How to Choose The Right Bidding Strategies For Your Google Ads Campaigns 


As we covered in our recent article, 9 Ways To Use Google Ads to Grow Your Business,  Google Ads stands as one of the most powerful tools for businesses to reach their target audience. What’s more, choosing the right campaign type to fit your marketing goals is essential for success within Google Ads. However, beyond selecting the right campaign type, understanding and implementing the appropriate bidding strategy is arguably even more crucial for a successful online advertising campaign. In this article, we’ll delve into the diverse bidding strategies available in Google Ads, tailored for different campaign types.


Campaign Types Recap:

As a quick recap, Google Ads offers various campaign types, each designed to achieve specific marketing goals. These include Search campaigns, Display campaigns, Video campaigns, Shopping campaigns, App campaigns, Local campaigns, Performance Max campaigns, and Smart campaigns. While the nuances of these campaign types are vast, the focus here is on the bidding strategies that can be applied universally or tailored to specific campaign goals. Before we break down the various campaign types, it is important to note that there are two primary types of bidding: Automated bidding (or Smart Bidding) and Manual bidding. Within these two primary types of bidding are several subtype bidding strategies.


Automated Bidding Vs. Manual Bidding: 

As the name implies, automated bidding will “automate” the bidding process using Google’s machine learning to optimize bidding based on your campaign goals. Within automated bidding, there is a subset type of bidding called “smart bidding” in which Google uses its machine learning with the specific goal of optimizing conversions or conversion value at every auction. This is a feature known as “auction-time bidding”. With manual bidding, it gives you control over how you want to bid on the campaign and how much you want to bid on the campaign, ad group or even keyword level. You can go in at each of these levels and set manual bids based on your analysis and goals. There are pros and cons to each of these types of bidding, and perhaps we will cover that in another article. 


Types of Google Ads Bidding Strategies 

Let’s dive in and briefly break down the different types of subtype bidding strategies and when it is best to use each.


Manual CPC Bidding:

Advertisers can manually set the maximum cost-per-click bid for their keywords. This bidding strategy is ideal for experienced advertisers who want more control over keyword bids. This is suited for campaigns where specific keywords have varying values or where precise bid management is essential for the campaigns success. 


Enhanced CPC (eCPC):

Enhanced CPC bidding is a blend of manual bidding and automated adjustments for clicks likely to lead to conversions. This is suitable for advertisers seeking a balance between manual control and automated optimization. This is ideal for campaigns where maximizing conversions is the primary goal, and a slight increase in CPC is acceptable for better performance.


Target CPA (Cost-Per-Action): 

In this strategy, advertisers can set a desired average cost for each conversion action (e.g.,ecommerce purchases, email signups, form submissions, etc.). Then Google Ads optimizes bids to hit your target CPA within the given budget. This is great for campaigns that are focused on specific conversion actions and want to keep their cost per action at a set dollar amount. This type of bidding strategy is usually best for businesses who understand how much they can spend for each new customer acquisition and are looking to control those costs.


Maximize conversions: 

This automated bidding strategy aims to get you the most conversions possible within your budget. Google will use machine learning to optimize your bid with the specific goal of getting as many conversions as possible within the given budget. This is used typically when the main goal is to maximize conversions and the CPA or CPC is not as important as gathering conversions. However, you do have the option to set a target CPA, which may be recommended depending on the main goal. 


Target ROAS (Return On Ad Spend): 

With Target ROAS, you can set a desired percentage return on ad spend and Google Ads optimizes bids to achieve your target ROAS. This is ideal for campaigns focused on profitability and maximizing the return on their advertising investment. This type of bidding strategy is usually best for businesses that can track the dollar amount of every lead or purchase, such as ecommerce businesses, so they can reach their target return on investment (ROI) metrics.


Maximize Clicks Bidding:

This bidding strategy automatically sets bids to maximize the number of clicks within the specified budget. This is suitable for advertisers focused on the goal of increasing overall website visits without strict performance targets. Typically, this type of bidding strategy will not yield many conversions but if the goal is to maximize website traffic or spread brand awareness, this strategy may be right for you. 


Target CPM (Cost-Per-Mille):

CPM stands for cost per mille, with the Latin word ‘mille’ meaning a thousand, which in this case refers to the cost per 1,000 impressions. With a Target CPM bidding strategy, you can set a maximum average cost for each 1,000 impressions. This is useful when the primary goal is to maximize impressions rather than simply driving more clicks. Typically this is used in campaigns when the goal is focused on increasing brand visibility and awareness. Similar to the Maximize Clicks bidding strategy, Target CPM will typically not yield many conversions, however, if the goal is to get as many eyes on your ads as possible, this may be a good option. 


Target Impression Share:

Target Impression Share is a bidding strategy in Google Ads that lets advertisers set a goal for the percentage of ad impressions they want to achieve. This strategy ensures that your ads show up in one of the top positions, increasing the likelihood that potential customers will spot and engage with your content. Typically, advertisers that choose this strategy will want to pay close attention to their Top Impression Share and Absolute Top Impression Share metrics. Top impression share shows the percentage of times when your ad showed up near the top of Google while Absolute Top Impression Share shows the percentage of times your ad showed up at the very top positions of Google. This type of bidding strategy is best for businesses who are looking to show up more often than their competitors or position themselves as leaders in the market through Google Ads. 


Maximize Conversion Value:

This bidding strategy is similar to Maximize Conversions but prioritizes conversions with higher values. Maximize Conversion Value Bidding dynamically determines the best possible bid for your ad whenever it qualifies to be displayed. Leveraging your past performance data and analyzing contextual signals at the moment of auction, Google takes charge of setting these bids, aiming to gather high-value conversions for your campaign while effectively managing your set budget. This type of bidding strategy is best for businesses who can track the monetary value of each new lead or sale so they can maximize revenue.


Viewable CPM (vCPM):

Advertisers can bid on a maximum cost for 1,000 viewable impressions on Google’s Display Network. For an ad to be seen as “viewable”, at least 50 percent of the ad is visible on the screen for a duration of 1 second or more in the case of Display ads. For video ads, it qualifies as “viewable” if the video plays continuously for 2 seconds or more. If you opt for CPM bidding in your “Display Network only” campaign, you have the option to choose viewable CPM as your bid strategy. This type of strategy is suitable for campaigns focused on getting their ads into favorable slots with more valuable impressions or views rather than just focusing on getting as many impressions or views as possible. 


Cost-Per-View (CPV):

This bidding strategy focuses solely around video ad campaigns in which you pay forthe number of views your ad gets. A view is recorded when a viewer engages with your video ad for at least 30 seconds (or the full duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds), or if the viewer interacts with the ad, whichever event occurs first. This strategy is suitable for video campaigns with the purpose of reaching your audience through a visually appealing and storytelling approach. The main difference between CPV and vVPM, is that CPV is focused on getting more views for your video ads, while vVpm focuses on getting more impressions where your video is “viewable”.


Selecting the right bidding strategy is pivotal in maximizing the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns. As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all bidding strategy, as each one aims to achieve different, yet equally important goals. The right strategy for you depends on your priorities and your specific goals for your business. Whether you opt for manual control, automated optimization, or a blend of both, aligning your bidding strategy with your campaign goals is essential. Regular monitoring and adjustments based on performance metrics will ensure that your advertising efforts remain dynamic and responsive. By understanding the nuances of these bidding strategies, advertisers can unlock the full potential of their Google Ads campaigns.

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