The next major companies are Facebook and Microsoft (called Bing), although the list of accessible PPC platforms is rather vast. They all feature a wide range of bidding tactics to help you get the most out of your marketing efforts. When you sign in to your Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) account, you have many choices for controlling or automating your keyword bids. When you first start out, you may choose a fully automated technique before transitioning to a more hands-on approach as you gain confidence in the platform.

What is a Bid Strategy?

A bid strategy is the method you use to decide how much you’re willing to pay for each click on your ad. There are a few different types of strategies, and which one will work best for you depends on your business goals.

Bid strategies, in essence, govern how you compete in the ad auction, and there are two types: manual and automated bidding. Each works differently to display ads for relevant searches, and both have advantages and disadvantages, some of which will be discussed below.

Manual Bidding

With manual bidding, you have full control over how much you want to spend on each click. You set the maximum amount you’re willing to pay, and you can change it at any time. This type of bidding is good for businesses that want to have more control over their ad campaigns. It’s also good for businesses that are still trying to figure out what their ideal CPC is. However, manual bidding can be time-consuming, and it requires constant vigilance to make sure you’re not overspending.

Automated Bidding

With automated bidding, you let the platform do the work for you. You set a bid amount, and then the platform will automatically adjust your bids based on various factors, including the types of keywords you’re targeting and the competition in the ad auction. This type of bidding is good for businesses that want to save time on managing their campaigns. Automated bidding can also be more effective because it takes into account a lot of different factors that you might not be able to consider on your own. However, automated bidding can be less transparent, and you might not always know why your bids are being increased or decreased.

Types of Bidding

Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular bid strategies:

1. Cost-Per-Acquisition Strategy

A cost-per-acquisition (CPA) strategy enables you to optimize the number of conversions you obtain for a given price. Setting a CPA of $10.00 instructs your PPC platform to cut your bids after reaching the cost limit. The ultimate aim is to drive conversions at or below the preset price. Most bidding optimization programs, such as Marin or Kenshoo, have conversion optimization features. When to Use It: When you have certain goals that you want your website visitors to reach, use a CPA approach. Setting up conversion points on your website is simple, but it might require some effort and study. You want your conversions to be as simple and straightforward as feasible. Shopping cart additions and newsletter form submissions are both strong candidates for a CPA optimization technique. The finest ones are usually binary actions — either the visitor pressed the button, or they did not.

2. ROAS Strategy

A ROAS (return on ad spend) target bidding strategy is a great way to keep your PPC campaigns profitable while scaling them up. You set a target ROAS percentage, and the PPC platform will automatically adjust your bids to try and reach that goal. For example, if you have a product that you know generates $5 profit for every $1 spent on ads, you would set your ROAS target to 500%. If you’re not quite sure what profit margin you can expect from each sale, start with a lower number like 300%, and increase it as needed.

When to Use It:

Use a ROAS target when you want to maintain control over how much you’re spending on ads but still want the flexibility to scale up your campaigns. This bidding strategy is also good for businesses that are selling products with high margins.

3. Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Strategy

A cost-per-click (CPC) bid means that you’re willing to pay a specific price for each click on your ad. This strategy can be useful if you want to have more control over your budget but still want to generate traffic to your website.

When to Use It:

You might want to use a CPC bid when you have a tight budget and need to be sure that you don’t go over it. You can also use this strategy if you have a good idea of the value of each click and are confident that you’ll make more money from the conversion than you spend on the click itself. For example, if you know that each click is worth an average of $5.00 and you’re willing to spend up to $0.50 per click, you would set your CPC bid at $0.50.

Most Popular Bid Strategies

4. Enhanced CPC

Enhanced CPC is a Google Ads feature that automatically raises or lowers your bids based on the likelihood that a click will result in a conversion. This option can be found in the “Advanced Settings” section of your Google Ads campaign settings.

When to Use It:

If you want to let the PPC platform handle your bid adjustments for you, enhanced CPC is a good option. This bidding strategy can be helpful if you don’t have the time to constantly monitor your campaigns and make manual bid adjustments.

5. Target CPA

Target CPA is similar to the cost-per-acquisition strategy but with one key difference – you set a target cost-per-action rather than a cost-per-conversion. This option is available in Google Ads and Bing Ads.

When to Use It:

If you want to focus on generating specific actions from your website visitors, target CPA can be a good option. This bidding strategy can be used to drive actions such as newsletter signups, downloads, or form submissions.

6. Target Outranking Share

A target outranking share bid is a type of CPC bid where you set a target percentage of the time that your ad should appear above a competitor’s ad. This option is available in Google Ads.

When to Use It:

If you want to try to outrank a specific competitor, this bidding strategy can be helpful. You can use this strategy even if you don’t know how much they’re spending on their own campaigns.

7. Target Impression Share

A target impression share bid is a type of CPC bid where you set a target percentage of the time that your ad should appear on the search engine results page. This option is available in Google Ads.

When to Use It:

If you want to make sure that your ad appears as often as possible, this bidding strategy can be helpful. You can use this strategy to increase brand awareness or drive traffic to your website.

8. Maximize Clicks

The “maximize clicks” bidding option is a type of automatic bid that tries to get you the most clicks possible within your budget.

When to Use It:

If you want to generate as much traffic as possible, this bidding strategy can be helpful. You can use this option if you have a flexible budget and don’t mind paying more per click. Choosing the Right Bidding Strategy For Your Goals As we've seen, every risk strategy has advantages and disadvantages. And the strategy you adopt will be heavily influenced by your overall ad strategy.

To help you choose the right bidding strategy for your campaign goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my overall advertising goal?
  • How much money am I willing to spend on each click/conversion?
  • How much time do I have to dedicate to managing my campaigns?
  • What is the value of a conversion to me?
  • Do I need to generate a lot of traffic or just targeted traffic?
  • Do I want to focus on brand awareness or generating conversions?
  • Do I want to try to outrank a specific competitor? Based on your answers, you should have a better idea of which bidding strategy is right for your Google Ads campaigns. Remember that you can always experiment with different strategies and adjust your bids as needed until you find what works best for you.


There’s no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to choosing the right Google Ads bidding strategy. The best strategy for your campaigns will depend on your overall advertising goals and how much money you’re willing to spend on each click or conversion. To find the right strategy for your business, experiment with different options and monitor your results to see what works best. And if you need help managing your Google Ads campaigns, our team of certified experts can assist you. Are you looking for automated PPC management tools to streamline your PPC strategies? Use NinjaSEM to manage your paid advertisement. It helps you to increase your conversion rate by highlighting the critical components of a product or service. In addition, it gives you all your ad performance data in a place. Get started by signing up today!"

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