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Adwords Automated Bidding: Saving Time or Saving Money

Lately there has been a major push in Adwords to take control out of the hands of the individual advertiser and allow Google to manage an account via a variety of options in a campaigns settings. From the mandatory switch to Enhanced campaigns that offer the convenience of allowing for supposedly greater flexibility in device targeting (it doesn’t), to the addition of Bid Strategies, Automated Rules, Shared Ads and the list goes on. 

AdWords ROIDoes Google Actually Help Advertisers?

These features all share one thing in common, they are designed to make Google more money, not the advertiser and are presented as time saving tools to make an Advertisers life easier when it comes to managing their Adwords campaigns.

When weighing out the use of automation in an Adwords campaign, advertisers need to evaluate their priorities of saving time or saving money. For the vast majority of advertisers the savings in time will come at a very high dollar cost.

One option in particular I would like to talk about is the Bid Strategy, which is found under the Bidding and Budget Campaign Setting. The standard setting is “I’ll manually set my bids for clicks” followed by “Adwords will set my bids to help maximize clicks within my target budget”. There is also “Focus on conversions” and “Select a flexible bid strategy”. Today I am going to discuss manually setting bids versus all of the other options.

I will just come out and say it that manually bidding is the only way to go when controlling your Adwords spend and getting the most value out of each Click is the priority. When an advertiser chooses to let Adwords handle bidding on keywords, so much control is lost that it is similar to just throwing away money in my opinion. What many advertisers do not realize is that by allowing Adwords to control the bidding some of the most powerful optimization tools at their disposal are lost, primarily the ability to adjust an individual keywords Max CPC and the ability to change Ad Scheduling.

Automation: Loss of Control

The loss of control for most advertisers is very much contradictory to the standard goal of most advertisers to get the best return on their Adwords dollars. When Adwords is in control of bidding it treats all keywords as equal and bids can only be adjusted at the campaign level by setting a CPC Bid Limit. Compound the powerful loss of control with no ability to schedule ads, there is no surer way to lower return on investment than to take the time saving option. Ffor the small business in Edmonton this is a recipe for Adwords failure.

In my experience working with hundreds, if not thousands of different campaigns, I can honestly say only in 1 campaign have I ever seen Adwords controlled bidding being the right option. In short don’t be fooled by the push for convenience in your Adwords campaign by letting Google manage your keyword bidding the cost is almost always too high. 

The Best Way to Get Your Money’s Worth?

If there is ever one tip about Adwords to remember it is if it seems convenient and almost too easy, you will end up paying far more in the long run. An optimized Adwords campaign takes time, attention and hands on adjustments to tweak for top performance for maximum return for your advertising dollars.