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Google Ads stands as a key pillar in online marketing. If you’re not already using this essential tool, we recommend downloading TNT Growth’s free Google Ads e-book.

In order to get the most out of Google Ads, you need to understand different bidding strategies. A strategic bid can mean the difference between an ad that thrives and one that doesn’t secure conversions.

The beauty of Google Ads is its versatility and options. You have numerous bidding strategies at your disposal, each tailored for specific goals. Whether you’re focused on getting more clicks, ensuring a steady return on your ad spend, or aiming for a specific acquisition cost, you can find the perfect strategy for your business. 

So, how do you decipher which strategy best aligns with your business objectives? In this guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of Google Ads bidding strategies, equipping you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and steer your campaigns toward success.

Target Cost-Per-Action (CPA)

The word “cost” often takes center stage in marketing. After all, you’re investing funds hoping to see a tangible return. With the target cost-per-action (CPA) strategy, you define a set amount you’re willing to spend to acquire a customer. 

Your target CPA shouldn’t be just a number you pick out of thin air — you should determine it based on your business’s financial objectives. 

Target cost-per-action lets you dictate how much a specific user action is worth to your business. This could mean they purchase a product, download an attachment, view your video, or complete another targeted goal. 

When you use target CPA, Google Ads optimizes your bids to get as many actions as possible at your defined cost.

Pros of Using Target CPA 

One of the standout benefits of target CPA is predictability. With a set number in place, budgeting becomes more straightforward, and there are fewer unexpected surprises when it comes to your ad spend. 

Also, with Google Ads working behind the scenes to optimize your bids, you leverage the platform’s expertise to achieve your defined objective. Not only do you set the direction, but you also have an expert navigator (Google’s algorithms!) to ensure you stay on course.

When to Use Target CPA 

Target CPA isn’t for every Google Ads campaign, but it’s the ideal choice for some. If you have a clear idea of the value of a customer’s action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase, target CPA may be your best option. 

It’s especially beneficial when you want predictable ad spend and when conversions are your primary goal. Remember, it’s all about defining and achieving value from every dollar you invest in advertising.

Maximize Clicks Strategy

Clicks — they’re the heartbeat of any digital ad campaign. It’s like the door that leads a potential customer closer to what you offer. You can use the maximize clicks strategy to ensure you get the most clicks possible within your budget. 

When you choose this automated strategy, you give Google the reins to adjust your bids, with the primary aim being to get the maximum number of clicks. It’s about harnessing every cent of your Google Ads spend to secure that all-important interaction with your ad. This will draw in as many visitors as possible without breaking the bank. Let’s explore this strategy further, unpacking its advantages and when to use it. 

Advantages of Maximize Clicks

One of the main strengths of this strategy is simplicity. By focusing on maximizing clicks, you expand your reach. This can be especially instrumental if your goal is brand visibility. Additionally, this strategy can be perfect for businesses that have a well-optimized landing page, turning those clicks into conversions.

When to Implement Maximize Clicks

There are two times you should use the maximize clicks strategy. The main one is if you don’t have conversion tracking in place. Without conversion tracking, you lack insights into users’ actions after they click on your ad. Essentially, you’re missing out on understanding the full effectiveness of your campaign beyond the initial click.

The second time is if this is a new account and you are not able to spend because the algorithm has not adjusted to your needs yet.

By opting for the maximize clicks approach, you prioritize visibility and engagement without a clear picture of post-click activities. However, if driving specific conversions, like form submissions or sales, is integral to your business goals, it’s imperative to consider setting up conversion tracking and selecting a more results-oriented strategy, such as target return on ad spend (more on that below). 

Maximize Conversions Strategy

There’s a delicate balance between spending and results in digital advertising. The maximize conversions strategy takes this to heart, guaranteeing every penny of your set budget goes toward increasing conversions. The automated strategy achieves the highest number of conversions without exceeding your allocated budget. 

By maximizing results without overshooting your budget, the strategy combines efficiency and performance. Let’s explore how this approach offers you optimal bang for your buck and when it’s the best fit for your campaign needs.

The Strengths of Operating at Full Budget Utilization

Maximize conversion strategy’s distinct feature is its unwavering commitment to your budget. It doesn’t just aim to spend but to spend smartly to get the most conversions possible. This ensures that you get optimal results without any budgetary surprises. It provides your campaign with predictable spending while securing the most conversions. 

When to Use the Maximize Conversions Strategy

This bidding strategy shines for those who have a specific budget in mind and want to ensure it’s used to its fullest potential. You’ll likely want to utilize this strategy if your primary objective is driving user conversions while maintaining your budget. 

