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About automated bidding

Automated bidding takes the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals. Each type of automated bid strategy is designed to help you achieve a specific goal for your business. This article outlines the six different types of automated bid strategies and when to use them.

Before you begin

If you’d like to automate your bidding for a Shopping campaign, read About automated bidding for Shopping campaigns.

Example:

Let’s say that you want to maximise conversions across your campaigns but don’t have the time to set an individual |Max. CPC for each individual keyword. By adding those keywords to a portfolio Target CPA bid strategy and setting a CPA goal that you want to hit, you allow AdWords to automatically optimise bids across keywords using advanced machine learning to get you more conversions within your performance target.

Types of automated bid strategies

Goal Bid strategy Range

Increase site visits

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

Maximise Clicks automatically sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget. 

Maximise Clicks is available as either a standard strategy in a single campaign or portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns, ad groups and keywords.

Find out more about Maximise Clicks.

Find out more about Maximise Clicks for Shopping campaigns.

Campaigns, ad groups, keywords

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

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.

It's only available as a portfolio bid strategy on the Search Network.

Find out more about Target Search Page Location.

Campaigns, ad groups, keywords

Get more visibility than other domains in search results.

Target Outranking Share: You choose a domain that you want to outrank in search results and how often you want to outrank it, and AdWords automatically sets your Search bids to help you meet that target.

It's only available as a portfolio bid strategy.

Find out more about Target Outranking Share.

Campaigns, ad groups, keywords

Get more conversions with your target CPA.

Target CPA automatically sets Search or Display bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost per acquisition (CPA) that you set. Some conversions may cost more or less than your target.

Target CPA bidding is available as either a standard strategy in a single campaign or portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns and ad groups.

Target CPA bidding was previously referred to as “Conversion Optimiser”.

Find out 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 bids to try to maximise conversions.

ECPC is available as an optional feature with Manual CPC bidding or as a portfolio bid strategy. It is fully compatible with third-party bidding systems, including those that automate your bids.

Find out more about Enhanced CPC.

Find out more about ECPC for Shopping campaigns.

Campaigns, ad groups

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

Target ROAS automatically sets bids to help to get as much conversion value as possible at the target return on ad spend (ROAS) that you set. Some conversions may have a higher or lower return than your target.

It's only available as a portfolio bid strategy.

Find out more about Target ROAS.

Find out more about Target ROAS for Shopping campaigns.

Campaigns, ad groups, keywords

The power of AdWords Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding is a set of conversion-based bid strategies – Target CPA, Target ROAS and Enhanced CPC – that use advanced machine learning to help you tailor the right bid to each and every auction. It factors in a wide range of auction-time signals including device, location, time of day, remarketing list, language and operating system, to capture the unique context of every search.

For more information on how AdWords Smart Bidding works, download our guides for Search and Display.

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