Automation is vital for successful advertising today. Enhanced cost per click or enhanced CPC (ECPC) is a paid advertising solution that uses machine learning to dynamically bid for ad placements where your ideal customer will most likely click your ad.
Google Ads, the top pay per click (PPC) advertising platform (formerly known as AdWords), offers manual CPC and AdWords enhanced CPC, alongside fully automated solutions known as Google Smart Bidding. ECPC is a great in-between for advertisers who want to maintain some control while taking advantage of AdWords automated bidding.
Here’s why it matters: Any top pay per click agency (PPC agency) will tell you that the paid advertising will eventually eliminate manual CPC. Specifically, only ECPC and Smart Bidding will be available.
What’s more, Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) announced that on April 30, 2021, new campaigns will no longer have a manual CPC option and existing campaigns not using ECPC will be migrated automatically.
We can expect Google Ads and other PPC services to follow suit in the near future. Start learning and testing ECPC to be ready to pivot your pay per click services and strategy.
Read on to gain an expert perspective on:
• What is cost per click?
• When should you use automated bidding?
• What is enhanced CPC (ECPC)?
• Enhanced CPC vs manual CPC
• Why enhanced CPC is important
• Getting started with results-driven PPC services
What Is Cost Per Click?
Technology makes it possible to gather essential campaign data – how many people clicked your ad, how many went on to take your desired action or converted and, most importantly, how much it cost you.
Cost-per-click (CPC) represents the amount you paid for every ad click in a particular campaign. CPC is usually presented as an average, calculated by dividing the total cost of your ad clicks by the total number of clicks in every PPC campaign.
Google Ads Automated Bidding
To remain profitable, you want to make sure your CPC is at a reasonable level. Pay per click services that use manual CPC require you to set your maximum CPC bids, while Google Ads automated bidding (specifically Google Smart Bidding) freely decides on your bids based on your desired outcome.
Especially in the paid advertising realm, automation can produce faster – and often better – results. Google Ads automated bidding (formerly AdWords automated bidding) relies on machine learning to make data-driven decisions on your CPC bids and produce profitable results.
When Should You Use Automated Bidding?
Remember this: The algorithm relies on historical conversion data to optimize your bids for conversions. So without conversions, it doesn’t have a basis for making a bid.
If your goal is to maximize conversions, you need to have conversion tracking set up and have actual conversions coming into your account. Generally, a PPC company will tell you 15 conversions in a month is enough for ECPC to work, versus the 20 to 30 required for Smart Bidding strategies.
What Is Enhanced CPC?
Google Ads enhanced CPC or AdWords enhanced CPC is a form of Smart Bidding that is not fully automated and offers more control. This bid strategy is designed to automatically raise or lower your manual CPC bid for auctions where a customer is most likely to convert. Enhanced cost per click will only run after your initial bids are set, and try to keep your average CPC below your maximum set CPC bid over time.
So, where does the enhanced CPC Adwords option fit into your strategy? And when should you use automated bidding? Let’s compare enhanced CPC vs manual CPC.
Enhanced CPC vs Manual CPC
With manual CPC, you can set a maximum CPC bid for your ads – you will not pay anything more than the bid amount you’ve set per click. Enhanced CPC is an additional option under manual CPC that will allow the algorithm to adjust your bid higher or lower than your max CPC bid, depending on the most optimal decision at auction time.
How ECPC Works
In your campaign bidding settings, you select manual CPC as your bid strategy and tick the box that enables enhanced CPC. You can then choose to maximize conversions or conversion value – telling ECPC to focus on increasing conversions or auctions with high potential conversion value. It uses auction-time signals such as location and time of day combined with your historical conversion data to make bids targeted at maximizing your desired result.
3 Reasons You Need Enhanced Cost Per Click
Automation, through solutions like enhanced CPC AdWords, makes it easier to optimize your campaigns and achieve your desired results. Enhanced CPC uses conversion data and auction-time signals to make calculated decisions quickly and effectively.
Here’s what every pay per click company is saying about the importance of enhanced CPC:
1. Manual CPC Is Going Away
Microsoft Advertising has already removed manual CPC for new campaigns. It will also automatically migrate all campaigns using manual CPC to ECPC beginning April 30, 2021. And every top pay per click company is preparing for Google Ads to do the same, though it’s uncertain when it will happen.
“The removal of manual CPC, especially for Google Ads, is a hot topic in our industry. Shifting to enhanced CPC, testing early and comparing your results is key to stay ahead of the curve. Get Google’s algorithm and machine learning to work in your favor before it’s too late,” said Jacob Wulff, senior PPC manager at Thrive Internet Marketing Agency.
2. Save Time and Do More
Using technology to minimize manual tasks and generate sales faster is critical to staying competitive, especially for pay per click services. Manually adjusting and monitoring your bids is time consuming and costly if not done correctly. Consulting with a PPC agency is the best step you can take to migrate smoothly to ECPC.
3. Less Risky Automated Bidding
Assuming manual CPC is no longer available, you have to choose between ECPC or Smart Bidding – either partial AdWords automated bidding or full automation. Especially if you are not yet confident in the amount of conversion data you have, starting out with ECPC makes the most sense. A PPC company can help you use ECPC to test the waters for conversion campaigns without exceeding your intended campaign budget.
Getting Started With Results-Driven PPC Services
If a pay per click agency guarantees better results with ECPC, think twice! For ECPC to be effective, it needs to be part of a broader Google Ads strategy that takes into account your historical campaign performance and aligns with your specific business goals.
With an understanding of 1) what is cost per click?; 2) what is enhanced CPC?; and 3) why it’s important, you can get started on migrating to ECPC and improving your Google Ads conversion data before manual CPC is obsolete.
Seeking the help of an experienced pay per click company can help you integrate your PPC campaigns seamlessly as part of a larger and fully optimized search engine marketing strategy.
Thrive Internet Marketing Agency is an award winning pay per click agency (PPC agency) helping clients leverage PPC advertising with results-driven paid media campaigns. We’ve been around since AdWords enhanced CPC started and we’ll continue to be there as Google Ads and Google Smart Bidding evolves.
Contact us today and let our PPC company show you what’s possible with a robust enhanced CPC AdWords strategy.