Automation is a big theme in PPC nowadays. Different PPC pros have different outlooks on automation and its role in our industry. But there’s one thing that can’t be denied: it’s not going away any time soon. After giving Google AdWords flexible bidding strategies a shot, I have a couple reasons that I think you should try them out.
There are six bid strategies currently available and I’d venture to say that at least one aligns well with your goals and what you’re looking to achieve.
For lead gen clients, Target Search Page Location or Target Outranking Share could be useful if you’re looking for beat a competitor who offers the same service (real estate, software, etc.). For e-commerce, Target Return on Ad Spend could help you stay balanced. For accounts with a limited budget, Enhanced CPC and Target CPA could help you gather more conversions, while making sure you stay within budget restrictions.
Bottom line: This isn’t a strategy or automation tool that is limited to one kind of client.
2. Setting Budgets & Max CPCs: You Still Have Control
You can set max CPCs, max bid limits and daily budgets for most of Google’s automated offerings. Some PPC-ers aren’t fans of automated bidding because they feel like it can be more costly than manual bidding. While this might be true in some instances, I also think that by making sure you have all of your bases covered with max CPCs, bid limits and daily budgets, you can still have control over what is spent.
Below is a screenshot of what it looks like to set bid limits for the Target CPA rule. Google might “recommend” not setting a limit, but most pros recommend setting these to have more control.
3. Flexible Bid Strategies Are More Flexible Than Conversion Optimizer
Conversion Optimizer is now Target CPA, for those PPC pros who remember that change, but that doesn’t mean it functions the same. While the bidding works similar to Conversion Optimizer, Google’s flexible bidding strategies allow for more flexibility (I know – the name didn’t give that away, right?). You can apply these strategies to campaigns, ad groups and keywords, meaning you can compile them to form a strategy that works for your account in a unique way.
4. You Can Save Time
There are a lot of tools, tips and tricks that can help PPC pros save time. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, you can still save time by enabling different bidding strategies across your accounts. It’s true that these features are not “set it and forget it”, but once implemented correctly these features can save you time that would otherwise be spent on keyword bids, boosting traffic, etc. Since you’re able to apply multiple strategies to the same campaign, you have more options to reach your goals while using multiple strategies to get there.
5. You Can Turn Them Off As Easily As You Turned Them On
If you decide that flexible bidding strategies aren’t for you, you can turn them off as quickly as you activated them. Simply go to the Settings tab and scroll to Bid Strategy. Once you select “Manual CPC” your campaign will be back to normal.
It’s important to note you’ll have to set all of the campaigns back to Manual CPC before you can fully remove the bidding strategy, as well.
6. You’ll Never Know Until You Try
To me, the bottom line in all new strategies, rules and best practices is you never know until you try. Something that you never expect to work could turn into your new favorite strategy. And just as easily, something you expect to work for one client could completely tank. I think that continuing to change with our ever-changing industry means giving features like flexible bidding strategies a shot. You might be surprised.
What do you think? Do you use Flexible Bidding Strategies in your accounts? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!