Manual bidding lets you manually set bids at the ad group level, for individual keywords, or for ad placements, so you know you’re bidding for the clicks that mean the most to you. WIth automated bidding, you can set a daily budget and then have AdWords automatically adjust your bids to get the most clicks or conversions possible within your budget. Three tools to use for CPC bids:

  1. Bid simulator runs “what-if” scenarios
  2. Keyword Planner shows you how often some keywords get searched and gives you cost estimates at a glance.
  3. First-page bid estimates help you see how much you may need to bid to put your ad on the first page of Google search results.

Once you’ve identified which keywords, locations, times, and devices are getting good results, you can adjust your bids accordingly. For instance, if a keyword has a low average CPC but each click converts well, you may try increasing its max CPC bid. This could improve the ad’s average position for that keyword, giving your ads more exposure and potentially increasing your ROI. If you want to drive visits to your website, focus on clicks and use CPC bidding. Determine a competitive bid for each keyword by using a tool like the Keyword Planner.

Determine a bid strategy based on your goals. With manual bidding, you’re in control of how much you spend on things like clicks, impressions, and video views. You set maximum bids, and AdWords will stay within those limits. When you set bids manually, you can pick from multiple bid strategies to help you reach your goal. For example, if you want to drive sales, you can use a bid strategy that focuses on increasing clicks and conversions, but if you want to increase views of your video ad, you can use a strategy that focuses on increasing video views. Use manual bidding when running AdWords with a small advertising budget, you want more budget control, and are reworking an underperforming campaign.


  1. Ad reach: Manual cost-per-click (CPC) Bid to increase clicks with manual CPC, enter the max you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. (You may pay less, the auction decides).
  2. Ad engagement: Cost-per-view (CPV) Bid to increase video views with CPV, set the max you’re willing to pay for video views and other video interactions.
  3. Ad clicks and conversions: Viewable-cost-per-impression (vCPM): Bid to increase impressions, the opportunity for your ad to be seen by potential customers. (For an impression to be “viewable,” at least 50 percent of your ad must show for at least one second for display ads and at least two seconds for video ads).
  4. Ad views: Cost-per-engagement (CPE) Bid to increase lightbox expansions or interactions with pre-expanded ads, set the max bid amount you’ll pay for this customer engagement.

Use conversion tracking or Google Analytics. Manual bidding requires monitoring, and these tools will give you the data you can use to make informed bids. Decide bid amounts with the CPC column in your AdWords account to determine your starting bids. (If you don’t have any data in your account yet, use the Keyword Planner). Determine a bid strategy based on your goals.

Automated Bidding

Automated bidding can improve your performance in ad auctions by automatically adjusting your bids to account for auction-time changes in device, browser, location, and more. Your keyword list determines which searches and site visits can trigger your ad if you win the bid. But the “right” bid for an impression can be a moving target influenced by things like match type, device, and location. With automated bidding, AdWords can automatically increase bids for impressions that it predicts (from auction-time data) could be more successful. Automated bidding works well to drive additional awareness, clicks, and even offers conversion-based strategies that help you drive more acquisitions. Use it in these scenarios:

  • Conversion tracking or Google Analytics is enabled
  • Advertiser is AdWords certified
  • Campaign has sufficient click and conversion data for algorithm to operate
  • Managing campaigns at scale
  • Have had 50-100 conversions over 30 days in a single campaign
  • Optimizing an existing campaign


  1. Ad conversions – Maximize clicks automatically set your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget. It can increase site visits and increase clicks on low-traffic terms.
  2. Ad visibility – Target search page location automatically sets your bids to help increase the chances that your ads appear at the top of the page or on the first page of search results. Target outranking share automatically sets your bid to outrank other domains in search results pages.
  3. Ad clicks – Target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) automatically sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target CPA you set. (Some conversions may cost more or less than your target). Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) automatically adjusts your manual bids to try to maximize conversions. This strategy helps increase conversions while letting you stay in control of your keyword bids.
  4. Ad revenue – Target return on ad spend (ROAS) bids more where AdWords estimates ads are more likely to lead to a sale, aiming to get as much ROAS as possible.

