Keyword Bids: To Change or Not to Change

Keyword Bids

Investing in an AdWords campaign can have a significant impact on company revenue. Keyword bids determine how high or low an ad ranks against competing advertisers’ ads. As an account manager, there is, therefore, a lot of pressure regarding whether or when to change keyword bids. In this article, we look at some of the strategies used for keyword bidding and examine how often you should tweak bids.

Strategies for Bid Adjustment

  • Ad position: This simply means checking regularly for keywords that are showing low and adjusting their bids upwards.
  • Scheduled Bid Adjustment: Some account managers prefer to measure ad performance on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to make informed decisions on tweaking keyword bids.
  • Return on Ad Spend: Most Singapore digital marketers rely on the cost per lead to adjust keyword bids. This approach means that bids for keywords with a higher cost per lead than the account average are adjusted downwards and vice versa.
  • Integrated Approach: The last and perhaps more practical approach involve integrating the above methods.

Challenges to Keyword Bidding Strategy

Sparse Data: The truth is unless an account has massive returns in impressions, clicks, and conversions it is difficult to chart and project bid performance.

Tracking Activity: The second challenge is that it is next to impossible to track each keyword’s bid history and predict performance.

How often should you bid?

Time and Space are the solutions to this bidding conundrum. Waiting more extended periods between bid adjustments helps collect adequate data. At monthly or quarterly intervals, you can aggregate related keyword data to measure performance rationally and then bid across the entire account.

For E-commerce or B2C businesses, keywords for products with low average selling price (ASP) and high conversions, you can adjust bids weekly or monthly. Bids for products with high ASPs and low conversion should be adjusted monthly or quarterly

B2B markets have more stable prices and volumes; therefore, bid adjustments should ideally be made quarterly.

Of course, some markets are highly dynamic and may require more frequent bidding, in which case daily keyword position will determine bid adjustments.

There are other bid optimization activities you can engage in while waiting to adjust bids. These include analyzing bids, landing page tests, mobile and geographic bid modifying and dayparting.

Overall, patience is the best strategy for keyword bidding. It allows decisions to be made based on sufficient data and enables you to employ the best bid optimizing strategies.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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