When it comes to online advertising, Google Ads are one powerful platform for eCommerce brands, with 90% of consumers stating that adverts are the magnets that take them closer to the “add to cart” button. At its core, the bidding strategy within Google Ads is a competitive auction game — advertisers bid on certain keywords, vying for ad placements on search engine results pages (SERPS).
However, placing the highest bid doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win since Google takes a multitude of factors in account. These include your bid amount, ad quality, and relevancy to the user’s query, all of which help the platform ensure that its users see the most value-rich ads on their feeds.
So what do you do to display your ads to the right audience, at the right time, and at the right cost? Well, the answer lies in tweaking your bidding strategies, which alone can increase conversions by up to 142.86%. That’s quite a lot of potential; clicks, impressions, web traffic, and prospects, isn’t it? On the other hand, if tweaking bidding strategies doesn’t help, you might want to check other Google Ads optimization tips to boost your performance.
In today’s blog, we’ll walk you through 10 of the hottest (and best converting) bidding strategies in the Google Ads right now. So read on!
Google Ads Bidding Basics
What Is Google Ads Bidding?
Google Ads bidding is a method that helps advertisers determine the maximum amount they are willing to pay for their ad to be clicked or displayed on the search engine results page (SERP). As a crucial step of managing ad campaigns, this process lets you compete for ad space by placing bids on keywords relevant to your target audience.
There are two main types of Google Ads Bidding: manual and automated. Out of these, manual bidding is when an advertiser himself sets the maximum bid he is willing to pay for each click on a keyword or placement. This gives you more control over the ad budget (since you adjust bids yourself) along with greater flexibility, letting you tweak campaigns as per performance and business objectives. However, manual bidding may be time-consuming and prone to human error at times due to constant monitoring.
On the other hand, automated bidding lets Google’s algorithm adjust the bids in real-time, taking manual work out of the deal. This is great for larger campaigns or accounts dealing with multiple ad groups and keywords. While this type is more efficient and adjusts bids rapidly, it might mean relinquishing control over your ad budget to an algorithm like Google.
Importance of Google Ads Bidding
Google Ads bidding is a staple in the overall success and effectiveness of your campaigns. As discussed earlier, this phenomenon refers to determining the amount you’re willing to pay per click, conversion, or impression on your ads, But, how does this benefit your E-Commerce brand?
First things first, choosing the right bidding strategy aligns your campaigns goals with your budgets. For example, if you want to attract more website traffic, using a ‘Maximize Clicks’ strategy could be your best bet. Similarly, if generating conversions is what you’re aiming for, you may be better off with ‘Target CPA’ or ‘Target ROAS’ bidding strategies. This helps increase your chances of winning the auction game; the better the ad placements, the more spotlight your adverts gain.
Secondly, a well-designed bidding strategy can make your ad far more relevant and engaging for the audiences. How? Well, when your ads are displayed to users who’re likelier to convert, it increases your ad’s quality score. As a result, you bag lower costs per click (CPC) and better ad positions — low investments, high returns!
10 Google Ads Bidding Strategies
1. Target CPA (Cost per Acquisition)
Target CPA (Cost per Acquisition) is a smart bidding strategy that helps advertisers earn maximum conversions at a specific cost. In this case, Google automatically tweaks and adjusts bids based on historical data to achieve a predefined cost-per-acquisition goal. The CPA reflects the amount e-Commerce businesses are willing to spend to get one customer.
So, for example, if you set the target CPA at $3, Google’s algorithm will use metadata and real-time insights to get as many conversions as possible within this bracket. This strategy is best suited for companies with specific acquisition goals, like generating leads or driving sales. However, remember that this approach works well for those with a healthy budget, usually around twice your target CPA.
2. Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is a great Google Ads bidding strategy for those who want to achieve specific return goals. This approach lets advertisers set a desired return amount, and then, Google’s algorithm accordingly fine-tunes bids to achieve that target. In this case, the platform’s bidding system predicts the potential conversion value for each search query.
Thus, when Google identifies that a search is likelier to convert at a high value, Target ROAS smartly bids higher on those queries, and vice versa. Here’s the conversion threshold you need to achieve for an effective, well-rounded Target ROAS strategy:
- 15 conversions within the last 30 days for Google Display Network campaigns
- 10 conversions a day for App campaigns
- 75 conversions within the past 30 days for Discover Campaigns
- 30 conversions within the last 30 days for Video Action campaigns
This strategy is particularly helpful for eCommerce businesses within a diverse product line, targeting ready-to-buy audiences. While ROAS strategy achieves a specific return, it doesn’t necessarily generate the most revenue or sales.
3. Maximize Conversions
If you want to get the highest possible conversions within a defined budget range, Maximize Conversions is your sure shot bidding strategy. It’s simple: you set a maximum budget, and Google uses its algorithms to find the most suitable bid for each click. Wondering how this strategy operates? Well, the bids are continuously adjusted during auctions, and the platform aims to secure the clicks that are likelier to translate in conversions.
Here, the main focus isn’t on cost per action (CPA), but rather on getting as many conversions as possible within your budget limits. Google’s algorithms anticipate the probability of a click leading to a conversion and adjust the bid accordingly. If a search query is likelier to bring conversion, the bid will be higher, conversely, for less promising queries, the bid will be lower.
