Using automatic bidding

Automatic bidding allows you to put your bidding on autopilot with the goal of getting the most possible clicks within your budget. You can also set a cost-per-click bid limit if you don't want to exceed a particular price for each click. At any time, you can switch to our manual bidding strategy, which allows you to choose your own bid amounts instead.

Automatic bidding is the simplest of the AdWords bidding strategies. You don't need to specify individual bids for your keywords, ad groups, or placements. Instead, you set a daily budget, and AdWords will help adjust your cost-per-click (CPC) bids to receive the most possible clicks within your budget.

Automatic bidding is ideal for advertisers who don't want to spend a lot of time setting bids, but would like to get the most clicks possible for their ads within their budget. If at any time you don't like the bid suggestions, you can easily switch to using manual bidding which gives you full control to set the bid amounts yourself.

Example

Liz runs a small travel agency and wants to get people to visit her website. She uses automatic bidding to help her ads get the maximum amount of clicks within her US$100/day budget, without managing individual keyword bids.

Tip

Save time and effort on managing your bids by trying Maximize clicks as a flexible bid strategy. You’ll be able to apply bid optimization more strategically to entire campaigns or specific ad groups and keywords of your choice. How to use flexible bid strategies.

Set up automatic bidding

You can switch to automatic bidding at any time. Keep in mind, however, that automatic bidding doesn't work with the "Display Network only - Mobile apps" campaign. Also note that if you switch a campaign using bid adjustments based on day and time (custom ad scheduling) to automatic bidding, these day and time bid adjustments won't be applied to your bids.

To set up automatic bidding, simply follow these steps below:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. In the Campaigns list, click the campaign name.
  3. Select the Settings tab.
  4. Click Edit next to your bid strategy. See Bidding option
  5. Select "AdWords will set my bids to help maximize clicks within my target budget." See bidding options
  6. Click Save.
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Tips

  • Set bid adjustments to increase or decrease your bids when your ad is competing to appear on mobile devices and in specific locations. Bid adjustments can give you more control over when and where your ad appears.
  • Set up custom ad scheduling to show your ads on certain days or during specific times, and use automatic bidding to maximize clicks during those days and times. Note that if you set bid adjustments based on day and time with campaigns using automatic bidding, those bid adjustments won't be applied to your bids.
  • If you'd like to have more control over your bids, you may be interested in learning how to set CPC bids for individual keywords or placements.

View your automatic bids

To view the automatic bid for your campaign, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Ad groups or Keywords tab.
  2. Under the "Default Max. CPC" heading, you'll see the maximum cost-per-click bid that the AdWords system is using for your campaign, as indicated by the "auto" tag. Maximum cost-per-click bid

CPC bid limits for your campaign

It isn't possible to set individual CPC bids with automatic bidding, but you can set a maximum CPC bid for your entire campaign. This maximum CPC bid, known as the CPC bid limit, allows you to control the maximum amount you're willing to pay for each click. For example, if you specify a bid limit of US$1, your CPC bids won't exceed US$1 for any single click.

If it's important for your business to control the cost of individual clicks on your ad, it's a good idea to specify a CPC bid limit so you have more control over the cost of each click. Keep in mind, though, that a CPC bid limit can restrict your ad position or the number of clicks your ads receive.

Example

You sell baseball caps online for US$10. To make a profit, you don't want to pay more than US$1 per click on your AdWords ads. You set a CPC bid limit of US$1 so your bids won't exceed US$1 when you use automatic bidding.

If you choose not to set a bid limit, automatic bidding will work as it normally does by automatically choosing the maximum CPC bids that can allow you to receive the most possible clicks within your budget.

Set up CPC bid limits

If you're using automatic bidding and you set a CPC bid limit for your campaign, it will apply to all ad groups in the campaign.

To set a CPC bid limit, follow the steps below:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Select campaign that you want to edit.
  3. Select the Settings tab.
  4. Next to "Bid strategy", click Edit. See Bidding option
  5. Enter your bid limit in the field labeled "CPC bid limit." See CPC bid limit field
  6. Click Save.
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Next steps