Financial advisor marketing oftentimes includes paid advertising campaigns. One popular method is advertising using the Google Ads platform. One of the most important factors in creating successful ads on Google depends on the bidding strategy you use.
Unlike traditional display advertising where you’re guaranteed a position with a certain amount of impressions or clicks, Google Ads utilizes a bidding strategy. If hearing the word “bid” makes you think of an auction, you’re not wrong. This bidding system has advertisers competing for better placement with a search query featuring the same keywords or phrases. The advertiser with the highest bid (among other factors such as keyword relevance and ad extensions) will get the ad placement.
While there is no shortage of information on Google Ads bidding strategies and best practices, here is an overview of the types of bid strategies that can be useful for financial advisor Google ads campaigns.
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Set Your Budget (Before Bidding)
Before you can begin the process of determining the maximum bid you can assign to any Google Ads campaign, it’s important to establish an overall budget at the campaign level and work backward down to the keyword level to determine how to set your maximum bid.
This will ensure that you stay on track and don’t overspend, which can be easy to do if you don’t research your keywords and utilize Google’s free keyword and bid estimator tools. These tools can show you potential results for differing bid amounts and potential expected clicks, impressions, and conversions.
Set Your Goals
The different bidding strategies offered by Google can be used to achieve different goals. Before you determine the type of bidding strategy(s) you want to deploy, it’s essential to set your goals. Once you have set goals, you can utilize the bidding strategy that will best help you achieve those goals.
Understanding the Differences Between Automated vs. Manual Bidding
Manual CPC Bidding
Manual CPC (cost-per-click) bidding is, as the name implies, a bidding strategy that gives you 100% control over your (CPC) for your ads, from the default ad group all the way down to individual keyword level. While you are able to maintain complete control, this method is also very time-consuming. If you do choose to go the manual route, Enhanced CPC (ECPC) can help you maintain control but get some automated help from Google while it automatically adjusts your manual bids.
If you are looking for maximum clicks, but don’t have the time or knowledge to determine your individual ad bids, consider a Maximize Clicks bid strategy instead. This automated bid strategy sets bids for you in an effort to maximize clicks for your campaign. In that same vein, if your campaign’s goal is to maximize conversions, then you can target those specifically but implementing a Maximize Conversions Bidding strategy. Like other automated campaigns, it uses machine learning or AI to automatically assign bids based on anticipated performance.
Cost per Impression (CPM)
CPM bidding simply means cost per thousand impressions. This is a good measurement tool for those campaigns trying to reach as many people as possible for the least amount of money, but no specific action is required such as a click, call, video view or other CTA.
Slightly different from this is vCPM Bidding. This type of bidding has the same objective as general CPM bidding, but the “v” in vCPM stands for “viewable” impressions. The main difference is that a viewable impression determines that the impression was viewed, rather than what was simply visible on the page. This metric has recently become more popular because it is considered a more precise metric than traditional impressions.
Target Impression Share Bidding
Target Impression Share Bidding is an automated bidding strategy that allows you to choose where on the search results page you would like your ad to appear, and Google automatically sets your bids to place your ads on one of those locations.
Those placements include: the absolute top of the page, on top of the page, or anywhere on the page of the ads search results. Because these are all competitive locations, you can set a maximum bid limit to ensure you don’t overspend on this type of campaign.
Target CPA (Cost Per Action)
This form of automated bidding strategy helps you optimize for conversions while also setting a maximum cost per action. Google determines these ad placements and finds an optimal bid for when those ads will appear using your target CPA. While the bid will likely not be the same for each placement, the goal is to achieve an average CPA that aligns with your set budget. Meaning some bids will be higher than your target bid, and some ads will be lower than your target bid but will average out.
Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
This type of automated bidding strategy sets bids based on the return on ad spend. This strategy helps you get more value out of your budget. It’s important to note that this type of bid strategy requires you to set up conversion tracking so that Google can properly assign values and determine those conversions.
If your ad campaign is focused on video content, then Google’s CPV (Cost-Per-View) bidding strategy is a good option. This strategy allows the advertiser to set a budget based on specific actions such as video views or other calls to action such as clicks on video overlays or “learn more” buttons.
Because this form of interaction is set specifically for video, a view is determined as your desired interaction rather than an impression, etc. and must be viewed for a minimum of 30 seconds to be counted as a “view”.
Google ads is a very robust ad platform with many nuanced ad techniques and bidding strategies that can be utilized by both experienced digital marketers and relative novices alike.
However, getting into the detailed types of campaigns can be time-consuming for those who aren’t professional marketers for a living. Hopefully, this overview of the types of bidding strategies for financial advisor paid advertising has given you an idea of where you stand and if you need to reach out to a digital marketing agency for help.