Manual Bidding vs Automated Bids: Understanding How And When To Use Them
Manual Bidding vs Automated Bids: Understanding How And When To Use Them
Manual Bidding vs Automated Bids: Understanding How And When To Use Them





Google Ads is a great way to get your business the visibility it needs. But if you’re not using them correctly, they can be an expensive waste of time. Luckily, there are tons of ways that you can use Google Ads to get more bang for your buck—and one of those ways is heavily reliant on bid strategies. If you’ve been running Google Ads for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of the two main ways to take advantage of their system. While automatic bidding is a great way to save yourself time and effort, manual bidding can be the more effective option in certain situations. These bidding strategies can help your organisation to achieve goals like


  • Increase site visits

  • Increase visibility

  • Get more conversions

  • Increase the return on your advertising spend

What is Manual Bidding?

Understanding How Bids Work:

Manual bidding is a way to set your own CPC bid. This can be useful when you have a clear idea of what you want to pay for each click, or even the conversion value of each click.

The easiest way to do this is by using the manual bidding option in Google Adwords (if you haven’t already done so). By using manual bidding, you can set your own bid amounts for each of the ad groups that you have created.

This means that you can control exactly how much money you are willing to spend on an individual click. Manual bidding is especially useful when your business has a specific goal in mind and needs to reach it as cheaply as possible.

The Pros of Using Manual CPC Bidding

The Many Benefits of Manual Bids:

With manual CPC bidding, you can set a specific bid for each keyword and ad group. You can also set a maximum bid and a minimum bid for each of your campaigns. This gives you the power to be very granular with how much you pay per click—and it’s especially helpful if you’re trying to run an aggressive campaign that may not work out well in the long term.

Manual CPC bidding can also be helpful if you’re just starting out. You can set up your campaigns in a way that doesn’t require a lot of experience with Google Ads but still allows you to make some informed decisions about how much money you want to spend on each click. The Cons of Using Manual CPC Bidding

If your company is launching a new product or service, then manually setting bids might be ideal because it lets you test different keywords at various competitive levels without having to worry about bidding too high or too low until things start rolling along smoothly.


The Cons of Using Manual Bidding

The cons of using manual bidding are as follows:


  • Requires more time and attention. Manual bidding requires you to constantly monitor your campaigns, which can be difficult if you run many of them at once. You’ll need to keep track of each individual account and adjust bids accordingly, which means checking multiple spreadsheets or dashboards throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to set up alerts when your bid gets too low or high in order to avoid any costly missed opportunities.

  • It requires more knowledge about your products and industry. With automatic bidding, Google makes all the decisions for you based on their algorithms—so it’s important that you understand those algorithms, know what keywords are relevant for your business, and have an idea about how much traffic each keyword might be able to generate before diving into manual bidding mode (or else you risk wasting money).

  • increases the risk of making mistakes (and being penalised by Google). Automatic bidding allows advertisers some wiggle room, so they don’t always have 100% confidence in how well something will perform. However, with manual bidding, there isn’t any leeway–you need 100% confidence that everything will work out perfectly every time before even starting! To put it simply, if anything goes wrong with an automated campaign, then there isn’t much damage control possible; but with a manual campaign, there’s always something that could go wrong!

What is Automated Bidding?

How Automated (Smart) Bids Work:

Automatic bidding is a machine learning process that optimises your bids for you. It can be used for both search and display campaigns, and it’s available in automatic CPC mode or manual CPC bidding mode. This means that it’s not just a tool to help you improve your manual CPC bid strategies; it also lets you use automatic bidding for the first time!

If you’re not familiar with this method of optimization, here’s what it looks like: Automatic bidding uses historical data from your ad campaigns to learn about how much each keyword costs in order to generate clicks, impressions, or conversions (depending on what type of campaign). Then it uses those insights to make better decisions about how much to bid on each keyword going forward based on various factors such as competition level and historical performance metrics like conversion rate or clickthrough rate (CTR).

Advantages of Automated Bidding

There are many advantages to using automatic bidding, including:


  • Focusing on other aspects of your business. If you spend your time creating great ads and landing pages, it’s best to let Google’s algorithm do the heavy lifting when it comes to bidding. This frees up more time for executing other strategies that help grow your business.

  • Saving time Considering how quickly the world is moving towards automation, manual bidding can be a pain in the neck—and we’re not just talking about the literal ache in your neck from looking at all those numbers! With automated bidding, you don’t have to keep an eye on performance data and change bids by hand every few hours or days. Instead, you just need to set up an initial automatic bid strategy and let Google handle the rest while you focus on growing your brand’s visibility in search.

  • Being easy-to-set up and scalable (or “plug-and-play”). Automated bidding often requires less technical knowledge than manual methods because there are fewer variables involved (i.e., bids aren’t determined by hand). This makes automated campaigns easy for even non-marketers like salespeople who need quick answers about which keywords should be targeted based on budget constraints without having extensive experience with AdWords’ analytics platform dashboard. But this also means that these types of accounts tend to be less flexible over time because they are based only on what was set up when they were first set up. These strategies need to be updated on a monthly basis, based on changing circumstances, such as seasonal demand spikes or new customer demographic requirements.


