bid adjustments google ads

Mastering Bid Adjustments Google Ads: Your Ultimate Guide

In the world of digital marketing, ensuring your ads reach the right audience is a key success factor. This is where Google Ads bid adjustments come into the picture. But what are they exactly? And how can they help you optimize your ad campaign?

Put simply, bid adjustments in Google Ads are a feature that allows advertisers to change their bids for specific criteria such as device type, location, day and time, and more. They provide strategic control over when and where your ads are displayed, thereby enhancing ad performance.

Why are Bid Adjustments Game Changers?

Bid adjustments are game changers because they offer the ability to fine-tune your ad campaign to reach specific user groups. For instance, if you find that mobile users convert better than desktop users, you can increase your bids for ads shown on mobile devices.

Imagine you are operating a restaurant in New York City. Through analysing your ad performance, you realize that your ads perform particularly well on weekends. You can apply a bid adjustment to increase your bids on Saturdays and Sundays to capture more potential customers during these peak periods.

Increase or Decrease Bids in Google Ads

With Google Ads bid adjustments, you can increase or decrease your bids based on the performance of specific criteria. You can choose to increase the bid by a certain percentage if the performance is good or decrease it if you are not getting desirable results.

For example, based on previous data, if you observe that your ad attracts more conversions at a certain time of the day, say between 5 PM – 7 PM, you could set a positive bid adjustment. Consequently, this would make your ad more competitive during these peak hours — increasing its visibility and possibly attracting more conversions.

Advanced Bid Adjustments in Google Ads

Apart from basic bid adjustments such as changing the bid depending upon the day of the week, time of the day or device type, Google Ads also offers more advanced options. These include adjusting bids based on a particular demographic or user interest and taking into account interaction types like call extensions.

These advanced bid adjustments allow advertisers to target their ideal audience more precisely, leading to better campaign performance, higher click-through rates, and improved ROI.

In conclusion, Google Ads bid adjustments offer control over your ad spend by enabling the adjustment of bids according to the performance of specific categories. With this capability, advertisers can optimize their campaigns to align with their business objectives better.

ppc bid adjustments

Implementing Google Ads Bid Adjustments

Google Ads bid adjustments are not just a feature to be aware of – they’re a tool to be actively used. An understanding of how they work is only the first step; next, you need to know how to implement them effectively and adjust them as required.

So, let’s get started with managing modifier bids in Google Ads.

Manage Bid Modifiers in Google Ads

To manage your bid adjustments, navigate to the “Campaigns” tab and select the campaign for which you wish to adjust bids. Click on “Settings,” then click on the “Ad Schedule,” “Devices,” or “Locations” tab based on what you’d like to adjust. Here, you can view, add, remove or modify your bid adjustments.

Note that making changes isn’t a one-time deal though. As with many aspects of digital marketing, optimization is an ongoing process that involves regular monitoring and tweaking, so being aware of where and how you can make these changes is essential.

Making Bid Adjustments in Google Ads

Making these adjustments in Google Ads is quite simple once you understand the process. Under each respective tab (day and time, device type, location), you’ll see the “Bid adj.” column. Clicking on this will allow you to increase or decrease your bid percentages.

For example, if you want to increase your bid by 15% during peak conversion times and days of the week, simply enter ‘+15%’ in the appropriate field. Similarly, if you want to decrease bids by 10% for low performing devices or locations, input ‘-10%’.

Combined Bid Adjustments for Increased Efficacy

An effective strategy when dealing with multiple bid adjustments is to combine them. Google Ads allows you to stack your bid adjustments to customize your bidding even more precisely.

Consider this scenario: your business is getting high traction during evening hours, and most of these conversions are happening on mobile devices. You can apply a positive bid adjustment for mobile devices and another for the evening hours. Both adjustments will be considered, so your ad will receive a significant boost during these specified periods on mobiles.

Essentially, combined bid adjustments allow advertisers to fine-tune their bidding strategy in line with multiple criteria, further enhancing performance and return on investment.


The ability to customize bid adjustments offers Google Ads users an edge over their competitors by allowing them to target ads more precisely. By understanding how to implement these changes properly and manage them effectively, businesses can ensure they’re attracting the right audience at the optimal time, resulting in increased engagement and higher conversion rates. Remember, successful optimization is an ongoing process, but with continued practice, you’ll become adept at using these tools to achieve better campaign results.

Specialized Bid Adjustments Guidance

While the broad strokes of bid adjustments are applicable to various aspects of Google Ads, it’s imperative to understand how these adjustments can be specifically tailored to specific areas such as device, location, schedule, demographics, affinity, seasonality, call bid adjustments and audience bid adjustments for best results. Here’s a closer look at some of these areas:

Bid Adjustments for Device

Bid adjustments can be set differently for different types of devices — computers, mobiles, or tablets. If you notice that one device type is particularly successful in leading to conversions (for example, more users making purchases via their mobile devices), you could increase your bid adjustment for that device using Google Ads’ device targeting feature.

