Let Microsoft Advertising manage your bids with bid strategies

Learn how Microsoft Advertising can handle bidding for you using bid strategies such as Enhanced CPC, Maximize Clicks, Maximize Conversions, and Target CPA.

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

Enhanced CPC is available:

  • For search ad campaigns worldwide.
  • For Microsoft Shopping Campaigns wherever Microsoft Shopping Campaigns are available.

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 higher on searches that are more likely to convert and lower on searches less likely to convert (up or down, this change will be made after we apply any bid adjustments you have set). Over the long haul, though, we will try to make sure that your average CPC is not higher than your bid.

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 any adjustment.
Manual CPCexpando image
With the Manual CPC bid strategy, Microsoft Advertising uses these bids every time.
Manual CPMexpando image

Important

Manual CPM is available for Microsoft Audience Ads, where available.

With manual cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) bids, you set the actual cost you want to pay per 1,000 viewed impressions. A viewed impression is counted when more than 50% of the ad pixels are in user’s view and the ad is viewed for at least second.

Manual CPVexpando image

With the manual cost-per-view (CPV) bid strategy, you set the highest amount that you’d like to pay per view or per click on a video ad.

Maximize Clicksexpando image

Important

Maximize Clicks is available only for search ad and Microsoft Shopping Campaigns.

With Maximize Clicks, 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 charges more than a certain amount for each individual click.

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) can 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.

Note

Automated bidding bid strategies will override the Rotate ads more evenly ad rotation setting and prioritize better-performing ads.

Maximize Conversionsexpando image

With Maximize Conversions, 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 charges more than a certain amount for each individual click.

You need to have conversion tracking (either a UET tag + an active conversion goal, or offline conversions) set up in order to use the Maximize Conversions bid strategy. We recommend giving the bid strategy enough time to accumulate at least 30 conversions before evaluating its performance.

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) can 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.

Notes
  • Automated bidding bid strategies will override the Rotate ads more evenly ad rotation setting and prioritize better-performing ads.
  • This bid strategy type cannot be used by campaigns that use shared budgets, except with a portfolio bid strategy.
Target CPAexpando image

With Target CPA (cost per acquisition), 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 charges more than a certain amount for each individual click.

You need to have conversion tracking (either a UET tag + an active conversion goal, or offline conversions) set up in order to use the Target CPA bid strategy. We recommend giving the bid strategy enough time to accumulate at least 30 conversions before evaluating its performance.

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) can 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.

Notes
  • 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.
  • Automated bidding bid strategies will override the Rotate ads more evenly ad rotation setting and prioritize better-performing ads.
  • This bid strategy type cannot be used by campaigns that use shared budgets, except with a portfolio bid strategy.
Target impression shareexpando image

With Target impression share, you set your budget, where you want ads to appear, and your target impression share, and Microsoft Advertising automatically sets your bids.

Microsoft Advertising will always respect your overall budget limit, but if you want greater control over your bids while using Target impression share, 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 charges more than a certain amount for each individual click.

Target ROASexpando image

With Target ROAS (return on ad spend), you set your budget and your target 30-day average ROAS, and Microsoft Advertising automatically sets your bids in real time to get you to this average.

Microsoft Advertising will always respect your overall budget limit, but if you want greater control over your bids while using Target ROAS, 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 charges more than a certain amount for each individual click.

You need to have conversion tracking (either a UET tag + an active conversion goal, or offline conversions) set up and have positive revenue tracked in order to use the Target ROAS bid strategy. We recommend giving the bid strategy enough time to accumulate at least 50 conversions before evaluating its performance.

You cannot change bids for keywords that are using Target ROAS. This means that automated rules and third-party bid management tools will not affect these keywords. With Target ROAS, 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) can be used to inform your Target ROAS automated bids (while still striving to achieve your Target ROAS). Note that bid adjustments may cause your bid to go higher than your maximum CPC, if you have one set.

Notes
  • Target ROAS is a campaign-level target. Individual ad groups may have different ROAS values, and those ROAS values may vary over time, while the campaign target ROAS is met. Different devices may see different ROAS values as well.
  • Automated bidding bid strategies will override the Rotate ads more evenly ad rotation setting and prioritize better-performing ads.
  • This bid strategy type cannot be used by campaigns that use shared budgets, except with a portfolio bid strategy.

