Bid Strategy Learning in Google Ads

What is the 'learning' phase in Google Ads?

Have you ever seen the "Bid Strategy Learning" status in your Google Ads campaigns and started to worry? I know the feeling – but in this article, I'll demystify this learning status to give you a bit more confidence as to what is happening behind the scenes.

bid strategy learning notice in Google Ads

First things first, what exactly is "Bid Strategy Learning"?

Essentially, it's a phase that kicks in when you make significant changes to a campaign using automated bidding strategies. During this learning period, Google's algorithms are recalibrating to understand how to achieve your new performance goals. And yes – your results might take a dip as the system adjusts.

This learning phase is often a necessary evil, especially if you're aiming for bigger and better results. It's like hitting the gym after a long break – those first few workouts might leave you sore, but it's all part of the process to get stronger.

How to Avoid the Learning Phase

If you'd rather avoid this learning curve altogether, there's a simple solution that works a lot of the time: make incremental changes.

incremental roas changes

Instead of drastically altering your bid strategy or campaign settings, take it slow and steady. For instance, if your current target is a 400% return on ad spend (ROAS), resist the urge to jump straight to 800%. Instead, try inching it up to 440%, then 480%, and so on – think "baby steps."

By keeping your changes under 10% of your campaign's composition, in my experience, you can often bypass the dreaded learning phase.

But let's say you've already triggered the "Bid Strategy Learning" status – don't panic. This phase typically lasts around a week (though it can vary based on factors like your budget size and conversion volume). During this time, be patient and trust the process. Google's algorithms are working behind the scenes to understand how to hit your new targets.

And remember, even if your results temporarily dip, it's often a short-term sacrifice for long-term gain (there is a small chance results could be worse after a learning period but this is rare). Once the learning phase is complete, you could see a significant improvement in performance as the system optimizes for your new goals. After the learning phase, you may see less clicks if your performance target was set was too strict, it is all about finding the Google Ads Sweet Spot for your business.


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