Google Smart Bidding: Expert Takes to Boost Your Campaigns

google smart bidding

If you ran Google Ads, you’ve tried Google Smart Bidding.

But did you do it the right way? 

To understand how Smart Bidding works, you’ll need to explore its multifaceted landscape. And this means that you’ll need to understand its impact and the algorithms behind it all. 

This is only possible if you go through the entire process of setting up your own Smart Bidding campaigns properly. 

So let’s first see what this harmonious blend of bidding strategies and machine learning really is.

First Up, What’s Google Smart Bidding Exactly?

As per Google, Smart Bidding is an advanced feature in Google Ads that leverages machine learning to optimize the bidding process for online advertising campaigns. 

It automates the adjustment of bid amounts in real-time based on various factors such as user behavior, device, location, and time of day, to maximize the likelihood of achieving specific campaign goals, like maximizing conversions or achieving a target return on ad spend (ROAS)

By analyzing large volumes of data and continuously learning from user interactions, Smart Bidding can help you make data-driven decisions about how much to bid for each ad auction. 

That’s why we call them smart! 

This automation can lead to better ad placement and improved overall campaign performance, making it a valuable tool for getting the most out of your Google Ads campaigns efficiently. 

🧠 Bottom line: Smart Bidding aims to make bidding more efficient and effective, freeing you from needing constant manual adjustments and allowing you to focus on broader campaign strategies.

Google Smart Bidding: Common Misconceptions

With it still being relatively new, it’s normal for fallacies and uncertainty to creep in.

Especially as you don’t want to give Google your key to the castle. Fortunately, that is far from the truth and Smart Bidding can help you significantly.

So let’s unveil the myths:

Misconception #1: Loss of Control

One prevalent misconception is that Smart Bidding leads to a loss of control over your ad campaigns. 

While Smart Bidding automates bid adjustments, advertisers still retain control over campaign settings, budgets, and targeting options. It’s a collaborative approach where automation complements human oversight.

Misconception #2 Immediate Results

Some believe that Smart Bidding will instantly boost campaign performance. 

In reality, it may take time for the system to gather sufficient data and adapt to optimize bids effectively. Patience is key when implementing Smart Bidding.

Misconception #3 It’s a One-Size-Fits-All Solution

Smart Bidding isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Each campaign is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Customization and fine-tuning are essential to align Smart Bidding with specific business goals.

Misconception #4 Lack of Transparency 

There’s a misconception that Smart Bidding operates in a black box, with little transparency. 

Google provides performance data and insights, allowing advertisers to understand how bidding decisions are made and make informed adjustments.

Misconception #5 Not Suitable for Small Budgets: 

Some believe that Smart Bidding is only effective for large advertising budgets.

 In truth, Smart Bidding can work well for both small and large budgets. It’s about setting realistic goals and expectations based on your budget constraints.

Misconception #6 Limited to Conversions: 

While Smart Bidding is often associated with conversion-focused goals, it can be used for various objectives, including maximizing clicks, optimizing for conversion value, or targeting specific return on ad spend (ROAS) goals.

⚠️ Understanding this can help advertisers make informed decisions when considering the implementation of Google Smart Bidding in their campaigns.

Smart Bidding vs. Manual Bidding – Do You Have to Choose?

In the realm of Google Ads campaign optimization, two primary strategies compete for attention: Smart Bidding and Manual Bidding.

Let’s delve into a comparative analysis of these approaches, shedding light on their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Smart Bidding: Precision Perfected

Imagine bid adjustments made with meticulous precision. This is where Smart Bidding excels. 

Powered by advanced machine learning algorithms, Smart Bidding adopts a data-driven approach that continually analyzes historical performance, user behavior, and contextual cues. 

The outcome? Bid adjustments that harmonize seamlessly with campaign objectives.

Advantages of Smart Bidding:

Enhanced Efficiency: Smart Bidding automates bid adjustments, saving valuable time and effort. Manual adjustments become a thing of the past.

Real-Time Adaptation: Smart Bidding ensures bids adapt to changing market dynamics in real-time, optimizing campaigns for maximum impact.

Improved Targeting: By considering multiple signals, Smart Bidding pinpoints the most relevant audience, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions.

Optimized Budget Allocation: Bid adjustments align with budget constraints, ensuring resources are allocated efficiently for optimal outcomes.

when you should use google smart bidding

Manual Bidding: A Hands-On Approach

In the opposite corner, we have Manual Bidding – the method where marketers exert direct control by setting bids manually.

This approach offers a hands-on, personalized approach that can yield valuable insights through direct involvement.

Advantages of Manual Bidding:

Strategic Flexibility: Manual Bidding allows marketers to exert precise control over bids, making adjustments based on real-time observations.

In-Depth Insights: Hands-on bidding provides direct insights into bid performance, aiding in understanding audience behavior and campaign nuances.

Budget Control: Marketers can distribute the budget across specific keywords or ad groups as needed, ensuring control over expenditure.

💡 The verdict? Finding balance. Choosing between Smart Bidding and Manual Bidding isn’t a straightforward decision. It’s about striking the right balance that aligns with your campaign goals, resources, and preferences.

When to Opt for Smart Bidding:

Time Efficiency: If time is a valuable resource, Smart Bidding reduces the need for bid management, allowing you to focus on a broader strategy.

Data-Driven Approach: Smart Bidding leverages data insights. If your campaign has substantial historical data, Smart Bidding can use this to drive optimal results.

Real-Time Adaptability: In a fast-paced market, Smart Bidding’s ability to adjust bids in real time can keep you ahead.

When to Opt for Manual Bidding:

Granular Control: For those who prefer hands-on control and real-time decision-making, Manual Bidding offers the freedom to adjust bids precisely.

Limited Data: In cases of limited historical data, Manual Bidding lets you make strategic choices based on your direct observations.

Budget Allocation: If allocating budgets to specific keywords or ad groups is critical, Manual Bidding lets you distribute resources strategically.

manual bidding vs smart bidding choices

How to Optimize Campaigns With Smart Bidding: Step By Step Guide 

Now that you’ve decided that Smart Bidding is the way to go, here’s a step-by-step guide to make it work. 

Log in to Your Google Ads Account: Open your web browser and go to Google Ads.

Sign in to your Google Ads account.

Select the Campaign: From your Google Ads dashboard, choose the campaign you want to apply Smart Bidding to.

how to optimize for smart bidding campaign selection

Access Campaign Settings: Click on the campaign name to access its settings.

smart bidding optimization, campaign settings

Navigate to Bid Strategy: In the campaign settings, locate the “Bid Strategy” section.

navigating to google smart bidding strategy

Choose “Change Bid Strategy: Click on the “Change Bid Strategy” link or button.

changing google smart bidding strategy

Select Smart Bidding Strategy: From the list of available bid strategies, choose “Smart Bidding.”

selecting smart bidding strategy

Choose a Smart Bidding Goal: Google offers various Smart Bidding goals, such as “Maximize Conversions,” “Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition),” “Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend),” and more. Select the goal that aligns with your campaign objectives.

choosing a smart bidding goal

Set Your Campaign Budget: Ensure that your campaign has a daily budget set. Smart Bidding strategies require a budget to optimize bidding effectively.

setting your campaign budget smart bidding

Adjust Additional Settings (Optional): Depending on your selected Smart Bidding goal, you may have the option to adjust settings like target CPA or target ROAS.

Customize these settings based on your specific campaign goals.

google smart bidding additional settings adjustment

Save Your Changes: Once you’ve configured your Smart Bidding strategy and adjusted settings, click the “Save” or “Apply” button to implement the changes.

Monitor and Evaluate: After enabling Smart Bidding, closely monitor your campaign’s performance. Google’s machine learning algorithms will begin optimizing bids automatically.

Fine-Tune Over Time: Smart Bidding is an ongoing process. Analyze performance data and make adjustments as needed to achieve your desired results. Do it yourself or count on professionals to help you.

a step by step campaign optimization with smart bidding

Google Smart Bidding Case Study: Striking Balance

In the end, you’ll want to find harmony between these bidding approaches. 

Smart Bidding and Manual Bidding can complement each other, with Smart Bidding handling the heavy lifting while you maintain a human touch where it matters most. 

If you lack the time to do both or need help—no worries. 

We had Priscila Chiva, our head of Search, explain the importance and the main points you should pay attention to when it comes to Smart Bidding:

“The main benefit of using Google Smart Bidding is a better optimization of each auction to maximize conversions and conversion value at the best costs (better CPAs, ROAS).”

Therefore, there is more time available to focus on business strategies instead.”

“”Google Smart Bidding helps us avoid manual and time-consuming optimizations and take advantage of the power of machine learning and AI combined to achieve more revenue and profitability. 

— Priscilla Chiva,
Head of Search at Top Growth Marketing

Why You Should Look For A Professional Team For Smart Bidding

As we said before, a qualified media team should manage the brand’s Search if possible.

The reason is simple. It involves setting up campaign settings and conversion actions tracking accurately so that the algorithm can work based on correct data inputs towards clients’ objectives. 

Also, it is key to regularly monitor and evaluate the impact of automated bidding on results and make the adjustments needed, counting on their experience.

Bid Smart, Think Smart.

While Smart Bidding is a powerful tool for optimizing your Google Ads campaigns, it’s important to remember that the digital advertising landscape is dynamic and ever-evolving. 

Consider having valuable, experienced professionals by your side.

Our team of dedicated experts can provide the expertise needed to make accurate decisions, fine-tune your strategies, and ensure that your campaigns consistently deliver exceptional results.

Get in touch with us today, and let’s achieve remarkable success together!

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TGM has spent more than $300 Million across social & search advertising platforms. Let us help grow your business using the best, performance-based customer acquisition strategies. 

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