Location-Based Bid Adjustments

Similarly, if your business operates across multiple locations and certain areas bring in more revenue than others, you may want to increase bids for those locations. For instance, if you run a local pizzeria chain and notice that franchises in certain neighbourhoods have higher online orders compared to others, you might want to pump up your ad spending there with location-based bid adjustments.

Schedule Bid Adjustments

If your campaign data suggest that certain times of the day or days of the week yield better returns than others, schedule bid adjustments might be what your campaign needs. By increasing your bids at high-performance hours or days and decreasing them during low-engagement periods, you can ensure efficient use of your ad budget.

Demographics and Affinity Bid Adjustments

Your products or services may appeal more to a particular demographic group or an audience with specific interests (affinities). For example, if you’re selling premium shaving kits and have noticed greater engagement from men aged 25-34 with an interest in grooming, it makes sense to increase your bid adjustment for this demographic and affinity group.

Seasonality Adjustments

Ad conversions may also vary by season. If you run an e-commerce store specializing in winter wear, your ads will likely perform better during the fall and winter months. A few weeks before these seasons, you might want to consider increasing your bids to maximize visibility during peak shopping times.

Call Bid Adjustments

If calls are a critical part of your business — say you’re a plumbing service or a car rental company — you might want to enhance bidding for call extensions. Call bid adjustments allow you to increase bids on campaigns that drive phone calls to your business.

Audience Bid Adjustments

Last, but certainly not least, audience-based bid adjustments are great when you have identified certain audience lists (such as website visitors or past buyers) who are more likely to convert. By making positive bid adjustments for these high-value audiences, you can prioritize showing your ads to them over others.

In conclusion, Google Ads’ bid adjustment capability is not one-size-fits-all; it’s a flexible tool that can be moulded and manipulated according to your individual campaign needs. Whether it’s devices, locations, schedule or user characteristics like demographics and interests — there’s an opportunity to customize your bidding approach at every turn.

bid adjustments google

Smart Bidding and Bid Adjustments

In the quest for optimizing ad performance on Google Ads, it’s essential to understand the relationship between Smart Bidding and bid adjustments. This is where things can get a tad complicated but hang tight as we unravel this together.

What is Smart Bidding?

Google’s Smart Bidding is an automated bidding system that uses machine learning to optimize bids in real-time for every auction or ad impression. It factors in a multitude of signals about each user and their context at the time of the auction such as device, location, time of day, remarketing list, and more.

The Relationship between Smart Bidding and Bid Adjustments

On one hand, bid adjustments allow you to increase or decrease bids in certain situations. On the other hand, Smart Bidding automatically adjusts your bids depending on the likelihood of a conversion. So how do these two interact? Let’s shed some light on this.

When you use Smart Bidding, most manual bid adjustments are not applicable because they’re already factored into Google’s automated bid strategies. However, there are still some adjustments that you can actually implement along with Smart Bidding. Device bid adjustments are one such example.

Device Bid Adjustments with Smart Bidding

If you notice significant performance differences across devices and you’re using a tCPA (Target Cost Per Action) or tROAS (Target Return on Ad Spend) strategy, Google allows setting device bid adjustments from -100% to +900%. This allows you extra control over device-specific performance while still leveraging Google’s machine learning capabilities for optimization.

Audience Bid Adjustments with Smart Bidding

Audiences can play a crucial role in your advertising strategy. Targeting specific audiences can sometimes lead to better performance and higher ROI. With Smart Bidding, audience bid adjustments still stand valid. Although Google’s algorithms take into account signals from your audience lists, you might want to set a manual adjustment for an extra boost.

Working with Bid Adjustments in Enhanced CPC

If you’re using the ECPC (Enhanced Cost-Per-Click) bidding strategy, which adjusts your manual bids automatically to maximize conversions or conversion value, then engagement-based bid adjustments for interactions such as calls or location extensions are compatible with ECPC.

Leveraging Bid Adjustments within Smart Bidding

While some marketers may hesitate to use bid adjustments in combination with Smart Bidding fearing it may interfere with Google’s machine learning optimization, the key is to use them sparingly when you have substantial historical data supporting their need. If used strategically and tested correctly, they might just help you squeeze out that extra bit of performance from your Google Ads campaigns.

In conclusion, while Smart Bidding and bid adjustments can seem a bit intimidating due to their complex nature, understanding their interplay can open up new avenues for campaign optimization. While Smart Bidding takes over most of the heavy-lifting by automating bids based on real-time auction-time data, bid adjustments still hold relevance in certain scenarios giving advertisers that extra layer of control over their campaign performance.

bid adjustments ppc


The success stories show how businesses have employed strategic use of bid adjustments for optimizing their Google Ads campaigns. From device and location preferences to optimal ad schedules and audience-specific tweaks – smart usage of bid adjustments has proven crucial in boosting conversion rates and maximizing ROI.