One important note is that this strategy’s effectiveness hinges on how much value you get from conversions. For instance, you may secure the maximum conversions possible, but the conversions may not deliver significant value.

Picture yourself selling clothing. Your site could be full of valuable articles of clothing, but your visitors only purchase inexpensive items. Your strategy secures conversions, but those conversions may not be worth the amount you spend in Google Ads. 

This example illustrates the importance of monitoring your campaigns closely. When you use the maximize conversions strategy, make sure that your sales are valuable. 

Manual CPC Bidding

Manual cost-per-click bidding allows advertisers to directly control how much they spend on each click instead of relinquishing all bidding control to algorithms. Advertisers manually set the maximum amount they’re willing to pay for a click on their ad. 

Unlike automated strategies that adjust bids based on specific goals or targeting methods, manual CPC bidding allows you to drive your campaign.

While this method may be good in theory, it’s best to stay clear of manual CPC bidding. Instead, use a bidding strategy that utilizes automation. Google’s algorithms utilize vast amounts of data and real-time analytics. Its automated tools ensure that your ad campaigns remain agile, adapting instantly to shifts in the market. By opting for an automated strategy, advertisers stand a better chance to maximize their ROI, save precious time, and remain competitive in a dynamic digital ecosystem.

Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC)

Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) isn’t just another bidding strategy — it bridges the gap between manual bidding and fully automated strategies. You can select this option underneath the manual CPC bidding strategy. You set your initial bid amounts manually, and Google Ads adjusts these bids in real time. 

Google Ads’ algorithm will either raise or lower your cost per click, and they adjust your bid based on the likelihood of the click leading to a conversion. It’s like giving your campaigns a smart assistant that tweaks bids on the fly. 

Should I Use ECPC?

While ECPC offers a hybrid strategy that sounds impressive, marketers should stay clear of this approach and instead opt for a smart bidding strategy, such as Target Cost Per Action. 

Hypothetically, a marketer could benefit from the ECPC strategy if ALL of the following are true:

  • The marketer has a clear idea of high and low-intent keywords.
  • The keywords are non-branded. 
  • Conversion tracking isn’t working. 

But here’s the catch: ECPC won’t even be an option if your conversion tracking is malfunctioning. This means that ECPC should never be your go-to bidding strategy. 

The Best Google Ad Strategy: Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Think of your advertising campaign as an investment. You’re putting in resources with the expectation of a high return on investment (ROI). Target return on ad spend (ROAS) optimizes your campaign strategy to prioritize your designated ROI. This strategy zooms in on the efficiency of your ad campaign, ensuring that for every dollar you invest, you’re getting the maximum value in return. 

For instance, if you set your target ROAS at 400%, you’re expecting to get a $4 return for every $1 you spend on ads. By utilizing this strategy, Google Ads adjusts your bids in real-time, ensuring that your ads yield the return you aim for, making your advertising efficient and effective.

Benefits of Target ROAS

The beauty of target ROAS lies in its precision. The strategy empowers you to gain more predictable financial outcomes, allowing you to forecast and plan better. Another advantage is its adaptability. Based on real-time data, the dynamic bidding adjustments ensure you always prioritize value. 

When Is Target ROAS the Right Choice?

Target ROAS stands out as the best Google Ad Spend Strategy available. If there’s a gold standard in Google Ad strategies, it’s undoubtedly Target ROAS. Every advertiser, whether new or seasoned, should aim to utilize this strategy as a benchmark for their campaigns.

It’s not merely about the mechanics behind Target ROAS but the profound results it can deliver when executed effectively. Embracing this approach signifies a commitment to maximizing your return on ad spend and ensuring that you use every advertising dollar to its fullest potential. If you’re serious about elevating the efficiency and profitability of your campaigns, Target ROAS is the strategy to aspire toward.

Choosing the Right Bidding Strategy Is Your Key to Success

Crafting a successful digital marketing campaign isn’t just about selecting the right tools — it’s about understanding each tool’s unique strengths and using them to their fullest potential. 

In this article, we’ve unpacked several bidding strategies, offering a closer look 

at their advantages and potential pitfalls. You can use these benefits and disadvantages to choose the bidding strategy that’s right for your business. As you gain more knowledge in the world of Google Ads, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Looking for more insights to optimize your Google Ads campaigns? Subscribe to the Take 5 with TNT newsletter. Additionally, if you’re ready to take a guided tour for more digital marketing strategies and solutions, we’re here to help. Schedule a discovery call with us today.