google smart bidding

Understanding Google Ads Smart Bidding

Google Ads (previously AdWords) have become near essential in today’s digital marketing landscape. Exactly how Google Ads work and how businesses can utilize the feature is a bit more complicated. Thankfully, since Google has made an effort to keep their ad services and Smart Bidding accessible to a large audience, there are many tools and guides to help even the least tech-savvy amongst us use Smart Bidding. Still, it is important to understand Google Ads at a high level before taking the plunge. 

Today, we will review Google Ads Smart Bidding, assess some of the benefits and potential risks of Smart Bidding, and finally discuss how brands can utilize Google Ads Smart Bidding to propel their business.

Google Ads Smart Bidding 101

According to official Google documentation: “Smart Bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies that use machine learning to optimize for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction—a feature known as “auction-time bidding”. Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximize conversions, Maximize conversion value, and Enhanced CPC (ECPC) are all Smart Bidding strategies…Automated bidding takes the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals.”

Smart Bidding allows brands to select one or more of their target goals for optimization. Examples of these goals might include:

  • Increasing visibility
  • Increasing clicks
  • Increasing conversion rates
  • Increasing conversions per dollar spent
  • Targeting specific ROAs

Google Ads Smart Bidding takes this information and automatically bids on the ads which are most likely to meet your specific goals. In this way, Google Ads Smart Bidding is designed to offer maximum efficiency for your advertising dollars.

The Benefits of Smart Bidding

So what are some of the reasons you should consider Google Ads Smart Bidding for your brand? Here are a few benefits of Smart Bidding:

  • Highly flexible goals: as we mentioned above, Google Ads Smart Bidding is personalized to your particular brand goals/marketing strategies. 
  • Intuitive performance reporting: Google Ads users also have the advantage of detailed and transparent reporting when it comes to how their money is being spent and how those dollars led to meeting (or not meeting) goals. 
  • Google’s powerful algorithms: of course, having the power of Google machine learning at the helm can’t hurt. Smart Bidding depends on cutting edge machine learning algorithms to use your money wisely. 
  • It is incredibly convenient and easy to use: At the end of the day, the biggest benefit of Google Ads Smart Bidding might just be how easy it is to set it and forget it. Inputting your key goals and letting Google do the heavy lifting can certainly save money and time.

Drawbacks of Google Ads Smart Bidding

Now that we have discussed a few of the many pros of Google Ads Smart Bidding, what are some of the cons

  • Google Ads Smart Bidding is personalized, but it is still just software. At a certain point, marketers must understand that even with all of the correct inputs, a software program has its limitations. Highly curated and targeted marketing strategies still tend to outperform “one-size-fits-all” programs. 
  • Google Analytics might not accurately represent your key demographics. Again, only your brand knows your ideal target audience. While Google Ads Smart Bidding reporting is robust, it only reflects overall impressions.
  • You lose some control over your spending and data. Google Ads does make a strong effort to keep the power in the advertisers’ hands as much as possible. Yet the program functions by making decisions for your brand. 
  • Campaigns must fit inside Google’s pre-determined boxes. The target goals we listed above are fairly typical for marketing campaigns. But what if your goals are highly specific and do not fit into these boxes? When it comes to Google Ads Smart Bidding, you might be out of luck.

How to Stay on Top of the Competition with Google Ads Smart Bidding

Based on everything we have reviewed here today, you might get the impression that Google Ads Smart Bidding is best-suited for small to medium-sized businesses. And you might be right. Brands without the power to develop their own big data sets and advanced algorithms are almost certainly better off putting some faith in the most powerful tech firm on planet earth. For large, established, resource-rich brands, the answer is a bit murkier.

Google Ads are used by businesses of all sizes. The question then becomes: should my large brand enter into the Smart Bidding campaign? Understanding your bidding options including Smart Bidding, CPC Bidding, and more, is a great place to start. 

Clock Tower Insight Helps Brands Utilize Google Ads and More

Clock Tower Insight helps our clients to build their brands through any means necessary. We believe in using cutting edge research to deliver unparalleled insight and understanding into today’s rapidly changing marketplace. With over 15 years of dedicated experience, our marketing insight has helped organizations including Belle Tire, Nielsen, Orbitz, and Kraft Foods. 

We are proud to offer a number of services to our clients, including customer experience management, brand positioning in the marketplace, market sizing, market testing, and more.