bids based on the probability that a conversion is going to happen based on the search term and other factors.

  • Maximize Clicks
  • Google Ads considers your targeting and your budget to try to drive the most clicks as possible within your budget. The bid strategy is completely automated and you do not set any bids or targets.

  • Manual CPC
  • If you’ve used Google AdWords for the last decade then you know Manual CPC quite well. It is the manual bidding strategy that allows you to set different bids for individual keywords, placements, or bids for your ad groups. Manual CPC bidding gives you more control over your cost per click, but it doesn’t take into account conversions.

  • Target Impression Share
  • If there are keywords that are vital for your business, you can target a specific impression share. You can choose to bid for the first position, the top slot of ad positions on the first page, or anywhere on the first page.

  • Target CPM or tCPM
  • 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.

  • Viewable CPM or 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

  • Cost-Per-View or CPV
  • If you run video ads, you can use cost-per-view (CPV) bidding. With CPV bidding, you’ll pay for video views and 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.

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 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.

What is a Google Ads 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.

Google Ads Smart Bidding Strategies

At the time of writing this blog post, there are 4 smart bidding strategies available. You can choose Maximize Conversion Value, Target ROAS, Maximize Conversions, and Target CPA. The video below will give you more information.

Google Ads Portfolio Bid Strategies

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.

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.

How to Set Bid Limits in Google Ads

If you want to control your costs, you can actually set a maximum and/or a minimum bid for your Smart Bidding strategies. The video below will help you learn more and you can read our full article here. You can also watch this video on YouTube.

In Summary

Bidding strategies are an important part of your Google 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.

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