Google Ads Automation is an appealing thing, especially for marketers who have a ton of tasks on their plate when they’re trying to manage a large number of ad campaigns across multiple platforms. The thought of creating campaigns that are in part (or in whole) “set in and forget it” is an undeniably tempting one.
Google Ads’ automated bidding has therefore gotten a ton of attention from marketers and businesses who are trying to get the most out of the platform. These bidding strategies allow you to determine what your ideal results are for your campaign and then pass the burden onto Google so they can optimize your campaigns properly.
These bids are great for advertisers who are worried about not biding high enough while also wanting to reduce the likelihood of spending too much on irrelevant clicks or impressions. They’re also dynamic, which means that as Google’s algorithm learns more about user actions and your ad campaigns, the ads will be optimized automatically.
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1. Automation Means Manual Review is Unnecessary
Some people believe that Google knows best, and they’ll set up automated bidding and never check in on the financial aspect of their campaigns. They think that Google’s algorithms will know the best way to get results, and that’s that.
This is an enormous mistake. Automated bidding means that an algorithm is taking over, and that’s always risky. You want to ensure that you’re getting the results you need at a price you can afford.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you’re choosing the automated bidding strategy of “Maximizing Clicks.” You set a limit of $4.51 for a maximum bid per click because you’ve determined that this is the most that you can bid while still being profitable.
2. You Can Start Running Automated Bidding Right Away
Technically, you can start using automated bidding right away, but smart bidding options (which allows for full optimization) is going to work best once you’ve already got campaigns up and running.
The idea behind automated bidding is that Google will learn from how your target audiences are interacting with your ad campaigns, so they’ll be able to best serve and optimize your ads moving forward once they have enough information from your specific ad account. According to Google, smart bidding, in particular, works well if you’ve had at least 15 conversions over the past 30 days, though 50+ conversions are ideal.
3. “Smart Bidding” is the Same Thing as “Automated Bidding”
This is a small but important detail so that you can understand exactly what bidding strategies you’re choosing and what they mean for you.
Plenty of people get “smart bidding” and “automated bidding” confused, thinking that the two terms are completely interchangeable. This is a myth, however, and it’s left some brands struggling to understand the choices they’re making on the ad platform.
All smart bidding strategies are automated bidding options, but not all automated bidding strategies can be considered smart bidding. It’s an “all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares” sort of deal.
4. You Shouldn’t Worry About Individual Bids
Perhaps one of the biggest automated bidding myths is that if you’re putting faith in the automation, you shouldn’t worry about individual bids and that you should simply stick to an overall budget.
Some of the automated bidding options do give you the choice to set maximum CPC bids, and if you know for sure that you want to stick to a certain number, you should go ahead and set that bid limit.
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5. You Should Always Use Automated Bidding
Automated bidding is great. The smart bidding features have optimization potential that’s incredibly useful, especially for small businesses that don’t have the time, energy, desire, or experience to go all-in on tweaking and optimizing their campaigns on a daily basis.
That being said, automated bidding isn’t the right choice for all situations. There’s nothing wrong with using traditional manual bidding approaches, and many experienced advertisers even prefer it. Manual bidding makes it a little easier to control specific bids for individual products, keywords, or ad groups, giving you more control and flexibility.
The automated bidding strategies may not be quite as agile as we’d like, too. Smart bidding algorithms look at changes over time; dramatic changes due to sudden shifts in the marketplace, demand, or consumer behavior may not be picked up right away and require quick action from you.