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What CPC do you bid when there's zero comp?

Discussion in 'Adwords' started by macdonjo3, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Let's say no ads display on Google search for a keyword, but the recommended CPC is $2.50, which is obviously Google BS.

    I started with a $0.10 bid and got a few impressions but not enough. What bids do you guys normally do when there's no competition and you're totally in the dark?

    I'm going to try $0.20 and go from there. Would love to hear your $0.02 of how you deal with this normally
     
  2. boomboomer

    boomboomer Executive VIP

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    I always start with a higher CPC than the recommended one and gradually bring it down (even in cases where there's no competition).
     
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  3. RoyDanino

    RoyDanino Junior Member

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    What's your impression share lost (rank)?
    Raise your bid slowly untill it's lees than 10% as long as the marginal cpc is still profitable or breaking even.
     
  4. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    So what, you bid .10 and your ad doesn't show ? I thought if you were the only bidder it would show all the time by default?
     
  5. RoyDanino

    RoyDanino Junior Member

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    I'm sure they have a better formula than that.
    Sometimes it's more profitable for them to not show your ad untill you raise the bids.
     
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  6. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Shows I am a noob when it comes to adwords!! Didn't know that but yea i guess it makes total sense.
     
  7. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Do you bring it down below the recommended CPC?

    That's what I figured but I also think 90% of the forum would also think that. I'm stumped on why the CPC is $2.50 when there's no competition.

    Since starting the campaigns, 2 switched from being $2+ and now one is eligible and the other is $0.31.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  8. boomboomer

    boomboomer Executive VIP

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    Way below it :)
     
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  9. neu009

    neu009 Senior Member

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    Nope, not really. While your actual bid cost will be $0.01 higher than the next bidder, they do not always display you even with no competition and certainly not at position 1 (as a guarantee).
    Like boomboomer said, start high and lower it. While it does give estimates they are mostly off and you will most likely come in lower, especially for no comp keywords.

    Check average position to see which bids show you on the first page and which ones move you to 2nd. That combined with lost impression share (rank , not budget in this case) should give you an idea of how your visibility here is.
     
  10. Elliot305

    Elliot305 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I usually never follow what a platform suggests I bid. Their objective is to make money so the suggested bid algo is heavily biased. Furthermore, all bids aren't treated equally. Accounts with history may see low bids getting traction while new accounts won't. Aside from that your bid strategy should be predicated from your budget. If you're only gonna spend $300 a day and .50 CPCs can get you there in 24 hours, no need to spend $1 CPC to achieve your $300 spend in 16 hours. With some campaigns I'm only willing to risk 5-10k until payment comes (depending on the trustworthiness of the network and advertiser), so my bid strategy reflects the cap I put on the campaign per pay cycle.

    A nice little trick that still works (although some platforms don't like it) is to clone a campaign many times over and keep the bids low for each one. Although a single campaign won't generate a lot of traffic, as an army of campaigns (xx to xxx deep) you can kick the platform's ass by forcing them to send that small amount of traffic to each one, equaling a large volume combined. I did this with FB and turned a typical CPC of 1.20ish for a single campaign into an average CPC of .55 across hundreds of campaigns.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  11. neu009

    neu009 Senior Member

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    One account in AdWords can just have one destination domain, so to clone you'd have to run different accounts for different domains. Google as always reserves the right to kick you out if the LP are a duplication and provide no additional value. If you do not spend a lot on there that may actually happen, have not seen it yet when spending $1 MM +.

    Keep QS in mind to impact your adrank and thus bids. Also keep in mind higher up you can make more use of extensions (or better said they actually display them)
     
  12. Elliot305

    Elliot305 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I think you mean one ad group can only have one destination domain. You can have multiple campaigns with different URLs. But I was speaking in the more general sense of what I've experienced on multiple traffic platforms and not just specifically Adwords. As I was saying traffic platforms don't like that approach, but there's a way around everything.
     
  13. LucidMarketing

    LucidMarketing Regular Member

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    Well, there's always competition. You may not see ads and there can be many reasons for that but it is now extremely rare that there is absolutely no competition.

