Google Ads: Best Bidding Strategies (Save Money, Boost ROI)

Guide to the best bidding strategies for Google Ads campaigns

Approximately 65% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) run their own PPC ads. With so many Google Ads bidding approaches giving different performance advances, which one is ideal for your campaign objectives or business?

Automatic bidding? Smart bidding? Manual bidding? It’s difficult to say which one is best. 

To avoid this, we’ve created an overview that defines all of the main aspects you need to know about the various Google Ads bidding methods, as well as how and when to apply them.

How does Google Ads’ bidding work?

Google is the biggest global advertising platform. Google Ads, like most digital advertising platforms, uses a bidding structure.

When a consumer searches for something on Google, advertisers fight for the right to display their advertisements. The basics are straightforward: if you bid more money and have a good ad score, you will receive better ad placement (in Search or across the Google Display Network).

The entire bidding procedure is computerized, and the algorithm considers a variety of parameters, including:

  • Quality score
  • Ad and landing page relevance
  • Relevant to the target audience
  • Competition

Based on all of these characteristics, Google advertisements determine which advertisements to display and how much to charge per click.

However, there is some freedom. You may manage their bids and alter them to meet their marketing objectives. For example, if you want to appear more frequently in search results and display ad networks, increase your bids on specific keywords or locations. You can also negotiate lower bids for less competitive conditions and placements to save money.

Depending on the sort of campaign, advertisers might modify their bidding methods based on ad effectiveness. For example, if an advertiser wishes to increase clicks, they can employ manual CPC or automatic bidding techniques (such as Target CPA or Maximize Conversions). This will assist them in determining the best cost-effective strategy for achieving their advertising objectives.

Types Of Bidding

Google offers a range of bid strategies. You might prefer manual bidding for complete campaign control. However, do you understand the distinction between smart bidding and automated bidding? Let me provide a brief outline to give you a thorough knowledge.

Manual Bidding

Manual bidding involves altering bids for individual keywords or ad groupings. You can specify the maximum amount that you are willing to bid in auctions for your keywords. You can set a blanket bid for a whole ad group or be more particular by setting bids for each term separately. Shredding your bids by keyword is recommended for improved control and outcomes when manually bidding.

Automated Bidding

Automated bid strategies use machine learning to optimize bids based on your marketing objectives. Google improves bids based on the strategy and its specific goal, which we’ll discuss in further detail later when we look at bidding strategy solutions.

Smart bidding

Smart bidding in Google Ads is an automated technique that employs machine learning to optimize for conversions or conversion value in each auction, often known as “auction-time bidding.” Smart bidding includes strategies such as goal CPA, target ROAS, maximum conversions, maximum conversion value, and increased CPC.¬†

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Best Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Google is currently deploying advanced AI technologies to improve all of its Google Ads bidding techniques.

It means that firms can either employ Google’s automatic bidding tactics or handle their ads themselves.

However, with so many separate bidding tactics available, even experienced PPC managers may struggle to understand what each one does.

To assist you in understanding how each bid strategy works, we’ve broken down all of Google’s various techniques and when they should be used.

#1 Manual CPC Bidding

CPC manual bidding is possibly the most popular bidding strategy. It’s also among the most basic.

To use it, establish bids for ad groups or keywords. If you discover keywords that appear to be more profitable, you can adjust your budgets to align your spending across campaigns.

As a result, it is an instant adaptable strategy. And it’s ideal for those who are knowledgeable with pay-per-click advertising, such as agencies looking to update client campaigns. Or in-house PPC teams trying to get the most out of their current advertising budget.

However, managing many initiatives at the same time can result in a significant amount of effort.

Moreover, if you’re experienced at PPC, it can be a terrific strategy because you can adjust your campaigns as you collect more data.

And if you want complete control over your bids, this is the best alternative. If you’re working on branded or remarketing ads, this is a good bid approach.

Alternatively, if you’re starting with non-branded advertisements, it will help you grasp the CPC you’re dealing with. You can also get help from PPC research tools.

#2 Set your target ROAS (return on ad spend)

Target ROAS is a smart bidding approach that optimizes campaigns for a specific return on advertising spend. Advertisers provide the desired return amount, and Google changes bids based on the likelihood of an ad meeting that target.

