About flexible bid strategies

Flexible bid strategies give you automated bidding exactly when, where, and how you want itacross multiple campaigns, or within a single part of a campaign. Each type of flexible bid strategy is designed to help you achieve a specific goal for your business. This article outlines the 6 different types of flexible bid strategies and when to use them.


Let’s say you want to maximize clicks for the low-performing keywords in one of your campaigns, but don’t have the time to set an individual max. CPC for each individual keyword. By applying the “maximize clicks” strategy and setting a target spend, you allow AdWords to automatically maximize the bids of those low-performing keywords, while you maintain control over your most important keywords.

To help improve your performance in ad auctions, some strategies adjust bids using auction-time details like device, browser, location, and time of day. Some strategies also will automatically adjust bids based on whether or not someone is on one of your remarketing lists.

Types of flexible bid strategies

Goal Flexible bid strategy Where to apply it

Increase site visits.

Increase clicks on low-traffic terms while keeping within a certain spend

Maximize clicks automatically sets bids to try to get you as many clicks as possible within a target spend amount that you choose. It's the flexible version of automatic bidding

Learn more about maximize clicks.

Campaigns, ad groups, keywords

Increase visibility on the first page of Google search results or in the top positions

Target search page location automatically adjusts bids to help increase the chances that your ads appear at the top of the page or on the first page of search results.

Learn more about target search page location.

Campaigns, ad groups, keywords

Get more visibility than other domains in search results.

Target outranking share automatically sets bids to help you outrank another domain’s ads in search results.

Learn more about target outranking share.

Campaigns, ad groups, keywords

Get more conversions with your target CPA.

Target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) automatically sets bids to help you increase conversions while reaching your average cost-per-acquisition goal. It's the flexible version of Conversion Optimizer. Note: your actual CPA may be above or below the target you set.

Learn more about target CPA.

Campaigns, ad groups

Increase conversions while staying in control of your keyword bids.

Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) automatically adjusts your manual bid up or down based on each click’s likelihood to result in a conversion.

Learn more about Enhanced CPC.

Campaigns, ad groups

Meet a target return on ad spend (ROAS) when you value each conversion differently. 

Target return on ad spend (ROAS) automatically sets your bids to maximize your conversion value, while trying to reach an average return on ad spend. Note: your actual ROAS may be above or below the target you set.

Learn more about target ROAS.

Campaigns, ad groups, keywords


You may see different flexible bidding options available in your campaigns' Settings tab. This is because different campaign types support different features. To see which features are available by campaign type, read about choosing the campaign type that's right for you.

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