The Best Google Ads Bid Strategy Demystified!

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Last Updated on: 15th February 2024, 05:13 pm

Once your campaigns and ad groups are ready, it’s time to choose your Google Ads bidding strategy. And today, it’s my mission to show you everything you need to know about the best Google Ads bid strategies (and when to use them).

Let’s dive in!

Why Do Google AdWords Bid Strategies Matter?

Isn’t CPC CPC? You’d think so, but in reality – every bidding strategy is different. And it all depends on your goals. For example, just changing your bidding strategy could lead to an increase in conversions of up to a whopping 142%!

Since your bid strategy tells Google what you want to achieve, you need to crystalise your goals and select the right bidding approach. 

What Is the Best Google Ads Bid Strategy?

The best Google Ads bid strategy depends on your end goal:

  • Would you like more clicks on your ads? (Because you have an automated funnel that will easily convert leads into prospects.)
  • Would you like to increase your brand awareness? (Because you’re preparing to expand your market share.)
  • Would you like more conversions? (Because it’s nearly Q4, and there’s no such thing as too many customers.)
  • Is your budget tight?

Every factor around your campaign can – and should – affect your bid strategy. When you have an end goal in mind, you can seamlessly allocate bidding strategies to your campaigns.

Personally, I tend to gravitate towards data-driven strategies. 

For example, tCPA (Target Cost Per Action) allows Google Ads to learn from your conversion costs and then, you can target the maximum CPA you’re prepared to pay for every new lead or customer.

However, your mileage may vary, so read on to find the right Google AdWords bid strategy for your campaign!

New to Google Ads? Learn how the PPC auction works in my guide!

1. Manual CPC (Cost-per-Click) Google Ads Bid Strategy

Manual CPC bidding lets you set and control the maximum amount you pay for a single click on your ads. 

The manual CPC bid strategy works like a charm if you want to generate more traffic to the website – but keep in mind that you won’t be able to convert every single click.

It’s best to use the manual CPC if the budget is tight or your account is new, and you want to test the waters. It’ll allow you to gather data and do initial testing on Google Ads to identify which keywords and placements are the most profitable options for your account.

Expert PPC tip: When you get a decent amount of bid data, wean off from Manual CPC. It’ll take a lot of time to manage in most cases, and it may not be worth it unless you’re a Google Ads specialist.

2. Is Enhanced Manual CPC the Best Google Ads Bid Strategy for New Accounts?

Enhanced manual CPC is a bid strategy that regulates your CPC so it can maximise your conversions (or conversion value). Think of it as a combination of manual bidding and smart bidding.

I recommend enhanced manual CPC when you want to get more high-value conversions but maintain (or reduce) the cost per conversion. My PPC consultancy clients often use it to kickstart their new Google Ads accounts and get more highly-qualified leads.

3. When Should You Use the Maximise Clicks Google AdWords Bid Strategy?

Maximise clicks is automated bidding based on the maximum daily budget. Once you set your daily budget, Google will do its best to get as many clicks as possible and drive traffic to your landing page. 

If your goal is to accumulate data for new keywords, campaigns, or groups, and your landing page converts well, the maximise clicks Google Ads bid strategy is a good option. However, ensure your ad Quality Score is high and ready to convert. 

4. Is Maximise Conversions the Best Google Ads Bid Strategy?

Honestly? It’s quite effective!

When you use ‘Maximise conversions,’ Google Ads promises to deliver as many conversions as possible within the daily budget. 

For example, suppose you have a daily budget of $50. With ‘Maximise conversions,’ Google will spend $50 to deliver as many conversions as possible. 

(It’ll always aim to spend it all, so be careful.)

The amount of conversions you get depends on the type of business you run. For a B2C company, the conversion rate could be 20%, and for a B2B company, it could be 2%. 

The success depends on various factors, so it’s worth testing if you have a good conversion rate and enough data, but it’ll work best in the hands of a Google Ads expert

Google Ads bid strategies based on the placement channel
Not all bid strategies are available on every placement channel. Source: StoreGrowers

5. The Maximise Conversion Value Google Ads Bid Strategy 

If the maximise conversions bid strategy helps you get more conversions, then ‘Maximise conversion value’ gives you better conversions.

(I love this bid strategy for improving lead quality and getting higher average order values!)

Similarly to maximise conversions, this bid strategy will try to get the highest value conversions within your budget. Enter the initial value you want to maximise, and Google will take it from there.

Again, make sure you have enough data and prepare your conversion tracking.

6. Target CPA Google AdWords Bid Strategy

With target CPA, you need to understand how much you pay for each customer action. For example, you could be spending $20 for each action.

Your goal with Google Ads’ target CPA bid strategy will be to get as many conversions as possible at the rate you set. You could experiment with your standard CPA, or you could try to target a lower CPA.

This is an excellent start strategy if you have data to optimise against. But if you’ve recently launched your first campaigns, it’s best to gather more data before testing tCPA. 

Similarly, tCPA will work best when you have a higher campaign budget than your target cost.

For example, you’ll get much more out of tCPA if your target cost is $20 and your budget is $2000 than if your cost is $20 and your daily budget is $50.

However, note that this Google ad bidding strategy works best when you have a higher campaign budget than your target cost. 

7. The Best Google Ads Bid Strategy: Target ROAS

Yep, I said “the best”, and here’s what I mean by that:

Target Return on Ad Spend allows you to optimise Google Ads campaigns for the revenue you want for each dollar spent on ads.

However, tROAS can get tricky. You need to be realistic about the returns you can get, so if you try to optimise for a 1000x ROAS, you will limit your campaign reach. This bid strategy also requires data and a good understanding of your audience and the market. 

Similarly, target ROAS only works when your ads generate direct financial value – for example, online sales. 

If you run brand awareness or lead generation ads (where the action would be to download an eBook), you wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the ROAS accurately.

8. The Target Impression Share Google Ads Bid Strategy

Try the target impression share strategy to increase your brand awareness. It aims to display your ad prominently in the SERPs.

I find it helpful in select few cases. Otherwise, an experienced Google Ads consultant can improve your placement organically. 

9. CPV Video Ad Bidding

You should consider CPV bidding if you run video ads on Google or YouTube. You’ll pay for interactions with your video ad (e.g., clicks on your CTA) – similarly to how you’d pay for clicks on the traditional Google Search placement.

Is There One Google Ads Bid Strategy to Rule Them All?

Every campaign is different. What works for your competitor may not work for you, but there are plenty of options. You can always start with Manual CPC bidding to get acquainted with the platform.

But you’ll need data once you’re ready to scale your Google Ads. With the right information, you can identify the best leads for your business and reach them at a fraction of the cost.

If you’re ready to achieve rapid Google Ads success in 7 steps, download a copy of my best-selling Google Ads book! But if you need personalised guidance to increase your ROAS, contact me. I’d love to help you turn Google into your lead generation facility!

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