Running a successful online business is like conducting an intricate symphony.
Every note needs to be perfectly aligned to create a harmonious outcome. If you’re a high-level entrepreneur, investing over $10,000 each month in paid advertising, you understand the complexities. Achieving consistent results in Google Ads can be challenging, especially in coaching, consulting, speaking, and expert niches.
Despite your budget, funnel, and dedication, maintaining profitability while scaling can feel precarious. But every challenge holds an opportunity. The solution is to master Google Ads bidding strategies with precision and data-driven insights.
As a leader in your industry, you’ve conquered peaks that many only dream of.
Now, it’s time to conquer Google Ads bidding, turning challenges into stepping stones towards greater success.
- The nuances of bidding wars.
- Explore the untapped potential of ad placements.
- The tools you need to transform uncertainty into triumph.
- The mysteries of bidding algorithms.
- How to gain clarity on the language of quality scores
Let’s dive into how it all works.
How Does Google Ads “Bidding” Work?
Before we explore advanced Google Ads bidding strategies, let’s begin with the basics and examine how bidding operates within the platform.
1. Keywords: Unlocking Your Audience’s Intent
It all begins with keywords: those search terms your potential customers type into Google’s search bar.
These keywords hold the key to connecting your ads with your target audience.
When you select the right keywords, you’re essentially setting the stage for your ad to shine.
2. Ad Rank: The Magic Formula
Ever wondered how Google decides which ads to display when a user searches?
It’s all about Ad Rank, a dynamic calculation that considers three critical components: your bid amount, your ad’s Quality Score, and your ad extensions and their relevance.
Your bid amount represents the maximum you’re willing to pay for a click, but the real magic lies in your Quality Score and site link extensions.
Google assesses the quality and relevance of your ad and its landing page, rewarding ads that provide a seamless user experience.
3. The Auction Arena: Where Winners Emerge
Picture this: a virtual auction arena where ads compete for attention.
When a user’s search query enters the scene, Google’s auction system springs into action.
It assesses each ad’s Ad Rank, a dynamic blend of your bid and Quality Score.
The ad with the highest Ad Rank takes center stage, securing the prime advertising real estate.
Google Ads Bidding - Make Sure You’re Set Up Correctly First!
Google Ads bidding can be a powerful tool, so let’s make sure your initial setup is perfect.
- Precision in Data, Precision in Bidding – Audit your conversion tracking setup and ensure it is set up correctly.
- Data Enhancements, Tying Sales To Specific Keywords – Set up Hyros tracking in order to be able to tie back your campaign sales to the specific keyword it came from.
- Optimum Campaign Setup, Getting Campaigns To Work Synergistically With Hyros – In order to see the exact keywords getting sales, you need to ensure that one phrase match or one exact match keyword is tied to that ad when you set up your ad group.
- Get Your Priorities Straight – Map out your campaign goals and get an understanding of your funnel economics in order to make good bidding decisions. Example: if you want to focus on increasing your sales, then focus on the Target CPA campaigns driving you the most sales.
- Evaluate Your Current Performance – Understanding your current performance and analyzing your key performance indicators is the only way you’ll be able to make good pivots and optimize your Google Ads Bidding strategies wisely.
- Patience, Grasshopper – Once you’ve made adjustments to your campaigns and have begun testing new things, wait until you have a 95% confidence score to optimize them.
Repeat Successful Actions, Simplify Your Campaigns – When you identify something that’s working and working well, it’d be wise to repeat those successful actions and simplify your campaign structure to reflect them.
9 Google Ads Bidding Strategies for Your Campaigns: Pros & Cons of Each
Do you want to know all of your options when it comes to what bidding strategies are available for use on Google Ads?
Look no further because we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of these 9 most used bidding strategies:
- Manual CPC (Cost-Per-Click)
- Target CPA (Cost-Per-Action)
- Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
- Maximize Clicks
- Maximize Conversions
- Enhanced CPC
- Maximize Conversion Value
- Manual CPV (Cost-Per-View, for video campaigns)
- Target Impression Share
Bid Strategy #1: Manual CPC (Cost-Per-Click)
We only use Manual CPC bidding when we’re running our search-based campaigns, as its primary function is to set the desired CPC you’re looking to hit with your keywords.
