Trying to make the most of your marketing budget? If your organisation is ready to dive into paid search opportunities and you’re wondering how to get the best ROI from a finite Google Ads budget, we’ve got you covered.
Deep diving into some of the best Google Ads bidding strategies expected to carry over to 2023, read on below to learn why you should be leveraging, or scaling up, Google Ads campaigns and which bidding strategies you’ll want to prioritise next year.
Why You Should Be Using Google Ads
If your business isn’t yet taking advantage of Google Ads, we recommend learning the basics and integrating select features into your online marketing strategies. Why?
- Increase web traffic:
Knowing which features to use and levers to pull can help significantly increase the online traffic that finds and engages with your company website. From video ads to retargeting campaigns, you can connect with your ideal target market in the online spaces they’re most likely to frequent and retarget the same customers for regular brand awareness and stay top of mind.
- A/B Testing:
Trying to refine your marketing messaging? From the language you use to describe your products and services to testing ideas for a larger, more resource-intensive campaign, Google Ads is a great way to try out new ideas and get real-time user insights into potential ROI.
- Product Campaigns:
If your team wants to test the viability of a new product offer or range, you can use Google Ads to get in front of the right audience and help validate your idea.
- Retargeting Opportunities:
Similar to increasing your opportunities to connect with new leads and driving more traffic to your website, you can increase brand awareness and support lead conversion by positioning your brand in front of engaged or relevant audiences and help anchor your offer in the market.
With recent marketing research showing that customers now require up to 25 brand touch points before they will convert to a paying customer, frequently showing relevant audiences your brand or product/service offer as a solution to their problem can help position you as a go-to provider.
Convinced yet? While some new marketers or solo-preneurs may be hesitant about paid marketing opportunities when they’re working with finite budgets–fear not. We’ve outlined some of the most effective and ROI-worthy Google Ads bidding strategies below.
Now that you know the multiple benefits to be gained from leveraging Google Ads, let’s do a quick overview of the importance of strategising your bidding strategy before diving in.
How to Design a Google Ads Bidding Campaign
First things first: we always recommend laying out a plan of attack for your Google Ads campaign–including any related budget factors–before getting started. Why? Because Google Ads has the opportunity to significantly increase your online presence, some companies may see a steep increase in new engagements in a short period of time. A good thing to be sure–but without the right planning, the same outcome could result in disastrously high Google Ads invoices or mismanaged limited budgets if you didn’t plan ahead.
Among the top factors to consider when designing your first Google Ads campaign, we recommend:
- Budget: Because Google Ads offers paid online advertising opportunities, you’ll want to confirm the available budget you have to fund the campaign. We recommend identifying a Google Ads spend-per-month budget as a portion of your overall ad spend.
- Goal: Another important factor that influences the Google Ads bidding strategy you’ll choose are your to-level marketing campaign goals. From generating additional website traffic to getting more conversions and sales, each bidding strategy supports marketing goals in a different way. More on this below if you need additional help to decide.
- Time Period: While Google Ads campaigns can be continually refined and defined for better results overtime, it’s worthwhile to have a bookended time period in which you determine your ROI, CAC (cost-per-acquisition), and other key marketing metrics that can help measure the effectiveness and resource spend.
If you haven’t worked with Google Ads before, live campaigns can help meet and support the following top-level marketing goals:
- Generation more website traffic
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase direct customer-to-brand engagement (likes, follows, comments, views)
- Take a direct CTA (call-to-action) including product sales, email list sign ups, and shares
Among the suggested Google Ads bidding strategies that can help best meet the above goals, Google recommends:
- Website Traffic:
Cost-per-Click (CPC) campaigns
- Brand Awareness:
vCPM (Cost per Thousand Viewable Impressions)
- Increased Engagement:
CPV (Cost per View) and CPM (Cost per Thousand Impressions)
- Direct CTA:
Smart Bidding strategies and other tools that allow conversion tracking
Confused? No need. We’ve distilled down the basics of Google Ads bidding and the results you can achieve from select strategies below.
The Top Google Ads Bidding Strategies
In essence, Google Ads required that marketers ‘bid’ for finite advertising space. While some lower traffic platforms and pages will be easier to acquire (and thereby less expensive), more competitive platforms and high-traffic spaces can be incredibly hard to auction for (and win).
From YouTube to the top ‘Ads’ place on search engine results pages, Google is a marketplace where competitors are vying for the most highly viewed ad spots to targeted audiences. (Think of soft drinks and fast-food restaurant ads during the Superbowl. Highly relevant, targeted audiences will be ready and waiting to view the top TV ads–and the respective advertisers will pay dearly for those spots.)
