Avatar photo Alex Thompson
Jun 21, 2023
The Ultimate Guide to Call Tracking Software
Top 9 tools rated from 3K+ G2 reviews

    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:

    • The one major challenge of Google Ads automated bidding
    • What you can do to overcome that challenge
    • And the steps you can take to make Google Ads automated bidding a more valuable marketing tool

    Let’s check it out.

    The Challenge With Google Ads Automated Bidding: Steering the Beast

    First and foremost, let’s be clear about something: Google Ads automated bidding has tons of potential.

    Here’s why.

    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:

    1. Those used in manual bidding (location, device type, user interests, etc.)
    2. Signals you can’t target manually that Google collects behind the scenes

    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).

    Pretty cool.

    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:

    • Existing customers
    • Leads with a low likelihood of buying
    • Leads with a low sales value
    • Spam or other sales people

    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.

    Scenario: Running a Basic Campaign

    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:

    • Campaign #1: 25 conversions
    • Campaign #2: 15 conversions
    • Campaign #3: 10 conversions

    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.

    How To Get More From Your Google Ads Automated Bidding

    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.

    • This keyword generated the highest value
    • This landing page led to sales worth this much
    • This campaign brought in leads worth X dollar value

    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:

    1. Takes all this data—individual lead value, marketing assets (ads, keywords, landing pages)—and connects it for you
    2. Lets you send strategic lead data to Google Ads so you can train automated bidding to target only the best leads

    And that’s where Marketing Value Intelligence (MVI) comes in.

    Enhancing Your Google Ads Automated Bidding with MVI

    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:

    • Lead Tracking (to collect data on each individual lead)
    • Lead Management (to help you qualify and value leads based on their data)
    • Lead Reporting (to let you quickly see the total value each of your marketing assets—keywords, landing pages, ads, campaigns, etc.—has generated)

    WhatConverts includes all of these.

    But importantly, Lead Intelligence from WhatConverts also lets you automatically:

    1. Qualify leads
    2. Value leads
    3. Send only quality lead data to Google Ads as conversions

    Here’s how it works.

    1. Qualify

    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:

    • Clicked on your ad
      • AND
    • Called your client’s office
      • AND
    • Mentioned keywords like “appointment” or “schedule” or “emergency”

    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.

    2. Value Leads

    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:

    • Track when that lead becomes a sale
    • Transfer final sales value back into WhatConverts

    Now, your leads are tied back to a real, numerical value you can use to make better marketing decisions.

    3. Sending Only Quality Lead Data to Google Ads

    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?

    Scenario: Running an Enhanced Campaign

    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…


    • Campaign #1: 25 conversions
    • Campaign #2: 15 conversions
    • Campaign #3: 10 conversions

    … You use Lead Intelligence to find that the number of quotable leads produced are actually:

    • Campaign #1: 4 quotable leads
    • Campaign #2: 14 quotable leads
    • Campaign #3: 3 quotable leads

    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.

    Taking It a Step Further

    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.

    • Campaign #1: 4 quotable leads
      • 2 crown leads ($2,000 at $1,000 a piece)
      • 1 veneer lead ($15,000 at $15,000 a piece)
      • 1 Invisalign lead ($4,000 at $4,000 a piece)
      • Total: $21,000
    • Campaign #2: 14 quotable leads
      • 2 crown leads ($2,000)
      • 10 veneer leads ($150,000)
      • 2 Invisalign leads ($8,000)
      • Total: $160,000
    • Campaign #3: 2 quotable leads
      • 1 crown lead ($1,000)
      • 2 veneer leads ($30,000)
      • 0 Invisalign leads ($0)
      • Total: $31,000

    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:

    • Automatically optimize your campaigns for only qualified leads
    • Determine an accurate ROI and ROAS based on the value produced for each lead
    • See the quote or sales value generated by each of your ads, giving you the information you need to reallocate budget strategically

    And that is how you maximize your performance using Google Ads automated bidding.

    Pretty cool.

    Wrapping Up

    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!

    Read WhatConverts reviews on G2

    Avatar photo
    Alex Thompson

    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.

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