Updated with the announcement of retired bid strategies in June 2019.
If you’re looking to keep your Google Ads budget in check, especially during busy season, these tips should help you to succeed. Begin by:
- Logging in to your Google Ads account.
- Going to the Campaign you want to adjust.
- Choosing the Overview > Settings > Bidding options from the left-hand toolbar. The default is the manual CPC, which means you will manage the bids on each keyword.
Instead, click change bid strategy. There are several options to choose from, including:
- Target CPA – average cost per acquisition. If you choose this, you set what you want to pay per lead. If you set this amount too low, you won’t get any leads. Consider a target of $25 to see if you get leads. The Google algorithm typically puts your bid amount into a range, say $25 – $35. You can always adjust it if you do not get any leads.
- Target ROAS – return on ad spend. In this option, you’ll enter the percentage of ad spend that you want to get a good return on, for example, 50 percent or 100 percent. The algorithm will then work to help you meet that target. Again, if your amount is too low, you’ll not get any leads.
- Maximize clicks – as it says, this option is set to help you get the most number of clicks for the maximum bid amount you set. If you do not put a dollar amount in this field, Google will get you clicks, but you could spend over $100 on them because you didn’t set a price. Be realistic in your amount here and base your number on keyword research so you know how much the best-performing terms will cost. Note: During trends or high-profile seasons, e.g., tax season, terms can increase to double-digit numbers when before or after those times, they may have been below a dollar.
- Maximize conversions – for this one to work, you should have previous campaign data with a lot of conversions in it. If you don’t, avoid using this one until you do. At a minimum, you should have had at least 20 conversions in the past 30 days. How it works, it the algorithm looks at your conversion history and then auto bids for you to get as many conversions as possible.
- Target Impression Share is a strategy that automatically sets your bids in real time to help you achieve your impression share goals. Using this solution involves two key pieces of information: (1) whether you want to target the absolute top of the page, the top of the page, or anywhere on the page; (2) which level of impression share you want to attain. Read more on this WordStream post.
- Enhanced CPC is a supplement to the manual CPC, but with a boost. What happens in this instance is the algorithm notices an increase in traction for a keyword term in which you’ve not adjusted the bid. It will automatically adjust the bid for you slightly to gain you more conversions.
For some of these options to work, such as Target CPA and ROAs, your budget needs to be significant, like a few hundred dollars per day. Now that you know what the bidding options are, will you be adjusting your campaign?