Make sure to consolidate your ad groups, create early conversions, and avoid frequent changes to bidding options.

Bid adjustments available

  1. Mobile – Show your ad more or less frequently for searches that occur on mobile devices. For example, if you’re promoting an app, you could raise bids for mobile users to focus on driving app installs.
  2. Location – Show your ad more or less frequently to customers in certain countries, cities, or other geographic areas. For example, if you own a restaurant, you could raise bids to show your ads more frequently to people nearby.
  3. Time of day – Increase or decrease your bids on certain days or during certain hours. For example, if you’re a meal delivery service, you could raise your bids from 5-7pm to increase your chances of showing ads to hungry commuters on their way home.
  4. Top content – Use bid adjustments for popular content to increase your ad’s chance of showing on top content on YouTube and the Display Network. When your ad is eligible to appear on this content, AdWords will use your bid adjustment to raise your bid. For example, you could raise your bids for the hottest new cat video on YouTube. *Top content adjustments are recommended for advanced users.
  5. Targeting methods – Use bid adjustments for topics, placements, and other targeting methods in campaign types that show ads on the Display Network. For example, if you sell luggage, you could increase your bids on travel sites in the Display Network so you’re more likely to show on travel blogs and review sites. *Targeting method adjustments are recommended for advanced users.
  6. Remarketing lists for search ads – Use bid adjustments for remarketing lists in your ad groups if you’d like to show ads more or less frequently to people on these lists. For example, you could increase your bid for those who previously viewed your website in the last 30 days. *Remarketing list adjustments are recommended for advanced users.

Setting your budget

  1. Calculate based on your monthly budget – per day by dividing your monthly budget by 30.4 – the average number of days per month. For example, let’s say you normally spend $1,450 per month on advertising / 30.4 days = daily budget of $48. Note: Due to changes in traffic, AdWords allows up to 20% more clicks in a day than the budget specifies. However, in any given month, AdWords never charges more than the average daily budget amount multiplied by 30.4.
  2. Calculate based on your average cost-per-click. You can choose a daily budget for each campaign based on your advertising goals. For example, let’s say your cost-per-click is $0.10 on average, and you’d like around 500 clicks per day. You might budget $50 per day. Using this example, here’s how you’d figure out your daily budget: $0.10 x 500 = $50 per day (cost-per-click x clicks per day = Daily budget).
  3. Find your campaign’s recommended budget – AdWords shows recommended budgets for campaigns that repeatedly meet their daily budget but have the potential to earn more clicks and impressions. You can use these recommendations to estimate how a new budget may improve the visibility of your campaign’s ads. The recommendations are based on the following factors:* Recent campaign performance, * Current campaign budget, * Keyword list, * Campaign targeting settings
  4. Check your ad delivery method – When your average daily budget is reached, your ads will typically stop showing for that day; determines how quickly your ads are shown and how long your budget lasts during a given day, when setting your daily budget. “Standard” delivery method – spreads your budget throughout the day. The “Accelerated” uses your budget more quickly. Accelerated delivery is ideal for advertisers who want to show results more quickly.

Note: AdWords won’t display a recommended daily budget if you rarely meet your daily budget, or if your campaign has limited data. If you don’t see a recommended budget.

  1. Build awareness – requires a larger budget due to the longer path to conversion and the scale at which you try to reach people.
  2. Influence consideration –  mid-funnel and can be accomplished with a small, medium, and large ad budget. With a medium length path to conversion, a medium to large budget is preferred so you can reach a wider group of people and begin moving them to action.
  3. Driving action – At the bottom of the marketing funnel where you typically have a small group of your target audience. You can meet all of your action goals with a small, medium, or large daily budget.

Set a budget for your campaign

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