When setting up a Search Network campaign for a client, you want her ad to get as to many clicks as possible within her budget. Which bid strategy should you use to achieve this goal?
A) Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM)
B) Cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
C) Maximize Clicks
D) Manual cost-per-click (CPC)
Maximize clicks is an automated bid strategy that sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget. This article explains how the automated Maximize clicks bid strategy works and what its settings are.
Before you begin
If you don’t yet know what type of automated bid strategy is right for you, read about automated bid strategies first.
Note: Automatic bidding is now Maximize clicks
Since the bid strategy known as “automatic bidding” is just one of many ways to automate your bids in AdWords, we’re giving this strategy a more descriptive name: Maximize clicks. A Maximize clicks bid strategy works the same way as automatic bidding, with the additional option of being set up as a portfolio bid strategy. Learn more about portfolio bid strategies
How it works
AdWords focuses on increasing clicks for any set of keywords, ad groups, or campaigns while spending a target amount. If you don’t specify a target spend amount, AdWords will attempt to use the remaining daily budget of any campaigns using this bid strategy.
You can set up custom ad scheduling to show your ads on certain days or during specific times, and use the “maximize clicks” strategy to focus on increasing clicks during those days and times.
You can use Maximize clicks for a single campaign, or you can set it up as a portfolio strategy. Portfolio strategies group together multiple campaigns, ad groups, and keywords into a single strategy. Learn more
Maximum CPC bid limit
You can set a cap on bids for any keywords, ad groups, or campaigns when using a portfolio Maximize clicks bid strategy. It lets you control the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for each click. If you don’t enter a maximum CPC bid limit, AdWords adjusts your bids to try to get you as many clicks as possible while spending your target spend amount.
This is the amount you’re willing to spend each day on all of the keywords, ad groups, and campaigns that use a specific bid strategy. AdWords will try to stay within your target spend, but may spend more or less depending on your remaining budget and fluctuations in click costs. It’s distributed across any keywords, ad groups, and campaigns that share the strategy, which could span multiple campaign daily budgets.
If you don’t enter a target spend amount, AdWords attempts to meet your bid automation goals while staying within your daily budget (or budgets, if you’ve applied your strategy to keywords, ad groups, or campaigns that use multiple budgets).
Even if you set a target spend that’s higher than your daily budget, your total spend for each campaign will be capped by its daily budget as usual (subject to standard overdelivery).
Let’s say you have a $100 daily budget. You’re using manual bidding to manage some of your keywords, but using the “Maximize clicks” bid strategy to manage the rest. If you don’t set a target spend amount, AdWords will first spend whatever amount is required by your manually managed keywords. Then it will try to get as many clicks as possible while spending whatever is remaining from your $100 budget.
In other words, the amount of budget that’s consumed by this bid strategy, whether you’ve set a certain target spend or not, always yields to any other bidding. Let’s use the example of a $100 daily campaign budget again. Say you have a campaign that includes both manual bidding and a flexible bid strategy with a target spend of $50. If the manual bidding keywords would typically spend $80, the effective target spend will be limited to $20 (although you’ll still see the target spend set at $50 in your account).
Use bid adjustments
Set bid adjustments to increase or decrease your bids when your ad is competing to appear on mobile devices and in specific locations. Bid adjustments can give you more control over when and where your ad appears.
Schedule your ads
Set up custom ad scheduling to show your ads on certain days or during specific times, and use your Maximize clicks strategy during those days and times.
Adjust your keyword bids
If you’d like to have more control over your bids, you may be interested in learning how to set CPC bids for individual keywords or placements.