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Automated And Smart Bidding in Google Ads

Automating your Google Ads Campaign

Google ads are very effective, and there are many ways to create a dynamic campaign. Here is another method for you to consider. We have compiled these articles for your reference.

[1]Google has implemented a lot of machine learning features into its advertising platform in recent years. We’re at a point now where you can create campaigns in Google Ads, and the search giant will pretty much optimize everything for you.

Google also has several automated bidding features that promise to help you get results for less. Smart Bidding, in particular, optimizes your bids to maximize conversions, tapping into Google’s vast tank of user data – but should you really hand over control of your ad budget?

What exactly is Smart Bidding?

Smart Bidding is a set of automated bid strategies in Google Ads that use machine learning to maximize conversions. Google looks at historical search behaviour and contextual data to predict the likelihood of a conversion and then increases your bids when a conversion appears more likely.

This contextual data can include location, time of day, user devices, your ad’s historical performance and a wide range of other factors, depending on each query.

There are five different Smart Bidding strategies that each prioritize a specific conversion goal:

Maximize Conversions: Optimises bids to maximize conversions from your budget.

Target ROAS: Optimises your bids to achieve your target return on ad spend (ROAS) from your budget.

Target CPA: Optimises bids to maintain your target cost-per-action (CPA) from your budget – in other words, the amount you pay for each conversion.

Target impression share: Sets bids to show your ad at the top of the page as often as possible.

Enhanced CPC Optimises your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) to maximize conversions.

Those are five powerful optimization strategies, and Smart Bidding takes care of all the work for you.

[2]What is Google Ads automated bidding?

Automated bidding is a Google Ads bid strategy designed to maximize results based on your set campaign goals. With automated bidding, Google automatically sets bid amounts based on the likelihood that your ad will result in a click or conversion. To do this, they analyze data such as a user’s device, operating system, the time of day they are searching, demographics, and location.

Google’s automated bid strategies are portfolio bid strategies (an automated, goal-driven bid strategy that groups multiple campaigns, ad groups, and keywords). This means that advertisers can apply their chosen strategy across their campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. In addition, some are available as standard strategies (an ad strategy that can be used in single campaigns).

Automated bidding aims to solve two concerns that advertisers often face their campaigns:

  1. Whether or not their bids are high enough to compete for qualified buyers.
  2. Whether or not their bids are too high and possibly showing to people who have no interest in making a purchase.

By automating bids, there’s no need to update bids for keywords or ad groups manually. Instead, bids are set automatically and are unique to each auction (the bid will be different for every auction).

Automated bid strategies analyze past data and learn over time, using performance to inform future bids. This performance is another indication of Google’s movement towards machine learning, which is also used by their Universal App Campaigns.

While machine learning helps to automate the bidding process, the system has its drawbacks.

For instance, This bidding method can’t consider things like recent events, media coverage, weather, or flash sales. This is where a manual approach to setting bids may be necessary.

Finally, automated bids are available for both Search and Display ads depending on the bid strategy you are using.

What is Smart Bidding?

Smart Bidding is a term associated with automated bidding, and some may confuse the two as the same thing. However, Smart Bidding is simply a bidding category that includes only conversion-based strategies.

Smart Bidding uses machine learning to maximize conversion results by tracking and analyzing data signals from every search and click. Using this data, Google will either increase or decrease bids based on whether or not it believes a click will result in a conversion. For example, it will set a higher bid for a searcher who is more likely to purchase.

There are currently four Smart Bidding strategies:

  1. Enhanced CPC
  2. Target CPA
  3. Target ROAS
  4. Maximize Conversions

Requirements and recommendations

To use Smart Bidding, you must have conversion tracking enabled (unless you are using Enhanced CPC with Display campaigns). Additionally, Google recommends that advertisers have at least 30 conversions in the past 30 days before using Target CPA and at least 50 conversions before using Target ROAS.

Final Thoughts

Smart Bidding is a massive change to Google Ads, but it doesn’t really change the nature of PPC. So the same challenge applies as always: finding a way of doing it better than the rest.

As discussed in this post, there are opportunities in finding the best way to test Smart Bidding or the best way to optimize different strategies over time.

Smart Bidding is ultimately one extra tool in the massive toolkit of the PPC specialist – more complex than a lot that has come before but ultimately reliant on the user’s expertise.

Google is always changing the game. That’s what makes this industry so challenging and so fun.

If you’re a PPC specialist, Google is not coming for your job. However, you will need to adapt.


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