In essence, Maximize Conversions suits businesses who want to get the best conversions without micromanaging bids manually. Plus, while this approach brings is ideal for conversions, it might not always secure the most cost-efficient ones — since it targets users likelier to buy, Maximize Conversions may overshoot your budget at times.
4. Maximize Conversion Value (MCV)
Maximize Conversion Value (MCV) is a smart bidding strategy that aims to bring more value to your campaign by shifting the focus on generating higher-value conversions within a budget. Confused on the difference between Maximize Conversions (MC) and MCV? Time to spill: while MC is all about sheer number of conversions, the later prioritizes those with greater value.
In this strategy, Google Ads uses auction-time bidding with several other machine learning algorithms. Together, these utilize historical data and contextual cues to settle on the optimal bid for your ad placements. Thus, MCV bidding aims to secure ad spaces that are likelier to yield conversions with higher values ($6.5 conversion will be prioritized over a 5$ value one).
5. Maximize Clicks
For those enterprises aiming to obtain the higher number of clicks within a specified budget, Maximize Clicks is a great Google Ads bidding strategy. This approach is suitable for advertisers aiming to tap into new audience markets, enhance reach, gather more data, or direct flocks of customers to their website (or landing pages).
While this strategy drives traffic, it may not guarantee the most valuable clicks in terms of conversions or return on ad spend (ROAS). This is because it may attract clicks that don’t lead to sales or conversions, so it’s crucial for advertisers to simultaneously monitor their ROAS and conversion metrics.
6. Manual CPC (Cost per Click) Bidding
Manual CPC (Cost per Click) Bidding is a hands-on approach in Google Ads where advertisers manually set the highest amount they’re willing to pay for a click on their ad. This method gives a detailed level of control, letting you bid at the ad group or keyword level. Offering precise control, this strategy lets you decide the maximum cost per click (CPC), which usually ends up being less than your set limit.
Since you’ll only pay when a user clicks on your ad, Manual CPC Bidding is go-to for cost-effectiveness. Here’s how it operates: Suppose your ad has a maximum CPC of $0.4. With 500 impressions but only 15 clicks, the total spend amounts to $6 (0.4 x 15 clicks). Here, Google determines Ad Rank based on a bunch of factors, including the ad quality, position, user signals, search terms, and auctions.
7. Enhanced CPC Bidding
Thanks to its automated adjustment of bids, Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC) bidding is one of the most sought-after strategies. It is almost like manual bidding, except that this technique tweaks your bids based on the probability of converting clicks into actual sales or leads.
For example, let’s say you run a sports equipment store with a maximum CPC set at $1.5. In this case, ECPC might smartly increase your bid to $2 for auctions which are more likely to convert. Similarly, it could reduce the CPC to $1 to optimize the campaign for cost-effectiveness (given that the auction in view is less likely to translate into a lead).
8. CPM Bidding (Cost per Thousand Impressions)
CPM Bidding, or Cost per Thousand Impressions, charges for every thousand times an ad is displayed, regardless of whether it is being clicked. This approach is a must-have for businesses aiming to build brand awareness and increase visibility across Google Display Network and YouTube.
Revolving around impressions, CPM bidding measures the number of times an ad appears to users, charging advertisers even if users skip the ad. Therefore, if you’re, let’s say a nonprofit organization or an event organizing company, you can greatly benefit from this strategy. Because after all, even if the audience doesn’t click your ad, this bidding technique works wonders in terms of brand recall and recognition.
9. CPV (Cost per View) Bidding
CPV (Cost per View) Bidding is a strategic approach within Google Ads, specifically designed for YouTube video campaigns. It focuses on maximizing results by charging advertisers only when viewers engage with their video ads. In simple terms, CPV measures the cost incurred for each view of a video ad in an online marketing campaign.
Unlike CPM (Cost per 1000 impressions), which calculates the cost per thousand impressions, CPV targets actual views and interactions with the video content. Plus, the later charges you solely for video views and engagements, including interactions like clicks on call-to-action overlays, cards, and companion banners. A view is registered when someone watches at least 30 seconds of the video ad or interacts with it, whichever happens first.
10. Target Impressions Share
If you want to earn that coveted space on Google’s search results, Target Impressions Share (TIS) is the bidding strategy you must employ. Automating bidding to help achieve a particular impression share goal, this technique displays your ads at the top of the page or anywhere on the SERP.
However, remember this tip: when using the TIS strategy, advertisers need to send a well-thought maximum cost per click (CPC): not too low to limit bids but not excessively high to inflate your ad spend. So, for companies targeting brand-related keywords, TIS bidding secures the spotlight on the search engine, making it a game-changer for the one’s aiming to dominate impressions for specific searches. As a downside, this strategy may not always translate in immediate conversions. Also, it can be relatively expensive.
Staying on top of Google Ads is a go-to for success in the e-Commerce industry, thanks to its direct impact on campaign performance and ROI. These bidding strategies use a combination of techniques to reach your target audience right where it is, at the lowest possible cost.
Thus, if you want to optimize conversions for your brand and witness promising results, there are only two secret ingredients you need: Google Ads and the right bidding strategies! So, what do you think, which one of the bidding techniques discussed earlier is the most valuable for driving higher sales and leads?