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Google Ads has an exhausting number of different options for setting bids. You can also adjust them with bidding modifiers in even more places, leading to a confusing array of different bids across your campaigns.

This can get you into trouble as you may not realise if your combination of bids and bidding modifiers are positively or negatively impacting your results.

If you bid too high, you may pay more for no added benefit.

If you bid too low, Google may lower your ad rank and only show your ads to lower quality audiences.

I created this report, used internally for my client accounts, to show the Google Ads campaigns that have a risk of loss due to bidding too low, or a risk of bidding too high and therefore over-spending. It shows the potential loss or potential gain from a change in the bid.

Bidding Report

Bidding Report › Page 1(2)

It’s a fine balance, but where you have a reasonable chance of potential loss, and the campaign is making profits it may be worthwhile increasing the bids to mitigate risk. Similarly if there is a reasonable chance of potential gain and the campaign is making profits it may be worthwhile increasing the bids to increase the number of clicks.

If a campaign has little chance of a loss or a gain (represented in the table above by a row of zeroes), it may be that the current bid is too high, or the search volume is too low for the bid to make much difference. In these cases it may be worthwhile lowering the bids, to reduce the cost of the campaign and therefore improve Return on Ad Spend. That said, be cautious here, because Google won’t be able to calculate bidding estimates if the search volume is low, and so reducing bids here might limit your impressions to more frequent search terms.

I added Quality Score in here as well. The Quality Score shows you how well the ad copy matches both the audience relevance and the landing page relevance. Quality Score has an impact on the ad rank, so where the table suggests increasing the bids, it is worthwhile checking if the Quality Score is low. Improving the Quality Score will lessen the requirements to increase bids to get more clicks.

If you’ve got a more complex setup, you might have manual bidding at the keyword level. I added keyword to the same report to show the specific keywords that are showing signs of being under or over bid. This makes the report more granular.

In the example below, the report found several keywords that were severely under-bid, represented by a potential gain much higher than the potential loss. Given that the underlying client for this example is an ecommerce business, and clicks on these search terms were leading directly to conversions, I quickly corrected the bidding.

Of course, its always worthwhile checking the conversion rate, ROAS and total revenue of any keyword before making adjustments to the bids based on what will lead to more clicks. You don’t necessarily want more clicks if the search term has a low conversion rate, unless the CPC is so good that it still has a good ROAS.

Additionally, keep in mind that if bids are being adjusted to increase clicks, the campaign budgets might have to be similarly realigned, or you could end up just reallocating clicks from one keyword to another if the campaign runs out of budget before making use of the additional bid.

So there are plenty of things to consider, but this is a highly useful report for finding keywords and ad groups where the bid has moved away from optimum values. I’m looking forward to seeing how it improves the results for my clients, especially those with complex Ecommerce setups and/or manual bidding.

I work with clients to get improved results from Google Ads, so if you would like your account to be similiarly assessed, please reach out to me here.

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SleepWise Clinic

Petra was instrumental in pulling all our clinic's web analytics into one easy to read, dynamic report that's accessible to me at any time, and works with our EXACT booking system.

This has allowed me to see, at a glance, what marketing initiatives are working, need tweaking, or changing altogether, saving me both time and money. I can't recommend her or her analytic services enough.

Ian Gale SleepWise Clinic Strategy Session August 1, 2018

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