Have you ever been to a live auction? Maybe a fundraiser for a good cause where you watch people bid against each other for a package or product. The auctioneer raises the bid each time giving the bidders the option to go higher. As the price goes up, many bidders drop out. But two bidders will generally keep it going, raising the offer each time.  Finally, one bidder hits his or her limit and stops bidding. The other one wins but may pay more than the items is worth.

Sound a little like your digital campaign? You want higher placement so you increase your bid. Some days, you win. You get more clicks but you may also pay more for those clicks. Other days, you spend more money but don’t necessarily get a higher rank. You lose.

That leaves us with the question of, do higher bids mean higher placement and ultimately more clicks and leads? The answer is simple. Yes, no, and it all depends.

Yes, if you’re doing managed display.

Yes, a higher bid will help you win if you are looking for a premium placement and website traffic. For example, with Google’s Managed Placement, instead of using all of the ad networks, you are choosing just a few relevant sites and maybe dictating the time of day to showcase your ad. It’s quality over quantity. That’s why higher bidders win here. You get more quality placement on more relevant sites resulting in better leads.

No, especially if you don’t increase your budget.

You don’t win if you increase your bid amount but don’t also increase your budget. In fact, you may find you’re paying more per click or even losing traffic. Why? The search engines know you can’t afford the higher clicks and they don’t even let you compete. You’re out of the game before you even got a chance to play.

If you want to increase your rank, you have to do the same thing with your budget. Raise your rank, raise the amount you’re willing to pay to get it.

It Depends

Raising your bid can get you higher placement but that’s not the only factor at play. Have you looked at the quality of your landing page? Do you have the right keywords? Have you updated content? Search engines will also evaluate your placement based on the quality of the page they are sending the clicks to. Don’t overlook this important factor. You’re just wasting dollars otherwise.

Another way to increase your position on the search page is to add Ad Extensions. Ad Extensions affect your ad rank and make it easier for the customer to make better decisions. These extensions are the additional bits of information that you include like telephone numbers, additional page links, reviews, and maps. Having Ad Extensions can help your quality score and ultimately your rank.

What it all comes down to…

Quality—in your placement, on your landing page and even in your ad copy. Are you looking for better quality? Quality conversions without overpaying?  Let us help and don’t miss our Marketing Myths podcast.