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Which Ad Bidding Tactics and Tools You Need in 2024 to Stay Ahead of The Competition? 

Succeeding in the intense competition of the ad world, when Google updates take place every few minutes in a day, isn’t a simple feat. Victories aren’t accidental. Ad bidding encompasses more than just placing a bid. Considerations like audience conversion intent, bid adjustments, and Smart Bidding play crucial roles.

The checklist seems never-ending.

Whether you’re still striving for your first breakthrough or haven’t yet savored the satisfaction of outmaneuvering well-funded competitors, there’s hope.

It boils down to equipping yourself with the right tactics, tools, and strategies before unleashing the Google Ads bidding beast.

How does Ad Bidding Work? 

ad bidding

Google Ad bidding works by allowing advertisers to compete in real-time auctions to have their ads displayed on relevant search results or websites within the Google Display Network. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the process:

  1. Advertiser sets bids: Advertisers specify the maximum amount they’re willing to pay for a click (CPC bidding), conversion (CPA bidding), or view (CPV bidding) for their ads.
  2. Ad rank determination: Google calculates an Ad Rank for each ad in the auction based on the bid amount, ad quality, and other factors like ad extensions and the context of the search.
  3. Ad placement: Ads with higher Ad Ranks have a better probability to appear in prominent positions on the search results page or on relevant websites in the Display Network.
  4. Auction participation: When someone searches on Google or lands on a website in the Google Display Network that is eligible to show ads, an ad auction is triggered.
  5. Cost and ad display: The advertiser with the winning ad pays a cost based on the Ad Rank of the ad appearing just below theirs divided by the Quality Score (for CPC bidding). Lastly, the winning ad is displayed to the user.

Advertisers continuously monitor their campaigns, adjust bids, and optimize their ads to improve performance and achieve their advertising goals. Overall, the ad bidding process is dynamic and competitive, with advertisers constantly vying for ad placement and adjusting their strategies to maximize the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Manual vs. Automated Ad Bidding

Manual and automated bidding are two approaches to managing bids in Google Ads, each with its own advantages and considerations:

Manual Bidding:

manual ad bidding
  1. Control: With manual bidding, advertisers have full control over their bid amounts. They can set bids at the keyword, ad group, or campaign level based on their specific goals and performance data.
  2. Flexibility: Manual bidding allows advertisers to adjust bids in real time based on changes in performance, competition, or budget.
  3. Experience-dependent: Manual bidding requires expertise and ongoing monitoring to effectively manage bids and optimize campaign performance.
  4. Time-consuming: Managing bids manually can be time-intensive, especially for large or complex campaigns.

Automated Bidding:

automated ad bidding
  1. Efficiency: Automated bidding uses machine learning algorithms to automatically adjust bids based on various factors such as historical performance, user behavior, and contextual signals.
  2. Scalability: Automated bidding is well-suited for large-scale campaigns, as it can efficiently manage bids across numerous keywords and ad groups.
  3. Optimization: Automated bidding algorithms continuously analyze data to optimize bids for maximum performance, such as maximizing conversions or return on ad spend.
  4. Less control: While automated bidding offers convenience and efficiency, advertisers have less direct control over bid adjustments compared to manual bidding.

Ultimately, the choice between manual and automated bidding depends on factors such as campaign goals, budget, resources, and the level of control desired by the advertiser. Many advertisers find success using a combination of both approaches, leveraging manual bidding for strategic adjustments and automated bidding for ongoing optimization.

Steps for the Right Ad Bidding Strategy 

  1. Set Your Goals 

When considering your goals, it’s important to match your bid strategy with the specific objectives of your campaigns and advertising goals. There are five fundamental types of goals to consider, alongside your current campaign settings.

  • If your aim is to prompt customers to take direct action on your site and you’re utilizing conversion tracking, focusing on conversions through Smart Bidding is advisable.
  • If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, prioritizing clicks could be the most suitable approach. Cost-per-click (CPC) bidding may align well with your campaign.
  • If increasing brand awareness is your goal, emphasizing impressions could be your strategy. Utilizing cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM) bidding can help expose your message to potential customers. 
  • For those running video ads and seeking to boost views or interactions, options like cost-per-view (CPV) or cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) bidding can be effective.
  • If your video ad strategy aims to enhance product or brand consideration, opting for cost per view (CPV) bidding might be the most appropriate choice.

2. Smart Bidding  

Smart Bidding

                                                  Source: Think With Google

To prioritize conversions, leveraging Smart Bidding can streamline the process and alleviate the guesswork associated with bid setting. Smart Bidding utilizes Google AI to optimize for conversions or conversion value in each auction, integrating auction-time bidding and considering various signals such as device, location, and time of day.

Here are the five Smart Bidding strategies available:

  • Target cost per action (CPA): In this type, advertisers set a target CPA, and Google automatically adjusts bids to attain as many conversions as possible at or below the target CPA. This bidding strategy is ideal for advertisers focused on maximizing conversions within a specified budget.
  • Target return on ad spend (ROAS): In this type, advertisers set a target ROAS, and Google automatically adjusts bids to maximize conversion value while maintaining the desired ROAS. This bidding strategy is suitable for advertisers focused on maximizing revenue from their advertising spend. 
  • Maximize Conversions: Google automatically sets bids to maximize the number of conversions within the advertiser’s budget. This bidding strategy is ideal for advertisers looking to increase overall conversion volume. It is optimized for conversions by utilizing the entire budget, without specifying a CPA.
  • Maximize Conversion Value: Similar to Maximize Conversions, this bidding strategy automatically sets bids to maximize the total conversion value within the advertiser’s budget. It’s suitable for advertisers focused on maximizing revenue rather than just the number of conversions. Emphasizes conversion value while utilizing the entire budget without specifying a ROAS.
  • Enhanced cost per click (ECPC): With ECPC, Google automatically adjusts manual CPC bids to increase the likelihood of conversions. It analyzes historical data and adjusts bids for clicks that are more likely to convert.

3. Click Bidding 

When prioritizing clicks to drive traffic to your website, two cost-per-click bid strategies are worth considering:

  • Maximize Clicks: This automated bid strategy simplifies the bidding process by allowing you to set an average daily budget. The Google Ads system then autonomously manages bids to maximize clicks within your specified budget. This bidding strategy is suitable for advertisers focused on increasing website traffic.
  • Manual CPC bidding: With this strategy, you retain control over your maximum CPC bids. You have the flexibility to set different bids for each ad group in your ad campaign or for individual keywords or placements. If certain keywords or placements prove to be more profitable, manual bidding enables you to allocate more of your advertising budget to them.

Tools Needed for the Assistance in Ad Bidding

There are several tools available to assist advertisers with ad bidding in Google Ads, helping them optimize their bidding strategies and achieve their campaign objectives:

  1. Google Ads Interface: 
Google ads interface

The Google Ads platform itself provides a range of bidding tools and features, including manual bidding controls, automated bidding options, bid adjustments, and performance metrics for monitoring and optimizing bids.

  1. Bid Simulator
bid simulator

This tool estimates the potential impact of bid changes on ad performance, allowing advertisers to see how different bid amounts could affect metrics such as clicks, impressions, and costs.

  1. Target CPA Simulator: 
CPA simulator

Specifically for Target CPA bidding, this simulator predicts the likely impact of different target CPA values on conversion volume and cost.

  1. Bid Strategy Reports
bid strategy reports

These reports provide insights into the performance of automated bidding strategies, showing how well they are meeting specified goals and objectives.

  1. Auction Insights Report: 

This report provides visibility into competitors’ performance in ad auctions, showing metrics such as impression share, average position, and overlap rate.

  1. Google Ads Scripts: 
Google ads script

                                              Source: Wordstream

Advertisers can use custom scripts to automate bidding tasks, create custom bidding rules, and integrate bidding with external data sources or algorithms.


By staying updated about emerging trends and technologies in ad bidding and continually refining their strategies, advertisers can maintain a competitive edge and drive success in the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape of 2024 and beyond.


How can advertisers effectively use bid strategy reports to optimize their bidding performance?

Bid strategy reports provide insights into the performance of automated bidding strategies, showing metrics like conversions, conversion rates, and cost per conversion. Advertisers can use these reports to evaluate the effectiveness of their chosen bid strategies, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven adjustments to optimize bidding performance.

What role do bid adjustments play in ad bidding, and how can advertisers use them effectively?

Bid adjustments allow advertisers to increase or decrease bids based on various aspects such as location, device type, time of day, and demographics of the audience. Advertisers can use bid adjustments strategically to target specific audience segments, maximize ad exposure in high-performing locations or times, and control costs.

How can advertisers stay updated on the latest trends and best practices in ad bidding?

Advertisers can stay informed about the latest trends and best practices in ad bidding by regularly reading industry publications, attending webinars and conferences, participating in community events and online forums, and networking with other marketing professionals in the field. Additionally, staying up-to-date with platform updates and announcements from ad platforms like Google Ads can provide valuable insights into new features and capabilities.

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