It’s not easy to manage a campaign on several channels. You need to consider a lot of factors when it’s a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, such as monitoring your spending, analyzing ad performance, and assessing your ad ranking. Thankfully, automation is your friend
Google Ads and automation go hand-in-hand, which is great news for PPC managers. Read on to discover more about the best PPC automation tool in 2020.
Benefits of Automation in Google Ads
You can use the Google Ads Alert to set up predefined and custom alerts that will help you proactively monitor your Google Ads campaigns. Google will notify you of any alerts within your Ads account or through email.
There are several benefits of automation in Google Ads, as it can help you monitor many potential issues, such as:
- Rising costs – you don’t need to limit your budget if you have alerts set to monitor your spending.
- Impressions and clicks count – if you fall below a specified benchmark, Google can alert you to the issue so that you can adjust your targeting or ads.
- Fall in conversion rate – this could be a sign that some campaign issues are having a negative impact.
- Sharp drop in conversion percentage – you may have a landing page issue.
Ultimately, automated alerts can save you a lot of time. They are easy to customize to your needs, and doing so will protect your PPC budget from huge losses.
Types of Automation in Google Ads
There are two types of automation: rule-driven and data-driven.
You manually configure the settings and conditions, effectively setting up rules for your ad’s status, budget, bids, etc. Once setup is complete, the platform will send alerts whenever spending reaches your custom limit.
For example, let’s say you set a maximum limit of $100 for Wasted Spend. Google Ads will alert you when you hit that mark.
How to Set Up Rule-Driven Automation
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- Go to the Campaigns, Ad Groups, or Keywords pages.
- Select the More button, as highlighted below.
- Select the Create an Automate Rule from the drop-down menu.
- Select the rule you want to create, as shown below.
- Set the condition of the rule. Let’s say we want to change the budget based on some condition automatically, so select the type of rule as Change the Budget.
- You can choose to increase or decrease the budget.
- You can provide the percentage of increase/decrease, and set an upper limit, which acts as a threshold to stop the alert.
- Define the frequency to run your rule.
- Select Save.
When to use Automated Rules
You can use automated rules in PPC to maximize your return on investment (ROI) at optimal times, such as:
- Enabling campaigns around a seasonal holiday or promotion. You can also pause it later if you are no more promoting anything.
- Adjusting keyword bids based on CPA (cost per acquisition) and conversion performance.
- Increasing keyword bids to maintain a high ad position or impression share.
- Increasing bid modifiers on an age group if the CPA is e.g 20% below your target.
- Reducing budget on a display campaign if your CPC (cost per click) is higher than your target.
- Allocating more budget to a YouTube (Video campaign) if the average view rate is over 50%.
In Google Ads, the rules you create are simply pre-set routines that will execute depending on your schedule and settings. For example, you may create a rule that will generate an alert whenever your budget hits a defined limit. This is a static rule, so you will need to update the rule if you update your budget.
Arguably the best PPC automation tool in 2020 is data-driven. Google Ads leverages machine learning and historical data in your account to assess the performance of your campaigns, ads, and keywords. The platform then sends you emails based on that data analysis.
Benefits of Data-Driven Automation
There are multiple benefits of data-driven alerts in your PPC campaigns, including:
- Competitive edge – You get valuable data insights that keep you informed ahead of time, allowing you to get an edge on your competitors.
- Save time – You can automate the tedious, monotonous PPC tasks that normally take hours to finish.
- Continuous improvement – Data-driven automation makes adjustments while you sleep, which automatically improves your account performance.
- High-level targeting – You can learn how each channel contributes to your set goals and optimize your spending for different campaigns with granular precision.
- Increase CLTV – Customer lifetime value will increase as you optimize performance over time. This works because you will get more attuned to customer interests, and will have a good understanding of the customer journey, and the factors that influence their purchasing decisions.
- Understand channel attribution – data insights will show you the devices, platforms, and keywords that contribute to the customer journey.
- Higher ROI – With data-driven alerts, you can get better at managing your budget, and smarter with your predictions, bids, and audience targeting. This will help you earn higher returns on your advertising spend.
How to Set Up Data-Driven Automation
You can configure data-driven alerts in one of two ways in your Google Ads Account:
- Through Scripting
- By using a custom solution via APIs
Let’s consider each option in greater detail.
- Create or update campaigns
- Bidding changes
- Pause or resume ad groups
- Pause or resume keywords
- Adding keywords
- Fix broken links
- Ad Scheduling
- Data fetching for Customize reports etc
If you have large campaigns that require a lot of time and effort, then scripting may be a useful tool. You can use it to make broad changes across your account or to modify multiple Google Ads accounts through a manager account.