Remember that target ROAS is only available if your campaign has attained a minimum number of conversions.

  • 15 in the last 30 days for Google Display Network advertising.
  • 10 per day for app campaigns.
  • 75 conversions in the previous 30 days for Discovery marketing.In the past 30 days, there have been 30 conversions for Video Action campaigns.

This method works best for eCommerce businesses that sell a variety of products and need to target customers who are already in the buying mood.

As of July 2022, target CPA and ROAS will no longer be accessible as standalone bidding choices. You can, however, use them in your bidding strategy to optimize conversions and conversion value.

#3 Maximize Clicks

Maximize Clicks is one of Google’s automatic bid methods.

It works by placing your bids, resulting in a high number of clicks. As many as possible, within the budget you set.

It’s useful since it forces you to spend your money within a certain amount. You may also combine it with CPC bidding (a manual bid approach) to get the most out of your money.

Of course, this all implies increasing the amount of traffic to a landing page. This makes it a somewhat effective strategy to rely on.

If you want to attract more traffic to your website, you should use this bidding technique, which focuses on acquiring as many hits as possible.

#4 Maximize conversions

The maximize conversions bidding approach aims to get as many conversions as feasible within the campaign budget (independent of cost per action or CPA). Google will change bids based on its algorithms’ projections of which clicks are most likely to convert.

This is a fantastic option for campaigns with conversion tracking enabled that aim to increase conversion rates, as well as brands with a limited budget.

This bidding option will increase your conversions, but not always at the best price. The reason for this is because Google AdWords’ algorithm seeks to target the people who are most likely to buy, therefore it may occasionally exceed your daily budget.

#5 Maximize conversion value

This technique aims to achieve the maximum potential conversion value within a campaign budget. This differs from maximizing conversions in that it optimizes for conversion value rather than the number of individual conversions. 

As a result, rather than targeting audiences likely to buy, Google will focus on audiences likely to purchase valuable things.

When using this method, keep in mind that Google may overshoot your advertising budget, increase conversion costs, and reduce your ROAS.

#6 Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC)

ECPC is a form of smart bidding strategy. It leverages auction-time signals to customize your bids for each user search. However, it does not do this to the same extent as Target CPA and Target ROAS.

The key distinction is that it partially automates your manual bidding. Google accomplishes this by adjusting your maximum CPC, preventing you from establishing a specific objective.

It means users can sleep soundly knowing they won’t wake up to a $10 per-click auction.

#7 tCPM Bidding (target cost per thousand impressions)

With tCPM, you may specify how much you’ll spend (on average) for every 1,000 impressions in Google’s search results.

Google will optimize your campaign to determine its reach.

This keeps your campaign’s CPM average low. Or at least equivalent to the goal you’re striving for.

It places a greater emphasis on exposure, making it an excellent option for a firm to get seen online within a specific budget.

When it comes to Display Network Campaigns, tCPM is a good tactic. It will help to increase your brand’s visibility.

Google uses past data to identify which keywords are most likely to convert.

And what does all of this lead to? ECPC allows you to gain more conversions from manual bidding.

#8 vCPM Bidding (Viewable Cost Per Thousand Impressions)

vCPM, derived from tCPM, measures the cost per viewable thousand impressions.

Google rates your Display advertising as visible when 50% of them remain on screen for one second or more.

Video must play for two seconds (or longer) to be considered watchable.

vCPM is a manual bidding approach. If you want to increase brand awareness online, it’s a powerful strategy to ensure you’re seen by your target demographic. You also only pay for ads when searchers see them.

Google recommends using a higher vCPM bid than conventional CPM to be competitive.

#9 CPV Bidding (Cost per View)

CPV Bidding charges you for your video advertising depending on the number of views or interactions they generate.

It works by setting a bid and specifying the maximum amount you want to spend.

Using this bid approach can help your video ads win auctions and get your target audience to watch them.

It’s Google Ads’ default method for video campaigns. So, obviously, if you want to increase video views, this tactic is ideal.

