Columnist Frederick Vallaeys explains the concept of "stacked bidding" and provides an AdWords script to help monitor your tiered bids.
Some account managers like to use the same keyword in multiple match types in their accounts to get better Bid control or to show more relevant ads for queries that are closer to the keyword.
To execute the strategy properly, bids for each match type need to be kept at a certain level relative to the other match types. For example, if the exact match keyword’s max CPC is $1.00, the advertiser may want to bid 80 percent (or $0.80) for phrase match and 60 percent (or $0.60) for broad or modified broad match.
This is called “tiered bidding” or “stacked bidding.” There’s some debate about the merits of the strategy, but ultimately, I believe every advertiser should be able to test it if they want. Since my job at Optmyzr is to give people technology to streamline account management, I wrote an AdWords Script that will check if your bids are following the expected bidding tiers.
Why you should automate tiered bids with scripts
In a debate on #ppcchat, Kirk Williams reports that the reason most people don’t like the stacked bidding strategy is that it complicates account management. For example, if you found that the keyword from our example above wasn’t performing as expected, and you lowered the exact match bid to $0.50, you’d have to remember to scale back the other match types’ bids, too — or risk triggering the wrong keyword in a future ad auction.
It’s a real pain point, but passing up the possibility to achieve better results because of management concerns is not a great argument, especially when it’s relatively simple to deploy technology that can help. An AdWords script is an easy-to-implement tool that can make your life easier when testing a stacked bidding strategy.
Sometimes agencies have to do things they don’t believe in
Whether you believe in this strategy or not, if you are a PPC consultant or agency, at some point you will come across someone who pays your bills who insists you try it. That’s exactly why I wrote this script myself in the first place, many years ago, when a client wanted me to test it for them.
Just a few weeks ago, an Optmyzr client asked if we could help with stacked bids, so I dusted off the old script and made it work with the latest version of the reporting API. Now, I’ll share it with everyone reading this.
About the script
The AdWords script can be put on a schedule of your choosing, and every time it runs, it does two things:
- Identifies when bids are no longer tiered correctly.
- Outputs a spreadsheet with new bids to upload back to AdWords.
Because I’m giving you the full code, you can extend it as you want.
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