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9 Google Ads Bidding Strategies & Tips to Run Effective Campaign

google ads bidding strategies

Mastering the art of bidding is crucial for maximizing your campaign’s return on investment (ROI). This blog explores Google Ads bidding strategies, outlining effective tactics to align bids with campaign goals for optimal results. Ready to join? Get started together!

What is Google Ads bidding?

In Google Ads, bidding involves setting the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad per keyword. This bid determines ad placement in search results. It’s akin to an auction, where advertisers vie for top positions based on bids and ad quality.

When bidding for your campaign, the primary objective is to secure the lowest bid while achieving optimal results. To accomplish this, selecting an appropriate bidding strategy is crucial, and it should be at the top of your priority list. Google typically defaults to automated bidding strategies that leverage machine learning to determine the most effective bid for your ads.

Despite the default recommendation, Google offers numerous alternative bidding strategies. It is worthwhile to explore these options and search for the one that best suits your needs. In the following section, we’ll walk you through the bidding strategies and how to identify which strategy might work best for you.

Types of bidding strategies in Google Ads

Google Ads bidding comprises three main types: manual bidding, automated bidding, and smart bidding facilitated by Google. Each type carries its advantages and drawbacks impacting you and your campaign.

Types of bidding strategies in Google ads

Just like the name, Google Ads manual bidding strategy lets you manually set your bids for each keyword in your Google Ads campaign. This allows you to control the maximum amount you’ll pay for each click on your ad for that keyword. You can either set a single bid for all keywords in an ad group or set individual bids for each keyword.

At the moment, Google is providing advertisers with 3 manual bidding strategies:

  • Manual Cost-per-click (CPC): With manual CPC, you can establish a maximum cost-per-click for various ad groups or keywords, without Google’s assistance. This strategy enables easy adjustments by adding or removing bids within your campaign settings.
  • Manual CPM: In this Google Ads bidding strategy, you define the price per 1000 impressions. This rate signifies the average cost rather than the maximum. Impressions are tallied regardless of whether users view or skip your ad.
  • Manual vCPM bidding: This Google Ads bidding enables you to set bids for every 1,000 impressions where a user views your ad. Unlike CPM bidding, this strategy ensures your investment isn’t squandered on impressions where the ads weren’t seen. An impression is counted once the ad is displayed for at least 1 second on the Display Network (or 2 seconds on YouTube).
about 3 manual bidding strategies

When transitioning from Google’s recommended bidding strategies to manual bidding types, you may receive a warning from Google about potential performance decreases. Indeed, manual bidding is only for experienced advertisers who have run multiple ads on Google. For newcomers, it’s advisable to use the default bidding types suggested by Google. This allows the platform to learn and provide the most effective bidding amount for optimal results.

Google’s automated bidding strategies utilize machine learning to automatically adjust your ad bids in real-time, striving to enhance your campaign’s performance and accomplish your desired objectives. At the moment, the automated bidding strategy that Google is providing for users is Maximize clicks bidding.

When you choose “Get the most clicks” in your ad settings, Google automatically changes your ad prices to get you the most clicks possible within your budget. They do this by looking at your chosen keywords and how many other ads are using them. This way, your ad price stays competitive and helps you get the most attention.

Automated bidding strategies are highly effective for saving time and optimizing your account. However, it is essential to closely monitor and track their performance while they operate.

Smart Bidding in Google Ads stands tall among automated bidding techniques, using Google’s AI for real-time bid refinement. What sets Smart Bidding apart from automated bidding is its precise optimization for conversions or their derived value. Through ongoing machine learning, bids dynamically adjust to meet predefined goals, ensuring peak optimization and efficiency in Google Ads campaigns.

Google ads smart bidding strategies

When selecting Google Ads bidding strategies, let’s explore three key types to find the optimal fit for your campaign:

  • Maximize conversions: Maximize Conversions aims to secure the highest number of conversions within your daily budget limit. You can set a target CPA when using this strategy to maintain an average CPA across your campaign or portfolio of campaigns.
  • Target cost per acquisition (CPA): Target CPA is a bidding strategy enabling advertisers to establish a desired cost per acquisition (CPA), which represents the expense of gaining a single customer in online advertising. This metric is determined by dividing the total cost of an ad campaign by the number of conversions achieved.
  • Maximize conversion value: Maximizing conversion value bidding in Google Ads strategically optimizes bids to attain the highest conversion value within your budget. The system automatically fine-tunes bids, targeting users prone to significant conversions. You can use this conversion value strategy without setting the target if you want to drive as much conversion value as possible for your set budget.
  • Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC): The enhanced cost-per-click strategy is an automated version of manual CPC bidding. When you opt for this strategy, you permit Google to adjust your bid based on the likelihood of a click converting into a conversion.
  • Target return on ad spend (ROAS): The Target ROAS strategy is an automated bidding approach that optimizes campaigns based on a specific return on ad spend (ROAS). Advertisers specify their desired return value, and Google dynamically adjusts the bids based on the probability of achieving that targeted return.

