Bid Adjustments 101

What’s The 411 On Bid Adjustments?

Paid ads platforms provide a long list of helpful tools that assist anyone in reaching their paid ads goals. One of these handy features is bid adjustments. This blog will be discussing bid adjustments most notably found on paid advertising platforms like Google and Microsoft. So if you are looking to start a paid ads journey on one of these platforms, keep reading ahead to get the inside basics on bid adjustments!

What Are Bid Adjustments

Before we start discussing anything else, let’s define what bid adjustments are. Bid adjustments are percentage adjustments that allow paid ads to be shown more or less frequently, depending on how, where, and when people search. To explain further, a click may be more valued if it is coming from a mobile phone on a specific day of the week in your ad schedule, or from a particular location. Bid adjustments let us take advantage of these more valued clicks. 

How Do They Work

So how exactly do bid adjustments work? Well, let’s take our example from above and play with it a little bit more. Let’s say that your ad campaign is doing very well on mobile devices and performs particularly well on Fridays in Chicago. Bid adjustments give us the ability to increase our bid on those devices, in that location, on that day so that you are taking maximum advantage of the traffic. When you increase a bid on a specific item, be it device, demographics, ad schedule, or a mixture of them, it increases the max. cost per click by a certain percentage. This allows your ads to be shown more frequently on those days, devices, or to that specific demographic. On the opposite side, if you decrease your bid adjustment on something your max. cost per click decreases and your ads show less frequently on those items. 

What happens if your ad campaign contains multiple different bid adjustments? If you have more than one bid adjustment on a particular campaign, the adjustments are multiplied to determine how much your bid increases or decreases. The only exceptions to this rule are location and bid adjustments. 

Types Of Bid Adjustments

There are many different options available when increasing or decreasing bids. It may be important to note that each bid adjustment type has its specific situations in which it can be used, and each has its own range of possible adjustments. Google will remind you of these situations and ranges, but it may still be advantageous to know them without the reminder. It is also important to remember that a decrease of 100% means that your ads will not be shown on that item. This could come in handy when developing your paid ads strategy as you can opt out of showing ads on specific devices, days, or demographics if needed. 

  • Ad Scheduling – The ad scheduling bid adjustment options allows the advertiser to change the ad bid and frequency depending on the day of the week your ads run, or the specific time of day. The only caveat with this bid adjustment option is the fact that you have to have an ad schedule set up for the campaign you’d like to adjust. Setting up an ad schedule does not require much work and the availability of the ad schedule will even allow you to select an ad schedule for a campaign that runs all day, every day. 
    • This bid option has an adjustment range of 90%-900%. This means that you can reduce the bid by as much as 90% in the negative or raise the bid by as much as 900% in the positive. 
  • Location – This bid adjustment option is used to change the frequency your ads are shown to a user based on the user’s location. The location bid adjustment can be tweaked based on geographic areas. These can be cities, countries, or even specific zip codes. 
    • Like the ad scheduling bid adjustment, this bid option has a range of 90%-900%. 
  • Demographics – A handy bidding tool you are able to utilize is the demographics bid adjustment option. This feature allows you to change your ad frequency based on basic demographics like household income, age, and gender. This is just one tool for demographic targeting in Google Ads, and the great thing about this option is that you can adjust bids on demographics at both the campaign level and the ad group level. 
    • As with the other two bid options we have covered so far, this option also has a bid range of 90%-900%.
  • Devices – The device bid adjustment option allows you to adjust the frequency of your ads based on whether a user is using a mobile phone, computer, smart TV, or tablet to conduct their search. Similar to the demographics option, when using Google Ads, this bid adjustment option can be altered at a campaign level, as well as, an ad group level. However, if bid adjustments are made at both of the levels, Google will use the ad group level adjustment for your campaign. 
    • With this bid adjustment, you can decrease your bid by 100% and increase your bid by 900%. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using Bid Adjustments

Utilizing bid adjustments provides many benefits to your ad campaigns. Bid adjustments help to improve your campaign targeting by a mile. These tools allow you to adjust who you are spending most of your digital advertising budget on. If you know that there is a particular time that most of your sales happen, you are able to increase bids on specific options during that time to capitalize on those sale periods. Utilizing bid adjustments should prove to use your budget more efficiently and should result in an improved return on investment. 

The ability to run test campaigns is another benefit of using bid adjustments. Let’s say you are curious about how running a mobile-only version of one of your campaigns would turn out. You could lower device bid adjustments on everything but mobile, and let the campaign run for a few weeks. If the test runs well, you could consider making it its own campaign and continue to tweak the mobile bid adjustments. On the other hand, if the test does not run very well it is a very easy fix. Just remove the bid adjustments you made at the beginning and during the run of the test. This will return everything to normal.  

Some Tips/Other Options For Using Bid Adjustments

An important feature to keep in mind when deciding what kind of bidding will work best for your goals is automated bidding. Automated bidding, if not obvious by the name, is a Google Ads bidding strategy that automatically sets bids based on your ad’s feasibility to result in a conversion or click. This strategy utilizes Google’s Smart Bidding which will not let you manually adjust bids. You are able to change your CPA target with a Target CPA strategy while using automated bidding, however. 

A tip to remember during your bid adjustment journey is to always know your goals. Keeping your goals in mind will help you to decide which kinds of bid adjustments and bid strategies are needed to reach your campaign goals. Looking at your real data when planning your digital campaign bidding strategy helps to again clarify which direction you should be moving in.  

Need Additional Help With Bid Adjustments?

For additional help with bid adjustments and digital campaigns, contact Click Control Marketing. Our paid ads team will use their expertise and dedication to help you reach your business campaign goals. Get help with your PPC campaigns and any bid adjustment questions you might have today!

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