OK…do you want to harness the power of Enhanced Campaign Bid Modifications without spending a ton of time and effort?  Have I got a trick for you :.)

First, you need to have a large data sample…you don’t want to make such important changes based on minimal data.

In your campaigns, you’re going to have account data that looks something like:


Pretty basic stuff.  Note that I’m using “Day of Week” dayparting as my post example here for the sake of brevity, though you can apply this trick to “Hour of Day” dayparting as well as Geo Bid Modifications.

Here, the average CPA is $3 but the range of CPAs is from $2.45 (low) to $4.26 (high).  So…then I say to myself…by what % does each daily CPA deviate from the average?

cpa range

OK.  If we look at (Sunday) as an example, we see that the CPA is 51% higher than average CPA. Higher CPA’s aren’t good…they’re bad. So, to get our correct and final day of week bid adjustments, we’ve got to make the positive numbers negative and the negative numbers positive.

bid adjustment enhanced campaigns

Please note the following:

1)       I showed you a “Day of Week” example because it was easiest.  However, in my experience, the Geographic Bid Adjustments are much more powerful than either “Day of Week” or “Hour of Day”.  Even better, the Geographic Bid Adjustments are currently supported by AdWords Editor (the others aren’t), meaning you can quickly output all your Geographic Conversion Data, figure out how much the CPA for each Geo deviates from the average, and calculate your bid adjustment all in Excel in a matter of minutes (before uploading via AWE). Hopefully, AdWords Editor will soon support the other types of bid adjustments as well…making the changes in the UI is pretty slow.

2)      Are these the absolutely optimum bid modifications you can make? Probably not. I bet someone who can fuse calculus and advanced statistics together could create a model superior than mine.  After all, there isn’t an exact correlation between the bid modification and the effect on CPA.

However, I feel confident that this process can get you 85-90% of the optimum result in a relatively few minutes of work, and that’s pretty darned good in my book.


Also, please note that after your initial set of bid modifications have been live for a while, the relative percentages of each data segment will change so that revisiting this process periodically and making changes is absolutely appropriate.

Every account is different but when I’ve done major Geo Bid Modifications before, I’ve seen conversion rates go up in excess of 20%.


the godfather


  1. Andrew August 20th, 2013

    “Higher CPA’s aren’t good…they’re bad.”

    This is not true. The higher the CPA you can tolerate the more traffic you can afford to buy.

  2. Terry Whalen August 20th, 2013

    Nice one, Todd. We do this all the time. I’m really actually pretty happy overall with Enhanced campaigns. And if we really really want to, we can still hack a truly mobile-only campaign by using only mobile ads, or by doing a 100%+ mobile bid modifier, so that only our mobile bids are high enough to win auctions, and desktop spend is almost nothing.

  3. Andrew Lolk // White Shark Media August 20th, 2013

    Great tips, Todd. It’s obvious to do it, but somehow I didn’t think of it (facepalm).

    However, I would like to make a third point to your list of things to remember.

    Don’t perform this process for your entire account If you have several campaigns in your account. Different campaigns might act differently and some campaigns might not need to be modified at all.

    A good example is your brand campaign (the one with keywords for your brand name). You shouldn’t reduce bids ever for this campaign as you should aim for being #1 at all times (this is fairly easy for most). Seeing that you’re most likely bidding pretty low for this campaign, then a bid adjustment of minus 51% might put you below the minimum bid from Google causing your own brand campaign not to show in certain times of the day.

    The advice you’re giving is solid – I would just add that little caveat that it’s important to perform the analysis on the campaign level and not account level.

    B.R. Andrew Lolk – White Shark Media..

  4. Terry Whalen August 20th, 2013

    very true, Andrew.

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Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz, who has been with 3Q Digital since March 2011, has worked in search engine marketing since 2000 and has used Google AdWords since it began. He also is very visible in the SEM social media space and is a curator/contributor at MarketingLand. He was one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group), is a current board member, and writes regularly on their blog.