Welcome to the help center for Search Ads 360, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the Search Ads 360 product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

About Search Ads 360 bid strategies

Introduction to Search Ads 360 bid strategies

Search Ads 360 bid strategies optimize your advertising spend across the supported search engine accounts within an advertiser. They monitor the performance of keywords and product groups, and adjust bids to achieve the highest number of conversions, the greatest amount of revenue, the best position, or highest number of clicks your campaign budgets allow. Depending on the engine, bid strategies also set or recommend bid adjustments for your location targets, mobile devices, and remarketing targets. Instead of manually setting bids and bid adjustments in response to changes in your advertising goals or in the overall advertising landscape, use a Search Ads 360 bid strategy to automate the process.

A Search Ads 360 bid strategy can also automate the processes of creating and managing location targets and product groups

Express your business needs with different types of bid strategies

Goals and targets

To set up a bid strategy that meets your specific business needs, you specify one of several types of goals for the bid strategy where the goal defines the type of bid strategy:

  • Ad position: This goal (also referred to as keyword position) adjusts bids so that your ads appear in a specific position that you target. It's often used for branding campaigns in which brand exposure is a top priority.
  • Impression share: (Applies to Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Yahoo! Japan campaigns only) This goal adjusts bids to target a specified ad position and impression share in your campaigns.
  • Number of clicks: This goal finds the optimal bids for driving the most traffic to your site. Note that this bid strategy doesn't take into account the actions that users take once they're on your site. Instead, this bid strategy focuses on driving traffic.
  • Return on investment (ROI) bid strategies: If you use Floodlight activities or Google Analytics to track activity on your site, you can create Smart Bidding strategies that find the optimal bids for maximizing the number of conversions or the revenue generated on your site at a targeted cost per action (CPA), effective revenue share (ERS), or return on advertising spend (ROAS).

    For example, you can create a bid strategy that observes which keywords are effective at leading customers to request a quote for your services. The bid strategy will then adjust bids for these specific keywords to maximize customer requests at the optimal advertising spend.

    An ROI bid strategy doesn't set or recommend bids unless at least 3 conversions occur in the portfolio within the last 60 days. Even though a bid strategy may change bids when there's low conversion volume, it optimizes bids more effectively when at least 20 conversions per week occur. Learn more about low conversion volume.  

  • Monthly spend bid strategies: If you have a fixed monthly budget—or some money left over from a quarterly budget—and you want to make sure you spend that exact amount on a group of biddable items, create a bid strategy that targets a monthly spend. Instead of adjusting bids to meet a specific CPA, ERS, ROAS, or position target, a monthly-spend bid strategy adjusts bids to spend your budget exactly and evenly each month while maximizing the conversions you specify. 
    Monthly spend bid strategies have been replaced by budget bid strategies. Learn more about migrating campaigns to Budget Management.


In some cases, managing spend in the most efficient manner may conflict with other business needs. For example, a bid strategy may set bids so low that you see a decrease in overall traffic to your site, even though the number of conversions remains steady or increases. Since you may want to maintain overall traffic as well as achieve conversions as efficiently as possible, you can set up the bid strategy so that it never bids below a specific amount. This constraint may be necessary to meet business needs, but at a cost of reducing the efficiency of your bid strategy.

You can set a minimum bid and a maximum bid constraint in a bid strategy. You can specify other types of constraints depending on the type of bid strategy you create. But keep in mind, the narrower your constraints, the less efficient the bid strategy can be.


Here are some examples of using bid strategies to achieve specific business needs:

Business need Example bid strategy
Control efficiency
Increase the number of car rentals that occur on your site while spending $20 per action.
  1. Create a bid strategy that adjusts bids to maximize the number of conversions you can achieve at an average CPA of $20.
  2. Select the Floodlight activities or Google Analytics goals that you use to track the number of car rentals on your site.
  3. Find campaigns that have similar historical performance and apply the bid strategy to them.
Hit a spend budget and drive conversions
Get the most revenue from a specific amount of monthly spend.
  1. Create a bid strategy that adjusts bids to spend your budget exactly and evenly each month while maximizing revenue from the conversions you specify.
  2. Select the Floodlight activities, Google Analytics goals, or formula columns that keep track of revenue generated on your site. If some of your revenue comes from offline activity, such as sales in a call center, include any Floodlight activities that you use to track these offline conversions.
  3. Find campaigns that have similar historical performance and apply the bid strategy to them.
  4. Upload offline conversions into Search Ads 360 on a regular basis.
Brand coverage
Get the most impressions for your spend.
  1. Create a bid strategy that adjusts bids to keeps your ads within a specific range of positions on search result pages.
  2. Find campaigns that have similar historical performance and apply the bid strategy to them.


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