Finding success with Smart Bidding

Official guide to automating and optimizing your bids.

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Automating your bids with Google Ads can deliver better, more informed bids while saving you time. In this guide, we’ll talk about why you should use automated bidding, ideally a Smart Bidding strategy. This guide will primarily focus on Search campaigns. We’ll also cover which strategy to choose and how to test automated bidding in your account.

1. Deliver better performance using auction-time bidding with Google Ads

  • Bid to the user’s auction-time context via Smart Bidding.

Why: Dynamic bids tailored to each individual auction can often lead to better results.

Get started: Learn how auction-time bidding technology works.

Read more about taking advantage of auction-time bidding.

2. Manage bids more efficiently in Google Ads

  • Save time on account maintenance by automating your bids.

Why: Automated bids may save time that you can spend on other areas that are vital to your account’s health.

Read more about managing bids efficiently.

3. Pick the right bid strategy

  • Choose a strategy that aligns with your main business goal.

Why: Automation will manage your account to focus on that goal above all else.

  • Automate your bidding based on the most accurate conversion data available.

Why: Better conversion data means more informed automated bids.

  • If visits to your physical locations are important to your business, incorporate store visits into your Smart Bidding strategy.

Why: Maximize total sales whether they happen online or in-store.

  • Know when to use seasonality adjustments with Smart Bidding.

Why: Seasonality adjustments should be used for specific situations when you can predict conversion rates will temporarily change for a short period of time.

Get started: Set up conversion tracking first before you can use conversion-based bid strategies.

Read more about picking the right strategy.

4. Align your structure and settings with automated bidding

  • Simplify your account structure.

Why: Granular campaign structures aren’t necessary as automated bidding will work across all account structures.

  • Base your campaigns on objectives

Why: Automated bidding is objective-based bidding, which means a single campaign should generally have the same type of objective.

Read more about aligning campaign settings with automated bidding.

5. Test your automated bid strategies

  • Keep each bidding test simple, consistent and focused on one KPI.

Why: Adding other new elements as you test Smart Bidding can muddy your test results.

Get started: Use experiments to test the performance of automated bidding.

  • Choose the largest campaign that you’re comfortable experimenting with. You can also find campaigns that are a good fit for Smart Bidding in the Recommendations page.

Why: In testing, more data means more confidence and faster results.

  • Start with targets that align with your historical CPA or ROAS.

Why: Overly-aggressive targets can affect your volume and cloud the comparison with your historical averages.

Read more about testing automated bid strategies.

6. Evaluate your automated bid strategy’s performance

  • Use the bid strategy report.

Why: You can view how your goal metrics have performed over time while on Smart Bidding. And see how well you hit your goal on average.

  • Understand top signals being used by Smart Bidding.

Why: Understanding top signals in Google Ads can help your marketing efforts elsewhere.

  • Understand conversion delays.

Why: Customers may take time to convert after clicking on your ads, which we refer to as conversion delay. You need to know what your typical delays look like to properly assess performance. Your performance may appear less efficient than it is if you do not wait until all conversions have been reported before assessing performance.

Read more about evaluating automated bid strategies.

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