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Guide to Google AdWords Bidding & Budget Settings

July 23, 2018

This is the latest in a series of posts on Google AdWords campaign settings. In the first installment, we talked about how to name and organize your Google AdWords campaigns and in the second post we focused on locations and languages settings within the AdWords settings tab. The topic for this post is bidding and budget settings for AdWords campaigns.

Google AdWords Bidding Settings

AdWords' bidding options offer advertisers a variety of ways to manage bids:

Focus on Clicks

Focus on Clicks

This bidding option allows you to manage your bids at the cost per click (CPC) level. When focusing on clocks you can make use of a few different options.

  • Manually setting bids for clicks means you can control your bids at the keyword level and set the maximum cost you’re willing to pay for clicks.
  • You can also cede control of this setting to AdWords and allow them to “maximize clicks within your target budget” but that will let the AdWords platform simply bid to generate as many clicks as possible to your budget without any actual intelligence about your budget.
  • Enhanced CPC takes into account proprietary data that only Google has access to, such as the user’s geographic location, Web browser, network partners, and past performance to create an enhanced CPC. You can use the enhanced CPC in conjunction with your own bid management tools and processes.

Conversion Optimizer

Focus on Conversions

Here you can set a maximum cost per acquisition that you’re willing to pay per conversion. You can use Google’s recommendation, which will target your historical average CPA, or you can create your own target CPA. Conversion optimizer does turn control of your campaign’s bids over to Google, but in many instances it might be more effective – from a time and efficiency perspective as well as a CPA perspective – for managing bids in your campaign.

Focus on Impressions

Focus on Impressions

This bidding option moves away from paying for clicks and conversions and focuses your spend on impressions. This can be a bit risky because you’re not guaranteed either conversions or visitors to your site with this option, but if used properly and monitored closely you can sometimes get traffic more cheaply by bidding by CPM, particularly on the content network.

Budget & Delivery Method

These options are fairly straightforward – budgets should be set per campaign based on your overall account strategy (which we covered in the first post in this series). Delivery has to do with whether you serve your ads as standard or accelerated. Standard delivery means your ads will show throughout the day. Accelerated ad delivery means Google will show your ads as quickly as possible. This method can sometimes better expose opportunities to be increasing budget and getting more qualified traffic from AdWords.

Tom Demers

Tom Demers is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Measured SEM and Cornerstone Content.