Setting up and managing an Adwords PPC campaign can be tedious work. It requires lots of research and careful planning. Then comes the real work, setting up all the campaign details like ad groups, ads, settings, extensions, reporting, conversion goals, linking to analytics etc…
Automated rules allows PPC campaign managers a way of systematizing routine tasks that are triggered by predetermined conditions.
What Is Adwords Automated Rules?
Adwords automated rules instructs Adwords to take certain action when specific conditions are met. This assists you with some of the administrative overhead of managing complex campaigns. The ability to automatically perform routine tasks, means you spend less time manually monitoring campaign metrics and more time focusing on PPC strategy and optimizing growth opportunities.
Here are the main features that can be applied to automated rules:
- Bids can be adjusted based on historical data
- Keywords, ads, ad groups or campaigns can be automatically enabled or paused
- Results and changes can be reviewed before implementing
- Reports can be automatically generated and emailed about any changes made
How To Setup An Automated Rule
Some of the common uses for automated rules are scheduling ads to run (or shut off) on a specific day and time or to run only on specific days and times such as weekends for special events. You can also pause low performing ads when conditions for CTR or Impressions reaches a preset percentage, or when conversion costs exceed a $$ amount. Automated rules can also be established to help control budgets. If your monthly spend exceeds a certain amount too early in the month, the campaigns can be automatically paused. And lastly, you can set automated rules to manage bids.
Here is an example of how to setup automated rules to manage bids in order for your ad appear in the top 3 positions on page one. Bids can be managed at the campaign, ad group or keyword level.
In this example we are going to set rules at the keyword level of a campaign to ensure that our ads appear somewhere in the top 3 positions of page one. To do this we are going to set rules that increase or decrease the CPC (cost per click) bid for the keywords in the campaign. Knowing what percentage or $ amount to adjust is a bit of an educated guess and testing. You can start by seeing what page one minimum bid should be and then adding 20%. After some testing you will be able to adjust those amounts until it makes sense for your campaign. That has worked for me.
Here the step by step instructions with an example to follow:
- Click All campaignsin the left panel of your AdWords account.
- Click the Keywords
- Click the Automatebutton, and select “Change max. CPC bids when…” from the drop-down.
- In the “Apply to” section, choose All but removed keywords in all campaigns.
- Choose the Automatic action Raise bid.
- In the “Requirements” section, set Avg position worse than 3.
- Set the Frequency to Daily using data from the Previous day.
- Name and save your rule.
From the campaign dashboard drill down into the specific campaign (or ad group) that you want to setup rules for. This is important, otherwise the rule(s) you setup will apply to all campaigns in the account. Then click Automate.
Select Change max. CPC bids when…
This is the screen for setting up the rules. Each field needs to be customized to match your rules goals.
Apply to: Select All enabled keywords in this campaign. Alternatively you can select specific keywords in the campaign to apply rules. To do this you must first navigate to the keywords through the Automate tab and select them.
Automatic Action: For the first rule, select Increase bid from the drop down (should be the default). Then enter the % or $ amount to increase the bid adjustment and uncheck Max bid.
Requirements: Click the drop down and find Avg. positon under the Performance section. Next dropdown is Worse than or Better than. For increasing the bid we want Worse than. Enter the position you want the bid to increase if the position is “worse than”. I used 2.9 in the example in order to maintain the positions 1-3. Remember this is an average. It can bounce around a little on a day to day basis. Over the month it will average in those ranges.
Frequency: I suggest leaving it set to Daily. Pick whatever time suits you and leave the default for previous day.
Rule Name: Choose a descriptive name. You may end up with several rules over time and will find managing them easier in the dashboard with unique names.
Email Results: Pick which ever option you are most comfortable with. I have found there are too many email alerts so I set them to Only if there are errors.
The next step is to setup the second controlling rule that manages when to decrease bids. You would do this when the average position is somewhere in the 1 to 1.5 range. Remember to choose Decrease bid from the Automatic Action field and Better than from the Requirements field. Here is what that screen shot looks like.
Automating Adwords tasks is a powerful method for reducing management overhead and great way to test theory without day to day manual adjustments. Set it and monitor results until you are satisfied that your rules are achieving the desired results.