Comparing bid strategies

Bid strategy Do I set bids myself? Can I use a third-party bid management tool? Do I need conversion tracking? Campaign type supported
Enhanced CPC Yes Yes No Search, shopping
Manual CPC Yes Yes No Audience
Manual CPM Yes Yes No Audience
Manual CPV Yes Yes No Audience
Maximize Clicks No No No Search, shopping
Maximize Conversions No No Yes Search
Target CPA No No Yes Search
Target impression share No No No Search
Target ROAS No No Yes Search, shopping

Share a portfolio bid strategy with other campaigns

Portfolio bid strategy manages bidding across multiple campaigns that are all working toward the same goal. A campaign can either have its own bid strategy or it can share a portfolio bid strategy with other campaigns.

In a portfolio bid strategy we automatically adjust your bids to balance under- and over-performing campaigns that share the same strategy, whether to maximize conversions, clicks, target impression share, or other performance goals. Portfolio bid strategies could be a great option for advertisers who want to make sure their entire budgets are spent efficiently.

Learn more: Portfolio bid strategies: Auto-bidding for performance goals

Working with bid strategies

Setting a campaign's bid strategy expando image

You can set the bid strategy at the campaign level. To change a campaign's bid strategy:

  1. From the collapsible menu on the left, select All campaigns > Overview.
  2. In the table, select the name of the campaign you want to edit.
  3. From the menu on the left, select Settings.
  4. Under Bid strategy, select the strategy you want to use.
  5. Select Save.
Note

Your bids will start changing automatically within two hours of turning on a bid strategy. However, a bid strategy needs to run for about two weeks to build up enough data to bid optimally. Changing your bid strategy setting, campaign budget, or conversion settings — or adding or removing ad groups or keywords — will restart this learning period.

Tips for using Maximize Clicks with Microsoft Shopping Campaignsexpando image
  • Shopping campaigns that use Maximize Clicks should be kept at the highest priority.
  • Avoid creating overlapping product offers in multiple shopping campaigns that use Maximize Clicks.
Best practices for Maximize Conversions and Target CPA expando image
  • Requirements: In order to turn on Maximize Conversions or Target CPA, your campaign:
    • Must have conversion tracking (either a UET tag + an active conversion goal, or offline conversions) set up. We recommend giving the bid strategy enough time to accumulate at least 30 conversions before evaluating its performance.
    • Cannot use a shared budget, except within a portfolio bid strategy.
  • How to make sure Maximize Conversions and Target CPA work optimally: Maximize Conversions and Target CPA need time to work. For best results, keep this timeline in mind:

    1. Getting set up: 30 days — We recommend having at least 30 conversions in the previous 30 days. When setting up Target CPA, we suggest basing your target on your actual CPA from the previous 30 days. For new campaigns, we suggest basing your target on your account's performance.
    2. Learning period: 1-2 weeks — Our platform usually needs two weeks to acquaint itself with your campaign. Avoid changing budgets or conversion goals during this period, as this may cause the learning period to start over. We recommend not evaluating the bid strategy's performance based on these two weeks.
    3. Run campaign: 2-4 weeks — Let your campaign run for two to four weeks after the learning period (avoiding changing budgets or conversion goals, as this may cause the learning period to start over) and then start evaluating the bid strategy's performance. Keep your conversion goal window in mind while evaluating performance.
    4. Evaluate and adjust: Going forward — Review the campaign's performance since the learning period in aggregate and make adjustments as needed. For Target CPA, we recommend keeping adjustments within 20%, up or down.
  • Timing of conversions: When conversions occur more than seven days after the associated clicks, it's harder for Maximize Conversions and Target CPA to make effective bids. If most of your conversions occur more than seven days after the associated clicks, we recommend not using Maximize Conversions or Target CPA.
  • Offline conversions: If you don't or can't upload offline conversions on a daily basis, we recommend not using Maximize Conversions or Target CPA. For best results, upload offline conversions within two days of the conversion.
  • Audience Ads: Turning on any conversion-based bid strategy, such as Maximize Conversions, Target CPA, or Target ROAS, will make your search ads ineligible to be turned into Microsoft Audience Ads.

See more videos...