Bidding on an irrelevant keyword is akin to backing the wrong horse. Keyword clicks that don’t convert are of no use to your business. It not only harms your accounts quality score but also undermines your ROI. That being said, if you’ve bought a keyword and have faith in its relevance, yet it’s not performing as expected, then the right strategy may well be to amend your bid, rather than simply ditch the keyword.
Indeed, among the other activities you ought to perform in order to maintain the health of your paid search campaigns – including optimising your keywords and refining your landing page – managing bids to meet targets is essential. There are a host of ways to analyse and manage your bids, but here’s a quick overview on how to maximise the process.The Basics of Bidding.
In a nutshell, cost-per-click (CPC) bidding is setting the maximum price you’re prepared to pay if someone clicks your ads. You only pay if they click - making it great for DR goals. Alternatively, a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) approach means you pay for each set of 1,000 showings of your ad (rather than clicks) – perfect for brand awareness.
If it’s conversions you’re after, Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bids are a great choice. Available via AdWords, it enables you to set how much you’re willing to pay per conversion. A conversion optimiser then finds you as many conversions as possible for your budget.
Finally, enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) is a feature that raises your bid for clicks that have more chance of converting, with AdWords raising your original CPC bid by up to 30% if it thinks the click is likely to lead to a conversion.
For the most part, it’s wise to start with a CPC approach to build up enough conversion data. After that, you can start playing around with other types of bidding. Although Google requires you to have at least 15 conversions within a 30 day period to enable CPA bidding, it’s still wise to hold fire and undertake thorough CPC management and acquire valuable data before going down this route.Managing Your Bids.
The easiest way to manage bids is through AdWords’ and BingAds’ editors. But do remember to keep a record of any changes. Beyond this, there are a number of other methods of managing your bids.
- Automated rules: You set the rules and the bids behave accordingly. Your rules can run from simple to complex. AdWords’ automated rules can be scheduled for once per day, or you can build an AdWords’ script if you want to run rules more frequently. One example of an automated rule might be upping your keyword bid whenever your ad falls off the first page of results. By setting up rules that are important to your goals, this saves you time constantly monitoring your account. It also ensures that you can respond to changes instantly.
- Bid management software: There’s a wealth of bid management software out there to choose from, like Acquisio, Kenshoo and Marin. A good software package could save you both time and money, increasing your gross revenue thanks to an increase in bid management efficiency.
However you choose to manage your PPC bidding, staying on top of what’s happening behind the scenes is vital to ensuring a healthy ROI.
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