What are Google Ads Bid Adjustments?

Google Ads Bid Adjustments allow you to show your ads more or less often depending on when, by whom, how and where searches are made!

You can, for example, define that your bids will be 20% higher for those who have already visited your site, but 15% lower for those who search by cell phone.

Another possibility would be bidding 35% more for women and 5% more for those in the certain cities.

These are examples of adjustments based on device, remarketing lists, gender and geographic location. Shall we go deeper, then?

How do Bid Adjustments work?

Bid adjustments, in short, will raise or lower the bids for your targets, be they keywords or other Google Ads options.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that you’re paying per click (CPC) on a specific keyword, “white sofa,” a bid of $ 1.00. So far, each click on the “white sofa” will have a bid of R $ 1.00.

After choosing the word, you realize that searches in the city of São Paulo have a cost per acquisition (CPA) 50% lower than those in the rest of Brazil.

Since the capital of SP is better for your business than the others, you decide to pay 50% more to balance the CPA. Then, you will have an adjustment of + 50% for residents of São Paulo, for that keyword.

Calculating the bid of someone in the city of São Paulo, we have:

  • $1,00 bid: +50% for the city of São Paulo

  • The calculation: R $ 1.00 * 1.50 = R $ 1.50 That is, the final bid would be $ 1.50 for the city of São Paulo.

Now, your keyword "white sofa" competes in auctions throughout Brazil with a normal bid of $ 1.00, but, specifically for searches made in the capital of São Paulo, your bid is $ 1.50.

How do multiple bid adjustments work?

In the previous example, we assign an adjustment only to the city of São Paulo. However, we can apply several other Bid Adjustments that will work together.

Resuming the previous example of the “white sofa”: you can assign a bid adjustment of -20% bid for those who search by mobile device and + 15% for searches made on Monday.

Each adjustment of each type will multiply and apply your bid for the given keyword.

Calculating for someone who is in the capital of SP, using a cell phone and on a Monday, we have the following situation:

  • $1.00 bid: +50% of city, -20% of cell phone and +15% of Monday;

  • Final calculation: $1.00 * 1.50 * 0.80 * 1.15 = $1.38
    That is, the final bid would be $ 1.38.

This is a simple example. It can become more complex when adjustments are made for each possibility.

What are the main 6 Bid Adjustments?

As stated earlier, there are several options for adjustments. We will briefly mention here the 6 main options that you can use in your Google Ads campaigns.

Device Bid Adjustment

Adjust different bids for: mobile, desktop and tablet.
For example: -30% for users accessing via cell phone.

Hour and Day of Week Bid Adjustment

Adjust bids for different times and days of the week.
For example: + 10% for Wednesday, between 7pm and 12am.

Gender bid adjustment

Adjust bids for genders: male, female, and unknown.
For example: + 32% for female users.

Bid Adjustment for Remarketing List

Adjust your bids for those on a remarketing list.
For example: + 100% for those who abandoned a cart in the last 14 days.

Bid Adjustment for Geographic Location

Adjust your bids for those in a geographic location. You can target specific countries, states, cities or areas.
Example: + 30% for those in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Age Bid Adjustment

Adjust bids for different age ranges.
Example: -40% for the age group of 18 to 24 years.


Make the most of the available adjustments! Making full use of the available adjustments can be what makes a loss-making campaign a very profitable one.

There are several cases where the correct adjustments have more than doubled the advertiser's ROAS!

The recommendation is that you start exploring the bid adjustments little by little, but be aware that you can go a lot deeper to get the most out of each moment and audience.

To inspire you and complete this article, see an example of crossover Day of Week optimization with Time Bands applied by Pareto Ads in a campaign by a client focused on entertainment:

Learn more in our blog!

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