When you first create your Google ad campaign, one of the many questions you will have to answer is this: Do I choose a manual CPC (cost-per-click) strategy or do I choose an automated CPC strategy? If you have no idea how to answer that question, don’t worry! We are here to help.
Here are 5 reasons to choose a manual CPC strategy:
From our experience with using a manual CPC strategy, if your goal is to get conversions at a low cost, this is the strategy for you. With this strategy, you are able to set a maximum bid on each click, allowing you to set the price as low as you need to fit your budget. If your goal is to have a low CPA (cost per acquisition), manual is also the strategy you want to utilize. Even if you are not constrained by a small budget, manual CPC might still be the right strategy for your account. With automated CPC, you are also limited by how much you are able to bid, which in some cases may limit the reach of your ads.
With manual CPC, you are able to set how much you want to pay which not only allows you to save money as mentioned above, but it also gives you complete control over these decisions. You are able to set the maximum you are willing to pay per ad and not all of your ads have to have the same bid. In some cases, using an automated bidding strategy will have you spending above the industry average if you don’t set the maximum bid. It is much harder to control how much money is being spent on your campaign when you don’t have full control.
When you are first starting your campaign, manual CPC is the best way to go. If you start with automated, Google has no data to pull from when making decisions about your account. Without this data, Google won’t be able to accurately optimize your ads. They will instead pull from similar ads/ad campaigns to guide their decisions, but even when ads are similar, how they perform could be drastically different. In order for Google to optimize with the automated strategy, there need to be at least 50 leads.
Manual CPC is also the best long-term solution for most accounts. You are able to alter pieces of the campaign without changing the whole thing, allowing you to pause underperforming ads and adjust bids for only select ads. This being said, automated can be helpful in some cases. If you are running several accounts and don’t have the time to manage your bids very closely, you can use an automated CPC to do this for you. It is important to keep in mind that this is a temporary solution that may offer you a mix of results, not always in your favor.
If you are running a campaign with keywords, and notice that some are performing better than others, you may want to increase the bidding for the keywords that are doing well, and/or pause those that are not performing. If you are using a manual CPC strategy, you will be able to do this! If there are certain keywords that are more tailored to your brand or are more important to your business than the rest, you can start the campaign with those keywords bidding higher than the rest. This guarantees that you are spending your budget on keywords that are important for your business rather than ones that won’t get you the leads/conversions you need (check out this post on more ways to improve lead quality). With an automated strategy you are unable to selectively increase your bid, which can lead to your ads being buried. If your ads don’t show, you lose impressions which are potential conversions.
If you are still unsure which strategy may be best for you, that is okay. You can reach out to a marketing professional who specializes in this area (we can help!) to get a better understanding of what strategy would be best for you and your business. Then the next step is to just try them! You really won’t know which method will work best for you until you try them. Just remember, there are two options for a reason. Google would not still have automated CPC if it did not work for some accounts, and the same goes for manual CPC. If one strategy was always better, the other would not exist.
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