Google Ads – Dynamic vs. Manual

This experiment is aimed to compare automatically (dynamic) generated campaigns against manually set Google Ads campaigns.

Google Ads in ‘self-driving’ mode (dynamic) spends £9.15 Avg. CPC vs. £1.55 in manually set campaign.

Google Ads Experiment

Google Ads algorithms are already clever and Google Machine learns quickly. Its suggestions are more often worth considering than, let say, just a year ago. I spent a significant amount of time working with Google Ads every month in the past 6 years and I can see a definite change.

GA automatically generated prompts to improve campaigns are getting better, more rational and relevant.

I wanted to see how close Google Ads managers were to becoming dispensable altogether.

This experiment is aimed to compare automatically (dynamic) generated campaigns against manually set Google Ads campaigns.

I have used our ‘web design service’ advertising campaign as a guinea pig (pardon me environmentalist and animal lovers but that’s just an archaic expression – we do not endorse experiments on animals 🙂

I didn’t start with any particular assumptions and I didn’t have a objective to write a paper about the results of my humble experiment. I was simply curious. I wanted the answer for myself.

I set those two campaigns with as many similar parameters as possible (the same total budget, landing page, conversion etc). The difference was only in the parameters that Google Ads have conveniently suggested under ‘dynamic ads’ and automated bidding strategies.

See the results below:

Dynamic – Google Ads in ‘self-drive’ mode


Manual – Campaign Manager (humble TP)

In a nutshell, 18 visits vs. 98 at a similar cost. 

On the top of that, 3 conversions (a submit online enquiry with two legitimate leads) received from the manual campaign compared to NO conversion form the dynamic campaign.

The bounce rate, page per session and time on page stats for both campaigns were similar.

As you can see from the stats above, Dynamic campaign got a better CTR (click through rate) of 2.5% vs 1.5% for manual. However, CTR of 1.5% is not a terribly disappointing result, especially in the first month of a campaign. I’m confident that CTR can be improved and it could surpass  2.5%.

I have no slightest shadow of doubt that Google cares about its end-users satisfaction. With no doubt, Google Ads platform can be set to perform as a predictable and effective sales tool. It connects those who are looking with those who are offering, charging only when that connection is made.  All good so far, but what I can also say with no doubt, is that you better find yourself a trusted human with adequate skills and experience to run your Google Ads.

Last year, in May, Google has quietly removed its famous “Don’t be evil’ motto from corporate conduct. It could be as result of 2015 restructuring – let assume that was.

Find out more about Google Ads why hire an account manager?


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