Full Control: With Manual CPC bidding, advertisers have complete control over individual keyword bids. This level of control is beneficial for advertisers who want to closely manage and adjust bids based on their own insights and strategies.
Budget Flexibility: Manual CPC allows advertisers to allocate their budget more precisely to the keywords performing well and driving desired results. This control can help ensure that the budget is spent effectively on the most valuable clicks.
Time-Consuming: Since Manual CPC requires constant monitoring and adjustment of bids, it can be time-consuming, especially for advertisers managing campaigns with a large number of keywords. Regularly updating bids to stay competitive can be labor-intensive.
Limited Automation: Manual CPC lacks the automated optimization capabilities that some other bidding strategies offer. This means advertisers might miss out on potential opportunities if they’re unable to constantly monitor and adjust bids in real-time.
Bid Strategy #2: Target CPA (Cost-Per-Action)
Target CPA is one of our favorite bidding strategies to use especially for our YouTube campaigns because once you get enough data in your account to see the average CPA, you can continue to challenge the algorithm to reduce your cost per action using this model.
Automated Optimization: Target CPA bidding utilizes Google’s machine learning to automatically adjust bids in real-time to achieve the desired cost-per-acquisition goal. This automation can save advertisers time and effort in managing individual bids manually.
Goal-Centric: Target CPA bidding focuses on achieving a specific cost per conversion or acquisition. This is particularly useful for advertisers who have a clear target for their return on investment and want to optimize their bids to achieve that goal.
Reduced Keyword-Level Control: With Target CPA bidding, you’re relinquishing some control over individual keyword bids in favor of automated optimization. While this can save time and effort, it might not be suitable if you have specific keywords that you want to bid more aggressively on or if you want to adjust bids for certain keywords based on external factors.
Potential for Fluctuations in Performance: During the learning period or when campaign conditions change significantly, Target CPA bidding might lead to fluctuations in performance. The automated algorithm requires time to adapt and optimize bids effectively. Sudden changes in the competitive landscape or user behavior could impact campaign results during this adjustment phase.
Bid Strategy #3: Target ROAS
Target ROAS bidding is often used by e-commerce businesses and advertisers who have a clear focus on maximizing the return on investment for their ad spend.
It’s particularly popular among businesses that sell products online and want to ensure that their advertising budget generates the best possible return in terms of revenue.
Automated Optimization: Target ROAS bidding leverages Google’s machine learning to automatically adjust bids to maximize the return on ad spend. This automation can save time and resources while optimizing for better performance.
Goal-Driven: Target ROAS allows advertisers to set a specific return on ad spend as a goal. This is valuable for businesses that have a clear target for their advertising ROI and want to allocate their budget to achieve that goal efficiently.
Learning Period: Like many automated bidding strategies, Target ROAS may require a learning period during which the algorithm gathers data and optimizes bids. During this phase, campaign performance might fluctuate, potentially affecting short-term results.
Complexity: Target ROAS bidding can be more complex to set up and manage compared to simpler bidding strategies. Advertisers need to have a good understanding of their return on ad spend goals and might need to adjust their expectations and strategy based on market conditions.
Bid Strategy #4: Maximize Clicks
Maximize Clicks bidding is primarily used by advertisers who want to increase website traffic and brand visibility. It’s often chosen by businesses that are less concerned about immediate conversions and are more focused on getting users to visit their websites. This can include companies looking to build awareness, promote content, or generate interest in their products or services.
Automation: Maximize Clicks is a simple and fully automated bidding strategy. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t require ongoing manual bid adjustments. People who don’t want to spend a lot of time managing their bids may find this strategy convenient.
Traffic Generation: Maximize Clicks is geared towards driving as much traffic to your website as possible within your specified budget. This can be valuable for businesses looking to increase brand exposure or for campaigns focused on getting users to their websites.
