Google Ads’ automated bidding strategies have been extremely helpful for streamlining bidding strategy and making account management more efficient and effective. You can focus the extra time you save by not doing manual bid adjustments on in-depth analyses that drive sophisticated account strategy.

New to Google’s automated bidding strategies? We recommend you start with our 3-part blog series:

If you manage Google Ads for an ecommerce account, Q4 can be a challenging time to decide what automated bidding strategies to use. Will an automated bidding strategy be able to keep up with significant increases in traffic or changes in conversion rates that can happen hourly? Below, we share our tips and strategies for how you can decide which strategies to use (and not use).

I already use automated bidding strategies

So you’re already an auto-bidding expert? Great! But should you still be using these bidding strategies during periods of increased traffic like Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Or will they be too slow to adapt to the huge swings in traffic and conversions you expect during the year’s biggest shopping day?

  • Do you have strict budget limitations that you cannot exceed?
    • Yes, I can’t exceed my budgets no matter what.
      • You may want to consider taking at least some of your higher-volume campaigns off of auto-bidding strategies
        • tCPA and tROAS will not operate at expected performance if the campaigns are limited by budget
        • However, maximize conversions and eCPC bidding can operate with limited budgets, you will just have less control over specific CPA or ROAS targeting. You can still use these!
      • After removing campaigns from auto-bidding strategies, you will want to check/adjust your device bid adjustments and monitor spend and CPCs closely until your manual bidding brings spend and conversion performance to desired levels
      • You should make this change a couple of weeks before a high period so that you can hone your bidding ahead of make-or-break shopping days
    • No, I can keep investing as long as account revenue/ROAS targets are exceeding goals!
      • Great! As long as you don’t see huge conversion rate changes throughout the month (30%+), you can leave your campaigns set to auto-bid. The algorithms should be able to adjust to the changes in traffic. Just make sure to:
        • Increase budgets ahead of your high-volume traffic days – tCPA and tROAS will not work correctly with limited budgets
        • If you are already exceeding your efficiency goals, consider increasing tCPA targets or decreasing tROAS targets to drive additional traffic from potential customers at least 1 week ahead of your high traffic period
          • Post-high traffic period, remember to revert targets to normal

I’ve never used Google automated bidding strategies & I am not sure what to do

Automated bidding strategies can save you time and ensure that your bids are optimized towards the likelihood of a click driving revenue. However, manual bidding does typically give you extra control over spend and performance, especially during the holidays. See below for our recommendations:

  • If you’ve never tested automated bidding, we don’t recommend you start over the holidays given the volatility of traffic in Q4 and the learning period necessary for these bidding strategies to be effective. You should hone your auto-bidding strategy during a more stable period before implementing it during the holidays.
  • However, semi-automated bidding strategies like eCPC still allow a good amount of control, while letting Google’s algorithms boost or cut bids based on how qualified a user is. eCPC is a good option if you want to use some automation but maintain some control.
  • Additionally, campaigns performing above your goals could benefit from testing the Maximize Conversions bid strategy. This will work within your set budgets to increase conversions.

Automated bidding can be quite beneficial, but accounting for volume and conversion rate swings during the holidays is crucial to your account’s performance.