What is the correct bidding strategy for Google Ads?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - bidding strategy

Knowing how to choose the right keywords, how to adopt the correct bidding strategy and how to set a realistic PPC budget takes time and regular adjustment especially if it’s your first attempt. When dealing with auction-type bids it is important to remember that price fluctuates and usually increases depending on seasonal variations or changing levels of competitiveness for a specific keyword.

Your budget will need to accommodate these fluctuations. Start by setting daily or monthly limits to ensure that you stay within a predetermined budget. Without at least a monthly limit you could spend your entire budget and  more in a few hours. As soon as your budget limit is reached, the campaign stops running until the next month. Each keyword or phrase has its own minimum bid amount depending on its competitiveness among bidders. Each PPC platform has its own monthly fee charge.

The most important of all PPC bidding strategy decisions is your choice of keywords for your campaign. Only bid on words that are extremely relevant to your business and product offering.

Tips for improving your bidding strategy

Don’t bid to reach first position

As long as your ad is above the fold (usually in position two to four) you should get qualified clicks. These are clicks from people who are actually interested in your services or products.  Qualified clicks become future customers so the more optimised and targeted your PPC ad is the lower is the chance of people clicking on your ad by mistake or assuming you are selling seeming else.

Timing is everything

Consider what day or the week and what time of the day most of your customers will be online and restrict your ads to be displayed within these time constraints.

Geographic limits

Make sure that you are specific about where the people you want to target are. If your customers are only in South Africa set SA as a geographical limitation. Look at your past sales statistics and see where most of your sales originated.


If you have a technical or development team who can assist you ask them to set up basic tracking codes on all major calls to action such as the newsletter signup thank page, contact form thank you page and purchase thank you page.

By adding a small piece of code you can track the source of the visitors and identify all click-through visitors. This will help you to determine your cost per conversion and overall ROI.

Be tough

If a keyword does not convert get rid of it. It will be surprising to you about the number of words you think match your company and product offerings perfectly but do not convert into qualified clicks especially if you are selling online.

Include negative keywords

Avoid people clicking on your ad when they are looking for irrelevant search terms. Search for terms that you don’t want to be associated with our ad. Add these negative keywords to your PPC account as this will enable your campaigns to have a more successful CTR.

How do you judge the value of a keyword?

There are a number of ways that you can judge the value of a keyword:

  • Ask yourself if the keyword is applicable to the content your website offers, if searchers will find it useful and if you will reach your goals as a result.
  • Search for the term or phrase in the major search engines. See if there are search advertisements running along the top and right-hand side of the organic results.
  • Buy a sample campaign for the keyword and point the traffic to the most relevant page on your website. Measure the traffic to your site and track impressions and the conversion rate over the course of at least 2 – 300 clicks.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

Want to learn more about PPC? If you do then you need to do our PPC and Web Analytics Course. For more information, please follow this link.

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