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Google Bidding Strategies: What, Which and When to Use6 min read

March 04, 2019

Brand awareness can be improved by about 80% through Ads. Not just this, while it can be insanely hard to reach top search position organically, with PPC campaigns you can do it very quickly.

Google ads offer various bidding strategies. However, you can’t start your Ad campaign on guesswork. You need to choose the right approach not only to make it useful but bring down the ad cost.

On the general term, Google bidding strategies stand bifurcated into manual and automated. Moreover, further ten more types of bidding options. Confused how to use Google bidding strategy?

Read on to find more.

Bidding Options on Google Ads

Every new account begins at the manual level like PPC allowing the advertisers to set their bids at the keyword level.
Manual CPC Bidding

It is a bidding method for your ad groups, keywords, or placements, which help you to set your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads. However, a particular bid amount for them is no longer required to choose. The ‘Maximise Clicks’ is the best option to bid for clicks, while Google Ads completes the rest of the work. It lets you give more time towards monitoring costs and adjusting your budgets profitably. You need to be well versed in Google Ads to convert this strategy in your favor.

You may integrate bidding category of manual CPC with ECPC letting freedom to Google to adjust bids. However, you may like to shift from manual to the automatic ones handing over the charge of the steering wheel to Google to save the time. The bidding options available under the automated category are as under:

    • Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC)
      We apply it when we need to increase or decrease the bidding for a keyword to achieve increased CTR (Conversion Target Rate) and CVR (conversion rate) using Google Ad algorithms.
      However, we need to track CPC and CPA to ensure profitable results. If a search is too much competitive and CPC are outrageously high, Google lowers your bid to cost less due to the reduced chance of conversions.
    • Maximize Conversion
      Without any individual keyword setting, it is applied to secure as many conversions as possible by spending the day-wise per campaign allotted budget except when the goal is not efficiency and profitability.
    • Target CPA
      It helps balance your Target CPA over time regulating the individual conversions. Advertisers set bid devoid of caps at either the campaign or portfolio level avoiding particular keyword level bids of the floor. However, TCPA can be complicated if you don’t know what your acquisition costs are.Though Google delimits the minimum conversions to 15 in the last 30 days, the ideal figure is 30. And finally, you must set the realistic initial goal to be slightly higher than your recent average CPA somewhat lower than your target CPA.

  • Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
    The advertisers use it to adjust bids to ensure the achievement of one’s Target ROAS goal at the ad campaign, or portfolio level limiting the scope of machine decision making. Then, add this metric to your columns: Conversion value/cost.

    For example, if you want to generate Rs 10 for every 2 Rs spent, the formula is 10 (Sales from the campaign) ÷ 2 (Ad spend) x 100% = 500% (Target ROAS). Like Target CPA, it is useful when efficiency and profitability is the objective.

  • Maximize Clicks
    It is of great worth when you need to drive more volume to your site for branding and list building. Advertisers can set a maximum CPC limit to keep CPCs down and check the CPC performance and any other goal metrics regularly.
    Before going for this option, you need to be sure to check whether your daily budget amount is at a reasonable level that you are willing to spend. At the end of a campaign, check out whether maximizing conversions lead to profitable sales.
  • Target Impression Share
    It offers three placement options like ‘Absolute Top of Page’, ‘Top of Page’ and ‘Anywhere on the Page’, in which like TCPA advertisers set a goal of Impression Share percentage with maximum CPC guarding ultimately against overspend. However, Google cautions to avoid setting it too low to suffer throttling performance. Each of these tells the Google algorithm different things about one’s preferences allowing bids adjustment accordingly.
  • Target Search Page Location
    TSPL lets Google automatically adjust your bids in a way to always show your ads either on the first or top of the first page of Google search results. It makes one exclude keywords with Quality Scores less than four. It is designed to gain ad impressions in a given location on the results page.
  • Target Outranking Share
    Like TSPCL, it focuses on placing an ad in an auction rather than the actual outcomes of CPC, CTR, CPA, etc. It is designed to help advertisers rank higher in search results than another domain and secure a percentage share of auctions of a key competitor.
  • Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
    CPM leverages the Display Network and YouTube campaigns like TrueView. It is not for use on the Search Network.
  • Cost per thousand Viewable Impressions (vCPM)
    vCPM is a display only strategy designed to let advertisers bid for impressions when the ad is available in a viewable space. It is viewable when 50 percent of it displays on screen for one second or more for display ads, but two seconds or more for video ads. However, all viewable impressions created are not equal. However, you must track your placements report to avoid you’re not showing up on unwanted sites.

Which One to Use When?

The best use of each of the strategies depends upon your Ads Campaign Goals. Therefore you need to select a bidding strategy based on the results you want, which are as under:

  1. If your goal of Ads campaign happens to be conversions, or driving website’s traffic or store to turn into a sale, the bid strategies like ‘Maximize Conversions, Target CPA, Target ROAS and Target Outranking Share’ are best for use.
  2. If your goal is to only to more traffic to your website without concern for conversion, you may go for ‘Maximize Clicks, Target Search Page Location, and Manual CPC Bidding.’
  3. If your goal seems to be brand awareness on YouTube and Display Networks, you are suggested to utilise the strategies like ‘Target Search Page Location, Target Outranking Share, and CPM/vCPM for maximum branding.

And then to be sure to be on the right path, you are advised to opt for the following practices:

    • Always go for a bidding tactic based on your ad campaign goals rather than for default options;
    • Must measure the key performance indicators such as conversions, conversion rate, cost per conversion, and more;
    • Always test the different bidding strategies for a few weeks observing the performance changes before selecting the one; and iv. Finally, you must go with the one having excellent results.
Objective Bidding Strategy
Brand awareness Target Search Page Location, Target Outranking Share, and CPM/CPM
Website traffic Maximize Clicks, Target Search Page Location, and Manual CPC Bidding
Increase conversions or drive traffic Maximize Conversions, Target CPA, Target ROAS, and Target Outranking Share

To Wrap Up

To be on the right track, you need to test different strategies for a few weeks for tracking performance changes and then measure your key performance indicators. And finally, stick with the one with better results!

You can leverage Ads tactics for better and cheaper sales through notifications set up, pause campaigns and adjust bids in addition to jump-start bids by going aggressive and flipping the script and customizing bids according to the demographics.

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