Over the past year Google has really invested in giving advertisers the ability to set up rules to help them automate and scale the management of their accounts.
This screenshot shows you where you can find the rules in the Google Adwords interface. The screenshot was taken on the Keywords tab but the rules are accessible from all tabs.
As you can see from the image there are lots of rules that can be implemented to automate the management of your PPC account. This post we will be specifically focusing on the management of keyword bidding and pausing rules.
Before you create automated rules I suggest that you are very clear on what your aims are and what rules will enable you to become more successful.
With automation there is a danger that you become reliant on it and become more lazy with the other aspects of your account maintenance so make sure that you keep in mind that these rules are designed to help you optimise bids and that is it; you are going to need to spend as much time as you always have on search query reports and ad optimisation.
Here is a post on creating a bidding strategy for Adwords
and another one on running a search query report
For automated rules to work effectively you will need to have conversion tracking installed on your website and to be getting sufficient conversions to allow for the rules to work. If you example you are running a small account and only get about 1 conversion per day then it is probably not worth using automated rules – just do it yourself in Excel as you will then be in a better position to have a close understanding of your account data.
To summarise incredibly quickly; you need to have an idea of the rules that will allow your account to perform better consistently and that will not hobble you if left unchecked.
Here are a few examples of possible rules:
Here are some real examples of rules that i have set up on a clients account:
Let me explain the reasoning behind these rules one by one:
1. Stopping Keywords getting in too low positions:
*BTW – yes I did catch that I was only bidding down 0.1% rather than 10% – lucky I wrote this post and took the screenshot, Even automated rules are not immune to human error!
2. Bid down 10% on poor CPA (cost per acquisition) keywords:
3. Bid up 10% on good KWs:
4. Bid down 10% on non converters
These rules are really helpful as my previous process was to run an analysis once per month and apply the same rules manually through using formulas in a spreadsheet and then uploading changes to Adwords through the Adwords editor – the process takes about 1 to 2 hours for each account. With the automation I can make the changes much more frequently – daily if I wanted to, so why not daily?
I had a think about frequency and you need to consider the data that is being used to make the analysis and the changes that will be caused. In order to make changes that you can rely on you need to use data from a significant time frame. Therefore if I made changes every day it would be OK but the data that the rules are judged upon would not change significantly enough each day to make it worth it.
There are four options on the frequency that the bidding changes will be made:
I selected weekly as it means that changes can be made frequently enough so that new opportunities are not missed – i.e. if a keywords starts bringing in sales then I want to maximise the opportunity to get as many sales out of the keyword as possible within a defined cost per sale (will come to that in a little while).
To define the frequency accurately you need to consider the period of time over which the data being used is drawn from and how much traffic your keywords are getting over that period – recency is important but unless you are spending in excess of £10,000 per month then I think that you will need to use 90 days of data for it to be reliable on a keyword level.
The data options are shown below:
As I say; unless you have a large account you should go for 90 days or all time. The problem with this is that the elements of the rules are also being drawn from the same date range.
So for example based on a 90 day set of data:
You have keyword A that you want to bid down 10% as it has gone over a click threshold and is in too high a position. Imagine that you are changing bids on a daily basis. On day 1 your rule bids the keyword down 10% (assume that it moves from position 2 to 3.5) and then on day 2 Google will look at the past 3 months data going back from day 2; it is likely that the average position and the number of clicks have not varied at all so Google will again bid down 10% (pos 3.5 to position 4.5) and then again on day 3 (4.5 to 5.5) etc.
Because of this I decided that I would use only weekly changes so that there can only be a maximum of 4 changes per month allowing the data to build up recent relevancy for all of the requirements that I am using in the rule. For many of the smaller accounts we manage we need to have 3 months data. If you manage a large account then you may need to set up rules at a campaign or even an ad group level – especially if you are a retailer with a broad range of products.
This post is getting rather long so quickly and finally I want to show you the various requirements that you can set up the rules on. There are many options here which allow for a great deal of flexibility and creativity – just make sure that you do not try to be clever and make things too complex as you need to understand the interacting elements of each rule.
Word of warning: do not allow your use of rules to make you lazy – keep active on all accounts otherwise they will suffer and run manual analysis of your rules to ensure things are not unexpectedly backfiring.
The post Save time with Google Adwords Automated Bidding Rules appeared first on Deep Footprints.