    One needs to understand what the bid suggestion means. First, it's a suggestion to get to the top first few positions and based on an average QS. Second, as said, it's based on advertiser data from the past and I don't think it takes into account regional differences. It may in fact be worldwide and using data that could be old. What advertisers bid two years ago may not be what they bid today.

    Third, it's a good point of reference to what the average bid is. You can be sure there are advertisers with great QS of 8 and above with a few tens. Those are the ones you are trying to get above. So assume there are 10s out there and bidding $2.50 which gives them an ad rank of about 2500. Even if you have a QS of ten, bidding $0.25 means an ad rank of only 250. No way you can overtake them.

    Now to answer your question, I usually don't pay attention to the bid suggestion. I have a client for instance where for most products he sells, I bid $0.75 and I know that will get the results I want. As data comes in, I may need to increase for some products and indeed I often initially bid higher for these.

    For new clients, I will check the and bid the amount suggested. That's because I know I typically have better than average QS, even when starting, and want to show as high as possible. I explain this and they know – almost always agreeing – and they know what the going rate is for their products.

    By the way, even if there was absolutely no competition, simply bidding a low amount does not guarantee that your ads will show. It just doesn't work that way.

    If you want to go lower, that's your choice. I also want to know your impression share and if it's low because of rank or budget and your QS. There are metrics that will tell you a lot and determine what to do next.

    Your screenshot is not telling the whole picture. Obviously, there's competition since your ads show in position 4.4 for search but that's just 8 impressions so statistically, it's not significant. But given your bid and the first bid estimate messages, you are not bidding high enough. Your QS is also probably average or poor.

    It looks like you are mixing search and display campaigns. You shouldn't do that.

    I don't see how Elliot's trick can work, at least not in Adwords and Bing. You can't trick the system to show your ads. You need to prove yourself and that is what QS is about.
     
  14. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    So basically you sit above the CPC until your Ad Rank is high, then drop the CPC?
     
  15. Elliot305

    Elliot305 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    What I'm saying is if a certain low bid level is generating at least some traffic (couple clicks a day), then multiplying the campaign over and over again should result in having an army of campaigns that will yield the same amount of traffic as a single campaign bidding twice as much. But yes, I don't know how Adwords would react to such a thing. Here's a video I made a few years back showing how it worked during my FB days:



    Since making that vid I used this technique on several PPV platforms and it worked well for me ( < 30 cloned campaigns on the platforms). Again, not sure on Adwords but its food for thought nonetheless.
     
  16. boomboomer

    boomboomer Executive VIP

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    yeah, that's the gist of it
     
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  17. LucidMarketing

    LucidMarketing Regular Member

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    Elliot, I understood exactly what you meant. You however don't understand the basic inner workings of Adwords and virtually every other ad network.

    The basics are that ads are ranked based on the product of the bid and the quality score. Yes, Facebook has one of those too. Even if you have a 10/10 QS but bidding a tenth of what the average advertiser does for that keyword, your ads will not show as often. You can see this in the impression share metric in Adwords.

    Now if you simply copy a campaign (assuming here a copy and paste, nothing changed), that doesn't change your ad quality at all. The system will pick one because you can only show one ad, if it chooses to display any ad at all.

    My guess is that your budgets are not high enough. The search volume could be at a level where even if your budget is low, you still show a substantial number of times and the get enough clicks, even if you pay low, you still use up your budget. What you are doing by replicating the campaign is spread that budget to two campaigns where simply doubling the budget would do the same thing. So replicating the campaigns is simply stupid and creating more work for you.

    Facebook is not search but the same idea: ads will show to the target audience you choose as long as you have the budget. So if you simply copy ads (you say in your video you did this 10,000 times), you simply told them to show your ads for one campaign until you run out of money, then the next campaign and so on.

    The best way to decrease costs is with better ads. In fact, that should be where most of your time is spent. You did not do that in your campaign so a wasted opportunity and wasted effort that could have provided much better results.
     
  18. jacker818

    jacker818 Power Member

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    Raise your CPC slowly and also start spit testing.. it's not rocket science.
     
  19. Elliot305

    Elliot305 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You've missed my point completely, but it's all good though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  20. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    lol k. thanks for that.