We all know Google has developed several automated bidding tools and strategies, but how do you know which one to use and which one will work for you? Do you have campaigns where you’re concerned you’re not bidding high enough on specific keywords to compete in search auctions? Maybe you think you’re bidding too high and attracting low converting traffic or that you have campaigns where the daily budget is being under-utilized. Maybe you find yourself constantly going into high performing, stable campaigns to make a few bidding tweaks here and there.

What if you could set a parameter that would keep your primary goal as the lagging metric? Employing Google’s automated bidding strategies can help if they are used properly and measured continuously. Using automated bidding frees up time and allows you to try additional strategies, test ad copy, update offers, test offers, and dig in to creating new campaigns that help capture high quality traffic. You can use Google’s automated bidding tools to allow Google to choose the bid amount based on Google developed algorithms, ensuring your ads gain visibility. As the tool begins to learn, it will adjust accordingly and ensure your ads are showing up to the right users, at the right time.

Google Has Multiple Automated Bidding Tools to Help You Reach Your Goals

Maximize Clicks

Maximize Clicks is designed to help increase traffic to your website or landing page. Maximize Clicks gives Google the power to go out and seek clicks to generate as much traffic as it can to your website or landing page within your specified daily budget. You can use this strategy over multiple campaigns as a portfolio strategy or you can apply to a single campaign.

One parameter you can set up is a maximum cost-per-click bid limit. This bid limit is in place so that Google understands you are not willing to pay over a certain dollar amount per click. Using this bidding strategy is helpful when you are starting a new campaign and need to generate traffic. Once the traffic is coming in, you can adjust your campaign to focus on the quality of traffic visiting your site or landing page.

Target Impression Share

Target Impression Share is designed to increase reach or visibility. The high-level metric here is Search Impression Share, and the target amount is inputted by you. Target Impression Share allows Google to bid based on the ability to ensure your ad will show on the on the search page.

This bid strategy can also be used as single campaign strategy or a portfolio strategy. While your focus is on Impression Share, it’s important to ensure you maintain a specific Impression Share within the parameters of your budget. This can be somewhat controlled by adding a maximum cost-per-click bid limit. Keep in mind, setting this bid limit too low could prevent you from reaching your goals as you could limit your traffic.

Target CPA

Target CPA is designed to get as many conversions as possible with a maximum cost-per-action focus. Google will work within the set parameter, however some conversions may cost more or less than the target you put in place. Google has designed this bidding to allow for higher spending on some clicks but will ultimately average out to the Target CPA you’ve set.

This bidding strategy will adjust bids using real-time signals like device, location, and remarketing tags to determine whether the searcher has been to your site. The best way to utilize this strategy is to have historical campaign data for Google to be able to use to generate insights and determine the best possible bid for your ad when it’s qualified to appear. Historical data allows Google to provide a recommended Target CPA based on your campaign performance. If you have created a new campaign, Google will look at the account performance to generate the estimated Target CPA. Bid limits can be used in a portfolio strategy, however they cannot be used in a single campaign set up. Overall Target CPA is a great strategy when you are looking to utilize your budget and control your cost at the same time.

Target ROAS

Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) helps you generate a specific return on your ad spend, more specifically, when conversions are valued differently. Target ROAS is designed to focus on the conversion value and to use the set budget to generate the targeted return. Similar to Target CPA, this will generate conversions with a ROAS above or below the target but will focus on hitting the overall target as an average.

In order to use Target ROAS, you want to be sure you’re tracking conversions and that those conversions have values assigned to them. It’s also important to have historical data to use Target ROAS. It’s required to have at least 15 conversions within the previous 30 days, but for better results, it’s recommended to have at least 50 conversions.

Maximize Conversions

Maximize Conversions is designed to get the most conversions out of your daily budget. This bidding strategy allows Google to utilize your daily budget in effort to gain as many conversions as it can within that budget, regardless of the cost per conversion. If you struggle with spending your daily budget, this strategy will help boost your spend significantly, however you may want to keep an eye on this one because it could easily exceed any Target CPA or Target ROAS you might be aiming for.

Maximize Conversion Value

Like Maximize Conversions, Maximize Conversion Value is designed to push your campaign to fully spend your average daily budget. So again, if you are having trouble with spending, this strategy could help gain traction. Its only constraint is the daily budget so tread carefully to ensure your costs do not sky rocket.

Determining When to Employ Automated Bidding Strategies

Now that you understand how each of these tools is designed to help you reach your goals, you can then employ them to maximize your results.

Using automated bidding strategies can be used to assist in generating traffic when you are at a loss on why your campaigns aren’t performing to your expectations. If you’re generating some traffic but for some reason can’t gain any traction on your campaigns, automated bidding gives Google control to begin generating traffic. Again, I would advise you to keep an eye on these campaigns because once the learning process takes off, it can be tough to reel it in. From there you can pivot and start being selective about traffic and creating campaigns you know will work and what those average cost-per-clicks should be.

Another way to employ an automated bidding strategy is when you know you have a stable campaign running with ample historical data and a good conversion history. These campaigns should be able to maintain themselves using a Target CPA or a Target ROAS strategy. Again, it’s important to ensure your conversion tracking is set for this to work properly. Keeping the learning curve in mind, allow at least two weeks of volatility and data collection while Google tests the limits of your campaign goals, which is why starting these on campaigns with a stable history is key.