30th January 2020 Digital Marketing Agency

Paid Search Bidding Strategies

Google Ads has different bidding strategies to boost your sales and save you time. Choosing the right bidding strategy depends on your business goals and the business budget!

We will be telling you most of the bidding strategies that are available to you on search.
Let’s take a look at your options when using search ads.

  • Manual CPC
  • ECPC
  • Maximize conversions
  • Maximize clicks

Manual CPC

Manual CPC (cost-per-click) is the most basic bidding strategy that Google has to offer. This type of bidding strategy requires a-lot of attention and would need monitoring daily to make sure no money is being spent on unnecessary keywords that would generate bad quality traffic.

Manual CPC, let’s you set the maximum bid you want to bid for certain keywords. (the absolute maximum that you’re willing to pay for a click through to your landing page) This can be either a ad-group or on specific keywords. When you start to collect data, you can amend your bids based on which ads/keywords that are more successful or the unsuccessful keywords. This is maybe tough for large scale accounts and campaigns due to a large quantity of keywords would need monitoring and would take a-lot of time
To summarise, manual CPC allows for accurate budget control and additional flexibility, but it is a pretty hands-on approach.


ECPC (enhanced-cost-per-click) This bidding option uses smart bidding, it’s a way of automated bidding. You set your bids, but Google can automatically adjust these if it thinks there is an opportunity to generate a conversion for the campaigns.

When using ECPC, Google looks at the time of day, demographics of the user and location, which all contribute to the likelihood of a conversion. This is when Google use their algorithms, and determines which keyword/ad-group is more likely to generate a conversion. You might set a bid of £0.40, but if Google thinks your ad is likely to generate a conversion, it could raise your max CPC to £0.70, for example. Equally, if it feels that a particular search isn’t very likely to lead to a conversion, it can choose to lower your bids. The negative is that you can be in a risk of overbidding on occasion due to Google thinking it may generate a conversion.

Because Google adjusts your bids for you, there’s less manual bid adjustments needed. This is ideal for the bigger businesses who have the money to spend on traffic and generate conversion and you spend a-lot less time manually adjusting the bids for the better performing keywords.

Maximise conversions

This bidding strategy strives to achieve exactly what it says in the title! – maximise conversions! This is another automated bidding strategy, where Google automatically spends your budget in the way that it more likely to bring you conversions.

It uses the data from previous campaigns, so if your account is new, you might not have collected enough data for Google’s algorithms to decide wether to bid on that keyword/Ad-Group. This can be a stumbling block with all smart bidding strategies, so bear this in mind if you don’t have much experience with Google Ads. Another point to consider is that Google’s algorithms are trying to maximise the number of conversions within your budget, meaning as a result it will spend a-lot more of the budget and by doing so that click may not even generate the conversion whereas Google raised the bid due to the algorithm.

Maximise clicks

Maximise clicks is an automated bidding, it work’s the same way as maximise conversions bidding strategy. Google will try to deliver as many clicks as possible within your budget. You can set a maximum cost per click, meaning that Google will not bid for a click more than your bid, which helps you to keep control on your bid spend.
This will obviously generate a-lot of website visitors but by doing so doesn’t mean you will generate more conversions.

Found Out how we can help you with your Paid Search marketing campaign.