Google Ads Bidding Guide Part One: Manual CPC Bidding

August 25, 2020

There are many types of Google Ads bidding to choose from so you're better able to achieve your campaign’s goal. However, given the variety of bidding options, it can be overwhelming for Google Ads beginners to know which one to select.
That’s why Sales & Marketing Technologies (SMT) has created a two-part guide on Google Ads bidding to help you set up your campaign with confidence. In "Part One," we’ll answer:
  • What is a bid strategy?
  • Why do you need to determine your campaign’s goals?
  • What is manual CPC bidding and when should it be used?
"Part Two" of our Google Ads bidding guide will cover automated bidding and smart bidding so make sure to check that out. Let’s get started!

Bid Strategy

When setting up a campaign, you can choose to manually set your ‘bids’ (i.e. how much you’ll pay) for clicks on your ads or let Google Ads do it for you through automation. You may, however, see additional bidding options presented depending on your campaign type.
According to Google Ads Help, “Your bid strategy controls how you pay for users to interact with your ads. Your bid limit is the most you’ll pay per click for ads in an ad group.”
In addition to your bid strategy, you’re able to control your budget which is the average amount you would like to spend each day on your campaign. You can set whatever budget and change it anytime.

Campaign Goal

Before you select a bid strategy, you must determine your campaign’s goal. If you don’t match the right bid strategy to your goal, then you can end up wasting money and time.
One of the first things you’ll have to consider is whether it’s more important to get clicks or impressions on your ad (i.e. drive traffic or increase awareness). Another important consideration is how involved you want to be with bidding which is why Google Ads offers several types.
The three main types of bid strategies:
  • Manual CPC bidding
  • Automated bidding
  • Smart bidding
For advertisers who want more control, then manual bidding is the best option. If you don’t have the time or inclination to manually set bids, you should go with automated bidding to have Google Ads handle it for you.

Manual CPC Bidding

Manual cost-per-click (CPC) bidding is where you only pay when someone clicks your ad. You set a maximum cost-per-click bid (called a ‘max. CPC’) which is the highest amount that you're willing to pay for a click on your ad. However, there are two ways you can end up paying more than your ‘max. CPC.’
The first is if you set ‘bid adjustments’ which is a percentage increase or decrease in your bids so your ads show more or less frequently based on where, when, and how people search. The second way is with ‘Enhanced CPC,’ a type of smart bidding (which is discussed in "Google Ads Bidding Guide Part Two").
Although manual CPC bidding gives you more control over your bid strategy, it also means that you’ll spend more time monitoring costs and adjusting bids because it’s all up to you. This strategy might be too much for you to handle if you aren’t familiar with Google Ads or don't have the time. That’s where automated bidding becomes the better option.

Optimizing Your Google Ads

A key element of a successful Google Ads campaign is selecting the right bid strategy. Manual CPC bidding is highly effective for controlling ad costs but it does require close attention. Working with a digital marketing agency is a great way to leverage the power of manual CPC bidding without taking up your time so you can focus on other business activities.
SMT offers PPC services like set up, management, and optimization to ensure your Google Ads campaigns are generating a return on investment. Call 407.682.2222 or contact us below to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session!

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