When looking for solutions to problems, or products to buy, most people turn to Google. A quick Google search results in a wide selection of options, and you can use this to your advantage when deciding on a keyword bidding strategy.
Since Google is such a popular and effective way of finding information, getting your business to appear at the top of the search results is the best way you can maximize your ad’s performance. You can do this organically with a well-thought-out SEO strategy. A quicker and somewhat more effective approach would be with Google Ads.
So, how do you get your ad to the top of the search results? The most important factor is your Google keyword bidding strategy, and we’ll be diving into the best strategies you can adopt.
Getting Started with Keyword Bidding
Use Manual Bidding (For Now...)
When you’re just starting keyword bidding, we’d recommend a manual bidding strategy. Your other option is automated bidding where Google takes care of it for you (which has benefits), but we’ll get into that later.
Manually entering your bids allows you to see firsthand how your money impacts returns and the conversion rate. On top of that, you have the chance to tinker with you bids and find a groove. Not to mention that if you’re new to this, it’s a learning opportunity that allows you to see how things work.
So, at the beginning of your venture, start with manual bidding. You’ll get a good idea of what low and high bids are for certain keywords, and this is valuable data.
Deciding On a Starting Bid
Something else we’d suggest is using Google Keyword Planner which contains even more crucial data. In particular, the keyword planner helps to discover new keywords and their bid ranges.
In most cases, you’ll find yourself bidding between $1 and $2, but this can vary significantly. Your industry, location, and audience all need to be taken into account when calculating your bid. With a manual keyword bidding strategy you can tweak your bids to optimize impressions, clicks, conversions, or even video views.
It’s important that as you do this, you recognize your own goals and make changes accordingly.
Switching to Automated Bidding
Once you start getting comfortable with manual bidding, you can make the change to automated bidding. You could take the automated route straight away, but taking some time to understand manual bidding is worth it in case you need to adopt that approach in the future.
You can select specific ads that you want to use this bidding strategy. In the event you want to handle some bids manually, the option is there. Bids can be set on the group, campaign, or portfolio level, allowing even more control.
However, automated Google keyword bidding is not foolproof, especially to start with. Google’s algorithm has no data at the beginning, so your results might not be great. That said, if you stick it out, you’ll notice the results improving as the algorithm learns. It’s also useful at this stage to compare your the data you got from manual bidding. This comparison allows you to see which bidding strategy was more cost-effective so that you can decide which is better in the long run.
Over time, automated bidding becomes more self-sufficient, but it still needs close monitoring. It’ll save you a lot of time but you still need to take time to monitor the bids and analyze the results this gets.
Google Keyword Bidding Strategies
1. CPC Keyword Bidding
Now onto the strategies and techniques. There are a lot of different bidding strategies which are useful depending on the business’ needs. The first of these strategies is CPC keyword bidding. The purpose of this strategy is to maximize the number of clicks your ad gets. You have two ways of doing this: manually or automatically.
To do it manually, you simply set the maximum CPC bid for each ad. When done this way, the user has the benefit of being able to see which ads and keywords are performing the best.
To do it automatically, the user simply sets a daily maximum budget. Google’s algorithm then uses the existing data it has to maximize your clicks as cost-efficiently as possible. Like before, automated bidding has the benefit of saving time and energy, while also maximizing your budget based on reliable data.
2. Focus On ROAS
Another bidding strategy is Target ROAS (Return On Ad Spend). The focus of this strategy is to meet your target ROI (Return on Investment) by prioritizing sales profits rather than sales.
You can find this bid option under Maximize Conversions and Maximize Conversion Value. The former will help you get more sales whereas the latter helps increase ROI.
As you’d expect, this is a very popular keyword bidding strategy among eCommerce businesses and one which we’d recommend for anyone in the eCommerce space. If you’re opening a new store and have a tight budget, spending your money efficiently is the key to your success.
3. Search Page Location Targeting
Search Page Location Targeting is also an effective strategy. It’s particularly handy if you want to spread awareness or increase your brand’s visibility in the search results.
This strategy automatically places bids across multiple campaigns in order to place the user’s ad at the top of the search results. Naturally, since this strategy aims to put you at the front of the line no matter what, it can get expensive really quickly. Thus, if you’re a smaller business, try another option until your ROI increases and you can afford to take the risk.
4. Enhanced CPC Keyword Bidding
Next, we have ECPC (Enhanced CPC), a manual keyword bidding strategy. There is some input from Google and they’ll adjust manual bids based on the likeliness of your ads getting clicks, so it’s not entirely manual.
This strategy does a good job of promoting ads that perform well while reducing the usage of ads that underperform.
One technique is running a CPC campaign prior to an ECPC campaign. The reason for this is that you can get data from the CPC campaign first and this then helps the algorithm to refine your bids right off the bat.
5. Fully Automated Bidding Strategy
For those of you who want a complete hands-off option, this is the strategy for you. Maximize Conversions is fully automated and requires virtually no input from you. All you need to do is select a CPC bid and Google handles the rest.
This strategy is designed to maximize the number of clicks you get, just like the first on our list, but without any user management being necessary. However, like any automation, you should still monitor how this approach performs.
Doing this can be a hit or a miss. Google will spend your maximum budget regardless of the ROI. This means that your campaign could become less profitable or in the worst case, completely unprofitable. Monitoring your ads will always be necessary regardless of your strategy, so this is as fully automated as it gets.
6. Go Back to Manual Bidding
The final keyword bidding strategy is to return to manual bidding. Anyone who is a beginner in marketing will quickly get overwhelmed without any assistance, and manual bidding is the easiest to understand.
You have complete control, you gain an understanding of the bidding process, and you generally pick up a lot of information this way. Sure, it requires a larger time investment, but this way you can be sure things are going exactly the way you want them to.
Properly utilizing any keyword bidding strategy will prepare you for success and lead you to the profits. Some strategies require more tinkering than others, but if you have a good understanding of Google Ads you can get great results from any of them.
Unsure about which strategy to choose? You’ve got two options. First, you could try out some different options and see which works best. Second, you could hire a Google Ads agency. KonvertLab specializes in Google Ads and with our knowledge of bidding strategies, we can set you up for success. Book a call below and let’s get started.