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Bid Adjustment Strategies for AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

Bid Adjustment Strategies for AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

By | 09.04.13
Bid Adjustment Strategies for AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

The big changeover has come and gone, and everyone’s AdWords account should now be fully converted to the new enhanced campaign system. There was so much concern over the shift into the mobile ad space that you may have forgotten one of the most important features available to you: bid adjustments.

In a prior post, I discussed the opportunity to adjust mobile bids based on whether or not a search came from a mobile device or desktop/tablet. But there are two other important adjustments you can make to get the most out of your campaigns.

Location

When setting up AdWords ads, location targeting is often split out into individual campaigns. This enables full control over which keywords and ads will appear in which places. But if you run a nationwide campaign it could mean a lot of time and effort you don’t have. Location-based bid adjustments allow advertisers the ability to control their ads at the location level without building out all those campaigns.

Locations Button
The “Locations” options can be found in your campaign settings tab.

Google will only apply the most specific location as a bid adjustment, which allows for some interesting options. For example, consider a $1 bid in a campaign with three bid adjusted targeting settings:

  • United States: +0%
  • California: +25%
  • San Diego: +50%

Searchers in the US besides California will trigger a $1 bid. Searchers in California but not San Diego will trigger a $1.25 bid. Searchers in San Diego will trigger a $1.50 bid.

This can be very useful for local businesses. If someone within a mile of your retail store is searching for products or services you offer on their mobile device, they may be far more likely to convert. That click would be worth a lot more to you than one that came from two counties away. Setting a high bid adjustment for those customers would provide the visibility you need when you need it.

Time of Day

Another option for bid adjustments can be found in AdWords ad scheduling settings. This isn’t a new feature, but it works together with location and device bid adjustments to create a full suite of targeting based on when, where, and how people are searching for your business.

Ad Schedule Button
As with “Locations”, the options can be found in your campaign settings tab.

If you only want to run your campaigns during business hours or on weekdays, you can do that here. You can also set custom bid adjustments to raise or lower bids based on what time of day you find most profitable when running your ads.

Multiplication Warning

When running bid adjustments, it’s very important to remember that multiple adjustments can apply to your ads. Consider a campaign with a schedule that changes your bids by +25% on Monday, +50% for people searching close to your location, and +40% for mobile devices. If someone walks by your store and clicks on your ad on their phone on a Monday, all three of those adjustments will apply.

  • Monday: +25% = 1.25 multiplier
  • Location: +50% = 1.50 multiplier
  • Mobile: +40% = 1.40 multiplier
  • 1.25 x 1.50 x 1.40 = 2.625

That user would trigger a 162.5% increase in your bid value. Fortunately, Google has provided a tool to determine the impact of multiple adjustments, but only after you’ve applied them to your campaign. Unfortunately, they’ve made the icon for this feature so small that you could easily miss it if there wasn’t a big blue arrow pointing at it.

Calculator Button
After you have multiple adjustments on the campaign, it will appear after the list of “Active Bid Adjustments”.

Once you’ve found the icon, you can take a look at how your adjustments will affect your bids.

Bid Adjustment Calculator
You can try out any combination of your bid adjustments to find any issues.

When used in unison, these adjustments can offer faster, if not always more effective, results than building out individual campaigns.

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