Should You Use Automated Bidding for Google Ads?

graphic with a computer with a large mouse icon clicking on the screen with other graphics that represent moneyIf you are managing various paid campaigns, making sure you meet budget and get the most out of your approach can be tedious, especially if it means consistently checking and adjusting your bids on your most important keywords.

What Is Automated Bidding?

Automated bidding is a way to “take the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals” according to Google, and it automatically makes adjustments to your bidding for you based on what their system determines to be an enhanced move.

There are several types of automated bid strategies that Google Ads can perform:

  • Maximizing clicks – This sets bids to help you get as many clicks as possible within your defined budget. Best for those who want to increase site visits.
  • Target Impression Share – This sets bids for more visibility in search results, whether for the first result, top of page, or anywhere else on the page. It is only available currently for the search network.
  • Target Cost Per Acquisition – This sets bids to help increase conversions based on your targeted cost-per-action. It can be used for either search or display ads.
  • Target Return on Ad Spend – This sets bids to help you have greater conversion value from the target return on ad spend (ROAS) you set up. This strategy is also available for shopping campaigns.
  • Maximize Conversions – This sets bids to allow you to get more conversions while staying within your allowed budget.
  • Maximize Conversion Value – This sets bids to help you get a better conversion value for your campaign while staying in your budget.

Automated vs. Manual Bidding

Let’s take a look at some of the high-level differences and benefits for each option.

Automated Bidding

  • Allows you to work on other tasks at hand
  • Can be great when competition is high
  • Can help you get more out of your budget
  • Opportunity to get more conversions

Manual Bidding

Without automations, you are able to keep your campaigns manual. Here are just a few positives to keeping your campaigns under your control:

  • Helps you maintain a close eye on budget and interactions
  • Can help you see when you need to pivot
  • Controls complex campaigns
  • Can be better for long-term results

So, Should You Use Them?

Well, it depends.

First off, there are actually restrictions based off of the activity on your account, which deem you as qualified or not qualified to use automations. For example, some require a minimum of 30 conversions in the past 30 days.

Because of this, automated bidding would likely work best for larger companies, such as how it worked for T-Mobile.

Here is what our PPC Manager Andrea Ozello had to say on automated bidding:

“…I’ll use it [automated bidding] for all DSA campaigns we run since those are already a smart type of campaign and aren’t keyword based. I’ll also use it for some clients if the keywords or industry are super competitive and we aren’t getting much traction from the manual CPC bidding… at least for a bit to get more insights as to what is working in terms of targeting and bids. From there, if I want to get more control over the bids, I may switch back, but if it’s working well I’ll keep it how it was to maximize conversions.”

If you want additional testimonials from PPC experts, you can read some more in this article from WordStream.

Final Thoughts

So if automated bidding strategies are something you are interested in, do some more research first and see if you qualify for the type of automation you need help with, and be sure to be okay with having a flexible budget allocated for automated bidding since your results can vary.

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