When Goldilocks stumbled into the three bear’s home, she had no goals and no strategy. No plan that would build trust with the bears, or encourage them to invite Goldi to stick around for a while.
Instead, she just barged right in and ran around randomly trying things. She ate their porridge, she broke their chair, she messed up their beds, and then she ran off into the night without explaining what she was doing playing in their space in the first place.
Many people stumble into Google Adwords in the same way, they put an ad together and send it out into the world with no set goal or targets. So to avoid annoying your most bearish prospective customers, we thought it might be a good idea to give you a few tips on how expert Adwords agencies create well-planned bid strategies including an overview of available automated bidding features, and a few other bidding strategies that you may not have considered but first…
Define Your AdWords Goals
Developing the best adwords bid strategy begins by understanding the goals of your ad campaign. Do you want to show up on page one of the SERP, do you want visitors to your site to take action; do you simply want to promote your brand or do you want to promote a video.These are all examples of the four basic goal types:
- Direct Action – you want visitors to your site to perform an action, such as subscribe to a newsletter, purchase a product, or sign up for a service. This is a key strategy for lead generation and increasing sales.
- Generate Traffic – you want to increase traffic to your site
- Brand Awareness – you want to amplify visibility for your brand
- Increase Views – you are running video ads and want to increase views or interactions
As you can see, the goal of most ads is to gain clicks, impressions or conversions. Once you have determined the results you want from your ad, you can begin to build a more focused and cost-effective adwords bidding strategy. So what is your goal?
Is Your AdWords Goal to Get Conversions?
Do you want visitors to complete an action on your website? If you do, there are several automated bid strategies you could follow: Target Cost per Acquisition (CPA), Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), Maximize Conversions, and Enhanced Cost per Click (ECPC). However, while these automated bidding strategies are often used by people who are new to AdWords, the experts use advanced manual bidding strategies that yield better results at a lower cost.
Strategic Bidding Tactics and Tips
When you feel more confident in playing in the Google AdWords world, you might want to try experimenting with the following strategies.
Accelerated delivery will increase the delivery of your ads within a set time. If you take a look at your historical data and determine that your ads perform best on a Friday between 5pm and 9pm, you can use accelerated delivery to make sure your ads are shown throughout that entire time. Make sure to set your budget limit though, the accelerated viewing can result in accelerated clicking.
You could also consider integrating seasonal bidding into your overall strategy to take advantage of key holidays or to reduce bids when you know that no-one will be looking for your product or service on a particular day.
Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI)
DKI is, indeed, dynamic. This amazing little tool will match the keywords in your ad group to the searchers queries. So let’s say Goldi ran an ad with the keywords sweet porridge, salty porridge, cold porridge, hot porridge, if the Bear family searched for sweet porridge, the DKI would alter the ad to match the Bear family’s query. It works by placing a predefined code in your ad that will be replaced with the keyword in your ad group that the searcher uses.
Drill Down into Dimensions
In the dimensions tab you have the ability to get data on how your ad performs on day of the week, time of day, and location. If your ad performs best on the weekend, you know that you will want to schedule your ad for the weekend. If your ad performs well in New York, but not in New Hampshire, you will know to eliminate New Hampshire from your location selection.
Is Your AdWords Goal to Get Clicks?
If the main focus of your AdWords bidding strategy is to drive traffic to your website, there are two strategies that will help increase traffic:
- Maximize Clicks
The Maximize Clicks strategy is a more simple strategy that focuses on getting the most amount of clicks possible within your daily set budget. You can set a maximum CPC bid amount, and to maximize the efficacy of this strategy, you can also determine certain days or times when your ads should be shown by setting up the custom ad scheduling.
- Manual CPC Bidding
The Manual CPC Bidding strategy gives you full control of how much you bid for each ad. With a focused ad, manual cpc can target highly qualified visitors who are most likely to click your ad. AdWords will adjust the bid amount, up to your maximum set amount, to get the most clicks for your bucks.
Is Your AdWords Goal to Get Impressions?
If you want to promote a new company, product or service, or your target market is on the initial discovery stage of their buyer’s journey, getting the maximum amount of visual exposure for your ad is most likely your goal.
Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) or vCPM can be a most cost-effective way of placing your brand, product or service in front of prospective customers on the Google Display Network.
There is a slight difference between the two choices. With CPM you will be charged whenever the ad is shown, even if the ad may not be visible, e.g. if it is placed below the fold. With CPM you will only be charged for impressions that are measured as visible to the user, this is defined as 50% or more of your ad showing for 1 second or longer.
While there is no guarantee that people will take notice of your ad, there are a couple of ways to increase potential visibility.
- Target Search Page Location:
This strategy automatically sets your bids to help increase the chance that your ads appear at the top of the page, or on the first page of search results where they are most likely to be noticed. This is the best strategy to use if being on the first page of the search results is your goal.
- Target Outranking Share:
This is an automated strategy that lets you outrank your competitor’s domain by showing your ad above your competitor’s ads, or by showing your ads when your competitor’s ads are not being shown. You can set how often you want to outrank a specific domain, and your search bids will be automatically set to help meet that target.
And finally, if you want to use AdWords for a video ad, the cost-per-view (CPV) bidding strategy is the one for you. This is the default way to set the amount you’ll pay for TrueView video ads. You only pay when a video has been viewed or a specified interaction taken. Google defines a view as 30 seconds of your video ad being watched or the entire ad, if it is shorter than 30 seconds.
When you are ready to move beyond the automated features, these are just a few strategies that can improve the performance of your AdWords campaigns.
If Goldi had identified her goals and taken the time to assess the situation, she would have quickly realized which goals were worth pursuing and which direction she should take. But instead, she ended up out in the forest leaving a trail of bad decisions and angry bears behind her.
The ROI with Google Adwords is no fairy tale. If you define your goals and follow the best strategy to achieve those goals, you will see results. But don’t be like Goldilocks and just barge in trying one thing then the next; that’s not a strategy, it’s just good way to waste time and lose money.