A guide to bid adjustments

Automate your bidding in Google Ads

Automated bidding is the preferred way to set bid adjustments. Use this guide to decide whether you want to use bid adjustments or automated bidding in Google Ads.

It’s critical to understand your business and which segments of customers are the most valuable. You can then combine that with automated bidding in Google Ads to further improve performance and save time. Our automated bidding algorithms have improved over the years, adding new contextual signals and raising the accuracy of bidding models to help get you more conversions within your performance target.

Automate bids using Smart Bidding.

Exactly like there are multiple different bid adjustments available to customize your bids, there are multiple different signals included in Smart Bidding that are used to set the right bids for each auction. On top of that, you can select from different bid strategies to meet your unique business goals.

Automated bidding is the preferred way to set bid adjustments. Conversion-based strategies like Target CPA and Target ROAS optimize for performance by device, time, location and audiences. They also have the added bonus of setting those bids on an auction-by-auction basis considering a range of other signals observed at the moment of the auction. This is a feature known as “auction-time bidding.”

Managing bids can be time-consuming and complex, particularly for large, complicated accounts. Automated bidding is the most straightforward way to optimize bids across your segments and combinations of those segments. Smart Bidding also adapts to performance changes over time, saving you from having to evaluate performance reports manually and continuously change bids to keep pace with performance fluctuations and dynamic market conditions.

Tailor your automated bidding to your own account’s needs.

If you opt to use Smart Bidding, there are a few ways to tailor those bidding options to connect directly with what you know about your business.

To start, if you know that your campaigns drive value that your Google Ads reporting doesn’t fully capture, consider setting higher performance goals. Automated bidding will attempt to maximize volume at whatever performance targets you specify.

You will also soon be able to set device performance targets with Target CPA bidding. Target CPA with device performance targets will allow you to set separate CPA goals by device. For example, if you’re a telecom advertiser who drives better lead quality from mobile due to higher conversion rates from calls and store visits, you will be able to set a higher mobile target CPA compared to other devices to account for offline data.


If you have business needs that prevent you from using fully automated bidding options, Enhanced CPC gives you the ability to set bids manually while still getting many of the benefits of auction-time bidding.

Finally, you can test automated bidding in your account with confidence by using drafts and experiments. Using an experiment to test a draft campaign, you can measure your results to understand the impact of your changes before you apply them fully. You can use it to evaluate something like target CPA compared to manual bidding with bid adjustments.


Get advanced tips and product updates right in your inbox. Sign up for the Best Practices newsletter.
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue