dotgal

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I'm a bit old school in that I always trust human review and management over complete automation. Over the years Google has pushed agencies and advertisers to rely on AI and programming for bid management. Now there is manual bidding, enhanced bidding, and a variety of automated bid strategies based on campaign goals. It seems that enhanced bidding is the only one that provides the granular control of individual keyword bids whereas the other automated bidding strategies you are trusting Google. My goal always is to provide the best ROAS with the lowest ad spend and maximum client goals (e.g. sales, leads, etc.) Which bidding strategy have you found works the best for generating the most leads and sales with the lowest ad spend? Has anyone done a comparison in Google Ads campaigns they've managed or can find studies that show automated bidding strategies outperforming the enhanced CPC strategy?
 

ElizabethRule

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Hi there,

I am a huge proponent of automated bid strategies IF you feed the system the data it needs to understand your goals. By this I mean you need to have conversion/goal tracking set up in the ad account so Google algo can understand what user actions you consider valuable and what it needs to optimize for.

In my honest opinion, I think Google is slowly (and secretly) depreciating the manual bid strategies and keyword match types so that in the long run advertisers will only be able to target keywords at the broad match level and have to use automated bid strategies. In theory, this makes sense as a computer is way better at determining what bids should be at any given time in the auction and what keywords drive the most value. However, advertisers are (rightfully) concerned about Google spending their budget inappropriately and thus costing them money.

In my experience, if you set up conversion tracking correctly and allow the system the time it needs to learn, automated bidding like maximizing conversions and Target CPA will work for you. For Local businesses who are optimizing for leads, this means investing in a reliable call tracking software that you can feed call data into Google ads. Tracking first-time, unique phone calls is going to yield better results compared to tracking click-to-calls (which do not always result in a call/lead).

Recently, I've had a lot of success with Performance Max generating leads at a much lower CPA compared to my normal search campaigns. Plus it's less time management on my end. This is running maximize conversions for contact form submissions and phone calls.

Here is a really good article on the benefits of automated bid strategies and why it's worth taking the time to set them up correctly: How Google Ads Smart Bidding Increased My Conversions By +171% - Granular

ALSO Google recently added 2 new resources to navigate automation (here is the tweet about it)

My final 2 cents, automation is not going away anytime soon and advertisers are soon going to have to learn to let go of the control we're used to having over every bid and keyword. If this is a good or bad thing I'm not sure, but I would rather work WITH Google than against them at this point.
 

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