Top 3 Competitive Bidding Strategy For Search Ads

Top 3 Competitive Bidding Strategy for Search Ads
June 14, 2019 MadMarTech

If you are working in a highly competitive industry, then it is very important to keep a close check on your competitors. Google Ads provides bidding strategies that help advertisers to outrank the competition. Here are some bidding strategies solely designed to beat the competition and stay on top of your game.

Target Outranking Share


What is Target Outranking Share Bid Strategy?

As the name suggests, using this bid strategy you could target a specific competitor that you would like to outrank. This is a portfolio bidding strategy and is automated bidding.
This bidding is exclusive for search network only. Google Ads provides the flexibility to outrank specific % of the auctions up to 100%.

How does Target Outranking Share Work?

Whenever you are competing with the set domain in an auction, Google increases the bid in such a way that you outrank your competitor. For one bid strategy, one domain can be added at a time. Even if you choose this bid strategy, it does not guarantee that you will outrank your competitors for each auction. As this is affected by many factors like quality score and the competitive environment.

How to Set Up Target Outranking Share Bidding Strategy?

Navigate to Tools section and under the shared library option, choose “Bid Strategies”. Click on the “Plus” button and choose the “Target outranking share” strategy. You could select the campaign here or just set it up and you could choose this setup strategy when you create the campaigns.

So Sam wants to beat his competitor Tim’s watches. He wants to first test this strategy with 50% of the auctions. He does not want to drain all the money for the sake of competition. Thus he limits the spending using “Maximum Bid limit”.

Using advanced options, Sam makes sure that he is not bidding high on low quality score keywords as it would waste his money. Here is how Sam’s Google Ads interface for bidding would look like:

Target Outranking Share Bidding Strategy for Search Ads

Target Impression Share

Before we dwell into the details, let us understand what search impression share means.

Impression share is defined as the % of impressions your ads received to the number of impressions it was eligible to receive. It is calculated using the following formula:

Impression Share = Impressions/eligible impressions.

Eligible impressions are subjected to many factors including target group, bidding, competition, and quality. Hence higher impression share, the better.

What is Target Impression Share Bidding Strategy and How does it Work?

Using target impression share bidding strategy you can set where you would like your ads to appear and the % of impression share you are planning to target. It is an automated smart bidding strategy that can be used as a portfolio strategy. Target impression share is exclusive for search network only. Google raises your bid in such a way that you win auctions to achieve your set impression share goal.

How to Set Up Target Impression Share Bidding Strategy?

Go to the bidding strategies section using a shared library which is available under the tools section. Add a new bidding strategy using the plus icon and choose the relevant one. In this case obviously, it is Target IS.

Let us consider Sam’s example. Sam has allocated 25% of his profits to branding for this year. He would like to dominate the search network for this category. Hence he sets up a target impression share bidding strategy with 90% IS as a test share.

He could choose to be present in the search network on any of the placements below:
a. Anywhere on results page.
b. Top of results page.
c. Absolute top of results page.

There are a lot of ad placements in Google search network. Anywhere on the results page is indicative. If Sam chooses Top of the results page, his ads would appear on the first-page result. It could either be at the top of the bottom. But Sam is very aggressive this time. He chooses the Absolute top of the results page to get the best results even though it could cost him a little more as compared to other options.

Here is how Sam’s interface looks:

Target Impression share for Google search ads bidding strategy

Target Search Page Location


What is the Target Search Page Location Bidding Strategy?

Exclusive for search network, target search page location bidding strategy helps advertisers to show the ad at the top placements in the search network. It is an automated bidding strategy that you could use for one campaign or you could add it to the portfolio bidding strategy to use across many campaigns. Using this bid strategy you could show your ads either at the top placements of the first page or any position within the first page.

How do the Target Search Page Location Bidding Strategy Work?

Google adjusts the bid in such a way that the ads win the top positions in the auction. This bidding strategy is incompatible with Dynamic search ads as they do not use any keyword lists. It is important to note that, in spite of choosing this bid strategy the placement of your ads is not guaranteed. However, Google tries to achieve this position by increasing or decreasing the bids in an attempt to reach the top position. This is mainly due to the fact that the placements are influenced by a variety of factors other than the bidding.

How to Setup a Target Search Page Location Bidding?

Once you reach the bidding strategy tab after clicking on the shared library, click on “+” sign. Choose the Target search page location from the drop down. To fill in the data let us take an example of Sam, a watch retailer.

Sam would like to use the TSPL bidding strategy for his ads to appear on the top positions of the first page. He names the bidding strategy appropriately and chooses the pertinent placement. As he wants to test this, he uses bidding automation.

Sam understands that he could increase his chances of winning the auction by raising the bid by a certain %. He chooses to test it with 30%. He sets the bid limit for maximum CPC to $5.

Sam is smart, he chooses not to raise the bids on low quality score keywords as he knows that it would take him nowhere in terms of performance. It would just drain his budget. Adding to this, he also chooses to not raise the bids for campaigns that have a limited budget so that he does not exceed the spending. This is important as he is going to use this as a portfolio strategy. This is how Sam’s ad interface would look once he has finished his set up:

Target Search Page location bidding strategy for Google Ads


We have had a detailed look at the different competitive bidding strategies available for the search network. It is good to test the bid strategy for a limited period of time before you make the decision on which one to choose. Usually, marketers do not use this strategy for conversion campaigns or sales campaigns. It is ideal for campaigns that have a large budget. This is usually the case for branding where you would want maximum people to see your ad and make sure you beat the competitors in a highly competitive sector. In any case, as always test it with different campaigns, formats, time period and bids. The data you collect will help you learn and launch successful PPC campaigns.