What is Google Smart Bidding? – Ads Smart Bidding Strategies
Google search ads are a well-known tool for driving sales and traffic to a website. This is a big part of why they’ve become one of the most popular advertising methods.
But managing this sort of ads campaign can sometimes feel complex and time-consuming. If you’re already running a pay-per-click search ads campaign, then you might have heard about Google Ads Smart Bidding. What is smart bidding?
Smart bidding is designed to help make advertising easier and more efficient for marketers and businesses. It’s a resource that automates some processes and uses machine learning to optimize ads for better conversion or for a higher conversion value every time the bid-process occurs. This allows businesses to take a more hand-off approach with their search ads will still being able to prioritize certain goals for their business like more product sales or increased revenue.
Smart bidding gives you a range of signals to adjust and customize in order to set up your ads for your business’s ideal goals and KPIs. If you are interested in being able to automate some ad campaigns while making sure you reach your goals, then Google Ads Smart Bidding gives some options.
However, being able to work with Google Ads Smart Bidding isn’t necessarily as simple as it seems. In order to get the most out of your Smart Bidding strategy you’ll still need to be able to run and maintain your ads strategy and to also make sense of the results.
But because of the way that Smart Bidding works, there are pros and cons to each set-up. We’ll go over each one.
What is Google’s Smart Bidding?
Smart Bidding with Google Ads means using a few automated bidding strategies that are designed to improve on the efficiency of your ads and to help you reach a certain goal. With machine learning Google Ads Smart Bidding can optimize for general goals like cost-per-action (CPA), return-on-ad-spend (ROAS), more conversions, maximized conversion value, and enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC), etc.
This calculation takes place at the very moment your campaign is putting up a bid for a search query.
After you set up your Google Ads Smart Bidding, there is a “learning period” where Google Ads gathers performance data from your ads to understand how they are working and they results they are getting based off of your settings. After this they can use that info to feed back into smart bids.
This is one bid strategy that is set up to automatically adjust your bids in a way that helps get as many clicks as possible within your ad budget.
The maximum clicks Smart bid strategy can be used as either a standard strategy in a single campaign or as a portfolio bid strategy across multiple campaigns. And it’s applicable to search and display ads.
With this system Google Ads Smart Bidding aims to give your campaigns as many clicks as it can while only spending a target amount. Without a set target spend amount, it will attempt to use the remaining average daily budget that you have set for your campaigns. This strategy is good for increasing website traffic or to simply increase the amount of visitors coming to your site.
However it means that Google Ads can potentially eat up your total daily budget quickly since it’s main priority is getting clicks, and not necessarily on keeping your bids down.
This method can be used for either search or display ads and sets the bid on these in such a way to get as many conversions as possible, at or below the target cost that you set. This set amount would be your target “cost-per-action.”
This set up is designed to get businesses a greater number of conversions (like product sales, signups, app downloads, etc.) while also keeping the cost for clicks lower. It does this by using your ad campaign’s past conversion data to avoid paying for unprofitable clicks and instead focusing on optimal cost-per-clicks for each bid.
This means that you must set up a target CPA (or an average amount you’re willing to pay) that Google Ads Smart Bidding is able to aim for. Some of your conversions may be higher than your set target, and some may be lower, but the system will try to make sure that your average stays below your target CPA. This option is also available for single ad campaigns or to be used across your whole range of campaigns. It also requires that your campaign has conversion tracking set-up.
What is Google’s Smart Bidding strategy for ROAS? In this case your ad campaign is set up to automatically target an optimal return-on-ad-spend. This means that instead of focusing on clicks or conversions, your ad campaign is set to up for optimize return or revenue amount.
The way it works is that Google Ads tries to predict future conversions and associated values using the reported values that you provide, and then it will set a maximum cost-per-conversion in order maximize your conversion value and return.
Like the other forms of Smart Bidding strategy, you’ll need to enable conversion tracking for your ads and you also have to set up values for these conversions. If you are able to understand the real or perceived value of each conversion, it will allow Google to calculate bids for a better ROAS.
As the name implies, this Google Ads Smart Bidding strategy is designed to get you the maximum number of conversions using the ad budget that you set up, and your max daily budget. This is similar to maximum clicks in that the Ads will use your budget to get the most conversions, meaning that even if you get great results it’s possible to eat through your budget more quickly than with other strategies.
If your goal is to get the most conversions possible with your budget, this is one way to go.
Maximize Conversion Value
This method is meant to prioritize conversion value instead of just the amount of conversions. Ads will automatically find an optimal CPC bid for each time your ad is eligible to appear.
What Google Smart Bidding is doing here is taking into account your revenue metrics, and it will make bid adjustments accordingly to try to meet your revenue goals. This system will still attempt to use your fully daily ad budget though, so it may not be the best starting point if you are being cautious with your ad budget. This makes it different then the Maximize Conversions strategy.
Of course this means that you will also have to have conversion tracking and conversion value set-up properly for campaigns using this Google Ads Smart Bidding method.
Is Google Ads Smart Bidding the Right Choice?
Google’s Smart Bidding options are tempting for business and websites that are bearish about getting involved with Google ads. It’s an option that helps automate the more tedious parts of ad-management to help your business target a few key ad goals.
For marketers who are not familiar with Google Ads strategy it can seem like a simpler alternative to let Google do the heavy lifting for you.
But running ads using the Smart Bidding strategy still means setting-up, adjusting, and monitoring the settings in your ads account. Marketers are still required to set-up one-or-more campaigns, implement and monitor ad budgets, set conversion values, perform keyword research/adjustments, and monitor the results of the campaign to make sure they are meeting their business goals.
This is big part of why many businesses opt to hire a PPC management firm. With professional ad management, businesses will be able to track advances KPIs and get more fine-tuned ad strategies that Smart Bidding might not offer. For some, it might also be a safer bet, if the goal is to see a faster ROI. If you are unfamiliar with Google Ads search advertising, it might be better to look into hiring a company to manage your ads, rather than gambling with your ad budget yourself.
Smart Bidding also doesn’t automate things like ad creation, ad headline, and which pages are targeted. Businesses will still have write their ad text and choose target pages that are valuable to their website and best meet their long-term goals.
Contact us to learn more about Google search advertising and ways that professional ad management can help your business grow fast.