This week Google introduced a new feature to the AdWords interface called Automated Rules (see Google’s video explanation below). In beta and currently only offered to some campaign managers, this innovative new feature will become available to all US advertisers in upcoming weeks. Although there are potential benefits to automated rules, use them with caution. It’s definitely not just a set it and forget it option.
New Google AdWords Automated Rules Options
Automated Rules can be set at the campaign, ad group, and keyword levels. When specified parameters are met, said rules are triggered to make changes to parts of the account. The following are four ways you use this new rule setting feature to help you manage your AdWords account:
- Max CPC Changes. You can increase maximum CPC when the average position of a keyword falls, for example, to below 3 during time periods where this happened previously, such as the previous day. Similarly, you can choose to make changes based on Quality Score, conversion rates, impressions, and many other criteria.
- Cut Off Non-Performers. Command specific keywords to stop running when a specified spend limit is reached without any conversions. (Note: be careful with your first-touch vs. last-touch conversion analytics here.)
- Ad Scheduling by Ad. AdWords has long given advertisers the ability to schedule their campaigns to run during certain times of day and days of the week via ad scheduling, and even to adjust bids based on time periods. The new ad scheduling feature is similar, but now you’ll have the ability to activate specified ads to display during certain dates and times at the ad level. Google suggests an advertiser could use this to display ads promoting special live offers during very specific times.
- Adjust Campaign Budgets. Increasing budgets by, say, day of the week can be especially advantageous to campaign managers with lots of historical account data. Based on past performance, you may want to increase budgets on a peak sales days. Similarly, you can increase or decrease budgets by other rules, such as if click-through rates hit a certain level.
Using automated rules can optimize your AdWords account to run more efficiently. However, if used incorrectly or left unmonitored, account spend can get out of control, especially when using automatic bid increases. It seems that anytime Google offers a new AdWords feature, it envelops new ways for advertisers to increase their total ad spend.