Lack of Conversion Focus: Maximize Clicks prioritizes clicks over conversions. This can lead to a high volume of clicks, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that these clicks will result in valuable actions like conversions or sales. It is not the best choice for campaigns with specific conversion goals.
Limited Control: Advertisers have minimal control over individual keyword bids with Maximize Clicks. While it’s easy to set up, you won’t have the same level of control as manual bidding or more advanced automated strategies.
Bid Strategy #5: Maximize Conversions
Maximizing conversions is great, especially for starting a new account where the goal is to get users to take valuable actions deeper into the funnel. We often find that maximize conversion campaigns optimize very well and continue to get cheaper and cheaper conversions.
Automated Optimization: Maximize Conversions bidding is an automated strategy that uses Google’s machine learning to adjust bids in real-time. It aims to get the most conversions possible within your specified budget, which can save time and effort in bid management.
Effective for Conversion-Centric Goals: This bidding strategy is ideal for advertisers with a primary focus on maximizing the number of conversions, such as lead generation, app downloads, or sales. It can help efficiently allocate your budget to achieve the highest possible conversion volume.
Limited Budget Control: While Maximize Conversions aims to maximize conversions, it may not be as effective in controlling ad spend. It can spend your budget quickly in pursuit of conversions, potentially leading to higher costs if not closely monitored.
Learning Period: When starting with Maximize Conversions or making significant changes to your campaign, there’s often a learning period during which the algorithm needs time to gather data and optimize bids. During this phase, campaign performance can fluctuate.
Bid Strategy #6: Enhanced CPC
Enhanced CPC is used by advertisers who want to strike a balance between manual control and automation in their bidding strategies. It’s often chosen by businesses and marketers who have some experience with Google Ads and want to improve their conversion rates without entirely relinquishing control over their bids.
Bid Adjustment Based on Conversion Likelihood: Enhanced CPC is a bidding strategy that automatically adjusts your manual bids in real-time for clicks that are more likely to result in conversions. This means your bids are optimized to increase the chances of getting valuable actions from your ad clicks.
Balanced Control and Automation: Enhanced CPC strikes a balance between manual bidding and full automation. Advertisers maintain control over their initial bid amounts while benefiting from Google’s algorithmic adjustments, making it a good choice for those who want some level of control with automated optimization.
Potential Cost Increase: While Enhanced CPC aims to increase conversions, it can sometimes result in higher costs. The algorithm may bid more aggressively on clicks that have a higher likelihood of converting, potentially driving up your overall cost per click (CPC).
Learning Period: Like other automated bidding strategies, Enhanced CPC may have a learning period during which the algorithm needs to gather data to optimize bids effectively. During this phase, you might experience fluctuations in performance.
Bid Strategy #7: Maximize Conversion Value
Maximized Revenue: Maximize Conversion Value bidding aims to get the most value from your advertising budget by optimizing for higher-value conversions. This is particularly beneficial for businesses looking to maximize their revenue from online sales or high-value leads.
Automation: Like other automated bidding strategies, Maximize Conversion Value bidding simplifies the bidding process. It uses Google’s machine learning to automatically adjust bids in real time to achieve the highest possible conversion value, saving time and effort in bid management.
Risk of Overspending: While the goal is to maximize conversion value, this bidding strategy may lead to overspending if not carefully monitored. It prioritizes maximizing value, which means it may be willing to bid higher amounts for clicks that have the potential for higher-value conversions.
Limited Focus on Volume: Maximize Conversion Value bidding prioritizes maximizing the value of conversions but may not necessarily focus on maximizing the volume of conversions. If your primary goal is to increase the number of conversions rather than the total conversion value, this strategy might not be the most suitable choice. Other strategies like Maximize Conversions or Target CPA may be better for volume-focused objectives.
Bid Strategy #8: Manual CPV
Maximum CPV bidding is primarily used by advertisers running video advertising campaigns on YouTube. It’s suitable for businesses and content creators who want to promote their video content and increase visibility on the YouTube platform. This can include a wide range of advertisers, from brand marketers looking to raise awareness to YouTubers seeking to expand their audience.
