If you’re familiar with Google Ads, then you’re probably also familiar with the term ‘Bid Adjustment’. But did you know that effectively maneuvering your bid adjustments can help to improve ad performance and subsequently, improve your ROI (return on investment)?
Read on for the Slicedbread breakdown of bid adjustments, and ways to make them work for you!
What is a ‘Bid Adjustment’?
Bid adjustments are a way to automatically decrease or increase how much you pay on a Google ad, based on where, when, and how people search.
When talking about bid adjustments, it’s important to remember that not all ad clicks are equal. For example, an ad click could be worth more to your business if it comes from a tablet, a specific location, or at a certain time of day.
With bid adjustments, businesses can improve their ROI by adjusting their bids based on how their ads perform. Their bids will decrease or increase according to the adjustments that they've set, but their overall average daily budget won't change.
How does it work?
Let’s break down the bid adjustment process with an example: imagine you’ve created a Google Ad campaign that seems to perform well when viewed on tablets, with a max CPC bid of $1 USD.
The logical thing to do in order to increase your potential ROI with this ad campaign, would be to adjust your bid accordingly for those viewing your ad on a tablet. You can show the ad to more customers on tablets, by increasing your bid by 30% specifically for searches on tablets, resulting in a bid of $1.30 USD instead of your previous $1 USD.
Note: there’s a difference between bid adjustments for manual and automated/smart bidding strategies. First, let's consider bid adjustments for manual bidding.
Types of Bid Adjustments on Search Network
‘Location’ bid adjustments can be used to show an ad more or less frequently, to customers in certain locations, countries, cities, etc. Location bid adjustments can be used at a campaign level. Range -90% to +900%
‘Ad schedule’ bid adjustments increase or decrease bids, in order to show ads on specific days, or during certain hours. It’s best to start this process by setting up a ‘custom ad schedule’ for the desired campaign. Ad schedule bid adjustments can be used at a campaign level. Range -90% to +900%
‘Device’ bid adjustments can be used to show an ad more or less frequently on specific devices (tablets, computers, or mobile devices). Device bid adjustments can be used at both a campaign and ad group level. Range -100% to +900%.
Note: Decreasing a bid by 100% for a specific device will result in the ad not being shown on the specified device at all.
‘Audience’ bid adjustments refer to adjustments made for the following types of audience lists: website visitors, similar audiences, custom combinations, customer lists, etc.
Note: audience bid adjustments are only available with campaigns, and work only with CPC and Enhanced CPC bidding strategies.
Bid adjustments can be set for placements and other targeting methods in campaign types that show ads on the Search Network. They can be used at a campaign and ad group level. Range -90% to +900%.
Advanced bid adjustments
‘Advanced’ bid adjustments can be used to set bids for specific remarketing lists in chosen ad groups. Example: if you’d like to target an ad toward consumers who have visited your website in the last 30 days, you can increase your bid by 30% for this specific group of people. Advanced bid adjustments can be used at both a campaign and ad group level. Range -90% to +900%
Types of Bid Adjustments on Display Network
‘Audience’ bid adjustments can be used for the following types of audience lists: website visitors, similar audiences, custom combinations, customer lists, etc.
Note: audience bid adjustments are only available with campaigns and work only with CPC and Enhanced CPC bidding strategies.
Bid adjustments can be set for topics and other targeting methods. They can be used at both the campaign and ad group level. Range -90% to +900%
Bid adjustments can also be set for placements, and other targeting methods in campaign types that show ads on the Display Network. They can be used at both a campaign and ad group level. Range -90% to +900%
When utilizing automated Smart Bidding strategies including: Target ROAS, Target CPA, Maximize conversions, and Maximize conversion value, it’s not necessary to make manual bid adjustments. Those strategies automatically set bids to optimize for the conversion goal specified by the customer. Therefore, manual bid adjustment to your automated Smart Bidding strategy won’t be supported.
Device bid adjustments for Target CPA allow businesses to modify the value of their CPA target, rather than the bids themselves.
Bid adjustments are percentage multipliers that allow you to set, and automatically adjust bids depending on factors such as location, devices, time, demographics, audience & more. Be sure to use these features to your advantage, to improve ad performance and increase your ROI!