Bid adjustment is not just a feature but rather a powerful tool. As seen from these cases, understanding your target audience’s behaviour, testing different strategies, analysing performance data regularly and making necessary bid adjustments are all part of the success recipe in digital advertising with Google Ads.

Review and Best Practices

Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of Google Ads bid adjustments, let’s take a moment to review what we’ve learned and explore some best practices for implementing bid adjustments effectively.

1. Reviewing What We’ve Learned

We started by understanding what bid adjustments in Google Ads are and how they can enhance ad performance. We learned that bid adjustments allow advertisers to change their bids for specific criteria such as device type, location, day and time, demographics, and more. We saw examples of how bid adjustments can be game changers by fine-tuning our ad campaigns to reach specific user groups.

Next, we delved into implementing bid adjustments in Google Ads. We explored how to manage bid modifiers and make bid adjustments in Editor. We also learned about combined bid adjustments and how they can further enhance our bidding strategy.

Then, we explored specialized bid adjustments guidance in areas such as device, location, schedule, demographics, affinity, seasonality, call bids, and audience bids. We saw how adjusting bids based on these specific criteria can lead to better campaign performance and higher ROI.

We also discussed the relationship between Smart Bidding and bid adjustments. While Smart Bidding automates bid optimization based on real-time data, we learned that certain manual bid adjustments can still be useful, especially for device targeting and audience-specific optimizations.

In addition to theory, we examined real-life case studies where businesses successfully employed bid adjustments to improve their campaign performance. From device-specific optimizations to location-based adjustments and time-of-day tweaks – these success stories highlighted the power of strategic bid adjustment implementations.

2. Best Practices for Effective Bid Adjustments

Now, let’s explore some best practices that will help you make the most out of your Google Ads bid adjustments:

a. Analyse Your Data Regularly

Data is crucial when it comes to making informed decisions regarding your bid adjustments. Regularly analyse your campaign data to identify patterns and trends. Keep an eye on conversion rates, click-through rates, and other relevant metrics to spot areas where bid adjustments could yield positive results.

b. Start with Small Adjustments

When making bid adjustments for the first time or testing new strategies, start with small changes rather than dramatic shifts. Monitor the performance closely after each adjustment to evaluate its impact on your campaign goals. Gradually increase or decrease your bids based on the insights gained from analysing the data.

c. Utilize Automated Bid Strategies

If you’re not yet ready for manual bidding or want to leverage Google’s machine learning capabilities fully, consider using automated bidding strategies like tCPA (Target Cost Per Action) or tROAS (Target Return on Ad Spend). These strategies automatically adjust your bids based on historical data and real-time signals gathered during auctions.

d. Set Realistic Goals

Prioritize setting realistic goals for your campaigns before implementing any bid adjustments. Understand what you want to achieve with your ads – whether it’s generating leads, driving website traffic, or increasing sales – and align your bidding strategy accordingly.

e. Play Around with Combinations

Bid adjustment options offered by Google Ads are not mutually exclusive – you can combine different criteria to create customized bidding approaches tailored specifically to your business needs. Experiment with various combinations of device types, locations, audiences, or schedules to find the optimal mix for maximizing conversions.

f. Keep Up with Changes and Updates

Google Ads is an ever-evolving platform with regular updates and new features being introduced frequently. Stay informed about any changes related to bidding options or algorithms so that you can adapt your strategy accordingly and take advantage of all available tools at your disposal.

g. Test, Analyse & Optimize Continuously

A successful bidding strategy requires ongoing monitoring and optimization. Continuously test different variations of your bids and assess their impact on key metrics like conversion rate and return on investment. Make data-driven decisions based on your analysis and refine your bid adjustments accordingly.

Conclusion: Mastering Bid Adjustments in Google Ads

Bid adjustments in Google Ads offer advertisers powerful control over their ad spend by allowing them to fine-tune their campaigns according to specific criteria like device type, location preferences, demographics, schedule optimization, and more. By leveraging this capability effectively while keeping up with best practices outlined above — advertisers can gain a competitive edge by reaching their target audience at the right time in the right places.

Remember that mastering bid adjustments is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing, monitoring performance metrics regularly, staying up-to-date with industry trends – all while aligning these efforts with well-defined business goals. As you strive towards mastery in this area of digital advertising – success will come with practice.

So take control of your ad campaigns today through effective utilization of Google Ads’ powerful feature – Bid Adjustments!

We are based on Wirral, near Chester and Liverpool. With clients throughout the UK.