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How to Choose Your Max CPC In Google Ads

When it comes to Google Ads and cost-per-click (CPC), your bids make all the difference.

And, to help you out, Google recommends a “first page bid estimate” to help you get on the first page. This automated feature indicates which keywords are below the first page bid, and ultimately, how much you need to bid to move on up.

Sounds handy, right? Well… sure, if you like spending more money than you need to.

Translation: Following Google’s recommendation isn’t always the best move for your budget. What’s more, you can be bidding way less — and receiving significantly more clicks.

John Moran, Solutions 8 Senior Client Strategist, explains how to find your max CPC in Google Ads in our recent YouTube video.

how to choose your max cpc in Google ads

Here’s the problem with the “first page bid estimate.”

According to Google, the first page bid estimate is the approximate bid that you need for your ad to appear on the first page of search results. This could be anywhere on the page (first, second, fourth, etc.).

The bid estimate is determined by:

  • Your keyword’s quality score
  • Competition for your keyword

Its purpose? To identify about how much you should bid in order to increase your ad’s chances of showing up on the first page.

There’s just one caveat, though: Google also states that “the estimate isn’t a guarantee.” In other words, even if you shell out their estimated bid, your ad isn’t sure to appear on the first page.

… It is called an estimate, after all.

max cpc google ads John Moran

Luckily, it’s possible to bid less while earning more clicks.

By looking at three specific metrics, you can potentially boost your CPC for a lot less money.

Here’s how: In Search Keywords, click on the “Columns” icon. Select “Modify columns” then “Attributes.”

In this area, check the boxes labeled:

  • Est. first page bid
  • Est. top of page bid: approximate bid you need for your ad to appear at the top of the first page, a.k.a. the top four slots
  • Est. first position bid: approximate bid you need for your ad to appear in the first position

These columns will appear on your dashboard. Now, here’s where the magic happens.

In our insightful video, John explores three scenarios where you can use these metrics to your advantage.

Scenario #1 (2:01)

If you bid slightly above the top of page estimate (again, the top four) but below the first position bid estimate, you can be right underneath the first position.

Need an example? Let’s check out the video, at around 2:01. John shows us the following data for one of the keywords:

  • Est. first page bid: $7.97
  • Est. top of page bid: $9.58
  • Est. first position bid: $59.35

With the max CPC set at $12.93, the keyword gets a 7.69% click through rate. This shows us that we can be right underneath the first person for $12.93 per click (versus $59.35).

How’s that for major savings?

max cpc google ads dashboard screenshot

Scenario #2 (2:17)

At 2:17, John shows us the data for another keyword. The metrics are as follows:

  • Est. first page bid: $23.54
  • Est. top of page bid: –
  • Est. first position bid: –

The other two metrics are blank. This means it’s unknown how much you need to be at the top of page and first position — because there’s no one bidding for them.

So, even if we bid $6.85 (for example), we’ll earn the #2 spot because there’s likely only one other person bidding for that keyword.

Scenario #3 (3:07)

John explores yet another scenario at 3:07. Here, the keyword has the following data:

  • Est. first page bid: $42.39
  • Est. top of page bid: $42.39
  • Est. first position bid: –

In this case, the first two metrics are the same number. This means there’s only one person spending $42.39 to be at number one.

So, with a much lower bid ($2.42, in this example), you can come in at number two because there’s only one other competitor.

That’s 40 bucks less than Google’s estimated bid recommendation! This can be a gamechanger if you’re spending, say, $50 to 60 per day on a campaign — because if you bid $42 per click, you’ll get… well, one click.

Need help finding your maximum CPC? Contact Solutions 8

As you can see, including other attributes in your Search Keyword data can save you a lot of cash. You can use these metrics to choose your max CPC in a way that earns you more clicks for less money.

If your head is spinning, let us take care of your bids. Solutions 8 can sift through the data, pick the best bid for each keyword, and modify them as needed.

To contact Solutions 8, email us at [email protected] or call us (480) 908-8609. You can also find more Google Ads tips and hacks on our Google Ads YouTube Channel.

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Patience is the former director of marketing and communications for Solutions 8. A phenomenal content writer, copywriter, editor, and marketer, she has played a prominent role in helping Solutions 8 become an authority in the Google Ads space. Patience is also the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Google Ads Agency and You vs Google.

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