Bid Strategies Best Practices for Meta Advertising

When you enter an ad into the auction, Meta will bid for you. But in some cases, it may benefit you to adjust the bidding strategy to get better results.

Of course, this is an advanced strategy. Manual bids can also have the opposite impact, leading to worse results than if you had allowed default bidding. Because of this, it’s often safer to roll with the defaults.

But, let’s dig into this to give you a better idea of how each bid strategy works and why you might use it.

Highest Volume

Meta Ads Bid Strategies Highest Volume

Highest Volume is the default bid strategy for most performance goals. If you make no changes to bidding, Meta will attempt to get you the most optimized actions within your budget.

This means that there is no concern given to your CPA, Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), or the amount of the bid. The only goal is volume of optimized actions.

When should you use this?

In most cases. This is the best place to start with a new campaign or product. Once you get results over time, you can make decisions regarding a bid strategy that might get you better results.

If you’re a newer advertiser, this will almost always be the recommended approach.

Cost Per Result Goal

Meta Ads Bid Strategies Cost Per Result Goal

This bid strategy helps you set the amount that will keep your advertising profitable.

While using Highest Volume, you can set a Cost Per Result Goal. When you do, Meta will attempt to produce the highest volume of your optimization event as possible while staying around your Cost Per Result Goal.

You should first figure out the average Cost Per Result by running your ad set without a Cost Per Result Goal. You aren’t guaranteed to maintain this cost, but it will be the goal of the algorithm.

Keep in mind that costs will fluctuate during the learning phase but should stabilize thereafter. You may have more difficulty reaching your budget, especially if you attempt to set an overly aggressive Cost Per Result Goal.

When should you use this?

When you have an expected Cost Per Result based on prior results and know what your cost needs to be to remain profitable.

Highest Value

Meta Ads Bid Strategies Highest Value

In order to utilize Highest Value and Return on Ad Spend Goal bid strategies, you need to send purchase events with value using the Meta pixel.

When running a Sales campaign using the Website conversion location, the default performance goal is “maximize number of conversions,” which uses the “Highest Volume” bid strategy. But if your account qualifies, you can also select “maximize value of conversions” as your performance goal, which utilizes the Highest Value default bid strategy.

When using this bid strategy, the goal is no longer to get you the most conversions within your budget. It’s now focused on spending your budget while getting the highest value purchases. In other words, the preference will be three purchases valued at a total of $300 over five purchases valued at $200.

When should you use this?

When your goal is more on the Return on Ad Spend than the highest volume of sales. Of course, keep in mind that the lower volume may also make it more difficult to properly optimize and exit the learning phase. You may need to prepare for a higher budget as a result.

Ecommerce brands with a deep catalog of products with varying prices and a higher ads budget may be the best fit for this approach.


Meta Ads Bid Strategies ROAS Goal

The ROAS Goal is to Highest Value what the Cost Per Result Goal is to Highest Volume. Cost Per Result Goal helps set guardrails for the Cost Per Result while focusing on the highest volume of conversions. The ROAS Goal establishes guardrails while focusing on the highest value.

Once again, this is available for Sales campaigns using the Website conversion location and “maximize value of conversions” performance goal. Meta will focus on high-value purchases, but you can establish a goal ROAS that will make your ads profitable.

As is the case when setting a Cost Per Result Goal, you are not guaranteed to maintain the ROAS Goal. Additionally, this restriction will make it less likely that you’ll reach your budget.

When should you use this?

First run a campaign to establish an average ROAS when promoting a particular product. Then use the ROAS Goal that will maintain profitability and remain stable throughout differing market conditions.

Bid Cap

Meta Ads Bid Strategies Bid Cap

You’ll be forgiven if this gets confusing…

Cost Per Result Goal is about maintaining a profitable Cost Per Conversion. But Meta is dynamically adjusting the bid in the auction to accomplish that goal. In that case, you are not putting any restrictions around the bid.

But the Bid Cap is the most you will bid in the auction. A low bid doesn’t guarantee a low Cost Per Result and a high bid doesn’t guarantee a high Cost Per Result.

When should you use this?

Only the most advanced and adventurous advertisers should bother with Bid Caps. You’re able to figure out the right bid because you can calculate them based on projected conversion rates and marginal cost. If that’s mostly over your head, just take a pass here.

What I Do

First, I use the default Highest Volume about 90% of the time. I’ve experimented with Highest Value, but it’s best for ecommerce businesses with a deep catalog and a wide variation of prices.

After a campaign has run for a while using Highest Volume and the Cost Per Result begins to increase, I do occasionally experiment with a Cost Per Result Goal. Since I have a better idea of the Cost Per Result I should expect — and what is and isn’t acceptable — I can set a reasonable goal to stabilize the costs.

But this approach can be hot and cold. It’s often about timing. If you get too aggressive with the goal, your budget just won’t spend. A higher budget with more potential for volume tends to be ideal to utilize this approach.

What is most attractive about Cost Per Result and ROAS Goals, though, is that they are safer. Even if the approach doesn’t work, the result is likely to be an inability to exhaust your budget.

Watch Video

I recorded a video about this, too. Check it out below…

Your Turn

Do you experiment with bid strategies? What’s been your approach?

Let me know in the comments below!