Digital Marketing

Automatic VS Manual PPC Bidding

So, which is better? Like with most things, it depends.  They both have pros and cons and they both work well depending on the situation and the account.  My rule of thumb is, small account = manual, big account = automatic, let’s see why.


As you might expect, manual bid management gives you total control, this is how every PPC pro starts. You go through keywords by hand which tends to give you insight into how the account and the keywords are doing.  You have total control of the budget and the changes you make are done right there and then, plus you do not need to spend more money on third party software.  

That is all well and good but on the flip side of that is the fact that manual bidding is very time consuming, you can easily miss the forest for the trees (miss the big picture here) and as an account grows (and believe me, they can become huge) it becomes less and less possible to do it by hand.


Automatic bidding gives you the ability to manage massive accounts, it becomes much more efficient and it saves tons of time. You do however have to manage it…automatic does not mean magic and the more data you feed it the better it will perform. You also have to take into consideration that algorithms take time to build a history and come up with the best bidding which means that sudden big changes might affect the performance negatively

In short, it all depends on the size and type of your project or the company you are trying to promote. A big project with tens of thousands of keywords would be nearly impossible to manage by hand, a small one however would not yield enough data to use manual. In the end the best approach is probably using a bit of both.