Learning Flexible Bid Strategies in AdWords

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zb-flexible_bid_strategies_overviewFlexible bid strategies are created and set up in the shared library section of your AdWords account. They allow you to override the traditional structure of having only one bidding method applied for each campaign. They also allow a greater variety of strategies that can help optimize your campaigns. Once they are set up, you can apply them with flexibility to various campaigns, ad groups, and (in some cases) keywords in your account.

Here are the strategies:

Maximize Clicks

With the maximize clicks strategy, AdWords focuses on increasing click for any set of keywords, ad groups, or campaigns–WHILE spending the target amount. If you don’t specify a target amount, AdWords will attempt to use the remaining budget of any campaigns using this bid strategy.

For this strategy, you have these setting options:

—Cost per click bid limit–which lets you set a cap on bids for any keywords, ad groups, or campaigns using the strategy.

—And target spend–this is the amount you’re willing to spend each day on all keywords, ad groups, and campaigns using the strategy.


Target Search Page Location

With the target search page location setting, AdWords automatically raises or lowers your bids to show your ad on the top of the page, or as another option, on the first page of Google search results. The strategy doesn’t guarantee placement on the first page, or the top of the first page, but it will adjust your bids in an attempt to usually show with those positions.


Target Outranking Share

With the target outranking share strategy, AdWords automatically raises or lowers your bids to help your ads outrank ads from another domain. This is useful if you want your ad to normally outrank a competitors ad. Like the target search page location strategy, this strategy does NOT guarantee placement above ads from another domain. However, it will automatically adjust bids in order to normally achieve this goal.

You are able to set your maximum bid limit–in other words, you can set a cap for the most you are willing to pay for a click. You can also enter a percentage for the number of auctions that you’d like to outrank the selected domain. For example, you could set it to outrank your competitor 80% of the time.


Target CPA

With the target CPA strategy, AdWords sets bids to achieve an average cost per acquisition equal to your target across all ad groups and campaigns using the strategy. For example, if you choose a target CPA of $10, AdWords will automatically adjust your bids to try to get you as many conversions as possible at a $10 average. To use this strategy, you must have conversion tracking enabled, and must have had at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days. You are able to set a maximum bid limit, thereby capping the amount you’re willing to pay for a click.


Target ECPC

The Target ECPC, or enhanced cost per click, strategy lets you set your own maximum cost per click bids for each keyword, while automatically adjusting the bids depending on the perceived likelihood that a click will result in a conversion. It basically tells AdWords, “I want to set my own bids… but you can increase them up to 30% if a conversion appears more likely.”


Target ROAS

The target ROAS, or return on ad spend, strategy allows you to set a percentage goal for the return on ad spend you’d like to achieve. Using your reported conversion values, which you assign through conversion tracking, AdWords predicts future conversions and the associated values of them. Then–AdWords will set bids to maximize your conversion value, while trying to achieve an average return on ad spend equal to your target.


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