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What is a Bid Manager?

By Jessica Saras
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A bid manager is the person responsible for developing appropriate strategies to achieve high rankings on Internet search engine results pages (SERP). As an expert in search engine marketing, this person usually employs a variety of bid management techniques for a website’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements. To properly understand the role of the bid manager, it is important to understand the way these PPC ads work.

When someone performs a search on the Internet, he or she is given a list of results that correlate to his or her search term. A combination of natural and paid results, this list generally identifies all of the sites that the search engine believes is relevant to the user’s query. If the user selects one of the paid ads, the website owner will be charged for that click — hence the name pay-per-click advertising. The amount the website owner is charged for the user’s click often depends on the keyword that was used to find the ad.

The bid manager, therefore, is responsible for setting up these PPC ads, determining appropriate keywords for the ad, and selecting an appropriate bid value for each keyword. A keyword’s bid varies based on the popularity of the term, so the bid manager must research which keywords provide the most cost-effective solution for a website’s PPC ad. To determine this, the person must track the number of visitors to the site and determine how many of those visitors performed a desired action.

Known as conversion tracking, this information helps the bid manager determine which keywords are the most successful and, in turn, which should have higher bids. Once the bid manager has determined the maximum amount he or she is willing to pay for a particular keyword, he or she will then provide that information to the search engine. The search engine uses this information to list, or rank, the ads according to how much the website owner is willing to pay for each click.

Successful bid management strategies require a great amount of time and research. As a result, many companies prefer to use automated systems to track conversions and clicks. Known as bid management software, this tool compares each keyword’s clicks and conversions, and then uses that information to adjust the bids accordingly. Regardless of whether a company decides to use automated software or to employ a dedicated person to track this information, bid management strategies are a crucial factor in the success of a website’s Internet campaign.

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Discussion Comments

By JessicaLynn — On Aug 19, 2011

@sunnySkys - There is definitely a lot of behind the scenes stuff regarding the Internet. Marketing is one of them, as you said.

I think it's really interesting that bid manager is an actual job. After all, there is software dedicated to bid management. And from the description it definitely sounds like something that could be done adequately by a computer program. I suppose some companies must just prefer to have a human do it.

By sunnySkys — On Aug 18, 2011

Internet marketing is definitely a new specialty. I have a friend who majored in marketing in college. She graduated a few years ago and didn't learn anything about pay-per-click advertisements or keywords in school. I think all of that will change soon, because everyone uses Internet marketing these days.

It's amazing how much behind the scenes stuff goes into search engine rankings. Before I found out about keywords I used to think the results that showed were the "best" for my search. But you can definitely manipulate search engine results with good marketing. Just something to consider.

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