Disadvantages of Automated Bidding


  • You don’t have as much control over your bidding strategy.

  • It’s harder to manage the relationship between cost and profit and optimise for both at the same time.

  • You may pay more than you want to for clicks that don’t result in conversions or sales.

  • You may not be able to get the most profitable traffic—and therefore keywords—to your site if Google is bidding too high for them.


Target Impression Share

Impression Share is a metric that tells you how many of your ad impressions were shown to people who actually wanted to see your ads. It’s determined by dividing the number of clicks generated by your ads (clicks that lead to a conversion) by the total number of impressions. In other words, for every 1,000 impressions, you should receive at least X number of clicks.

If you’re using manual bidding, then you can use this metric to optimise how much you’re willing to pay for a click: if there are not enough clicks relative to the number of impressions being served up on average, then increase bids until enough users are clicking through.

Different Placements Options of Target Impression Share


  • Anywhere on results page – This will bid anywhere on the search engine results page for the duration of your campaign.

  • Top of results page – This will place your ads above organic listings for the duration of your campaign.

  • Absolute top of results page – This will bid on position one for the duration of your campaign.


Target CPA

Automatic bidding is great for managing costs and ensuring that you reach the maximum number of impressions. However, it’s not always the best way to reach a target conversion rate.

  • Target CPA: The target cost per acquisition (CPA) represents the maximum amount you are willing to spend on each conversion. You can calculate it by dividing your total costs by the number of conversions. For example, if your business has R10,000 in total advertising spend and 100 conversions at an average CPC of R10, it would mean that your TCO was R100 per conversion (R10/100).

  • Target ROAS: Another option is setting up a target return on ad spend (ROAS). This is calculated as revenue minus cost divided by cost and shows how much money each dollar invested brings in through sales or leads.*

Target ROAS

If you’re looking for a more strategic way to increase ROI, target ROAS. Target ROAS is the percentage of revenue you want to earn from each ad that’s clicked on. When used as a bidding strategy, your ads will be shown to people more likely to make a purchase so that they get the best return on investment (ROI) possible.

This is a great way to increase ROI because it helps you determine what kind of return you want from each ad. For example, if your target ROAS is 10%, then every ad click should generate at least 10% more revenue than the cost of displaying that ad.

How to calculate ROAS When calculating ROAS, divide the total revenue generated by all clicks on your ad by the cost of displaying that ad. So if you’ve made R1,000 from 10 clicks, then your ROAS is 100 % (10 clicks x R100 profit each = R1,000). If you’ve made R2,000 from 20 clicks, then your ROAS is 50 % (20 clicks x R100 profit each = R2,000).


Maximize Clicks

Max clicks is the most effective way of increasing the site traffic of the website. This is due to the machine learning optimising for finding people that are more likely to click on your ads depending on your quality score and other ad signals.

However, this can lead to wasted clicks. Negative keywords would need to be utilised for this bid strategy.


  • Optimise your ad copy. If you’re not already doing so, begin optimising the messaging and calls-to-action (CTAs) in your ads by testing different variations and seeing which ones perform best.

  • Optimise your landing page. If you don’t have an A/B test set up for testing different landing pages, it’s time to start one now! Landing page optimisation is one of the most important parts of a successful PPC campaign but is often overlooked by businesses who don’t know how to optimise their sites—or simply don’t want to spend their time on it.

  • Use Google Analytics to optimise campaigns and landing pages. Google Analytics lets you see everything that happens on your website through a central dashboard that makes it easy for even non-technical users better understand user behavior.


Maximize Conversion

At the end of the day, you want to maximise your conversions. A high conversion rate means that a significant number of people are clicking on your ads and visiting your site. This is an important metric because it shows that people like your content and are interested in what you have to say.

You want to get as many clicks as possible, but you also want those clicks to convert into sales or leads at a high rate. The best way to do this is through testing different ad copies, headlines, images, and especially landing pages.

When you’re testing ad copies, you want to find the one that performs best. This means that if you have two different ads with similar results, it’s better to choose the one that has a higher CTR. In other words, don’t just look at click-through rates; look at conversion rates as well.

Maximize Conversion Value

By maximising conversion value, you can use this strategy to get the most out of your money.

Maximise Conversion Value is a strategy that uses a combination of the other strategies to maximise your return on investment. This strategy is used when you have a high-value product or service and you want to make sure that every customer is getting the most value from your product or service.


In the end, it’s important to remember that there are no absolute answers when it comes to Google Ads bidding. The best solution is one that works for your business and its goals. The best approach is to use a combination of the strategies above, with manual bidding as your baseline. Manual bids should be used in order to make sure that you’re getting the most out of each individual campaign and keeping up with ever-changing campaigns. The Google Ads platform is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay on top of any changes that might affect your campaigns.