How to Choose The Right Google Ads Bid Strategy To Reach Your Goals

How to Choose The Right Google Ads Bid Strategy To Reach Your Goals

If you’re familiar with Google Ads, you probably already know that the system runs as an instant auction every time someone searches. Google Ads can provide a huge return on investment, or lackluster results - depending on how you approach the auction. You wouldn’t go to a physical, high stakes auction without a plan in mind, right? In other words, you need a strategy. Fortunately for us, Google has developed some automated bid strategies that can help you lay out a plan and execute it with success.

Traffic Based Strategies:

Use Case: Generate website traffic

Best Choice: Maximize Clicks

Traffic based bid strategies are the oldest and most straightforward of the bunch. You pay for someone to click your ad and they land on your website - simple! But gone are the days of manually adjusting your bids for every single keyword. You still can, but it’s much less sophisticated and prone to missed opportunities. Instead, you can save time and use the Maximize Clicks bid strategy to get the most traffic possible for your budget. You still have full control over your keyword list, but now google handles maximizing your spend and traffic for you. 

There are a number of reasons you may want to run your campaigns on Maximize Clicks. If you don’t have sophisticated conversion tracking in place; Maximize Clicks doesn’t require conversion tracking at all. If you do have conversion tracking implemented, you may still want to rely on Maximize Clicks when launching a new campaign. We recommend launching new campaigns on Maximize Clicks until they have enough conversion volume (5-10 conversions minimum) to switch over to a conversion based bid strategy. 

Conversion Based Strategies:

Use Case: Leads based business

Best Choice: Target CPA

The best way to instantly level up your google ads campaigns is by switching to a conversion based bid strategy. Conversion based bidding allows Google Ads’ algorithm to bid higher on searches that are more likely to result in a conversion- or an action that is valuable to your business, such as a sale, lead or phone call. Conversion tracking does take some initial backend setup though, see here.

Businesses who function on leads (medical, financial, educational, B2B, service companies, etc.) are best served using a conversion based strategy. Now there are two conversion based strategies to choose from- Maximize Conversions and Target CPA (cost per acquisition). Maximize conversions functions similar to Maximize Clicks, the strategy simply strives to get you the most conversions for your budget. Target CPA also bids based on predicted conversions, however you also get an additional aspect of control. With Target CPA, you can set your desired CPA, or cost per conversion, and the system will try to hit that number for you. In an industry where marketers have had to cede more and more control, having an additional lever to pull with Target CPA feels like a luxury. You can raise your target to allow the campaigns to spend more freely or lower it to improve efficiency. Neat!

Revenue Based Strategies:

Use Case: E-commerce

Best Choice: Target ROAS

Revenue based bid strategies are the cream of the crop. Like our conversion based strategies, revenue based strategies bid on what’s most important to your business, but this time it’s money!  This strategy is best suited for companies that have revenue tracking set up, in order to assign dollar values to sales that come through Google Ads. Virtually all E-commerce companies should run their campaigns on this type of strategy.

The best revenue based strategy out there is Target ROAS (Return On Ad Spend). This strategy is similar to Target CPA, but it can bid directly on conversion value (revenue) instead of leads. Just like with Target CPA, with Target ROAS you have a target lever that you can pull to make the engine spend more freely, or get more efficient based on the Target ROAS you tell the system to achieve. The bid strategy will try its hardest to achieve a ROAS that is equal to or better than the target you selected.

Engagement Based Strategies:

Use Case: Brand Awareness

Best Choice: Viewable CPM

Google Ads is typically thought of as a lower funnel, intent based engine (and it is).  However, you can drive brand awareness on google as well! As far as campaign types, you have a few great options to choose from including Display, YouTube Videos, or Performance Max. If your main focus is spreading brand awareness as efficiently and effectively as possible, consider using Viewable CPM bidding.

This bid strategy allows you to bid on impressions, or someone seeing your ad. More specifically, you bid on 1,000 impressions at a time. This strategy tells the engine how much you’re willing to pay for 1,000 people to see your picture ad, YouTube video ad, Gmail ad, etc. We recommend utilizing this strategy if you’re a new or unknown brand. For best results, you can run this strategy in tandem with a revenue or conversion based campaign, utilizing the remarketing audiences you gain from your brand awareness campaign.


Google Ads can be as cut throat as any real world auction. Chances are, you have a set budget and you need to get the most out of it. By choosing the right bid strategy, you can set yourself up for maximum success. Google’s machine learning is always improving and you can leverage that fact to grow your business. For more info on google ads or to talk with an expert, visit us here. 

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