Optimize Your Google AdWords Bidding Strategies

Better results for your time and money

Optimize Your Google AdWords Bidding Strategies

Using the correct bidding strategy for your goals can be a major boost to cost efficiency and could save you valuable time. In this article we will discuss some of the common automated bidding strategies AdWords has that you can implement today to get better results for your time and money.

For all of these automated strategies, you can set them at the campaign level by clicking into a campaign, going to the “Settings” menu, and using the “Bidding” drop down menu from there.

Maximize Clicks

Maximize clicks is my go-to for awareness goals and also brand new accounts/campaigns that simply need to accumulate data in order to make better optimizations down the line. Plainly and simply, the algorithm will try to get your campaign as many clicks as possible within your budget. I recommend moving to another strategy after 2-4 weeks, but when you really need to hit the ground running and don’t have refined data yet, Maximize Clicks is a helpful, time-saving alternative to manual bidding.

Target CPA

If your goals are conversion-based, Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition) might be a good strategy for your campaign. In summary, this bidding strategy uses contextual signals from the user and historical data from your campaigns to determine conversion probability and attempts to bid accordingly in every ad auction.

First, you’ll need to make sure you have conversion tracking on your campaigns. Any kind of conversion will do as long as it’s something you would be able to see from “Tools & Settings” (grey bar at the top of the page) > “Conversions”. Some common conversions used for this strategy are product/service purchases, lead form submissions, or phone calls.

If you already have a lot of conversion history in your campaigns, you can use your average CPA numbers from your campaign columns view +/- 10 to 20% depending on how aggressive you would like to be with acquiring more conversions. By keeping your Target CPA number on the lower end, you will be having the algorithm find more qualified traffic at the potential cost of limiting traffic. When budgets are tight, it makes sense to keep your Target CPA number low to get ad impressions to limited, but more highly refined traffic. With bigger budgets and more of a gross revenue/lead focus, it helps to raise your Target CPA to allow some of the mid-quality traffic to come through.

Target ROAS

Another conversion-based strategy, Target ROAS (return on ad spend) is similar to Target CPA except it utilizes conversion values into the algorithm. This strategy does not work well with lead-generation campaigns as leads generally have no real monetary value. You are free to add a value for a lead submission form on AdWords if your business has reliable estimates for what lead form submissions will typically generate, but I would recommend just using Target CPA bidding instead.

When setting this strategy up, it’s the opposite of Target CPA in terms of what numbers to enter. Entering higher numbers will have the algorithm limit traffic to only the highest conversion probability and highest AOV (average order value) users while lower targets will allow for a wider range of traffic which may lead to more gross conversion volume.

Target Impression Share

Target impression share is really helpful for visibility. You can set this strategy to target “anywhere on the results page”, the “top of results page”, or “absolute top of results page”. I sometimes switch to this bidding strategy when I have good promotions happening and I want higher awareness of it. I generally won’t use this strategy unless my budget will allow for about an 80% impression share for that campaign. My thoughts for that are if you’re not able to maintain a higher impression share, you are likely budget constrained enough that optimizing for efficiency will suit you better.

Want better SEM results? We can help!

At Aktiv, our experts understand how to optimize Google AdWords campaigns. A successful SEO & SEM campaign requires careful planning to ensure that it results in a positive ROI for your business. Our experts work with you to perform keyword research, write ad copy, manage and track SEO and SEM campaigns. We partner with you and provide solutions and services to manage, maintain, and improve your existing website.

Fill out the contact form below for a free evaluation and custom SEM proposal.

by: David Hill