Why Use Manual Bidding?

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For some, the bidding process in paid search can be unwieldy and confusing; often, small businesses, startups and those with little time to devote will implement automatic bidding to avoid the perceived headache that comes with truly learning the Bing and AdWords consoles. However, we’re going to explain why that’s the wrong way to go, at least initially:

The Benefits of Manual Bidding

Manual bidding is all about control, and in paid search, control is essential. Managing how much you bid on your keywords through the AdWords or Bing consoles helps you avoid needless spending and pinpoint exactly what works. It allows for controlling (relatively) how much you spend on a keyword, exerting some influence on how your ad ranks, and choosing which keywords/ad groups/campaigns receive the most attention. All in all, you know what you’re bidding towards with manual bidding, and you can’t beat that level of insight.

Benefits of Manual Bidding

Manual bidding is helpful for:

  • Controlling your costs, especially when it comes to keywords that might not be converting as well or honing in on specific converting keyword; this allows you to regularly adjust your bids according to a changing marketplace. In fact, adjusting your bids bi-weekly allows you to get the most out of your campaign and your budget. The ability to get really detailed and manage your strategy on an extremely granular level is the largest benefit of manual bidding.
  • Being able to react to changes and events quickly. Things happen – new competitors join the field, your Quality Score drops for one reason or another, or your content isn’t relevant anymore. If you’re in AdWords regularly managing bids and monitoring performance, you won’t miss these events and can react quickly to avoid losing out too much on revenues.

About Automatic Bidding

If you don’t have the time to put into manual bidding and choose to use automatic bidding, you are relinquishing control of your budget. Google’s automatic option can hike up your bids and ultimately cost you more money.

If you do want to switch to automatic bidding, you should only do so after you have established traffic and success metrics. Once you have racked up valuable, relevant data from manual bidding (cost per conversion, cost per click and more), setting your account to automatic can put your existing strategy on autopilot.

Benefits of Automatic Bidding

Automatic bidding is helpful for:

  • Saving time. If you lack the time to devote to implementing a manual strategy (or have not hired a paid search agency to do so), automatic bidding can suit your purposes if you use existing data from past manual work. However, this does not mean you should set it and forget it – keep an eye on your accounts and tweak as necessary to get the most out of your efforts.
  • Avoiding the pressures and time-consuming nature of manual bidding.
  • Handling large-scale campaigns without having to get too granular.

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