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The Difference Between Smart and Semi-auto Google Ads Bidding Strategies


The Difference Between Smart and Semi-auto Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Google Ads Bidding: Learn The Difference Between Smart and Semi-auto Google Ads PPC Bidding Strategies

Choosing the best Google Ads bidding type and executing a proper ppc strategy for adjusting and managing bids is crucial for driving your costs down.

The last thing you want to do when selecting your Google Ads bidding type is waste your budget, not when you can maximise your campaign performance and increase your conversion rate by 142.86%.

Smart Bidding, for example, is an automated bid strategy that uses machine learning to optimise conversions. Semi-auto bidding, on the other hand, lets advertisers control some facets of the bidding process such as maximum spend, for instance.

So, what are some of the types of Google PPC Ads bidding you can use to maximise your conversions and complete a number of performance goals:

  1. Target CPA
  2. Target ROAS
  3. Maximise Conversions/ Value
  4. Enhanced Cost Per Click
  5. Maximise Clicks

Google bidding also covers a number of other options including Manual CPC Bidding, CPM Bidding, CPV Bidding and Target Impression Share Bidding, to name but a few.


Target CPA Bidding

Image showing Google Ads Bidding - Target CPA in the interface

Target CPA, or Cost Per Acquisition, is a Google ads bidding strategy you can use to maximise conversions. Target CPA is an automatic bidding tool. This means that Google sets your bids on each campaign based on your cost per acquisition, sometimes costing more, sometimes less.

Target CPA is a smart Google PPC Ads bidding strategy that simply aims to acquire as many conversions as possible set within a specific budget, making it the perfect option for more performance-based campaigns.


Target ROAS Bidding

As marketers, we don’t particularly enjoy maths. But, the best way of explaining this G-Ads Bidding strategy is with a maths equation; scary, we know.

Say for example you want to earn £10 for every £2 spent. Then you do: sales ÷ ad spend x 100% = Target ROAS. Simple.

If your campaign is more profit-focused, and your goal is to achieve as high of a return on ad spend (ROAS) as possible while also generating more conversion revenue, then a Target ROAS strategy is the way to go.

Just don’t let the maths scare you.


Maximising Conversions/ Value

Image showing Google Ads Bidding - Maximising Conversions/ Value setting

Unlike Target ROAS, with Maximising Conversions you don’t need to specify a target ROI, instead you just let the G-Ads bidding algorithm try to maximise your spend to the best way it sees fit.

Relinquishing control can seem daunting, but you can rest assured that, with this Google Ads bidding strategy, the algorithm is on your side and working hard to get you the most conversions for your budget.


Enhanced Cost Per Click

Enhanced Cost Per Click is a semi-auto Google Ads pay per click bidding strategy in which you set the basic cost-per-click for your keywords, but the algorithm optimises them for you.

Whether it increases or decreases your bid is entirely up to Google depending on how it sees your chances of converting a click. That said, don’t think you have no control over the process. You can pick whether you want Google to enhance your set bids dependent on a flat number of conversions, or to optimise your bids based on the value of the conversions themselves.

This semi-auto G-Ads bidding option is exactly as it seems: it simply enhances your cost per click and nothing else.


Maximise Clicks

Google Ads Bidding - Maximise Clicks setting in the interface

Maximising your budget is important in any walk of life, none more so than when it comes to this G-Ads bidding type.

Maximise Clicks doesn’t need much explaining. This smart strategy simply aims to drive as many clicks as possible using your budget to its maximum potential.

The algorithm doesn’t consider the quality or relevance of your clicks, so Maximise Clicks isn’t ideal for driving sales, however, if you have a limited budget, then it’s absolutely perfect.


Other Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Other Google Ads Pay Per Click bidding strategies include:

  • Manual CPC Bidding – As a manual strategy, Manual CPC Bidding is not ideal if you run a wide range of varied campaigns. It does, however, give you more control over your bids; although this does mean more time spent monitoring and adjusting and less time creating new ads and closing sales.
  • CPM Bidding – Cost Per Thousand Impressions, as it is lesser known, works solely on impressions and is reserved mostly for YouTube.
  • GPV Bidding – Cost-per-view, as its name suggests, is solely reserved for video advertising on Google and YouTube respectively. To maximise ROI with Google Ads PPC bidding types, you’re best entering the highest bid possible, write a solid CTA and adjust your ad accordingly depending on your interactions.
  • Target Impression Share Bidding – This smart bidding option is focused on brand awareness, helping you reach and impact as many people as possible. Decide your maximum bid, set your goal and let Google do the work.

When choosing one of these, or any of the other G-Ads Bidding types, it’s important to assess your goals and choose the best option, be it smart or semi-auto, for your campaign.

We hope we have been able to help you understand the many options in regard to Google Ads, Google Ads for local businesses and the many bidding strategies. Be it semi-auto or smart bids, it’s important you make the best choice in terms of bidding and budgeting for your Google Ad campaigns, whether you’re managing one campaign or hundreds of campaigns.

Are you interested in a FREE PPC Ads Audit? Of course, you are! At PPC Geeks, we help you get the absolute most out of your PPC campaigns, boosting your brand awareness and driving sales in the process, helping you choose the optimum smart or semi-auto strategy for you.
For more details contact one of our friendly team members today!



Paul Zanelli

Paul is a seasoned marketing professional and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He specialises in crafting, developing and enhancing strategies that elevate online customer experiences, ensuring optimal results.

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