AdWords offers several bid strategies that are tailored to different types of campaigns. Depending on which networks your campaign is targeting, and whether you want to focus on getting clicks, impressions, conversions, or views you can determine which strategy is best for you. In this article, we’ll describe how to use your advertising goals to choose your bid strategy.
Before you begin
If you’re looking for instructions on how to change your bid strategy for an existing Search campaign, read Change how you bid.
Consider your goals
Each bid strategy is suited for different kinds of campaigns and advertising goals. For the purposes of bidding, you’ll want to consider four basic types of goals, along with your current campaign settings.
- If you want customers to take a direct action on your site, and you’re using conversion tracking, then it may be best to focus on conversions. AdWords Smart Bidding lets you do that.
- If you want to generate traffic to your website, focusing on clicks could be ideal for you. Cost-per-click (CPC) bidding may be right for your campaign.
- If you want to increase brand awareness—not drive traffic to your site—focusing on impressions may be your strategy. You can use cost per thousand viewable impressions (vCPM) bidding to put your message in front of customers. You can also use a Target Search Page Location or Target Outranking Share strategy to maximize visibility.
- If you run video ads and want to increase views or interactions with your ads, you can use cost-per-view (CPV) or CPM or cost-per-thousand (CPM) bidding.
- If you run video ads and your goal is to increase product or brand consideration you can use cost-per-view (CPV).
Focus on conversions with Smart Bidding
If you want to focus on conversions, consider using AdWords Smart Bidding to take much of the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids. Smart Bidding is a set of automated bid strategies that uses machine learning to optimize for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction—a feature known as “auction-time bidding.” It also factors in a wide range of auction-time signals such as device, location, time of day, language, and operating system to capture the unique context of every search.
Below are the four Smart Bidding strategies you can use.
- Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition): If you want to optimize for conversions, you can use Target CPA to help increase conversions while targeting a specific cost-per-acquisition (CPA). Learn more About Target CPA bidding.
- Target ROAS (return-on-ad-spend): If you want to optimize for conversion value, you can use Target ROAS to help increase conversion value while targeting a specific return-on-ad-spend (ROAS). Learn more About Target ROAS bidding.
- Maximize Conversions: If you want to optimize for conversions, but just want to spend your entire budget instead of targeting a specific CPA, you can use Maximize Conversions. Learn more About Maximize Conversions bidding.
- Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC): If you want to automatically adjust your manual bids to try to maximize conversions, you can use ECPC. It’s an optional feature you can use with Manual CPC bidding. Learn more About ECPC.
Focus on clicks with CPC bidding
If you’re focusing on gaining clicks to generate traffic to your website, there are two cost-per-click bid strategies to consider:
- Maximize Clicks: This is an automated bid strategy. It’s the simplest way to bid for clicks. All you have to do is set a daily budget, and the AdWords system automatically manages your bids to bring you the most clicks possible within your budget. Learn more About Maximize Clicks bidding.
- Manual CPC bidding: This lets you manage your maximum CPC bids yourself. You can set different bids for each ad group in your campaign, or for individual keywords or placements. If you’ve found that certain keywords or placements are more profitable, you can use manual bidding to allocate more of your advertising budget to those keywords or placements. Learn more About Manual CPC bidding.
More about Maximize Clicks
More about Manual CPC bidding
Focus on impressions
If you want to focus on impressions, you can try one of the following bid strategies to help maximize visibility.
- Target Search Page Location: This is an automated bid strategy that automatically sets your bids to help increase the chances that your ads appear at the top of the page, or on the first page of search results. Learn more About Target Search Page Location bidding.
- Target Outranking Share: This is an automated bid strategy that lets you choose a domain you want to outrank so that your ad is displayed above that domain’s ads, or shows when that domain’s ad does not. You can set how often you want to outrank that domain, and AdWords automatically sets your Search bids to help meet that target. Learn more About Target Outranking Share bidding.
- Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM): With this bid strategy, you’ll pay based on the number of impressions (times your ads are shown) that you receive on YouTube or the Google Display Network.
- Cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM): This is a manual bidding strategy you can use if your ads are designed to increase awareness, but not necessarily generate clicks or traffic. It lets you set the highest amount you want to pay for each 1,000 viewable ad impressions on the Google Display Network. vCPM bidding probably isn’t for you if the goal of your campaign is a direct response from customers, like buying a product or filling out a form. Learn more About vCPM bidding.
More about vCPM bidding
Focus on views or interactions (for video ads only)
If you run video ads, you can use cost-per-view (CPV) bidding. With CPV bidding, you’ll pay for video views and other video interactions, such as clicks on the calls-to-action overlay (CTAs), cards, and companion banners. You just enter the highest price you want to pay for a view while setting up your TrueView video campaign. Learn more About CPV bidding.