10 Considerations When Using Google Ads Scripts
Here are some tips and key factors you should think about when using scripts in Google Ads:
- Ads Manager script executes for a maximum of 30 minutes, after which they will be canceled
- Ensure your scripts are flexible and contain error handling.
- A single iterator will return a maximum of 50,000 entities (keywords, ads, ad groups, or campaigns).
- A single selector can handle a maximum of 10,000 IDs.
- A single script can process a maximum of 250,000 entities of all types.
- A single script can create a maximum of 250,000 keywords and ads.
- When using executeInParallel method, a script can process up to 50 accounts.
- The processAccount method from executeInParallel can return up to 10MB of data.
- The upload file is limited to 50MB and one million rows and will be rejected upon submission if it exceeds these limits.
- An upload job times out after two hours, and the job will stop processing any remaining data from the uploaded file.
Why Should I Use Google Ads Script?
The most obvious benefit of using Google Ads scripts is that they save time, which is something you hope to find in the best PPC automation tool in 2020. Through automation, scripts can identify minor issues or opportunities you may otherwise miss. With these insights and more time, you can focus on optimizing your campaign performance to grow your ROI.
Setting-Up Data-Driven Alerts With Scripts
- Sign in to your Google Ads Account.
- Select the Tools and Settings button from the top navigation of your account.
- Then choose the Scripts option under Bulk Actions.
- Then select the plus icon to add your script.
- If you’re not ready to run your script yet, select Save below the editor, or else select Preview to see a preview of the results.
- Before previewing or running the changes, you’ll get a message asking you to authorize this script to make changes to your account. Select Authorize now above the script editor, then Grant access to confirm this script has the authority to make changes to your account.
- When you’re ready, select Run to run the script now.
How to Setup Data-Driven Automation With a Custom Solution/APIs
You can use Google Ads API to create custom alerts on your Google Ads account. You can find API codes and ideas in the Google support documentation, here are some common examples; what can be done:
Account Anomaly Detector
This alerts you whenever your account is behaving differently to normal. This approach will send you an alert email if there are any sudden deviations from historical data behaviors – a maximum of one email per day.
If you set a script to run on Tuesday at 7 pm, Google Ads will consider all data up until 4 pm. Then, it will fetch data for the 26 previous Tuesdays, calculate the average, and compare the results with today’s stats.
Google Ads Link Checker
This tool checks for any URL issues by iterating through all the ads, keywords, and sitelinks on an account to see if there are any errors, such as Page Not Found
results. Again, you will receive email alerts when errors are found.
The script creates a label and applies it to the various aspects after checking them. This enables progress tracking on all your ads, keywords, and sitelinks. After the analysis is complete, the script clears these labels before the next analysis.
Large-Scale Link Checkers
If you have a large Google Ads account, the large-scale link checker is a good choice, as it uses the Google Cloud infrastructure to assist with the link checking process.
The script in Google Ads collates the list of URLs before passing them to App Engine. This is run on the Google Cloud infrastructure, which periodically checks on the progress through script scheduling.
Negative Keyword Conflicts
This feature checks through your negative keywords list to see if you are blocking any valuable keywords that are relevant to your audience. The script will find and save all conflicts to a spreadsheet, which is then sent to you via email alert. You can then take action to remove these terms from your negative keyword list.
4 Critical Differences Between Rule-Driven Alerts and Scripts
So, which is the best PPC automation tool in 2020 – rule-driven alerts or data-driven alerts?
Take a look at these key differences and think about what works best for you:
- Rules are static in nature, but scripts are programmatic and dynamic.
- You can use scripts to implement anything tailored to your specific needs, whereas rules limit you to the built-in standards of Google Ads.
- Rules offer limited automation control on your Google Ads account, whereas scripts enable you to exercise full control
- When you are running a large account, scripts have lower maintenance costs than rules.
Useful Scripts for Google Ads
So, with scripts looking like the best PPC automation tool in 2020. You can find multiple scripts in Google support script documentation, here are some script ideas you can experiment with in your campaigns:
Quality Score Tracker
Record all Quality Scores from your account in a single Google Sheet document. In this approach you can also generates a graph depicting the aggregated average of all your quality scores over time. Once you authorize and run this script, the report will appear in your Google Drive.
Account Summary Report
Create a Google Sheet with a full report of your Ads account, including metrics like CPC, CTR, impressions, and top impression percent. You can enter your email address to receive daily email reports, and also aggregate the data from a specific date that you last checked the report.