Cost Control: Maximum CPV bidding allows you to set a maximum bid for each view of your video ad. This helps control your costs and ensures that you don’t exceed your budget.
Visibility on YouTube: Maximum CPV bidding is specifically designed for video campaigns on YouTube. It can help increase the visibility of your video ads to a broader audience on the platform.
Variable Costs: The cost per view in Maximum CPV bidding can vary based on competition and targeting options. Depending on your industry and targeting, CPV costs can be relatively high compared to other advertising formats.
Limited Campaign Objectives: This bidding strategy primarily focuses on getting views for your video ads. If your campaign goals are more diverse and include actions beyond video views, such as website clicks or conversions, Maximum CPV is not the most suitable choice.
Bid Strategy #9: Target Impression Share
Target Impression Share bidding is primarily used by advertisers who have a strong focus on maintaining a specific level of ad visibility and brand presence in Google Ads. It’s often employed by businesses with branding objectives or those who want to ensure their ads appear at the top of search results to capture the attention of potential customers.
Visibility Control: Target Impression Share allows you to control the visibility of your ads by setting a specific impression share percentage. This can be useful for brand advertisers looking to maintain a strong presence on the search results page.
Automated Optimization: The bidding strategy automatically adjusts your bids to help you achieve your chosen impression share goal. It saves time compared to manual bidding and ensures that your ads are competitive in the auction.
Cost Considerations: While the goal is to achieve a specific impression share, this may result in higher costs, especially if you’re competing in a competitive market. Bidding aggressively to maintain a high impression share can lead to increased costs per click.
Limited Focus: Target Impression Share bidding primarily focuses on ad visibility rather than specific performance metrics like conversions or return on ad spend. If your primary goal is to drive specific actions or ROI, other bidding strategies will be more suitable.
How to Choose the Right Google Ads Bidding Strategy for You
Choosing the appropriate Google Ads bidding strategy is a critical decision. Let’s break down some key strategies that can help you achieve your advertising goals.
Step 1 – Understand Your Business Objectives:
Begin by thoroughly understanding your business objectives. What specific goals do you aim to achieve through Google Ads? This includes key components such as lead generation, sales, brand awareness, or event promotion.
Step 2 – Review Current Advertising Performance:
Analyze the performance of your current Google Ads campaigns, if any. Review key metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and return on ad spend (ROAS) to identify areas for improvement.
Step 3 – Evaluate Conversion Funnel:
Examine your online sales funnel to understand how leads and customers move through the buying process. Identify the key touchpoints and stages where Google Ads can play a role.
Step 4 – Set Clear KPIs:
Establish clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with your business objectives. For instance, if the goal is to generate leads, the KPI might be a specific cost per lead (CPL) target or for sales a specific cost per acquisition (CPA) target.
Step 5 – Select Bidding Strategies:
Based on the business objectives, budget, and competitive landscape, select the most suitable bidding strategies. The primary top 3 bidding strategies we use for high ticket coaches and consultants include:
- Target CPC (Cost-Per-Click): Ideal for our media buyers to get the most out of their Search campaign efforts.
- Maximize Conversions: Ideal for a fresh ad account without any data in order to get short-term results quickly and start feeding the account.
- Target CPA (Cost-Per-Acquisition): Effective for lead generation efforts with specific conversion goals.
Step 6 – Implement Conversion Tracking Before Launching:
Set up proper conversion tracking to measure the success of each campaign. This allows for data-driven decisions and performance evaluation.
Step 7 – Consultation and Expertise:
If you’re a little overwhelmed with all the information and are spending a considerable amount on ads, then consider consulting with Google Ads experts or agencies to ensure optimal campaign management and strategy implementation.
Optimize Your Google Ads Bidding Strategy Today
Your choice of Google Ads bidding strategies can make all the difference in achieving your business objectives. To ensure you’re on the right track, consider a consultation with our experienced team of Google Ads experts.
We’re here to help you set up, optimize, and fine-tune your campaigns for success. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back—take the next step towards smart bidding.
Book a call with us now to scale your ads, and let’s ensure you achieve the success you deserve.