Enhanced CPC: It’s Back, with a brand new bag

Great news for any budding PPC specialists! Google is set to release an update to Adwords, with Enhanced CPC (ECPC) bidding strategy. For some, you would have realised that ECPC is a thing and has been a ‘thing’ for some time, so it’s wise to explain the breakdown of how this benefits you.

ECPC is clever as it has feelers out for indications of the relevance on a search and then works out which has a higher or lower average to convert. You set the bid, Adwords then kicks in an adjustment to the price in between -100% and +30%. The adjusted price then gets entered into the auction with Google and then scores your search term which, in turn, decides the position of your advert.

Essentially, for those who are not familiar, ECPC works by altering the bids you set for clicks, it does this to increase the probability of a conversion to your website. For those clicks which tend to see unlikely chances of conversions then your bids will lower, obviously the polar opposite will happen for those clicks which tend to benefit more.

When the bare bones are exposed on this news, Google has shown it will push just that little bit more for the impressions which show a tendency to end in a conversion, based on user interest, browser, operating system, time and location. In turn, Google will reduce the impressions where a conversion is less likely. This shows that Google is securing another level of efficient behaviour to your bidding strategy

You’ll be pleased to hear that the ‘+30%’ bid cap is going to be phased out this May and with this in mind, I will explain how this affects individual campaign types.

Firstly Search & Display campaigns, the change will bind together the strategic plan for your goals, to increase the probability of conversions whilst operating on the same CPA ‘cost-per-acquisition’ that you have with your manual bidding strategy.

For Shopping, you’ll find that the strategic goal behind the campaign won’t increase your cost per click as this will maintain the same cost. Essentially no change but increased probability of conversions!!!!

If by now for some crazy off-the-wall excuse you have, you may not have heard of CpcBid, then some more good news, the strategy adopted here will respect your manual bids by trying to keep the average CPC underneath the cap you set.

In short, this allows the system to keep its flexibility and improves performance. Google is keeping a close eye at the movement with this update and you may well witness some fine tuning along the way. As we all know, it can be somewhat challenging when walking through the minefield that is Google’s mindset. (Aren’t we just awesome sharing this goldust with you?)

Now time for us to analyse whether what Google have done is actually good on a big picture scale. So, yes, it is looking positive. In fact, I’m pretty chuffed this is happening as any seasoned PPC expert will tell you, managing bids can be like riding a pushbike on a lake, keep up the pace and you’ll get to the other side, drop it and it’s sink or swim time.

{Can I get some ice cream with my waffle please}

Enough waffling, fact is what fact is, Google has done us a favour by looking into the ECPC situation, it clearly shows what most of us are facing which is a tough task of making sure you have the competitive edge on your marketing strategy using Google’s Adwords platform. You get the best of both world’s, a keener eye for convertible traffic, meshed with a dynamic sense of release from Google’s bid cap at +30%.

Did you want to know the best bit? Course you do, so, information from the Google grape vine shows us that actually, they will be keeping the average CPC below the bid price that you set so you will still have control over the spend and your primary bid will still be honoured.

Just be cautious as you need to take into account the need to carry on making device adjustments, Google watches a lot of data but cant keep its eagle vision on everything, so, this you have to continue to prop up through your own hard work. Makes sense when you consider the impact your clicks will have on a business, you do not want to end up doubling up on cross-device conversions & in-store visits.

Remember the basic rules, test, experiment whenever possible so you are able to fully assess the effects it has on the account.

Its that time again where we plug ourselves at the bottom of this informative post, it’s been a please, but please feel free to get in touch if you have any relative questions, or even if you’re just looking for assistance on your own campaigns, we can help.

Written by Gareth Torrance

Hello there. I'm Gareth, the Digital Marketing Manager at Brave. With almost a decade of experience in PPC and SEO, I've seen everything from Pandas and Penguins to the horrible time that was Mobilegeddon. As an Adwords Certified Google Specialist, I have lived through almost every major shift in the industry! And that makes me feel old.

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