A Bidding Breakdown and Strategies for Campaign Success

A Bidding Breakdown and Strategies for Campaign Success

Digital Marketing

Jennifer Flanagan

Dec 02 2022

Marketers have many ways of fine-tuning campaigns in order to make them as successful as possible. Getting the most out of your digital campaigns requires a bidding strategy aligned with your campaign’s specific goals. PPC campaigns designed to increase brand awareness will operate differently from those aimed at generating leads or improving conversion rates. Here’s a look at bidding and strategies to help you maximize the reach and performance of your campaigns. 

Understanding Bidding Strategies

Search engine algorithms are smart enough to determine the quality score of a given ad, but that’s only half of the formula for judging which ads earn priority placement on a results page. The other side of that formula is your bid — higher-quality ads can win over these algorithms with lower bids, and vice versa.

In a PPC campaign, manual bids allow full control over the maximum cost-per-click (CPC) you’re willing to pay for your ads. By setting a hard cap on a campaign’s bids, you ensure a certain level of campaign efficiency for the ads that do serve but place the campaign at risk if the ads don’t serve at all. Automated bid strategies operate without a restrictive bid ceiling (though Google allows some restrictions at the ad level), thus ensuring your campaign budget will spend — though at the risk of lower efficiency and overall performance due to inflated bids.

Smart bidding can optimize based on data from all of your campaigns, so even new campaigns without data of their own may see increased performance. When it comes to Smart Bidding, we have to mention Google. Many marketers trust Google to optimize their campaigns, and Smart Bidding works successfully for businesses large and small. Smart Bidding provides you with the key benefits of advanced machine learning, a wide range of contextual signals, flexible performance controls, and transparent performance reporting to help you save time and improve campaign performance. 

Using Automated Bids

The more data and budget you can feed an automated bidding strategy, the more effective it will be. Automated bidding models aim to predict where they can place ads to most effectively achieve whichever goal you prescribe for that specific campaign. For Google and most major search engines, these available goals consist of the following:

Clicks tell the engine to pair your ads with users it estimates to be most likely to click on them.

Impressions will ignore the likelihood that users will interact with an ad, and instead aim to maximize its online visibility and increase brand awareness.

Conversions will attempt to pair your ads with users who most closely resemble those who previously converted on your site (this requires conversion tracking).

Conversion Value prioritizes the perceived quality of a potential conversion over quantity. It is essentially a ROAS-based goal but requires an abundance of accurate data to point it in the right direction. 

Some Drawbacks of Automated Bidding

Automated bidding aids advertisers strapped for time and delivers a campaign’s full daily budgets more consistently than its manual counterpart, but it has drawbacks. Turning full control of a campaign over to an algorithm is risky, especially without adequate data to inform its target audience. Without extremely specific parameters, you might find the algorithm overspending on sub-optimal keywords.

Automated campaigns might under-spend on keywords critical to growing your business. Auto-bidding can’t recognize which keywords are central to your brand’s online presence and doesn’t give advertisers the option to emphasize those specific keywords with more aggressive bids. Automated bidding can be a powerful tool for marketers, but it’s important to consider the potential risks before diving in. 

Tapping Into the Power of Auto-Applied Recommendations and Performance Max 

With its powerful features, Google Ads offers a range of automatic recommendations that can be applied directly to your account. When you turn on “Automatically apply recommendations”, the recommendations will apply regularly. You are always in control, so you can review which recommendations will run on a given day from the queue on the main “Recommendations” page. From here, you can review recommendation details and dismiss recommendations that do not align with your advertising goals. 

Performance Max helps you drive performance based on your specified conversion goals, delivering more conversions and value by optimizing performance in real-time and across channels using Smart Bidding. Performance Max is your ticket to a better digital marketing experience. With this advanced automation technology, you can take the guesswork out of ad targeting, budgeting, and more. 

A Closer Look at Manual Bidding

Manual bidding requires more hands-on optimization and thus time advertisers might not have in order to reach a campaign’s full potential, but with this added control comes opportunities to outperform the competition and see your brand atop every results page.

For digital marketers working with limited budgets, launching new brands or websites without a wealth of prior consumer data, or who have dedicated account managers on the team tasked with monitoring campaign performance, manual bidding provides immense flexibility. The ability to quickly shift ad spending and bids toward keywords leading to conversions is the most optimal use of your campaign budget. Managing these granular movements within your campaigns will also quickly alert you to changing trends in the marketplace — manual bidding control allows marketers to implement bid changes immediately and prevent dips in performance from draining your budget. 
Search engines are always working to provide better dashboards, tools, and insights for marketers to see improved performance. Knowing what you’re willing to invest in your bidding strategy is the key to successful campaign performance. Whether it’s time, budget, or level of control, brands must be well aware of their needs and limitations when deciding on a bidding technique. With the right approach, you can maximize your ROI and achieve maximum campaign performance.

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