Is It Better to Use Manual CPC or Enhanced CPC (eCPC) With Google Ads?

It's tough to decide what kind of bid strategy you want to use for your Google Ad campaign. Especially when first starting out. You've narrowed down your options to 2 different bid strategies; Manual CPC and Enhanced CPC.

The problem is, you're not quite sure which one to use or how compare. Manual CPC is easy enough to understand, but what is 'Enhanced CPC'? What does 'enhanced' even mean in this case.

For starters, Enhanced CPC isn't technically a bid strategy. It's considered part of the Manual CPC bid strategy as Google states here:

"Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) helps you get more conversions from manual bidding."

So it's option that is available for those using Manual CPC bid strategy. Google continues to explain how it works:

"Available as an optional feature with Manual CPC bidding, ECPC is a form of Smart Bidding that uses a wide range of auction-time signals such as browser, location, and time of day to tailor bids to the unique context of each search, but not to the full extent of other Smart Bidding strategies, such as Target CPA and Target ROAS."

As they state, it is technically considered a 'Smart Bidding' strategy that leverages Google's machine learning. The idea is that over time Google knows which users and which queries are more likely to lead to conversions for you and increase your bid to increase your ad's visibility for that user and that query.

To me eCPC is a redundant option. If I want Google to handle my bids to optimize for conversions I'd just use Maximize Conversions and to me using eCPC defeats the purpose of even using Manual CPC. You use Manual CPC so you have as much control over the bids as possible.

If you don't want to manually set bids I'd recommend just using Maximize Clicks bid strategy with a max bid set at the campaign level.

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