Smart vs Manual Bidding Strategies
Bidding strategies that produce the best results for clients
Over the past few years, Google has undertaken a drive to encourage the implementation of Smart bidding strategies in campaigns. Widely expected to improve overall performance and meet specific targets, Smart bidding exemplifies what marketeers have been calling for to accompany the automation trend.
However, Trafiki Ecommerce has conducted research into a range of bid strategies and found that Manual bidding consistently produces the best results for clients. Read on to find out more.
Whilst bid strategies have been around for years, both within Google and third-party bid management platforms, the new ‘Smart’ bidding looks at a greater range of signals and uses machine learning technology to optimise across every auction your ad is eligible for.
Upon first glance, the case for choosing Smart bidding is more convincing than Manual; promising improved performance whilst saving time, why wouldn’t you want a smart machine to make relevant and informed bidding decisions for every eligible search?
Well, in short, Google does not always make the best recommendations. Trafiki Ecommerce’s research has shown that whilst the manual optimisation process can take longer, its superior results make any extra time spent worthwhile. We believe individuals who are obtaining better results through Smart bidding may not be Manual bidding in an efficient way.
Below are the results of four accounts where Trafiki Ecommerce has switched from Smart to Manual bidding. They each evidence significantly improved performance results.
|May 19 – Apr 20||1,133,378||12,755||1.13%||£1.73||£22,074.34||765||£28.87|
|May 20 – Apr 21||114,682||7,462||6.51%||£3.52||£26,296.01||1,684||£15.61|
|May 21 – July 21||32,050||2,164||6.75%||£3.08||£6,659.96||539||£12.36|
|May 19 – Apr 20||2,279,462||27,313||1.20%||£1.98||£54,205||2,247||£24.13|
|May 20 – Apr 21||2,398,359||29,924||1.25%||£2.24||£67,060||4,252||£15.77|
|May 21 – July 21||334,826||7,378||2.20%||£2.46||£18,175||1,171||£15.52|
|May 19 – Apr 20||2,500,320||28,971||1.16%||£2.66||£76,956||1,349||£57.07|
|May 20 – Apr 21||188,770||13,693||7.25%||£3.71||£50,767||2,532||£20.05|
|May 21 – July 21||50,135||3,709||7.40%||£3.50||£12,993.20||752||£17.29|
|Mar – May 2021||9,955,230||137,475||1.38%||£0.40||£54,860||872||£62.94|
|June – Aug 2021||12,625,546||118,108||0.94%||£0.56||£66,141||1,472||£44.92|
To find out for yourselves, we urge you to test out different bid strategies on your campaigns. If the results from Smart bidding strategies emerge stronger than Manual, we encourage you to re-test Manual bidding over a certain amount of time. The more Google learns about which keywords perform better while you have Smart bidding running, the more they will increase bids and spend which will result in higher CPCs and CPAs. Unless Smart bidding clearly produces better results for clients, we strongly recommend you to favour Manual bidding.
Manual vs Smart bidding, what is your preferred strategy and why? We would love to hear your opinions on, and experiences of using bidding strategies.
If you are looking for an agency to inspect and/or manage your PPC accounts, check out our PPC audit service and our ongoing PPC management services and see what we can do for you.