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Google's New AdWords Experience: Settings - Part 3 - Bidding and Budget
18 January 2018 (Edited )
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In earlier posts on Google's "New AdWords Experience" I've discussed the Overview, Demographics, and 3 of the key Settings: Networks, Locations and Languages. (Links are in the Related Listings, below.)

Next up: Bidding.

Remember: If when you log in to your AdWords account and open a campaign you don’t see the new interface (Google AdWords BETA at top left), click the gear icon (Billing, account settings and help) at top right, then click “Try the faster AdWords BETA”.

To see the Bidding settings, click on Settings in the left navigation pane, then on the drop arrow beside Bidding in the right pane.

That should open a screen that looks something like this:

Your campaign may be set to use some bidding strategy other than Manual CPC. To see the complete list of choices, click on Change bid strategy, and then on the next screen click on the down arrow beside Manual CPC or whatever your current strategy is. That should open a menu of bidding strategies, like this:

Here, in a nutshell, is how these strategies work:

Automated bid strategies:

Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) sets bids intended to maximize numbers of conversions at an average cost/acquisition that you set.

Target ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) tries to maximize your revenue from conversions for whatever target ad spend you set.

Maximize Clicks does just that: it tries to get as many clickthroughs to your site as possible within your daily click budget.

Maximize Conversions tries to set your bids to maximize the number of conversions within your click budget.

Target Search Page Location bidding tries to position your ads on the first page of search results, or at the top of that page.

Target Outranking Share bidding tries to position your ads above those of a competitor whose domain you choose.

Manual bid strategies:

Manual CPC (Cost Per Click) bidding lets you set a maximum CPC for your ads, by ad group or individual keyword.

Enhanced CPC raises or lowers your manual bids according to the likelihood of a clickthrough producing a conversion.

It seems we're spoiled for choices, doesn't it?

Somewhere in there is an optimal bidding strategy for every situation, which will maximize your return on click charges.

But unless you really know what you're doing, and especially if you're new at AdWords, you should go with either

Manual CPC if you have the time to manage your bids on a daily basis; or

Maximize Clicks if you don't.

Here again is how the Bidding setting looks for Manual CPC. If that's your choice of strategy, save it.

If instead you want to opt for Maximize Clicks: click on Change bid strategy, then click on the down arrow to open the strategies menu, then click on Maximize Clicks. You should then be seeing a screen much like this:

Notice that I've added an optional Maximum CPC bid limit of (arbitrarily) $1.00/click. I've done that because I'm not comfortable with Google being in sole charge of spending my click charges. And you shouldn't be either, especially if this is a new campaign for which you have no experience of click-charge history.

Using a portfolio strategy is an advanced technique that I'm not going to cover now - maybe in a later post sometime. Only attempt this if you know what you're doing.

Budget settings are intimately connected with bidding strategy, so let's take a look at these while we're at it.

The budget setting screen looks like this:

Just enter your click budget in dollars per day ($5 in the example). As it says in the blurb, Google will spend up to 2X your daily budget in any given day, but will limit your monthly spend to daily budget x 30.4 days (which Google says is "roughly" the number of days in an average month). In the example, that would be $5 x 30.4 = $152.00. In my experience, Google's monthly click charges reliably come very close to those estimates.

Important: Before leaving that screen, be sure to check the Delivery method setting. Click Delivery method and you should get 2 radio buttons, like this:

Except in unusual circumstances, choose Standard delivery, which spreads the availability of your ads evenly over the entire day. Unless your click budget is so large or your clicks so few that your daily budget lasts all day - unusual - that means that Google will be alternately displaying and hiding your ads in order to stretch available budget over 24 hours. This is a concept with which clients sometimes have trouble, because it's impossible to predict exactly when ads will be displayed. Which leads to the marketing person being unable to show the boss the ads on demand. (That's an education issue.)

The alternative - Accelerated delivery - burns through your daily click budget as rapidly as possible, by displaying your ads continuously beginning at midnight, and ending for the day as soon as the budget has been exhausted. Seldom recommended.

There are yet more AdWords settings that I'll cover in future posts Send any comments or questions.


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