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when to bid keywords up and down? Help?

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hey guys. I found a lot of guides on bidding strategies such as bidding to position or bidding to CPA and why you should do it. but not a lot on HOW to do it. It's hard to find a guide or article on when to bid up or down based on keyword performance. 


I guess just articles on what metrics to look at for a keyword or ad group to know, in general, whether to bid up or down? 

like in the following situations do i bid up or down?

- high impression volume but low QS?

high impression volume but high QS?

- low ad ranking but high competition?

- high CTR and high competition?

- High Volume but low conversion rate?

- over CPA limit but still profitable?

- under CPA limit but in second position that might push Ad over to top of page where increase in cost does not show a direct increase in revenue. 



Say for instance a keyword [MOTORCYCLE] with a CPA limit of $35. When i look at it's performance in the last 14 days see that [MOTORCYCLE] has been converting at $45 per CPA. Should I bid down the CPC so that CPA would hit $35? but if I lower my bid the conv.rate might drop and overall account revenue might suffer


my question comes down to there a guide on when to bid up or down?

Re: when to bid keywords up and down? Help?

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner

Great Question.

With every Adwords campaign being different, every keyword having individual competition, landing page conversion rate, Unique Selling Propositions, and different targeting methods, and prices per products or lead generation. I would say there is no ONE Answer and the answer to your question should be judged based on your own Return on Investment (ROI) parameters.

As you stated, bid changes can effect ad rank, which can effect CTR etc etc etc. If your website converts, then your objective is to get the most traffic/ revenue for the least expensive amount of advertisement.

To determine what is the best for your account and situation, is to test.

I have many clients with many accounts, and what works for Client A, doesn't necessarily work for Client B, With that said, I am constantly testing Landing pages, Ad copy, Bids, and letting the Data determine what makes the most ROI for the client.

For an example, Client 1 does pretty good at ad rank position 2 and makes sales. Client 2, if he is not Ad rank #1, he doesn't make sales, and the ad rank #2 or lower are clicks that return no sales. So everything is different,

The one true tip I would give you is to look at your competition. Look at there Ads, Are they promoting a USP ( Unique Selling proposition). Are they better then you on Price? Are they Giving Free Shipping, etc etc etc. For one Client I could not beat, price, we didn't have free shipping etc etc etc. So I took the USP of being in business since 1994 and added that to one of the Ad Groups and tested it. It was successful, and competitive in Spots, 1,-3 so I was able to reduce my Bid and come in for a Nice ROI in the 2-3 spots saving on costs and increasing the ROI.

So TEST. Evaluate the data and let the DATA bring you the BEST ROI.

Good Luck

Re: when to bid keywords up and down? Help?

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Boyang,

To add to Eric's answer, no, there is not a definitive guide of when to bid up and when to bid down.  Ultimately it comes down to your Account's performance and your advertising goals.  That being said, here are some tips I have - 

  • Use automation - Google AdWords has two tools, Conversion Optimizer and Flexible Bid Strategies that will automatically adjust and manage your Bids based on your advertising goals, and based on historical performance.
  • Focus on Conversion Performance - CTR, QS, and competition definitely matter, but ultimately what is important to you is your conversion and the revenue you're generating from AdWords.  If you have Keywords that have low Quality Scores, but bring you profitable Conversions, focus on getting the most possible Conversions from those Keywords, vs making bidding decisions based on Quality Scores.
  • Consider attribution - Using Google Conversion Tracking, you can look at Assisted Clicks and Impressions and much more using the Search Funnel Report.  Using Google Conversion Tracking you can also look at Converted Clicks.  Often times advertisers only look at the last Click that leads to a Conversion vs evaluating the journey of the searcher.  There might be some Keywords that do not lead to immediate Conversions, but introduce your products to the searcher and later on they might come back to your site by searching on a different Keyword and then convert.
  • Consider Volume vs Strict ROI Goals - Some Keywords may not perform as well from a direct ROI standpoint, but they could bring you a lot of Conversions (Revenue).  When setting your advertising goals consider the Keywords that you need to scale your Conversions vs limiting your goals so tight that you don't receive as many Conversions.


Finally, here is a link to an article I wrote on creating Bid Strategies.  Probably doesn't answer all of your questions, but might help.

when to bid keywords up and down? Help?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Boyang,


As Eric said every Adwords campaign have different scenario and you are required to take decision accordingly because every campaign may have different CPA which you are required to maintain.
I have also gone through the same situations which you have mentioned in your questions, my decisions were – 

high impression volume but low QS? - No need to increase bid as you are already getting a high amount of impressions. Instead of increasing KW bid, you should try to increase QS, if it happens your CPC will automatically decrease.

high impression volume but high QS? - No need to make any changes. Everything looks good.

low ad ranking but high competition? - Here you need to test your ad. Required to increase the bids to get better ad rank and then you can see how the ad is performing. If it is converting then you may continue with the same decision and if it is not you can create another more relevant ad.

high CTR and high competition - If your KPI is "clicks" you can keep the bids same or increase to increase CTR. 
If KPI is "conversions" so you need to monitor it carefully. Because either you have high CTR but low conversion, it would not faithful to your business.

over CPA limit but still profitable? - Check if overall account CPA is under control, or if you are able to afford little bit more CPA, you can increase bids on performing KW only.

For [MOTORCYCLE] KW, check if you can afford $45, if not decrease the bid of this KW and try the increase its QS. Through this CPC will decrease so CPA will automatically decrease.


Hope it help.