#10 Targeted Impression Share Bidding

Target Impression Share Bidding is a Smart Bidding method that sets your bids with the goal of running adverts in three locations:

  • Absolute at the top of the page
  • Top of the page.
  • Anywhere on the page

This works because the selections show your preferences to Google. The search engine giant can then use this preference to determine the maximum CPC bid.

It’s a good strategy if you want to boost visibility and awareness of your company, products, or services.

That means it’s ideal for brand advertising because your advertisements will only appear when someone searches for your business.

Just remember to select a maximum CPC so that your bids do not exceed the possible profitability.

#11 Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Target CPA is a bidding approach that maximizes conversions at or below the CPA you set.

It’s another option for automating bids with Google’s superior machine intelligence. This means that it adjusts bids for each auction you enter.

Google achieves this by analyzing your previous conversion volumes. Target CPA uses contextual signals in auctions to determine the best offer for your adverts. It also checks to see if you are eligible to bid.

You can apply the bid strategy to a single campaign or an entire portfolio.

Essentially, the bid strategy allows you to optimize for your conversion targets. You can accomplish this by focusing on the acquisition cost.

Target CPA is a good option for any business that runs many campaigns. Why? Because it simplifies the bidding procedure.

B2B organizations with lead generation goals will find it useful because it optimizes campaigns for a CPA/CPL that will help with ROI.

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Tips for Google Ads Bidding to Get Started

Want to ensure that your Google Ads bids are spot on? Here are some pointers to keep in mind when deciding on your bidding strategy:

Apply bidding automation rules

Bidding automation simplifies campaign management and saves time. For example, you can create a rule that instructs Google to increase or reduce your bids based on the effectiveness of your ad groups, campaigns, or search phrases.

Bid adjustments

Bid adjustments let you fine-tune your bids based on certain criteria. For example, if you want your advertising to appear more frequently in the mornings, change your bids accordingly.

Use bidding scripts

Bidding scripts are code snippets that let you automate and alter your bids in bulk. This eliminates the need to change the bids for each keyword or ad group individually, allowing you to adjust thousands of bids at once.

If you want to get the most out of your marketing, you should take advantage of seasonal patterns & need to go with PPC trends. For example, if you sell Valentine’s Day trinkets, you might change your bidding over the holiday season to attract more clients who are seeking gifts.

A/B test various keywords and offers

You don’t have a crystal ball, therefore the best thing you can do is A/B test keywords to find which ones work best for your company. Ensure the data you collect is statistically relevant.

Bid for branded keywords

Bidding on branded keywords can be quite pricey at times. However, it can also be a terrific strategy to reach out to more individuals who are familiar with your brand and improve your brand’s ranking in search engine inquiries.

Use portfolio bidding

A portfolio bid strategy is when you design a single bid strategy and use it across numerous campaigns. It’s an excellent approach to handle bids for numerous campaigns at once. A portfolio approach allows you to assign daily expenditures and prioritize specific groupings of campaigns all at once.

Use Remarketing Lists (RSLA)

A remarketing list consists of visitors from your target audience who have interacted with your website or app. You can utilize this to increase bids on certain campaigns, knowing that these visitors are already familiar with your brand and are more likely to take action.

Should You Use Manual or Automated Bidding?

Automated bidding is typically a good choice for small accounts with only a few campaigns.

Otherwise, it is often considered a temporary bid technique. And not well suited to large accounts with multiple campaigns.

However, there are some situations in which automatic bidding is preferable. For example, use automatic controls to track keyword impressions, conversions, and CTR.

If you notice poor CTRs, establishing an alert will help you resolve the problem. This may include halting the keyword.

Finally, manual bidding is a precise strategy that allows you to take entire control of your marketing budget.

You may make quick modifications to a campaign, no matter how large or little.

While this poses numerous issues for major campaigns, it is typically the favored option for larger businesses.

Wrapping It Up

When deciding on the best automated bid techniques, advertisers must take into account their campaign goals, budget, and available resources.

You can achieve exceptional success with your Google Ads campaigns by staying up to date on best practices and experimenting with alternative bidding techniques.

This strategy allows you or your business to boost campaign performance and Return on Investment.

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