We live in an age where Cost-Per-Click (CPC) bidding has never been so forward-thinking. Unfortunately, at the same time, this also means that it’s never been more complicated. The key to CPC optimization always involves picking not the best strategy overall, but the best strategy to help you accomplish your own unique goals. Doing so will not only help get you the results you’re after but will also help you lower your general CPC spend and will stretch the value of each dollar as far as it will go.
Manual CPC bidding gives advertisers complete control over their bids, allowing them to focus on driving click traffic as much as possible. When experimenting with manual CPC bidding, it’s always important to remember that AdWords will automatically take the ad group default bid FIRST, unless you specify a different bid manually at the keyword level.
Automated CPC bidding is great for the advertiser who wants to focus all of their attention on driving click traffic by giving AdWords control over bids on an individual basis. All you have to do is set your daily budget and AdWords will automatically increase or decrease your bids as needed in relation to your goal. Setting clear goals is imperative to preventing unwanted spend and traffic.
Enhanced CPC bidding is a major benefit to the conversion-focused advertiser. AdWords will automatically adjust your CPC bids to help drive as many conversions as possible based on conversion tracking data. However, conversion tracking MUST be enabled before you can get started with this method.
Also commonly known as the “Conversion Optimizer,” CPA bidding adjusts your bids based on a specific cost-per-acquisition that you’re targeting. In order to experiment with this method, you’ll need to have at least 15 conversions in 30 days. The optimizer performance will increase as additional consumer data populates within AdWords. Based on your detailed and unique conversion history, AdWords will essentially “predict” future conversions and apply its own bid adjustments accordingly.
CPA bidding typically gives you two bid types to work with depending on your needs: max CPA (or the maximum amount of money per conversion you’re willing to pay) and target CPA (or the average CPA you’re willing to pay).
Flexible Bid Strategies
If you’re looking for a superior level of customization and flexibility, flexible bid strategies are likely the way to go. These automated bid optimizations can be applied to campaign’s keywords and more and give you additional options that were previously unavailable. There are five key types of flexible bid strategies to concern yourself with:
- Maximize Clicks. This is essentially a more flexible version of the automated CPC strategy.
- CPA Bidding. This is a more flexible version of CPA bidding that allows you to target average CPA capacity.
- Enhanced CPC. This is a modification of an existing enhanced CPA strategy.
- Search Page Location. This will increase or decrease your bids to target the specific location of your ads – be they on the top of the page or in another first-page position or more. This only works with keywords, ad groups and campaigns targeting a specific search network.
- Return on Ad Spend. Also called ROAS, this uses historical data to predict future conversions. So long as you have 30 conversions in 30 days, AdWords will automatically try to reach your “Return on Ad Spend” goal across keywords, ad groups and campaigns.