Pay per click

Managing PPC Bid Strategies: A Complete Guide


One of the pillars of a successful Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is bid tactics.

Although Google has tried its best with smart marketing (and is still making progress), a click-and-go solution that genuinely works still belongs in science fiction. Therefore, setting up your bidding strategies and campaigns still significantly impacts how successfully you bid.

There are now more aspects in bid strategies, making them more flexible, and they are complicated as a result. Understanding how to make the most of Google’s efforts at simplification, such as consolidating bid strategy types, can be challenging.


How do bid strategies function?

A bid strategy, also known as smart or automated bidding, creates bids algorithmically for each unique auction using the targets you enter.

There are six main bid strategies:

  • amplify clicks
  • raising conversion rates (with optional target Cost Per Acquisition or CPA)
  • maximize conversion value (with optional target Return on Ad Spend or ROAS)
  • goal percentage of impressions
  • the most successful bid strategies

With a variety of bid approaches, we have years of expertise. We have used them to generate leads and anything from product sales.

Also read: How can we promote a business with Google AdWords?

1. Avoid using bid tactics if there is insufficient data.


There are criteria for how much historical conversion data specific strategies and platforms are required to optimize, and many platforms now allow you to build up bid strategies with no historical conversion data. For instance, although Search Ads 360 (at the time of writing) advised at least 20 ads every week in a portfolio, Google Ads currently claims to be effective with no past conversion data.

However, approaching bid tactics without prior data should be done with caution. By definition, all machine learning depends on data from which to learn, and it cannot learn if there are no past cues about what caused success.

Pay per click

2. Provide bid strategies with as much pertinent data as you can

The more signals from our account setup we can offer the algorithm to work with, the more we can aid it in learning important patterns to PPC bid toward. Google has a wealth of real-time information about each searcher.

Group terms by intent and semantics and include first-party audiences that have been intelligently categorized based on behavior and similar audiences of people who have done important actions. Make sure the things you’re asking Google to watch out for are consistent with your final objectives. For instance, does your chosen attribution model reflect how customers engage with your company? Does your conversion window match the actual customer journey?

If your conversion rates are low, you may even use optimized bid methods for the top of the funnel to give Google adequate information. Many of our clients at Digital Motive have seen success with this PPC tactic. The trick is to choose a behavior that is nevertheless very suggestive of eventual purchase intent. On average, you should use this conversion activity to determine the top 1–3% of your users.

For instance, optimizing for the quantity of customers placing things in their baskets or interacting with a particular website area. At Digital Motive, we’ve been working on methods for capturing these IDs that are even more specific, but they don’t precisely fit the guidelines in this manual.

Try using upper-funnel activities for just the low-volume campaigns, which are probably consumers sitting higher up in the funnel, if conversion volumes vary by campaign. Utilize conversion action sets to optimize for each campaign’s goals.

Live strategy setting can lead to potentially crippling volatility without adequate previous conversion data.


3. Establish reasonable goals

Bid methods do not operate like magic. Target CPA and ROAS methods cannot work towards a target quite far from the previous performance, regardless of the platform used.

Even though platforms vary, you should generally stay within 30% of your performance over the previous two weeks. Move the aim closer to actual performance if bid strategies consistently struggle to meet their spending goals or always perform below target.


4. Establish low and high CPCs

You can have some degree of control over your tactics by setting restrictions. Setting realistic minimum CPCs will ensure keywords don’t vanish completely. Their performance is given a chance by minimum bounds. A bid strategy might drive a keyword to $0.02 bids. They won’t ever display, and the platforms won’t be able to determine whether their performance has improved.

In order to test how well each term performs, the algorithms on many platforms now frequently push bids on each keyword. Max CPCs prevent Google from placing too high bids. Google doesn’t operate on a non-profit basis, and they enjoy making money.

Also Read: How to build a good social media campaign?

Pay per click

5. Avoid switching them out too regularly.

When given the freedom to develop a consistent picture of success, bid strategies perform best. If you make frequent modifications, the strategies will always be under evaluation and never have the chance to be chosen.

After significant modifications to the targets, most platforms take around a week to learn. They will also re-enter a learning phase with significant portfolio changes, such as the products in a shopping campaign or the terms within a search campaign.

Most people will let you know while they’re still learning. No matter how tempting it may be, refrain from modifying the performance target frequently. Give the machine adequate time to learn; it is knowing.



Bid strategies could considerably increase the success of accounts. But only if they are correctly executed. They also expect you to have a best practice account that is solidly constructed. Like other automation, they are only as good as the data they use and the account structure they are placed in. They are a one-size-fits-all solution to your PPC problems, even if they can be a potent weapon. Adopt a sensible bid strategy.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about how we manage PPC bid strategies, we’d love to hear from you.

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