Keyword Bidding: 2 Foundational Principles For Great Results

Published by Algorithmic Global on

keyword bidding

Understanding the logic behind keyword bidding gives ad managers options beyond trusting Google’s recommendations!

Google ads are an excellent tool for generating business and offer mountains of data and sophisticated control options for ad managers. One area of control is either tweaked into oblivion or shunned altogether: keyword bidding.

This option is unique among ad managers who control their bids using manual CPC. Automated bidding strategies offer simplicity but sacrifice control. Let’s save the automated vs. manual bidding strategy discussion for another time.

This article will dive into the two scenarios when keyword bidding is appropriate and highlight the logic behind why these scenarios are worth investigation. Even if you use an automated bidding strategy, read on and see what kind of control possibilities exist with manual bidding—you might change your mind!

Google ads logo

Google ads: an overview

Before we highlight the two scenarios where keyword bidding can play a part in your strategy, it’s essential to go over some Google ads basics.

Let’s assume we have a lead generation campaign, where the goal is phone calls or form submissions. Within this campaign are ad groups that correspond to each service the company offers.

For restoration businesses, this usually shakes out to a brand ad group, a water damage ad group, and a mold damage ad group.

Within these ad groups are ads that link to the service’s landing page. The keywords are targeted at those in need of emergency services, not just someone looking for information.

The above method is how Algorithmic Global structures our campaigns. Some of our clients have seen monthly increases of their business volume by as much as 100%!

Using keyword bidding

Now, one of the keys to the campaign structure explained above is the manual bidding process. All of the bids are set at the ad group level. 

The bids can run higher for services the company wants to be highlighted. Services the company wants to be advertised, but aren’t a priority, get lower bids.

But where does keyword bidding come into play in this situation?

Match Type

The first instance where keyword bidding is appropriate depends on the match type. Keywords have three potential match types: broad, phrase, and exact. These correspond to varying degrees of precision. For example, broad match types rely on Google’s understanding of the keyword or keywords, trusting the search engine will show the ad to the right customer.

But ask yourself: should this broad keyword have the same bids as the more exact counterparts within the same ad group?

This situation is where keyword bidding shines. With all keywords—and their varying match types—in one ad group, and the bid set on the ad group level, ad managers can get a sense of the average cost per click.

With that information, ad managers can lower the bids on the broad keywords casting a wide net in the search for potential customers, so they aren’t using all the campaign budget. 

A good starting point for lowering the bids on your broad keywords is pulling back by ten percent. Make sure your changed keyword bidding doesn’t drastically alter your search traffic!

After this process, your broad keywords will have lower bids than your phrase and exact match keywords. The goal with keyword bidding in this form is to gather searches relevant to the service while still having enough budget left for the more precise keywords.

dart in bullseye

Targeted situations

What if we wanted to highlight a particular service or offer without creating a new ad group altogether?

An example: pipes freeze in winter, causing numerous minor house floods in colder climates. The client doesn’t want their service advertised indefinitely, just during frigid weeks and months.

In theory, pipes can burst any time, so including keywords targeted at this situation is a good idea year-round. But without a specific landing page for burst pipes, these are still within the “water damage” ad group.

What can we do?

Enter: keyword bidding!

We could increase the ad group bid on water damage since burst pipes will result in flooding, but keyword bidding is a more targeted approach. By increasing the bids on keywords related to burst pipes, we can guarantee the client shows up during those particular searches without altering the entire ad group’s goals.

The specialized keyword bidding wraps up with the end of the cold weather. This strategy works for any services a client wants to be targeted, but that doesn’t have a corresponding landing page!

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Keyword bidding with confidence

Part of running manual bidding is understanding when keyword bidding is useful. We recommend bidding on the ad group for most instances, but with the mentioned match types and unique situations, a keyword bidding strategy is appropriate.

Understanding the rationale behind the keyword bidding strategy will go a long way to giving ad managers a grasp of the type of control Google provides with their advertising service. Blindly trusting automated bidding can work, but manual bidding with targeted keyword bidding has a more significant potential for producing quality results.

Are you looking for help with your Google ads strategy? The team at Algorithmic Global can help! Give us a call or reach out to us via our contact page, and our experienced team will follow up with you and find out how we can work together on your digital marketing!


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