February 28

Google Ads Bidding Strategies: Which is the Best?

Heading into 2022, we can confidently say that Google Ads is more powerful than ever. Paid ad campaigns are a great way to grow your business and support your goals, and if you can keep your ad spend under control, then Google Ads can be super cost-effective.

The amount you’ll need to spend varies a lot, and it’s determined by the Google Ads auction system. Every time someone makes a search or loads a page with ad space, a lightning-fast auction takes place, and Google serves up the winning ads. Auctions look at a few different things, including the quality of your ad and website, how useful your ad is to the person searching, and how much you’ve bid for the spot. 

It’s important to know that the highest bid doesn’t always win! If you’re bidding too much or using the wrong strategy, you could be wasting money on ad campaigns that simply don’t perform. On the other hand, if you match your bidding strategy to your campaign goals, Google Ads can be a huge part of your success story. So, read on to find out more about Google Ads bidding strategies and how they fit into your digital marketing campaigns.

I want more traffic to my website.

Getting more eyes to your website is the first step towards growing your business. Whether you want to make sales or bring people into a brick-and-mortar store, increasing website traffic is the starting point. Increase traffic with these bidding strategies:

  • Manual CPC. Manual Cost Per Click (CPC) bidding is exactly what it sounds like. You pay a fee any time someone clicks on one of your ads. The amount you pay depends on the keywords, audience and level of competition. Manual CPC gives you heaps of control over your bids for certain ads and keywords, but it can take a lot of time and practice to properly maintain and optimise your campaigns.
  • Maximise Clicks. Maximise clicks is an automated bidding strategy where Google automatically sets your bid to try and get as many clicks as possible within the daily budget you set.

I want more conversions.

Getting visitors to your website is one thing, but it takes a different approach if you want to make sales or convince customers to give you a ring. Conversions come in different shapes and sizes, and these bidding strategies help you set up ad campaigns that deliver the conversions you’re looking for:

  • Target CPA. Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is a Smart Bidding strategy that lets you set a target value for each conversion. Google automatically adjusts your bid up and down to try and get conversions. The amount you pay for each conversion will change, but the average cost will be about the same as your target.
  • Target ROAS. Target Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) lets you set the return you want to see from each dollar of your ad spend. When setting your Target ROAS, it’s important to be realistic. Setting targets that are too high will just limit the amount of traffic your ads receive, lowering your overall conversions.
  • Maximise Conversions. Maximise Conversions is an automated bidding strategy where you set a daily budget and Google adjusts your bids up and down to get as many conversions as possible. Google will spend your entire daily budget doing this, so make sure you aren’t using a shared budget!
  • Maximise Conversion Value. Maximise Conversion Value lets you set a daily budget and Google adjusts your bids to get the highest value conversions that meet your sales revenue or profit margin goals.
  • Enhanced CPC. Enhanced Cost Per Click is the next step up from Manual CPC bidding. Google automatically adjusts your bids up and down to maximise conversions. Enhanced CPC is a good way to lighten the load of managing and optimising CPC campaigns.

I want to increase brand and product awareness.

Not every campaign needs to drive conversions. Things like brand awareness and recall can be hard to put a value on, but there’s no denying they make a difference when you’re trying to get your name out there. These bidding strategies are geared towards teaching people about your brand, products, and services:

  • CPM. Cost Per Mile (CPM) is a bidding strategy on the Display Network where you pay per 1000 ad impressions. Each time your ad loads on a page, you are charged for the impression.
  • tCPM. Similar to CPM bidding, Target Cost Per Mile (tCPM) bids allow you to set an average target for how much you’re willing to pay per 1000 impressions. When you use tCPM bidding, your cost for each 1000 impressions might be higher or lower than your bid, but the average cost should be about the same as the target.
  • vCPM. Viewable Cost Per Mile (vCPM) bids mean you only pay per 1000 viewable impressions. Impressions only count as viewable if your ad is at least 50% on the page and visible for 1 second (or 2 seconds for video ads).
  • Target Impression Share. Available on both the Google Search and Display network, Target Impression Share automatically places bids to make sure your ads show in a certain place on the page. For example, you can set a Target Impression bid to have your ads display at the top of the page whenever someone searches for your brand.

Which is the best Google Ads Bidding Strategy?

There’s no easy answer to this question. All of the bidding strategies above have their place in the digital marketing world, and some are better than others at achieving specific goals. 

We said earlier that Google Ads is more powerful than ever before, and we meant it. A lot of the bidding strategies we talked about above are now partially or fully powered by Google’s AI. Using sophisticated algorithms that look at things like a person’s search history, location, interests and demographics, Google has created a system that can figure out who’s most likely to connect with your business. Google Smart Bidding strategies let you control the budget, but they use Google’s supercomputers to figure out where and when to spend your money for the best results. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of setting your bids and strategies, but it’s always important to ease into Smart Bidding strategies and make sure your Google Ads are set up for best results.

Not quite ready to attend a Google Ads auction? Let Gordon Digital help!

Google Ads has huge potential to help any business grow. The system is now so good that it’s often one of the first things we encourage clients to look into. Even when your budget is small, you can use Google Ads to build revenue streams that you can’t get any other way.

But doing all that takes time and patience and more than a little practice. If you’re not quite ready to take it on yourself, then it’s definitely a good idea to look for outside help. Gordon Digital has a team of in-house Google Ads specialists who live and breathe this stuff. They’re always ready to take on a new project, and they know exactly how to write ads and design campaigns that can achieve whatever you’re after! If you’re ready to dive into the world of Google Ads, don’t hesitate to give us a call, we’d love to hear from you.

about the author

Jessica Gordon