In order to achieve some of Google’s most viewed advertising spots, businesses must ‘bid’ among fellow competitors to win the position. While marketing budgets and Google Ads spend can definitely influence how willing and able a business is to directly market to a targeted audience, additional factors such as relevancy and subject-matter related expertise also come into play.
(This is a good place to remind all readers that Google is interested in connecting search engine users with the most relevant content to their search queries and past interests. While a top paying advertising may have a larger bidding strategy budget spend than some other businesses, their product, service, or website authority has to be in some way relevant to the viewer in order to be considered.)
In summary, ‘Bidding Strategy’ on Google Ads means to:
- “Google Ads runs an auction every single time it has an ad space available – on a search result or on a blog, news site, or some other page. Each auction decides which ads will show at that moment in that space. Your bid puts you in the auction.” (Google, 2022)
This is why it’s imperative to decide what you want ad viewers to do, or how you’ll track the effectiveness of your campaigns, when deciding a bidding strategy. If your overall goal is to increase website traffic and you decide to create CPC (cost-per-click and pay-per-click) campaigns, your available budget will indicate how much you’re able to spend to get that user action or advertising spot shown to relevant users.
Confused? Read on below to learn more about the top Google Ads bidding strategies below. We reckon that by further defining the outcome of each bidding strategy, you’ll be able to see how select strategies can help you meet specific goals and make the most of your finite ad spend.
- Cost per Action (Target CPA Strategy):
Working with a tight budget? Target CPA (Cost per Action) bidding is a great way to set a maximum amount you’re willing to spend per action (maximum target cost) and keep control over profit margins and budgets. In short, CPA means you’re willing to spend $X (eg. $5) per every action (eg. click) on Google Ads that results in a product sale. If your product sells for $50, this example would see you netting $45 for the additional sale gained via Google Ads.
- Maximise Conversion Value Strategy:
Based on the thousands (millions!) of lines of behavioural data Google maintains about its uses, the Maximise Conversions bidding strategy lets Google use whatever dollar amount is needed per lead (up to your designated overall ad budget maximum) to get as many conversions as possible. A good example of this is knowing that your ideal target market shops online for products similar to yours Saturday and Sunday mornings between 8:00am and 11:00am. Google will blitz through your budget when it makes the most sense based on the behavioural data of your audience and balance it with target cost.
CPC (Cost per Click or PPC Campaign) Bid Strategy
- Manual Bidding:
If driving additional traffic to your website is your end goal, you can opt for manual or automated CPC bidding. Manual bidding gives the marketer more control over exactly how much they are willing to spend per each click. If you have confirmed you’re willing and able to spend exactly $4 per target keyword (and the click-throughs gained through targeted ad campaigns) this is a good way to do it.
- Automated Bidding:
Automated bidding CPC allows Google the flexibility to get the most possible click-throughs with your budget as possible–regardless of how much is individually spent gaining each click. With this variable, CPC per each overall user may be higher–but you’re also well positioned to gain more clicks by winning high-visibility ad placement.
Video Content and Visibility Campaign Bid Strategies
- Cost per View:
For marketers in the business of visual content (think videos and ads geared towards Google Display Network) cost per view lets you set the amount of time a viewer must be watching your ad before they click away. The end result? Only paying for ad placement when sufficient view-time is reached and not wasting dollars on fast click-aways
- Cost per Thousand Impressions:
Want every man, child, and woman to see your ad? If the CTR (click-through-rate) of your ad isn’t as important as the overall number of individual viewers it’s positioned in front of, vCPM can give your brand awareness campaigns high visibility traffic. Think before the page fold, top banner places, and side banners on the Google Display Network. (Good spots!)
Regardless of which bidding strategy you use, there are key factors that should be considered when making a decision. From the level of control you need over the marketing budget to your end campaign goals, each Google Ads bidding strategy has a place and purpose–no matter your budget or how big your brand.
Refine Your Bidding Strategy with the Edge Marketing Team
We appreciate that the world of Google Ads and both organic and paid marketing opportunities can seem overwhelming at times–and we’re here to help!
Publishing new blogs and articles each week that deep dive into the latest digital marketing trends that can influence your bid strategy type, SEO best practices, Google Analytics, Google Ads account management, and how you can create and anchor your position online, the Edge Marketing team is dedicated to helping you succeed.
With opportunities to support both larger-Australian enterprises who need outsourced marketing help to solo-preneurs who are just learning to hack their marketing on their own, our leading digital marketing agency has something for everyone. Get in touch with our marketing, web development, and PPC strategy team if you need additional support; or, follow along with our weekly blog to learn more great marketing tips you can action on your own.