In the realm of hotel marketing, Google Ads has become an indispensable tool for driving bookings and enhancing digital marketing for hotels.
The platform boasts an array of bidding strategies tailored to meet various campaign objectives, be it amplifying click-through rates, boosting reservations, or optimizing return on ad spend (ROAS). However, the key to unlocking its potential lies in choosing the appropriate bidding strategy, which can significantly shape your campaign’s success and budgeting.
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Google presents a full range of bidding options, from the classic manual bidding to the more recent automated strategies powered by machine learning. The tech giant’s push towards automation is evident with the introduction of tools like Performance Max. The best bidding strategy for your campaign is contingent on your specific campaign goals, media budget, and key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter to you.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros, cons, and best use cases of the most common Google Ads bidding strategy options available today. You’ll understand how each works and be equipped to select the approach that best matches your hotel’s needs.
Manual Bidding Strategies
With manual CPC bidding, you set the maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid for each keyword or ad group. This bid acts as the maximum you’re willing to pay for a single click from Google Ads. Manual CPC is the most basic and straightforward bidding strategy. You manually enter the max CPC bid into the bid field for every keyword based on your targets and what you determine to be a profitable CPC.
✅ Complete transparency and control over setting your bids
✅ Ability to precisely tune bids based on profitability and targets
✅ Easy to understand and implement
❌ It is extremely time-consuming to manage bids, especially at scale
❌ Difficult to make quick bid changes in response to performance
❌ You won’t benefit from Google’s optimization capabilities
Manual CPC is best suited for:
- Niche or low-volume keywords
- Advertisers who require complete control over bids
Enhanced CPC allows Google Ads to automatically raise or lower your manual CPC bids in real-time in an effort to increase conversions. With enhanced CPC enabled, Google can adjust bids up by as much as 30% higher or down to 90% lower than your set manual bid based on the likelihood of a conversion.
✅ Gets a “boost” from Google’s optimization while maintaining some control
✅ Can help improve conversion rates while staying near your target CPC
✅ Requires less hands-on management vs. manual CPC
❌ Still time intensive compared to automated bidding strategies
❌ Google can override your manual bids
Enhanced CPC is ideal for:
- Advertisers who want to test adding Google’s optimization
- As a transitional step from manual CPC to automated bidding
Manual bids provide the most control but requires extensive management. Enhanced CPC strikes a balance by adding some of Google’s capabilities while maintaining overall bid control.
What is Smart Bidding and how does it work?
Smart Bidding leverages Google’s most advanced automated bidding strategies powered by machine learning and auction-time bidding to optimize your account. For each and every auction your ads are eligible for, Google evaluates historical data, conversion predictions, and real-time context to determine the optimal bid. The goal is to show your ads only when Google’s algorithms believe it will contribute to your optimization target, whether that’s lowering CPA, hitting a ROAS, or maximizing conversion value.
The main Smart Bidding options available in Google Ads are: