Top Ways to Optimize your PPC Campaign Part 1: Automation

Throughout the years, Google Ads has released new tools that take on some of the burden of manual daily optimizations to help you optimize your PPC campaign. Using a mix of Rules, Scripts, and Smart Campaign features allows Google to optimize your PPC campaigns and schedule while you’re away from your computer. If you are just starting out with PPC campaigns, we recommend reading about the different elements of a successful campaign first before diving into automation!

Rules

What are Rules

Rules in Adwords allow you to set changes to occur at specific times or on specific days. These rules can be set to run even when you’re not logged into your account. Some changes that can run include budget increases/decreases, bids, status, and even email alerts. If you are just starting to experiment with automation, this is a great beginner option that will still help to optimize your PPC campaign.

How to create rules

Rules can be created on the campaign, ad group, keyword, and ad level. Each level offers slightly different options when creating a rule. When you select an item, navigate to Edit. In the dropdown that appears, select Create an Automated Rule.

screenshot of drop down menu bar with the phrase "Create an automated rule" highlighted.

When to Change Campaigns

One great use-case for this is if you wanted to reduce your budget or even pause your campaign entirely for the holidays (or any other days your business may be closed). You can select a day and time that you want to have the change implemented, as well as the day and time that you want to change the campaigns back to normal. This is a great tool to use to make sure things aren’t forgotten as you’re wrapping up work before the holiday break while keeping things in place to optimize your PPC campaign.

In the same vein as decreasing/stopping campaign reach during low volume days, you can also increase reach on days that you know will have increased volume. If you run a flower shop for example, and Valentine’s day is approaching, you can make sure to have rules that increase your budget for you, so you can tackle other items on your to-do list during these busier times.

Increase ‘Below First Page’ Keyword Bids

There is a preset option on Google Ads that allows you to filter by the keywords that appear below the first page of the search engine results pages (SERP) due to their bids. You can quickly and efficiently increase bids on these manually, but you can also utilize rules to make this a more automated process. When creating a Keyword rule, set your action to “Raise bids to first page CPC”. You can also select the option to raise bids to Top of Page for a more aggressive bid. You have the option to create a Max bid limit if you absolutely don’t want a bid to surpass a certain amount. Set the condition to be “Status: Below first page bid”. You can have this rule run Once, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

Screenshot of a text box reading "Set action for your rule" with a highlighted action reading "raise bids to first page CPC" and an optional text reading "Max. bid limit" with a value of $50. There is an option to set a condition for the rule. This condition reads "Status: below first page bid." and includes the option to add additional conditions.

Send Email Alerts for Specific Performance Metrics

Let’s say you want to test a new search term, but only want to invest a certain amount of money into it. You can set up a daily rule on the keyword that checks if the spend has hit a certain threshold. If you don’t want to spend much more than $100 on a term, for example, you can set a rule to check the spend on the term every day at noon. If it exceeds $100 by noon, you will receive an email notifying you. 

This also works on the campaign level. You can set up a “75% of budget spent” alert with a couple of quick steps. Calculate the dollar amount for 75% of your budget, and set the Rule to email you on the day that the campaign exceeds this budget. This is just a way to check that the campaign spend is on track for the month.

These are only a few ideas of what you can do with Rules. There are different options you can set that can change Status, Budgets, Bids and more, with the ability to set conditions as well. In the example below, every Monday at 9 am, Google will look at the Conversion Rate of a campaign I specified. If the Conversion Rate is higher than 10%, it will auto-increase the average daily budget by $50. If the campaign is not seeing this performance, no change will occur.

This is an expanded dialogue box that reads "Set action for your rule". This page allows for the rule to be filtered by "Avg. Daily" with an Action of "Increase Budget." The Increase amount is $50 and there is not a value in the box labeled "Upper budget limit" which is an optional box to fill. The condition for this rule is "Conv. rate = 10.00%". The last box reads "Define the frequency to run your action" and the terms are as follows: "Frequency, weekly, monday at 9:00 AM using data from All Time."

Scripts

You can find a variety of pre-made scripts online, meaning you don’t have to be a developer to begin using this Adwords feature! This keeps the power in your hands when taking steps to optimize your PPC campaign. There are resources to find free scripts like Free Adwords Scripts, and Google Ads Scripts. You can also use paid options through Optmyzr and PPCNerds. 

Performance Anomalies Script

This useful script will alert the user when there is a drastic change in performance than what the campaign has exhibited on the same day in previous weeks. It averages this historical data and notifies you when things look off. Find the set up for this script here.

Monitor Daily Budget

A potential issue you may run into is that Google can spend up to 200% of the daily budget that you have set. There are a few scripts that may be able to help with this including this one which will provide you with email warnings when the daily spend is nearing its budget. With this information, you can choose to allow an overspend or pause for the remainder of the day. 

404 Link Checker

This is a fairly simple script that will check all the URLs that are currently being used in ads and extensions. You can select the response codes that are acceptable to you, and this script will check each URL to make sure the URLs are working as intended. You can view the script here.

Bonus Automation: Reporting

Schedule Reports

While you’ll still need to create a report, you can automate the delivery of reports to yourself or clients with access to Adwords. This could be helpful come end of month reporting time. You can have the report delivered to your inbox for your to review and prepare. In the reports view, you’ll see the “Schedule” icon in the upper right corner. From here you can select from Daily, Weekly, First of the Month, or One time.