One popular question we receive at Amplify is: “I am creating a new campaign, which bid strategy should I use?“. Google Ads offers a wide variety bid strategies. Each strategy has its primary goals as well as prerequisites for implementing. An important piece to remember is that automated strategies require data in order to operate successfully. Keeping this in mind, if our goal is to run on an automated strategy like Max Conversions, we will want to make sure we have data first before implementing.
So What Should You Use?
A large majority of PPC users want to run their PPC campaigns on an automated strategy with an emphasis on conversions. However, all conversion based strategies will at least have the bare minimum requirement of historical data. Without historical data, these automated strategies do not know what search queries would indicate a higher likelihood of a conversion. Additionally, we may see prerequisites such as 15 conversions in the last 30 days. So… how do we solve this? Take a look at the two strategies below.
Begin by operating on a Manual CPC strategy to help drive initial traffic to the campaign. Operate on this strategy for 14 days to compile a good sample size of data. After 14 days, switch to a max conversions strategy provided you are not concerned with the campaigns CPA. If you are CPA conscious, continue to operate on Manual CPC until you hit the prerequisite of 15 conversions in the last 30 days for Target CPA use.
Pro Tip: Make sure you continue to add in negative keywords using Google Ad’s Search Terms Report
Begin by operating on a Maximize Clicks strategy to help drive initial traffic to the campaign. Operate on this strategy for 21 days to compile a good sample size of data. After 21 days, switch to a max conversions strategy provided you are not concerned with the campaigns CPA. If you are CPA conscious, continue to operate on Manual CPC until you hit the prerequisite of 15 conversions in the last 30 days for Target CPA use.
Pro Tip: All Google Ad’s automated strategies go through a 14 day learning period. Major changes made to the PPC campaign during this period will reset the learning phase. Additionally, try to give a the strategy a full 21 days to learn and optimize. Adding negative keywords during this time period WILL NOT trigger the learning phase, so keep on adding negatives!
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Automated Strategies Cheat Sheet
|Strategy Name||Goal – How It Works||Prerequisites||Advantages||Advantages|
|Manual CPC||User manually sets each keywords cpc bids|
Goal is to drive traffic & conversions
|None||Gives user total control over bids set||Requires daily adjustments|
|Enhanced CPC||User manually sets each keywords cpc bids, but Google will move these bids to increase likelihood of conversions||None||A blend of manual and automated||Only works on 50% of your daily budget|
|Maximize Clicks||Google sets keyword cpc bids to achieve as many clicks as possible within your given daily budget||None||Helps drive traffic to your website||Automated strategy focuses on traffic, not necessarily conversions|
|Target Impression Share||Google sets keyword cpc bids to ensure the percentage of times your ad is showing and the location it is showing on the search page||None||Great for initial brand awareness||Does not drive clicks or conversions|
|Maximize Conversions||Google sets keyword cpc to achieve as many conversions as possible||Historical data recommended, but not mandatory||Increased conversions||No regard for CPA|
|Target CPA||Google sets keyword cpc bids to achieve as many conversions as possible within the target CPA you set||15 conversions in last 30 days||Conversions while meeting financial goals||Low CPA’s can limit results|
|Target Return On Ad Spend||Google sets keyword cpc bids to help get as much conversion value as possible at the target ROAS you set||15 conversions in last 30 days||Great for e-commerce||Need to have conversion values set up|