In November 2018, Google Ads released a new automated bid strategy, Target Impression Share, across all accounts. This bidding strategy is designed to maximize a campaign’s impression share against competitors and increase the number of auctions your campaigns are eligible for. As always, your bid strategy should be aligned with your goals. If your goal is to be present on brand searches as often as possible, you should consider testing Target Impression Share on your brand campaigns.

You work hard to gain brand recognition through upper-funnel marketing efforts across channels. Brand search is the time to collect on those efforts; you don’t want your competitors to capture the audience you’ve already invested in. Google Ads’ Target Impression Share bid strategy can provide you with real-time quality assurance that your ad is showing up as often as possible.

How to Set It Up

Target Search Impression Share is set at the campaign level, in the settings tab. You can set your target impression share as high as 100%, and Google will try to show your ad on 100% of auctions for that campaign. If you’re not already at 90% impression share for the campaign, you may want to start with a lower target and monitor how much your CPCs increase after you implement the bid strategy.

Next, you’ll choose one of three placement options:

  • Absolute top of the search results page (first position)
  • Top of the page (showing above any organic listings, but not necessarily the first ad)
  • Anywhere on the page (above or below organic listings)

We recommend selecting “absolute top of the search results page” if you have competitors bidding on your brand keywords, are the manufacturer of your product, or would normally be increasing bids to show in first position.

Lastly, you’ll set a bid limit for how much you’re willing to pay for each click. We recommend taking your last 30-day average CPC for that campaign and then at least doubling it. Google cautions against setting this bid limit too low, as you may risk losing impression volume and  block the campaign from reaching your impression share goals. We also caution against setting it too high and overbidding on your branded terms.

Once you launch the bid strategy, make sure to monitor your search impression share and average CPCs over the course of a few weeks. If needed, adjust your bid limit to reach your impression share target.

For any additional help on bid strategy testing, contact our team.