How to choose the best bidding strategy? 

Now that you are acquainted with the most commonly used bidding strategies in Google Ads, the crucial question is: What is the most suitable bidding strategy for your campaign? To answer this, it all boils down to one key factor – your goals. Start by asking yourself: What do you want your business to achieve? Once you’ve identified your business goals, consider what steps are necessary to accomplish them. With these insights in mind, it’s time to select the bidding strategies that align with your business objectives.

Here is an overview of the main goals you’d want to achieve when running a campaign on Google, along with our suggestions for the bidding strategy that might be suitable for your goals. Let’s explore them together:

how to choose the best bidding strategy

Tips for Google bidding strategies

Bidding strategies may be hard to understand and even applied to your campaign. We are here to help by lending you some useful tips to make your bidding process easier. Together find what they are:

Set bidding automation rules

In the bidding strategies we’ve introduced, a crucial emphasis is placed on closely monitoring your performance to ensure your ads run as planned. To simplify the management process and save time on Google Ads, consider implementing bidding automation rules. These rules can set up notifications, adjust campaigns in case of performance issues, or even pause your campaign – all without the need for constant manual intervention.

For example, if your conversion value falls below a certain threshold, automate rules to increase the bidding amount. Setting up these rules is straightforward: navigate to Tools > Bulk actions > Rules. Click the add button and configure the conditions for your ads’ rules. This automation allows you to efficiently manage your campaigns without being actively engaged on the platform.

Set bidding automation rules

Add bid adjustment

Google provides an additional tactic that you can leverage: bid adjustment. With bid adjustments, you can control the frequency of your ads based on factors such as location, time, and search behavior. For instance, if you notice a higher chance of conversions when showcasing your ads to smartphone users, consider adjusting your bidding amount higher for those users to further boost your conversion rate.

To set bid adjustments, navigate to Campaign > Audiences, keywords, and content > Advanced bid adjustment. Click Edit on the specific conversion action you want to adjust, and there you can increase the bidding adjustment.

bidding adjustment

Grasp the seasonal trend profits

Your conversion rates and costs per conversion fluctuate like spring flowers and winter snowflakes. During peak seasons like the holidays, when engagement explodes, you can be a bidding lion, roaring with increased offers to capture every possible sale. Keep your eyes peeled for yearly trends and be a nimble bidder, changing your tactics to match the season’s rhythm. That way, your Google Ads will always bloom where it’s planted, regardless of the time of year.

Let me give you an instance, if you sell Halloween costumes, you should bid aggressively to grasp customers’ attention. But do not be stubborn yourself by keeping a high bid until the end of November due to the post-holiday lull. By adjusting your bid seasonally, you will scare up success all year round. 

Bid on branded keywords

Bidding on your name and products grabs top ad spots, boosts clicks with familiar faces, and protects your brand from copycats. This high-intent traffic craves what you offer, leading to more conversions and happier customers. Plus, it’s your data playground, revealing brand awareness and ad effectiveness, making you a marketing mastermind. So, embrace branded keywords. It’s not just claiming real estate, it’s building a fortress for your brand, one click at a time.

Bump your work

Starting with low bids for your new campaign feels safe, right? But what if there was a way to grab attention early, and then save money later? That’s where bid bumping comes in. Think of it like giving your ads a temporary energy boost. You pay a bit more at first, getting them to the top of the search results and attracting lots of clicks. Then, slowly step back on the gas pedal, lowering your bids while your ad stays visible.

With this tactic, your ads keep getting seen, but you’re paying less for each click and conversion. It’s like a win-win, attracting attention without breaking the bank. So next time you launch a campaign, ditch the low bids and try a little bump – you might be surprised at how much further your budget can go.

Ready to dive into cost-effective Google Ads?

Understanding Google Ads Bidding might seem daunting, but it’s simpler than you think. Mastery of various bidding strategies can yield exceptional business results.

about nestads

Whether you’re new or seasoned in Google Ads, comprehending bidding is crucial before the campaign launch. Select bids wisely to align with your objectives and budget. Fortunately, you’re not alone – leverage the prowess of NestAds, our robust Google Ads management tool. Connect with our experts to craft highly profitable Google Ads campaigns!


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