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Should You Use Manual Or Automated Bidding In AdWords?

Should You Use Manual or Automated Bidding in AdWords?

Manual and automatic bidding are the two types of bidding strategies available in Google AdWords. They’re available at the account and campaign level and help you choose where and when your ads will appear – and at what cost.

Your choice of bidding strategies will depend on many factors including:

⁃ Where you’d like your ads to appear in the ad auction results
⁃ How much you’re willing to spend per click
⁃ Who your competitors are and if you want to outbid them
⁃ The type of campaign that you’d like to run
⁃ Whether you’re launching a new AdWords campaign or updating one
⁃ Whether you want to increase sales or reduce costs

And so forth. So it’s important to know what your goals for the campaign are because that will help you decide which bid strategy to use.

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Both have their pros and cons, and below I’ve listed some of the main ones to help you decide the best option for your campaigns:

Automatic Bidding:

Pros:
– Saves you a lot of time because the Adwords system updates bids based on opportunities, positions, competition, conversions, ROI and so on. It can be time consuming and inefficient to do this manually.
– A wider range of bid strategies to choose from. It presents you with many options to boost ROI
– Is a great option if you’re not sure what bid to set especially at the beginning.
– Is more effective at achieving the highest positions especially if you choose target outranking share to compete against one of your competitors.

Cons:
– You have less control over your bids and may not be the best option for your campaigns – Affects all the ad groups, ads, keywords and product groups in the campaign so no granular bidding can be implemented.

Manual Bidding:

Pros:
– Gives you greater control over bidding
– Helps you take advantage of an opportunity or a trend in the market. An example was the recent GDPR framework that many companies were offering training or implementation services for. One of our clients was able to bid higher manually for specific keywords that were converting well.
– Although it affects all Ad groups, ads, keywords and product groups in the campaign, you can change bids for each of these individually and bid higher or lower as you choose

Cons:

– Can be time consuming especially if you have many campaigns, ad groups or keywords.
– It’s a challenge to know what bid to set especially when just launching new campaigns. There always a temptation to set bids too low which can affect performance and prevent ads from working
– Can be very difficult to achieve number 1 position especially in a very competitive field. If competitors are using automatic bidding, you’ll have to change bids each time you’re outranked and can be inefficient.
– Only one bid strategy option as compared to automatic bidding which has at least 7 bid strategy types

Mike Ncube

I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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