5 Ways to Optimize Automated Bidding


Coming up with realistic bidding strategies is one of the most important levers us marketers have. After all, setting the tone of campaign budgets influences ad spend, and in turn, making money! If you’ve dipped into trying your hand ay setting up automated bidding, this additional layer of control can help campaigns make the most of their goals. Sounds like a win-win, right? Our experienced team just so happens to think so. The Sage Digi team has over 17 years of Google In-House experience, and we’d like to share our two-cents about this bidding strategy.

Google’s automated bidding products like “enhanced CPC” or “Target CPA” bidding can add some “set it and forget it” benefits for marketers. They are an algorithm-driven company that predicts when a person is going to take a desired action, like “Buy Now,” “Sign Up,” or “Add to Cart.”

However, it’s very important to continuously test within Google Ads Search accounts and other Search Engine Marketing tactics. In fact, Google is making moves to offer less transparency into how effective your CPC bidding is by deprecating reports that used to tell you where you showed up on the page. Sounds like a bummer, right?

One example of that is the average position report. They deprecated the report earlier this year and we found that to be super annoying! Why would you run an auction with 4 potential winners and not tell the winning bidder where they showed up?

Bid Optimization Tips

If you’re running ads with any of the automated bidding options, here are 5 things you should do to optimize bidding strategies right away:

  1. Build an exact-match keyword campaign with manual bidding and run it against an exact-match automated bidding campaign.
  1. Check what percentage of the time your ads show at the “absolute top” of the page and also your “impression share report.”
  1. Raise bids 10% at a time for campaigns that are not showing up at the “absolute top” more than 10% of the time.
  1. Monitor your CPAs as you raise bids.
  1. If your sales are not profitable, cut CPCs until your CPA stabilizes to a profitable range.

Look at your CPCs over time in your automated bidding campaigns. Do you see the automated bidding inching up your bids penny by penny? Over time, that can lead to significant price increases for you, and billions of dollars for Google.

Yes, this is manual work. Yes, it is time consuming. But we have seen CPCs and CPAs come down an average of 6% for brand new campaigns that are on manual bidding vs. automated bidding. What could you do with an extra 6%? For some advertisers, that could mean an additional 1,000 clicks per month!

Give it a try yourself! Or, if you need a helping hand along the way, we have a whole team’s worth. Send us a message to chat about how we can get the most bang for your ad spend.
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