Understanding Google Ads Automated Bidding
Google Ads automated bidding strategies have been pretty controversial in the past. When they first launched most marketers believed a manual bidding strategy would always beat an automated bidding strategy. Over time that view has shifted and it has now become how Google’s machine learning and automated bidding strategies should be best leveraged to improve account performance.
Is Testing an Automated Bidding Strategy Right for Your Account?
Most bidding strategies rely heavily on data and specifically conversions. Typically, it is recommended that you have at least 30 conversions in the past 30 days of data. Also, it is very important that your conversion tracking is setup correctly. An automated bidding strategy is not a magic solution and cannot fix a poorly structured account. If you have a campaign that is already generating results, then that is usually when you want to experiment with another bidding strategy and see if you can improve the performance. However, you need to have a goal in mind before testing to get the best results. If you have a goal in mind, conversion tracking setup and enough data, then you should be experimenting with automated bidding strategies.
Strategies for Testing Automated Bidding
Automated bidding can be one of the best tools at your fingertips when optimizing Google Ads performance. The important thing is that you setup proper experiments and test these strategies. You will want to use Google’s Drafts & Experiments tool to create a new version of your campaign that tests a different bidding strategy. This is currently the best way to experiment with automated bidding strategies. Test multiple strategies and never assume you know what will work best in your account because you might end up being surprised with what ends up delivering the best results in your specific campaigns. Also, even if you have tested a strategy in the past and didn’t get the best results, it might be worth giving it another try because Google’s machine learning is constantly improving. An experiment you ran a year ago may have very different results if you run the same test now. Every single automated bidding strategy has aspects to it that are important to be aware of and be cautious with when testing. These are not set it and forget it solutions and do not replace being active in an account and making optimizations. You need to be strategic about the adjustments and changes you are making to your campaigns that use automated bidding.
What Bidding Strategy is Right for Your Account?
There are several different strategies you can test in an account and there is not a one size fits all solution. It is important to think about what the goals are for the specific Google Ads campaign and then test the best strategy that matches up with your goals. The automated bidding strategies can be thought of and placed into 3 different buckets.
Bucket 1: Brand Awareness
If the goal of your campaign is mainly focused on getting people to see your ads and visit your site and you have less of an emphasis on driving conversions, then the Maximize Clicks or the Target Impression Share bidding strategies are options you can test.
Bucket 2: Drive Conversions
If the goal of your campaign is to drive as many conversions or revenue as possible and profitability or return on ad spend are not as important, then the Maximize Conversions or the Maximize Conversion Value bidding strategies are options you can test.
Bucket 3: Profitability
If your goal is mostly centered on driving conversions or revenue but staying within a specific cost per conversion or return on ad spend, then the Target CPA or the Target ROAS bidding strategies are options you can test.
Things to Consider for Each Automated Bidding Strategy
Target Impression Share
Maximize Conversion Value
If you are not testing automated bidding strategies in your Google Ads account it is very likely that you are missing out on performance improvements. At the very least you are missing out on the opportunity to learn more about what works in your account and what does not. As a marketer you should always be striving to improve the performance of an account, and automated bidding strategies have proven to be a valuable tool you can use.