Pay-per-click (PPC) for SMBs #9: Bids and Match Types

Welcome to the ninth post of The World of Paid Search: A Step by Step Series.

So far, we’ve furnished our imaginary business, Shah’s Cars, with an account, relevant keywords and engaging ads. Next, we need to decide on the bids and match types to use. Identifying the relevant bids and right match types for your keywords can be a challenging task, but getting it right will have major implications on your overall account performance.

The Auction

Getting your ads to appear on our lovely search engine involves taking part in an auction. Basically, when one of our searchers types a query such as ‘used cars’ into the search bar, a competition between all the advertisers bidding on that keyword on adCenter kicks off. The major winners are those who appear in the top 3 spots (highlighted in red below) because a lot more people click on those ads than any others. The remaining positions (highlighted in blue below) are also pretty popular and great spots to occupy.

Choosing Bids

How you fare in the auction and what position your ads occupy depends on the maximum bid you’re willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad (also known as the Max CPC). Using adCenter or the Microsoft Advertising Intelligence Tool (MAIT) you can identify the estimated Max CPCs for every one of your keywords for different match types and for different ad positions. Have a play around with these brilliant tools, and you’ll soon find out how much a click is going to cost, what position you can afford and estimates around how your account is going to perform.

Match Types

At this stage in the process of setting up your account, you also need to think about which match types to use. Match types describe how closely the keywords (KW) that you’re bidding on are matched by the user search queries (SQ). There are 3 different match types available on Microsoft adCenter: Exact, Phrase and Broad. You can choose to use just one or two of these types, or all three.

Once you’ve decided which match types and bids are going to generate the best results for your keywords, your account can go live! Yippee! Lots and lots of luck, and please pop back for the final three blogs in our series in the next few weeks to ensure you can enhance and optimise your live account.

Many thanks,


Pay-per-Click (PPC) for SMBs #1: Paid and organic search

Pay-per-Click (PPC) for SMBs #2: An introduction to Bing

Pay-per-Click (PPC) for SMBs #3: An introduction to adCenter

Pay-per-Click (PPC) for SMBs #4: Introducing adCenter Desktop

Pay-per-click (PPC) for SMBs #5: The Microsoft Advertising Intelligence Tool

Pay-per-click (PPC) for SMBs #6: How to set up a new Microsoft Advertising adCenter account

Pay-per-click (PPC) for SMBs #7: How to find keywords

Pay-per-click (PPC) for SMBs #8: How to write great ads

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