With Google Ads automated bidding, you’re working with a bit of a tradeoff.
On the one hand, you need to give up some control on setting specific keyword bidding prices. But in exchange, you get to take advantage of the massive pool of user data and lightning-quick computing power of Google’s algorithm.
Now, when used at its most basic level (with Google Ads alone), automated bidding can lead to some pretty great results. It’s why 80% of Google advertisers are using it now.
But there are other steps you can take to make Google Ads automated bidding even better.
And with them, you can create an optimization engine that keeps maximizing your ROAS automatically.
Today we’re looking at:
Let’s check it out.
First and foremost, let’s be clear about something: Google Ads automated bidding has tons of potential.
Automated bidding lets you hand over the reigns to Google on your bidding strategy. And based on the goals you set, Google’s algorithm automatically adjusts your bids depending on the ad’s chance of getting a click or conversion.
This likelihood of earning a click takes into account two signal types:
In a sense then, this means you can access even more targeted leads with your campaigns.
And of course, you can do all of this automatically using a system that’s optimizing itself with every single auction (meaning less work for you).
However, the challenge with automated bidding is it doesn’t know a good lead from a bad one.
Instead, it targets leads based on how likely they are to convert (a call, fill out a form, email, etc.). But just because someone converted doesn’t mean they’re a quality lead.
They could be:
What’s worse, the more these bad leads convert, the more the algorithm tends to favor these types of leads and target them more and more often.
It’s a bit like raising a 150lb Great Dane—if you don’t start training it early on, it can wreak more and more havoc on your life (and your budget).
To better understand the problem with this approach, let’s look at an example scenario.
Let’s say you’re using Google Ads automated bidding on multiple campaigns for a dental practice. And you’re looking for ways to maximize your ROAS by investing more budget in high-performing campaigns and less in the low-performers.
So after a month, you check the results:
Seems like Ad Set #1 is the clear winner, right?
So you readjust your budget with 90% in Campaign #1 and 5% apiece for #2 and #3.
But after a few weeks, there’s a problem…
Your customer starts complaining that they’re seeing a massive jump in low-quality leads and spam. And the leads that do become customers are only interested in low-value procedures like cleanings.
It turns out that because Google Ads automated bidding was just working off of a conversion count (wasn’t taking into account lead quality), you couldn’t tell that Campaign #1 is actually optimized for bad leads.
And now, you’ve wasted several weeks, burned through a good chunk of budget, and lost the trust of your client.
Now, it is possible to steer the beast of Google Ads automated bidding.
But it takes a focus shift—moving away from conversion counting and towards individual lead value.
The problem with conversion counting is that it’s a stand-in for revenue. You assume higher conversions lead to more customers and higher revenue. But since Google Ads conversion actions don’t translate directly into purchases for non-ecommerce industries, the conversion-sale connection is a guess at best.
When you make decisions based on individual lead value on the other hand, you don’t have to make assumptions—the information you’re looking for is right in front of you.
And with that value noted down, you can make marketing decisions based on certainty, not assumption. That is the key to determining marketing effectiveness.
Plus, you can easily see which assets are producing spam, duplicate leads, or existing customers based on the value they generate.
The only difficulty is finding a tool that:
And that’s where Marketing Value Intelligence (MVI) comes in.
A Marketing Value Intelligence tool is designed to help you uncover the numerical value behind each of your leads.
It does so with a combination of features:
WhatConverts includes all of these.
But importantly, Lead Intelligence from WhatConverts also lets you automatically:
Here’s how it works.
Using Lead Intelligence, you can create IF/THEN rules that automatically look through your lead data and find leads that you would rate as qualified (a.k.a. “quotable” in WhatConverts).
For instance, say you wanted to qualify all leads that:
You could create a Lead Intelligence rule that marked all leads that met this criteria as quotable.
You can also assign a “score” that helps you quantify the quality of each lead. So maybe each time a lead visits one of your landing pages, their lead score increases by 15. And after hitting a certain number (e.g., 90), they become quotable.
Again, you can do all of this automatically with Lead Intelligence.
Next, you can also value leads automatically.
Say a lead converted on one of your ads for a specific procedure like a tooth crown. And in their call with your client’s office, they mentioned being interested in getting a crown and requested an appointment—a $1,000 procedure.
You can use Lead Intelligence to automatically set that lead’s quotable value to $1,000 with a series of IF/THEN rules.
What’s more, you can also integrate with some of the most popular CRMs to:
Now, your leads are tied back to a real, numerical value you can use to make better marketing decisions.
Last but not least, and this is where the magic happens…
You can use Lead Intelligence to only send specific lead data to Google Ads as a conversion.
That way, you can choose which of your leads are being used to train your Google Ads automated bidding.
So say you only wanted Google to count high-quality and high-value leads as conversions. That way, the algorithm will keep getting better at only targeting these types of leads.
You can do that with Lead Intelligence and the native Ads integration.
And again, this can all be done automatically.
So if a new lead comes in that matches your criteria, it can be sent over as a conversion touch-free.
Best of all, this automatic optimization engine will keep on getting better and better on its own.
How’s that for steering the beast?
Now, let’s revisit our initial scenario.
But this time, instead of using basic Google Ads automated bidding, let’s say you leverage MVI tools to help you enhance your campaigns.
Here’s what that might look like.
Instead of just going off of conversions…
… You use Lead Intelligence to find that the number of quotable leads produced are actually:
Campaign #2 is clearly the winner. And as a result, you can readjust your budget to favor it more than the others.
But the potential for campaign enhancement doesn’t stop there.
You also use Lead Intelligence to segment leads by procedures they’re interested in based on keywords they used on calls/in forms as well as which ads they interacted with. Then, it can automatically assign a value to each based on those procedures.
Now you can see the breakdown of leads by procedure for each campaign as well as the total value produced.
You can then automate sending all of that data over as value-specific Google Ads conversions for each campaign.
Now you have a system that lets you:
And that is how you maximize your performance using Google Ads automated bidding.
Google Ads automated bidding is a powerful tool that makes it easier (and less time-consuming) to run ads.
But it only works if you teach it to target the right audience.
When fed the right data, you can train automated bidding to target only the best leads. And with Lead Intelligence, you can create an automatic optimization engine that will continually make your ads more and more targeted for maximum performance.
Ready to get the most out of your Google Ads automated bidding? Start your free 14-day trial of WhatConverts today!
Alex Thompson is a professional copywriter and content writer with a passion for turning complex ideas into digestible, educational content that keeps readers engaged. He specializes in content marketing, SEO, and B2B marketing.
One of our marketing experts will give you a full presentation of how WhatConverts can help you grow your business.Schedule a Demo
A case study showing the progression of proving the value through AdWords Reporting.
Back in 2011, Google began removing search query information from a users search. This means that keyword data was no...