Manual vs. Automated Bidding Strategies in Google Ads

It is extremely important to choose the right Google Ads bidding strategies in order to adjust your bids. This will go a long way in helping drive your ad costs down and optimize your ad spends. If you do the opposite of this, there’s a high chance that you will end up paying more than your fair share.

Fortunately, there are multiple types of bidding in Google ads you can choose between and even more ways you can put them to use for maximum results. Some people opt for automated bidding while some may prefer manual bidding. You may feel confused about which one to choose but many people opt for the former since it means you do not have to adjust bids all the time if you’re running multiple campaigns.

However, there needs to be a more in-depth understanding of the whole process. Let’s see how both processes perform when compared against each other.

Automated bidding strategies:

Google points to automated bidding as an excellent solution for advertisers who want “to save time managing bids based on hundreds of signals.”

According to Google:

“Automated bidding takes the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals. Each type of automated bid strategy is designed to help you achieve a specific goal for your business.”

Automated bidding strategies can help you achieve goals like increasing site visits where you can use the Maximize Clicks setting that will automatically optimize your bids to help drive as many clicks to your ads as possible within your budget. Automated bidding strategies can also increase visibility through the Target Impression Share setting which will automatically set your bids to show your ads “on the absolute top of the page, on the top of the page or anywhere on the page of Google search results.” Getting more conversions with your cost per acquisition (CPA) is another goal that can be achieved through Automated bidding strategies. For this, the Target CPA setting can optimize both Search and Display campaigns to drive conversions at your desired CPA target.

Through automated bidding strategies, you can increase conversions while staying in control of your keyword bids. The Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) automatically adjusts your manual bids to help you get more conversions at your desired CPA. Meeting target return on ad spend (ROAS) for different conversions is possible too in automated bidding strategies. The Target ROAS automated bidding strategy helps you drive conversions based on their value while has to stay within your ROAS goals.

Manual bidding strategies:

Google has also tried to make it as easy as possible for you to take control of your Ads account and optimize bids for specific keywords and ad groups. You can click on the button below in the Ads dashboard which will open up a chart that tells you what you would get with each CPC increase. If you have time on your hands and have experience with AdWords, manual bidding is the way to go. Manual bidding lets you jump on trends sooner than Google’s algorithm. Although a bit more difficult, you will have more flexibility and control over your keywords and bids.

Manual VS Automated Bidding: Which one is better?

Automated bidding could be a temporary solution that delivers mixed results. It can work well in accounts with large conversion volumes. If you are running a smaller account with only a few campaigns, you can opt for automated bidding. However, in the long run, manual bidding is a great long-term solution for most business accounts.

Of course, there a few situations where automated bidding strategies work in a better manner. For instance, automated bidding rules are a great way to manage efficiencies within your Ad accounts. How you can do is that you can use automated controls to monitor a keyword’s impressions compared to its CTR and conversions. If the CTR and conversions are very low, you can set an alert that will notify you to go in and take a closer look. If you think the keyword is not performing well, you can then manually pause it. This method is helpful if you have a large paid search account and need to focus on top-performing terms.


In many cases, while manual bidding is more likely to work better, there are examples where it makes sense to deploy automated bidding strategies. You may take a little while to understand which bidding strategy to choose. If you are unsure which method may work the best for you, you should take advice from an experienced agency to find the strategy that can work wonders for your business.


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