Machine learning has become more and more integrated with the tools we use every day for personal and business purposes, from music recommendation apps to sales analytics software. And as of earlier this year, machine learning has also entered the search marketing world in the form of AdWords’ Smart Bidding.
With the introduction of Smart Bidding, which uses machine learning to make more dynamic, intelligent automated bids, many advertisers may be wondering if intelligent bidding solutions are a good fit for them. But before you decide to go all-in with Smart Bidding for your AdWords campaigns, make sure to consider where machine learning solutions can fall short, and why human PPC management is still the best choice for many advertisers.
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What’s Different About AdWords Smart Bidding
Bidding automation has been on offer for advertisers using AdWords for a few years now, but Smart Bidding is Google’s latest attempt and making automation more responsive and efficient. According to Google, Smart Bidding is designed to “quickly maximize the accuracy of your bidding models to improve how you optimize the long-tail” by evaluating patterns in your campaigns. This allows advertisers to build more complex keyword bidding strategies without spending an excessive amount of time researching and managing them.
Automation Can Compel PPC Managers to Take On More Than They Can Handle
Automation can be beneficial for PPC managers because it speeds up the bidding process and reduces hands-on time. But those automated processes can be more of a bust than a boon for PPC agencies. It allows agencies to take on more accounts per account manager because they don’t have to spend as much hands-on time managing bidding. Some agencies take on as many as 80 accounts per account manager, giving each campaign less time and attention. This isn’t always the best idea since great paid ad campaigns are built on more than just bidding management.
Here at Webrageous, we try to keep our account managers 20 accounts or fewer in order to provide better service. By allowing our account managers to spend more time with each account, we’re able to provide better, more personalized service to each and every one of our clients. That service includes much more than simply managing bidding automation schemes.
Smart Bidding Can’t Make Intuitive Decisions
There’s a reason that PPC experts advise, “Don’t automate anything that would benefit from intuition.” Good campaign management is as much about breaking the rules to optimize campaigns as it is following them. Algorithmically-driven bidding is built on creating and iterating on rules. This can be a very efficient way of making incremental improvements to campaigns that are already performing well. But machine learning still lags behind human experts when it comes to understanding how to tweak and adjust campaigns in significant ways. Human experience and intuition are still essential for giving campaigns big boosts and making major changes.
From recognizing click fraud and bringing experience from past campaigns to optimizing target keywords and landing page layouts to improve campaign performance, Google Ads management experts can bring a new level of expertise to your campaigns. Relying too heavily on automation, even if automation that uses artificial intelligence to improve performance, puts advertisers at risk for missing key issues that can make or break their campaigns.
Smart Bidding Isn’t Built for Small Businesses
Machine learning-driven bidding is only as effective as the data it uses to inform its algorithm. As a result, Smart Bidding requires a minimum amount of data from your campaigns to work successfully. In order to provide optimal results, Google Ads recommends that Smart Bidding users have at least 30 conversions in the past 30 days for Target CPA and 50 in the past 30 days for Target ROA. If your campaigns aren’t already generating at least that much traffic, then using Smart Bidding may not provide great results.
For small businesses that are either new to the PPC advertising space or whose campaigns aren’t producing a higher volume of conversions yet, there are better options for campaign management. Working with a PPC management firm like Webrageous can help you increase conversions and optimize your ad spend more effectively than any single AdWords feature or tool alone.
Of course, why not test different bidding strategies including Target CPA or Maximize Conversions for a few days and see if your results improve? You can always revert to your old settings.
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There’s More to PPC Management than Bidding Strategy
There’s much more to effective PPC campaign management than just bidding strategy, and while machine learning algorithms have come a long way, technology hasn’t quite caught up when it comes to the full cycle of PPC campaign management. From honing in on the best keywords for your business to leveraging experience to intuit the best way to structure campaigns, there are many components that go into building solid campaigns. If you’re planning to implement bidding automation to fix broken campaigns, you might find that you simply end up throwing more money away
Get Human Campaign Management Expertise with Webrageous
There’s no substitute for human campaign managers with years of experience. With over a decade of experience managing search marketing strategies for our clients, Webrageous’ team of PPC experts can deliver more than just managed bidding automation. We work hard to stay on the cutting edge of the latest AdWords features and leverage them in order to maximize the amount of time we can spend on each client’s campaign. Your PPC manager at Webrageous will be dedicated to hands-on campaign management to help you see the results that you need to optimize your search marketing efforts.
To learn more about how Webrageous brings expertise to your campaigns, see the results that we’ve already delivered to our customers. Or call us at 855-945-1596 to see how we can help you.