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Automatically optimize your campaign with bid strategies

Automatically optimize your campaign with bid strategies

Learn how Microsoft Advertising can automatically raise your bids on searches that are more likely to convert and lower them on searches that are less likely to.

With bid strategies, you can have Microsoft Advertising manage your bids using our deep analysis of patterns in searches, clicks, and conversions. We can make sure you're bidding effectively, automatically. Whichever bid strategy you use, Microsoft Advertising will always respect your budget limit.

How would you like Microsoft Advertising to manage your bids?

Enhanced CPCexpando image

Important
  • For search ad and dynamic search ad campaigns, Enhanced CPC is available to all advertisers worldwide. Note that we will only "enhance" your bids when your ads serve in the following countries/regions: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States. When your ads serve outside of these countries/regions, your manual bids are unaffected.
  • For Microsoft Shopping Campaigns, Enhanced CPC is available to advertisers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, United Kingdom, and United States.

Enhanced CPC (cost per click) is the default bid strategy setting when you create a new campaign. With Enhanced CPC, you set your ad group and keyword bids, and Microsoft Advertising automatically adjusts your bids in real time to increase your chances for a conversion. Your bid will go up to 30% higher on searches that are more likely to convert and up to 100% lower on searches less likely to convert (up or down, this change will be made after we apply any bid adjustments you have set).

Microsoft Advertising looks for patterns to identify searches that are most likely to result in a conversion. When we see a good opportunity, we increase your bid up to 30% to capitalize on it. On the other hand, if the patterns show that a conversion is less likely, we lower your bid. Up or down, this change will be made after we apply any bid adjustments you have set. If you haven't optimized your campaign yet, Enhanced CPC should reduce your cost per conversion and increase your total conversion count while respecting your current budget.

Notes
  • For the best results, we strongly recommend using Enhanced CPC in conjunction with conversion tracking (a UET tag and a conversion goal).
  • Enhanced CPC will not break third-party bid-management tools. Enhanced CPC will always use the bids set by your bid management tool as a starting point before applying an adjustment between -100% and +30%.
Maximize Clicksexpando image

Important

Maximize Clicks is available only for search ad and Dynamic Search Ad campaigns.

With Maximize Clicks, you don't need to set ad group or keyword bids. Microsoft Advertising automatically sets your bids in real time to get as many clicks as possible within your budget.

Microsoft Advertising will always respect your overall budget limit, but if you want greater control over your bids while using Maximize Clicks, you can also set a maximum CPC (cost per click). This is an optional limit you can set to make sure that Microsoft Advertising never pays more than a certain amount for each individual click.

Notes
  • You cannot change bids for keywords that are using Maximize Clicks. This means that automated rules and third-party bid-management tools will not affect these keywords. With Maximize Clicks, Microsoft Advertising will have full and final control over optimizing your bids.
  • That said, any bid adjustments you have set (or that you set in the future) will be used to inform your Maximize Clicks automated bids. Note that bid adjustments may cause your bid to go higher than your maximum CPC, if you have one set.
Maximize Conversionsexpando image

Important

In order to use Maximize Conversions, all of your target locations must be within Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and/or United States. For some advertisers, available target locations also include Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. If you are unable to target these locations at this time, try again later.

With Maximize Conversions, you don't need to set ad group or keyword bids. Microsoft Advertising automatically sets your bids in real time to get as many conversions as possible within your budget.

Microsoft Advertising will always respect your overall budget limit, but if you want greater control over your bids while using Maximize Conversions, you can also set a maximum CPC (cost per click). This is an optional limit you can set to make sure that Microsoft Advertising never pays more than a certain amount for each individual click.

You need to have conversion tracking (a UET tag and a conversion goal) set up — and have had at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days — in order to use the Maximize Conversions bid strategy. If your campaign falls below 15 conversions over any 30-day period, Maximize Conversions will stop optimizing your bids. If this happens with regularity, we recommend switching to a different bid strategy.

Notes
  • You cannot change bids for keywords that are using Maximize Conversions. This means that automated rules and third-party bid-management tools will not affect these keywords. With Maximize Conversions, Microsoft Advertising will have full and final control over optimizing your bids.
  • That said, any bid adjustments you have set (or that you set in the future) will be used to inform your Maximize Conversions automated bids. Note that bid adjustments may cause your bid to go higher than your maximum CPC, if you have one set.
Target CPAexpando image

Important

In order to use Target CPA, all of your target locations must be within Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and/or United States. For some customers, available target locations also include Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. If you are unable to target these locations at this time, try again later.

With Target CPA (cost per acquisition), you don't need to set ad group or keyword bids. You set your budget and your target 30-day average CPA, and Microsoft Advertising automatically sets your bids in real time to get you to this average. Some conversions may cost more than your target and some may cost less, but Microsoft Advertising will try to make sure your average cost per conversion is in line with your target.

Microsoft Advertising will always respect your overall budget limit, but if you want greater control over your bids while using Target CPA, you can also set a maximum CPC (cost per click). This is an optional limit you can set to make sure that Microsoft Advertising never pays more than a certain amount for each individual click.

You need to have conversion tracking (a UET tag and a conversion goal) set up — and have had at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days — in order to use the Target CPA bid strategy. If your campaign falls below 15 conversions over any 30-day period, Target CPA will stop optimizing your bids. If this happens with regularity, we recommend switching to a different bid strategy.

Notes
  • You cannot change bids for keywords that are using Target CPA. This means that automated rules and third-party bid-management tools will not affect these keywords. With Target CPA, Microsoft Advertising will have full and final control over optimizing your bids.
  • That said, any bid adjustments you have set (or that you set in the future) will be used to inform your Target CPA automated bids (while still striving to achieve your Target CPA). Note that bid adjustments may cause your bid to go higher than your maximum CPC, if you have one set.
  • Target CPA is a campaign-level target. Individual ad groups may have different CPAs, and those CPAs may vary over time, while the campaign target CPA is met. Different devices may see different CPAs as well.
Manualexpando image
With the Manual bid strategy, you set your ad group and keyword bids, and Microsoft Advertising uses these bids every time.

Comparing bid strategies

Bid strategy Do I set bids myself? Do I need conversion tracking? Can I use a third-party bid management tool? Campaign type supported
Manual Yes No Yes Text ads, Dynamic Search Ads, Shopping ads
Enhanced CPC Yes No Yes Text ads, Dynamic Search Ads
Maximize Clicks No No No Text ads, Dynamic Search Ads
Maximize Conversions No Yes No Text ads
Target CPA No Yes No Text ads

Setting a campaign's bid strategy

You set bid strategy at the campaign level. To switch a campaign to Enhanced CPC:

  1. Select the campaign from the tree view in the left panel you want to add a bid strategy to.
  2. In the Edit the selected campaigns pane, select the Bid Strategy Type.

This bid strategy will apply to your entire campaign, but you can set an individual ad group’s or keyword’s bid strategy to Manual CPC (see next section) at any time.

Changing an ad group's or keyword's bid strategy

If you want full control for some individual bids, you can override a campaign's bid strategy for any ad group or keyword.

  1. On the Campaigns page, click either the Ad Groups tab or the Keywords tab.
  2. In the edit pane, select Manual CPC under Bid Strategy Type.

What you need to know:

  • For ad groups, Default means the bid strategy will be inherited from the campaign’s bid strategy.
  • For keywords, Default means the bid strategy will be inherited from the ad group's bid strategy.

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