Types of Google Ads Bidding Strategies

If you are new to Google Ads, all the different types of bidding strategies may overwhelm you.

However, once you understand how they work and the best way to use them, you will be able to develop a  bidding strategy to improve your quality score and get the most out of your advertising budget.

Without further ado, lets jump into Google Ads bidding strategies and how to use them to get the most out of your advertising dollar.

Google Ads Bidding StrategiesManual Cost Per Click (CPC)

Manual CPC is the only option where you have full control over how much you pay per click.

Basically, you tell Google Ads how much you are willing to pay for a click on a keyword and Google Ads will automatically bid up to that dollar amount.

How to Use Manual CPC Bidding 

Generally speaking, setting manual bids is where you will start bidding for most of your ad campaigns.  This is because you need to collect data before you can set automated bidding strategies.

To get the best data with manual CPC, we like to set all of our keywords to show at the very top of search results. 

Set Manual CPC Bidding Strategy To Top Of Page

Yes, this is the most expensive way to get your ads to show but it is also the best way to get the most data fast.

We suggest running at the top of search results for a week or two so you can collect enough data to optimize your ads for other bidding strategies.

Additionally, manual CPC is a great fall back bidding strategy when other bidding strategies aren’t giving you the impressions you want.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Targeting CPA is an automated bidding strategy that gives Google Ads full control over how much you pay per click.  They automatically set bids to help you get as many conversions as possible.

Essentially, Google Ads is saying we know who is most likely to turn into a lead for your business and we will not hesitate to spend top dollar to send them to your landing page as long as the cost per conversion stays within your CPA limits.

How to Use CPA Bidding 

CPA bidding is used once you have enough data to understand how much it is going to cost to acquire a new lead for your business.

With the data you have acquired through manual bidding, you can now set a reasonable goal for how much you are willing to pay per lead.

CPA Bidding Target

Since we had our manual CPC bidding to bid top dollar to generate clicks, we can now save some of our ad spend to reach searchers who are more likely to convert.

However, set your CPA bid too low and Google Ads will not show your ads.  I suggest setting your CPA bid slightly lower than what it was costing you to acquire a new lead with manual bidding.

Once you start to see results with your CPA bids, you can begin to lower how much you are willing to pay per lead.  Keep adjusting your CPA bid every week until you are able to find the optimal CPA bid.

Target Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)

Targeting ROAS is an automated bidding strategy that gives Google Ads full control over how much you pay per click.  They automatically set bids to help you get the most out of your ad spend.

ROAS bidding is primarily used by eCommerce websites looking to set a profit margin to make Google Ads a sensible option of advertising.

How to Use ROAS Bidding 

ROAS bidding is used once you have enough data to understand how much it is going to cost to generate sales on your website.

With the data you have acquired through manual bidding, you can now set a reasonable goal for how much you are willing to pay per sale.

Google Ads ROAS Bidding Strategies

Since we had our manual CPC bidding to bid top dollar to generate clicks, we can now save some of our ad spend to reach searchers who are more likely to make a purchase on our website.

However, set your ROAS bid too low and Google Ads will not show your ads.  I suggest setting your ROAS bid slightly lower than what it was costing you to make a sale with manual bidding.

Once you start to see results with your ROAS bids, you can begin to lower how much you are willing to pay per purchase transaction.  Keep adjusting your ROAS bid every week until you are able to find the optimal ROAS bid.

Maximize Clicks

Maximizing clicks is an automated bidding strategy that gives Google Ads full control over how much you pay per click.  They automatically set bids to help you get as many clicks as possible.

This option generally does not lead to a great return on leads or eCommerce sales, but it can help you segment your visitors and create custom audiences that can be used in future advertising efforts.

How to Use Maximize Clicks Bidding 

Maximizing clicks is primarily used to generate as much traffic to a website as possible to help businesses build profiles of consumers.

I like to use this bid strategy when promoting a new blog post or for product launches because it is a great way to build awareness. 

With this bid strategy you will need to set an end date to stop showing ads.

With the data you have collected from all the traffic you have generated, you can now set up a re-marketing campaign to continue to build interest in your product or services.

When setting up a re-marketing campaign, be sure to head over to your Google Analytics accounts and set up a new segment that includes only visitors from your maximized clicks bidding ad.

Setting Up Google Ads Remarketing From Maximize Bidding Strategy

Once your segment is set up, you can view that audience’s demographics and interests in Google Analytics to further understand who your ideal customer is.

Maximize Conversions

Maximizing conversions is an automated bidding strategy that gives Google Ads full control over how much you pay per click.  They automatically set bids to help you get the most conversions within your budget.

Maximizing conversions works in the same way as CPA bidding with the exception of setting a dollar amount on what you’re willing to pay per conversion.

How to Use Maximize Conversions Bidding 

Maximizing conversions bidding is another great option when re-marketing.  

If you have already created a segment in Google Analytics, you can use that data to set up specific audiences to advertise to.

Maximize Conversion Value

Maximizing conversion values is an automated bidding strategy that gives Google Ads full control over how much you pay per click.  They automatically set bids to help you get the most conversion value out of your budget.

Maximizing conversion value works in the same way as ROAS bidding with the exception of setting a dollar amount on what you’re willing to pay per purchase.

How to Use Maximize Conversion Value Bidding 

Just like the maximize conversion bidding, this option works well if you have a very specific audience in mind that you know is ready and willing to purchase your product online.

Target Impression Share

Targeting impression share, formerly known as CPM bidding, is an automated bidding strategy that gives Google Ads full control over how much you pay per click.  They automatically set bids to increase your chances of appearing at the top of search results.

How to Use Target Impression Share Bidding Strategies

Targeting impression share is really all about branding and getting your name in front of as many people as possible. 

This option is very popular in the display network for banner advertising.

Google Ads Target Impression Share Bidding Strategeis

You Are Now Ready To Effectively Use Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Now that you know how to use the different types of bidding strategies efficiently, it’s time to put them to use!

The most important things to take away from this article are that Manual CPC bidding is used as the foundation to set bids for other bidding strategies and setting up segments in Google Analytics is key to maximize results.

What did you take away from this article?  Do you have some other bidding strategy tips you would like to share?  Leave a comment below and let us know!