This is a non tech small business marketing question but hopefully you guys don't mind. If you do I guess it will be closed down.
My wife has started a small cake business in London: Art of Sumptuous Cakes
We have very small advertising budget but virtually all our business comes from Google adwords. Of the bidding options available what is the best choice for a business like ours?
[A] Focus on clicks - manual bidding. Have tried this with auto adjustment for when a keyword was not first page but frequently hit the daily budget quickly
[B] Focus on clicks - automatic bidding - started with this, high number of clicks but not many conversions
[C] Focus on conversions - have just started using this method as we are starting to collect conversion data. Having tried direct online purchase, it was not successful. People ordering cakes seem want to have a conversation via email / phone, so defined our conversion as form submit on the Contact Us page. Bit worried this option does not seem to provide as many clicks and can use up the daily budget quite quickly. Advice on whether the Max CPA or Target CPA is the better option
Have started to gather data on all three and is that just the best option? There doesn't appear to be a way to A/B test bidding options so run each for a month at a time with the same keywords and AD's and just measure conversions?
I'm rusty with Adwords, but if you're asking that question I'm pretty sure you're not using your budget efficiently. Standard settings tend to err on the side of more money for Google.
Manual is best - but once you know what you're doing.
Here's some resources that will help:
If you're burning the budget too fast, try the following:
Your logs and conversions will tell you which are costing you. Often excluding has most effect as you trim those who aren't going to convert, so your budget runs the campaign for longer.
Once you have some active bids running, and your click through rate goes up, try dropping the amount - bid price isn't the only thing deciding your ad placement. Click through rate, bounce rate and site "quality" have an effect too. So regularly tune your pricing, or you'll end up overpaying.
You might have got more current info over on ProWebmasters.
Here is how I would advise handling AdWords: