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30 AdWords Tips in 30 Days - Day #29 - Use Bid Adjustments

When Google introduced Enhanced Campaigns last year, one of the best new features offered to advertisers was the ability to increase or decrease Bids based on specific criteria.


Tip #29 - Use Bid Adjustments


Bid Adjustments, first offered with the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns, opened up new possibilities for Bid Strategies, and for advertisers to connect with their target audience.  Essentially Bid Adjustments allow advertisers the ability to bid more for a Click when they determine it has a high likelihood of leading to a Conversion, and less for a Click when they think chances for a Conversion are slim.


What's nice about Bid Adjustments is that advertisers have several different "levers" they can pull when deciding when to pay more or less for clicks - 



  • Location Bid Adjustments - Bids can be adjusted based on specific geographic areas that searches are originating from.


  • Ad Scheduling Adjustments - Advertisers can adjust their Bids based on hour of the day.


  • Display Network Adjustments (Google Display Network only) - Advertisers can adjust their Display Network Bids based on Topics, Placements, etc.


  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) - Advertisers can adjust Bids based on what Remarketing Lists for Search Ads lists searchers are on.

How can Advertisers use Bid Adjustments?


The first step in determining how to use Bid Adjustments would be for advertisers to define their own Mobile Search Strategy -

  • Is the website they're advertising mobile optimized?
  • How does mobile search traffic perform?
  • Does the advertiser want to attract mobile traffic?

Inside of AdWords advertisers can run a report that segments traffic by device.  This should give advertisers a good understanding of how mobile traffic is currently interacting with their site.


The next step in determining Bid Adjustments is for advertisers to use the AdWords Dimensions tab, to evaluate how geographic traffic performs and traffic by time of day.  Inside of the Dimensions tab advertisers can learn valuable insights on their searchers and make informed decisions about Bid Adjustments.



Where should Advertisers Start with Bid Adjustments?




I recommend implementing the following, once advertisers have had a chance to learn insights on their searchers:


1.  Mobile Bid Adjustments - Certain businesses, such as those with a local presence, will probably see improved performance from searchers coming from mobile devices; consider bidding extra for these searchers.  Advertisers without mobile optimized sites may consider using a de-multiplier of -100%, to restrict their Ads from showing on mobile devices.


2.  Location Bid Adjustments - Traffic performance will vary by geographic location - some locations may perform better, others worse.  Advertisers who have this data should consider using Bid Adjustments at the geographic level to improve their ROI.


3.  Time of Day Adjustments - Conversion will most likely vary by hour of day; using Bid Adjustments to increase Bids during hours of strong Conversions could help advertisers attract more Clicks and Conversions.

about Brian Valentini

Chicago-based husband and father who likes sports, traveling, and laughing. Excited about the field of Digital Marketing, especially Paid Search. Work-life = Vice President/Director of Search Marketing at DigitasLBi, a global digital marketing and technology agency.