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Bidding Strategies

Community Manager
# 1
Community Manager

When setting up a new campaign, or reviewing your performance data it’s important to consider how to bid. Whether is manual, automatic, or using one of the many flexible bidding strategies, you should understand how they work, and the impact they’ll have on your performance, and the time it will take to monitor and maintain your campaigns.


You can locate your Campaign Level bidding options in the Settings tab of your Campaign.


First, the basic options:

  • Manual bidding: This is the default strategy to let you manage your maximum CPC bids yourself. You can set bids at the ad group level, or for individual keywords.

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  • Automatic bidding: If you're new to AdWords (or if you're busy), we recommend this strategy. All you have to do is set an average daily budget, and the AdWords system manages your bids for you, to bring you the most clicks possible within your budget. You can still set a max. CPC with this option.

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Now the intermediate level... Conversion Tracking and Bidding

If you are using Conversion Tracking in your AdWords Account, you can use that conversion data to enable Enhanced CPC or Conversion Optimizer.



When turned on, Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) will raises your bid for clicks that seem more likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website. That helps you get more valueable clicks. ECPC does a lot of work for you. It will look for ad auctions that are more likely to lead to sales for you (based on keywords that have converted in the past), and then raises your max CPC bid up to 30 percent to compete harder for those clicks. To read more about ECPC and its best practices, check out our Help Center here.


The goal of Conversion Optimizer is to get you the most conversions given your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) goals. Rather than focusing on clicks (CPC) or impressions (CPM), Conversion Optimizer focuses on maximizing conversions. To read more about Conversion Optimizer and tips to follow if you want to implement it, check out our Help Center here.


So what’s the difference between ECPC and Conversion Optimizer? Both ECPC and Conversion Optimizer work to get you more conversions. The key difference: ECPC works with the max CPC bid you set, never going more than 30 percent over it. Conversion Optimizer needs no max CPC, though it does require a CPA bid. Conversion Optimizer gives you the very best chance to improve your results, but ECPC provides a level of control and comfort that some people prefer.


And Advanced - Flexible Bidding Strategies!

As you may have noticed, these bidding settings are at the camapaign level. If you want to apply a different bidding strategy to specific keywords across multiple adgroups, or one adgroup in a larger campaign, Flexible bid strategies are for you! Flexible bid strategies let you apply multiple bidding strategies within a single campaign or across campaigns. This provides you the freedom to choose the appropriate bid strategy without being constrained by account structure.


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  • Maximize clicks automatically sets bids to help you get the most clicks within a target spend amount that you choose.
  • Target search page location automatically adjusts bids to help you get your ads to the top of the page or the first page of search results.
  • Target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) automatically sets bids to help you get as many conversions as possible while reaching your average cost-per-acquisition goal.
  • Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) automatically adjusts your manual bid up or down based on each click’s likelihood to result in a conversion.
  • Target return on ad spend (ROAS) automatically sets your bids to maximize your conversion value, while trying to reach an average return on ad spend.

Check out details on the five Flexible bid strategies here.

Still hungry for more information on bidding? Keep reading for links to great resources:

  • More information information on focusing on impressions with CPM bidding, and focusing on conversions with CPA bidding, check out our Help Center here.
  • Want to adjust your bids for mobile customers, customers in specific locations or at specific times of day? Bid Adjustments are for you! Check out how to implement them here.
  • Bidding on the Display Network? This is the resource for you.

Happy Bidding!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Bidding Strategies

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Nicely Explained! Thanks for Sharing.

Re: Bidding Strategies

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Very useful!

Re: Bidding Strategies

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
All of these Bidding Strategies available for Shopping Campaigns as well ?

Re: Bidding Strategies

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Can we apply ROAS bid strategy for shopping campaigns?



MItthu Ghosh

Re: Bidding Strategies

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi @Raheel,

As for the Target CPA, it cannot be used for Shopping Campaigns ( Don't know if the rest are available for Shopping campaigns.

Hope this helps.

Re: Bidding Strategies

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 7
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
Thanks for the sharing Cheers!!!

Re: Bidding Strategies

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Will the ROAS bid strategy use conversions 1 per click OR many per click?

Re: Bidding Strategies

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


Thanks for sharing this strategies with us. Im having little problem with my flexible strategies. 

1. I made strategy for 1.position

2 set that system can automaticly bid 

3.I set that it can increase for 100%

4. I set CPC limit 

I also set that it can automaticly bid higher if buget is limited and also that can increase for KW with lower QS.


Now I dont know how long "learning" for each strategy takes.

I noticed that Adwords set very low cpc for some kw and they dont appeare on example 0,12$ position is 5!


Do I need to wait few days,weeks??


Thanks for answers.


Best regards