Apply and report on AdWords bidding strategies
About AdWords bid strategies in DoubleClick Search
If you’ve set up AdWords conversion trackers and you want help with adjusting your bids to achieve more conversions, you can use an AdWords automated bid adjustment feature called Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) and certain automated bidding strategies to aid you with achieving more clicks or conversions with your search and Shopping campaigns.
Enhanced CPC scans the ad auction landscape at auction time and automatically adjusts bids up or down as it determines whether a click is more or less likely to lead to a conversion. The ECPC feature can be turned on in individual campaigns where you manually set bids and it can be used to enhance other types of AdWords click-focused, automated bid strategies such as Maximize Clicks. Learn more about Enhanced CPC in AdWords Help.
AdWords includes several different types of automated bidding strategies but only the Maximize Clicks and Target CPA Smart Bidding strategies can be applied in DoubleClick Search.
The Maximize Clicks bidding strategy automatically sets bids to achieve as many clicks as possible within a specified campaign budget. You can apply Maximize Clicks to an individual campaign in DS as a standard bid strategy. Or, in AdWords, or you can create a Maximize Clicks portfolio bid strategy, sync the account in DS, and then apply it to a multiple campaigns, ad groups, or keywords in DS.
With the Maximize Clicks bidding strategy, you can optionally set a maximum cost-per-click amount that you’re willing to pay for each click and enable the Enhanced CPC feature.
Learn more about the Maximize Clicks bidding strategy in AdWords Help.
A Target CPA bidding strategy sets bids to achieve as many conversions as possible at or within range of the target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) you set. Target CPA is available as either a standard strategy in a single campaign or as a portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns and ad groups.
Learn more about the Target CPA bidding strategy in AdWords Help.
AdWords portfolio bid strategies
Similar to creating DS bid strategies, in AdWords you can create a portfolio bid strategy to automatically optimize bids for your performance goals. Then you can apply the strategy across specific campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.
After you create a Maximize Clicks or Target CPA portfolio bid strategy in AdWords and sync the change into DS, you apply the bid strategy and report on performance in DS.
AdWords bid strategies or DS bid strategies
AdWords standard and portfolio bid strategies should not be used in combination with a DS bid strategy. That is, either an AdWords bid strategy or a DS bid strategy should be in effect for a keyword, but not both.
Which system will work best for you? The best way to find out is to compare performance of the two systems. Keep in mind that AdWords standard and portfolio bid strategies only work with AdWords campaigns that use AdWords conversion trackers. You can create DS bid strategies and apply them across an account to groups of AdWords, Bing Ads, and other types of campaigns. In addition, you can use DS bid strategies to optimize bids for product groups and product targets as well as keywords.
Different bid strategies for different ad groups and keywords
By default—with both AdWords portfolio bid strategies and DS bid strategies—an ad group inherits the bid strategy from the campaign, and a keyword inherits the bid strategy that's applied to the ad group. That is, ad groups and keywords inherit a DS bid strategy if it's applied to the campaign. And ad groups and keywords inherit an AdWords portfolio bid strategy if it's applied to the campaign. If you apply an AdWords portfolio bid strategy to a campaign and you apply a DS bid strategy to a campaign, the ad groups and keywords will inherit both bid strategies, leading to unexpected results.
An ad group can only override the bid strategy that's applied to the campaign and specify its own bid strategy (or specify manual bidding only) if the bid strategy is from the same source, AdWords or DS. Likewise, a keyword can override the ad group's bid strategy with its own setting. For example, if you apply DS bid strategy to an AdWords campaign, but then for specific ad groups or keywords in that campaign, you apply an AdWords portfolio bid strategy, the AdWords portfolio bid strategy doesn't override the DS bid strategy. The ad groups and keywords will still inherit the DS bid strategy from the campaign, while the AdWords portfolio bid strategy is also managing the keyword bids too.
The main takeaway is this: only one bid strategy should be in effect for a keyword (with the one exception that you can apply both a DS bid strategy and an ECPC standard bid strategy to a campaign, which would then be inherited by all ad groups and keywords in the campaign).
Apply bid strategies only from DS to prevent errors
DS doesn't prevent you from having both a DS bid strategy and an AdWords bid strategy in effect for a keyword. AdWords isn't aware of DS bid strategies, so you could apply a DS bid strategy in DS and then sign in to AdWords and apply an AdWords bid strategy to the same campaign, ad group, or keyword. You can also apply an AdWords bid strategy in DS even if a DS bid strategy is already applied.
At this point, you'll have two separate bid strategies in effect for the same keyword. If you apply one type of bid strategy after a different type of bid strategy is applied, DS will detect that the keyword (or campaign or ad group) is also managed by the AdWords bid strategy and display a warning message. Because the different types of bid strategies manage bids independently, you are likely to see unexpected, and unpredictable results.
To avoid this situation, we recommend that you only apply one type of bid strategy.
You can remove a campaign, ad group, or keyword from either type bid strategy.
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If you want to use AdWords portfolio bid strategies instead of DS bid strategies: