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There are a lot of decisions to be made for those who find themselves responsible for Google Ads support, or in charge of a Google Ads campaign. One of the simplest, at least at first glance, is the choice between a strategy that maximises clicks and maximises conversions.

You want to maximise conversions, right? That’s the more important measure of success after all – a click won’t mean much if it doesn’t lead to meaningful action.

But on closer inspection, the choice between maximising clicks and maximising conversions isn’t that simple. Each strategy comes with its own pros and cons, and by working to understand the minutiae you can ensure that your money goes as far as possible, and realises as much of a return as possible.

So for those looking for some Google Ads support, let’s take a closer look at these two strategies, and when it might be best to employ them.

Maximise clicks vs maximise conversions

These two strategies do exactly what they say on their respective packets. Maximise clicks is a bidding strategy designed to help you obtain as many clicks as possible given your budget and campaign parameters, while maximise conversions is a bidding strategy designed to help you obtain as many conversions as possible given your budget and campaign parameters.

There are a few key differences between these two strategies:

  • Maximise clicks allows you to set a maximum cost per click (CPC), whereas maximise conversions does not.
  • Maximise conversions is likely to spend a greater portion (often all) of your daily budget when compared to maximise clicks.
  • Maximise clicks doesn’t consider the quality or relevance of the clicks beyond the basic parameters you set, whereas maximise conversions uses machine learning to find and secure the best.

In short, maximise conversions is about quality, maximise clicks is about quantity.

Why choose maximise clicks?

Is your business looking to establish its brand rather than explicitly make sales? The maximise clicks strategy is great for brand awareness, helping you to get your name in front of as many eyes as possible.

In some ways the maximise clicks bidding strategy also offers greater levels of control than the maximise conversions strategy. You can set a maximum CPC bid, guarding against the algorithm deciding to spend huge dollars on a single click. Combine this with a precisely designed keyword and location strategy, where you specify exactly who you want to see your Google Ads, and maximise clicks can see your budget stretch surprisingly far.

Maximise clicks is also often less risky than maximise conversions. While the maximise clicks strategy operates under the basic parameters you set, maximise conversions relies on a complex algorithm that Google builds over time. If you’re not generating enough conversions each day, Google won’t have enough information to make the maximise conversions strategy work. Even worse, if you get spam conversions, Google will build an algorithm based on poor information.

Where the maximise clicks strategy can fall down is when you aren’t super confident of the most effective keywords or locations, as this can lead to you receiving a lot of irrelevant clicks from wherever they’re cheapest.

Why choose maximise conversions?

Is your business established online? Do you sell products over the internet every day? Do you have enough experience to confidently set KPIs? If you answered yes to all these questions, maximise conversions will likely be the optimal strategy for you.

Google describes its maximise conversions strategy thus: “Maximise conversions automatically sets bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. It uses advanced machine learning to automatically optimise bids and offers auction-time bidding capabilities that tailor bids for each and every auction.

Maximise conversions works within your campaign parameters to bid for the clicks that are most likely to end in conversion. The ‘while spending your budget’ portion of this explanation might not jump out at you at first, but it is significant. This strategy will aim to spend as much of your daily budget as possible in order to secure conversions, and you are unable to set a CPC limit, so if the Google algorithm is super confident that a particular click will convert, it could spend quite a bit on it. You can however state how much you are willing to pay for a conversion.

The maximise conversions strategy also demands a greater base of knowledge than maximise clicks. If you don’t know the exact number of conversions you’re aiming for in a given day or week, you should at the very least begin with a maximise clicks strategy, using it to define those parameters over the course of at least a couple of weeks, ideally a month. Once you have an idea of a reasonable conversion target, you can then switch to maximise conversions.

Identifying the best strategy for you

Both maximise clicks and maximise conversions are effective Google Ads strategies… as long as they’re used in the right way. As a rule, maximise clicks should be your starting point and maximise conversions should be used once you’ve built up the necessary base of knowledge. And before making the switch we would always recommend running an A/B test to see if Google has enough information in order to improve your return.

Maximise your clicks and conversions well, and you’ll be on your way to maximising your online presence.

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