CTR Notification Script
Send Slack notifications whenever any of your active campaigns fall below a specific click through rate (CTR) that you specify.
Bidding Schedule Script
Enable bid adjustments for every hour of the day. This is a great script to use to maximize the number of bidding opportunities on your campaign.
Pause Ads With Low CTR or Low Impressions
Automatically pause low-performing ads in your ad groups, based on poor impression rates or CTR rates.
Monthly Budget Pause
Pause all campaigns when the total account level cost meets your budget. You can set the monthly budget equal to your PPC budget, and schedule the script to deliver hourly updates.
Bid Testing Script
Apply different bids to your PPC ads, and record the results in a Google Sheet. New bids will be applied based on the previous period’s bid and the intervals you have scheduled.
Sale Countdown Script
Display updated values for your ad copy. For example, you can run a countdown until your promotion is over, and the ad copy will update the number of days or hours left.
3 Other Types of Data-Driven Automation Worth Knowing About
Google Smart Campaigns utilize Smart Bidding tactics, which rely on artificial intelligence in Google Ads. You can use Smart Campaigns to streamline your PPC account management, automating many aspects from bidding, selecting keywords, and creating Ad groups.
It’s never a good idea to set-and-forget your paid advertising account, so if you do have some experience, you should opt for standard campaigns where you can exercise some more control. That being said, Smart Campaigns are ideal for small to medium businesses (SMBs) that lack the time or expertise to manage their Google Ads account correctly.
Although they require a lot of data, and a proactive attitude to monitor performance, Google Smart Campaigns that can save you your time, money, and patience.
Google Top Signals
Top signals are vital aspects of a PPC campaign that influence its performance. In a smart bidding campaign, Google automatically optimizes these signals depending on whether users are more likely or less likely to convert.
Some examples of top signals may include, but are not limited to:
- Device Type – on which device a user is most (or least) likely to convert for this campaign?
- Location – which locations have the most (or least) relevant audience for this campaign?
- Day of Week – on which day of the week is your campaign most (or least) likely to drive conversions?
- Time of Day – at which time of the day is your campaign most (or least) likely to convert?
- Keywords – which keywords are most (or least) likely to trigger your ad.
There are several benefits of top signals in PPC advertising:
- Reduce wasted spend
- Identify opportunities
- Refine location targeting
- Master ad scheduling
- Understand signal combinations
You can use top signals to create a bid strategy in Google Ads that is optimized for the best possible results.
Third Party Tools
Anytime you make a change to your campaign, it can deliver a positive or negative impact. It doesn’t matter how small that you think it is – any change can impact your PPC campaign and your bottom line.
Whether the change is big or small, simple or complex, positive or negative, third party tools can provide actionable insights that will help you understand the changes and react to them properly so you can maximize ROI in your PPC campaigns.
They calculate ROI in terms of a factor, rather than by a percent value. So, if you make one change per day for an entire year, you will have improved your ROI by a factor of 365X over the year.
How Google Machine Learning Uses Data-driven Automation
Machine learning is at the heart of Google today, making it the most sophisticated search engine and advertising platform in the world. Through data analytics and AI, it can breakdown the customer journey and understand channel attribution at a granular level. This makes it possible to assign accurate credit to every step in the journey so that advertisers can get clear feedback on the efficacy of their marketing funnel.
Here are a few benefits of having machine learning (ML) in Google Ads:
- Understand customers – You can analyze the unique conversion paths in your account to determine why some people convert, and why other users bounce.
- User-friendly interface – Machine learning makes the Google Ads dashboard an easy centralized hub to evaluate your channels, view reports, and update bids.
- Simultaneous analysis of signals – By taking different signals into account – such as time of the day, geographical location, and previous queries – machine learning empowers the Smart Bidding functionality to enhance your campaigns.
- Learning based on similar campaigns – Google’s AI learns from previous campaigns. It will group your PPC campaigns by similar behaviors, and apply best practices to maximize the ROI.
- Regression Modeling – This tactic helps you discover opportunities by increasing your budget.
- Predictive analytics – The system can use decision trees and deep neural networks to predict future conversion paths based on the previous history of impressions, clicks, CTR, and audience behavior.
So, as you can see, data is a big part of the modern-day Google Ads. While it’s not a guaranteed win, data is at the heart of any program, tactic, or strategy that proclaims to be the best PPC automation tool in 2020.
With data-driven alerts, scripts, and the Google Ads API, you have the power to customize your account specific to your needs — and the needs of your target audience. In the end, this high-level of personalization is sure to deliver the results you desire.
You can find out more about this topic in our blog about Optimizing PPC Campaigns with Data.