Should you use enhanced CPCs ?


Enhanced cost per click (ECPC) helps you get more conversions from manual bidding. ECPC works by automatically adjusting your manual bids for clicks that seem more or less likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website. Unlike Target CPA, which automatically sets bids based on your target cost per conversion, ECPC is constrained by your max CPC bids when optimising for conversions.

For Search and Display campaigns, ECPC helps increase conversions while trying to keep your cost per conversion the same as you’re getting with manual bidding. For Shopping, ECPC helps increase conversions while trying to maintain your same overall spend.


How it works

ECPC looks for ad auctions that are more likely to lead to conversions, and then raises your max CPC bid (after applying any bid adjustments you’ve set) to compete harder for those clicks. If a click seems less likely to convert, AdWords will lower your bid. ECPC will try to keep your average CPC below the max CPC you set (including bid adjustments), but may exceed your max CPC for short periods of time.



Suppose that you sell shoes on your website, you’ve set your Max. CPC for $1, and you have ECPC bidding turned on. If the AdWords system sees an auction that looks likely to lead someone to buy shoes on your site, it might set your bid to $1.70 for that auction. If ECPC sees another auction that looks unlikely to lead to a sale, it might lower your bid to $0.30 for that auction.


The changes in enhanced CPC

Google AdWords adjusted their enhanced CPC bidding strategy to be more effective in August 2017. Indeed the 30% automatic bid adjustment cap was removed. This means you generally won’t have to set bid adjustments when using ECPC. You may still want to set a bid adjustment for mobile, as ECPC doesn’t adjust for the difference in conversion rated between mobile and other devices.


What Should You Expect to See Change?

Your average CPC

As part of this change, Google will have more control to bid up beyond the previous limit of 30% for searches it believes are more likely to convert. With this 30% cap removed, it’s safe to assume that Google may be more aggressive in its automatic bid adjustments. Although it’s possible for you to pay more than your maximum CPC for a single click in eCPC bidding, Google will still try to keep your average CPC below your max CPC bid.

Your audience bids

If you’re still not adjusting your bids for your remarketing audiences, you’re almost certainly missing out! Remarketing audiences are often much more than 30% more likely to convert on your site and many audiences can convert at 3x the rate of your new audiences.


In addition to your remarketing audiences, Google may also adjust your bid for different demographics and similar audiences.

Your bids for different locations

Google may anticipate that a user searching from Indiana may convert differently than one from India, even if they’re searching for the same keyword. If Google notices a local market boasts particularly high conversion rates, its eCPC bidding will automatically adjust you bids for that location.


Since the change Google implements with enhanced CPCs, trying them out definitely seems to be a valid strategy, as it has shown results, especially with search campaigns:


And if you’re not happy with the changes brought to enhanced CPCs, you can still switch to manual CPC bidding strategy.