How to use Automated Rules for Google Ads – The best Ones!

Managing a Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) account can be a time consuming endeavour. It can require an awful lot of your time, effort and attention and if you don’t take time to get to know this tool it can result in a lot of wasted effort and capital. Fail to calibrate your account properly and you can inhibit your reach. Fail to pause your campaign at the exact right time and you can wind up going over budget. Fortunately, Google have taken a lot of the legwork (and the guesswork) out of running a Google Ads campaign with a suite of automated rules.

Here we’ll look at what Google Ads automated rules are, how they work and some examples of when and how you might want to use them. Let’s dive in…

Automated rules have actually been around since December 2010 yet not all businesses with AdWords accounts knew how to use them effectively. Essentially automated rules allow you to apply scheduled automated changes to your campaigns. This can save you a great deal of time and effort which you can then apply to the daily operations of running your business.  

What can be automated?

One of the great things about automated rules is that they are highly customizable and can be used to make scheduled changes on most aspects of your account. Some of the places where automated rules can be applied include:

  • Enabling or pausing keywords
  • Applying audience rules (e.g. gender, age range income range and parental status)
  • Increasing or decreasing your campaign budgets at different times
  • Ad topic or placement rules
  • Increasing or decreasing keyword bids for campaigns and / or individual ads

As you can see, this can allow you to exert a great deal of control over your campaign, ensuring that your budget is used effectively and that your ad campaign reaches the right eyes at the right time. Better still, this suite is easy and versatile to use even for busy and overworked entrepreneurs.

How to use automated rules

There are a number of ways in which you can use automated rules, but the good news is that they’re all easy and intuitive.

Perhaps the easiest is simply navigate to the campaign or aspect of your account that you want to automate. Check the blue box next to what you want to automate, click on “Edit,” then select the option that says “Create an automated rule”. You can now apply whichever rule you like (we’ll look at some rules in practice shortly).

An alternative was to use automated rules is to use the top navigation menus under “Tools”. Select “Rules” under the “Bulk Actions” section and you’re good to go!

Once you’ve selected where you want to apply automated rules, you’ll then be prompted to select the kind of rule you want to schedule or run. Broadly this boils down to one of the following actions;

  • Enabling something
  • Pausing something
  • Sending an email notification
  • Changing a budget or bid.

Automated rules in practice: Some examples to try

Now that we know a little more about automated rules and how they work, let’s take a look at some practical examples of how you can use them to increase the efficacy of your campaign.

Scheduling date contingent ads

Spring is well and truly here so let’s say you want to take advantage of the way in which people are starting to venture out of their homes with a well times spring sale. To make your campaign cost-effective, you’ll want to time it just right to ensure that none of your budget is wasted.

You’ll need to create the ads in advance and when you are happy with them you can use the automated rules to display them with maximum efficacy.

You’ll want to create two one-time rules. The first will enable your ads at the start of the sale period (opening time on the first day your sale begins. You’ll then want to schedule a second rule to pause the ads when your sale ends. Because what’s the point in paying for it a second longer than you need to?

Receive email notifications when an ad isn’t working

You put a lot of time and effort into your ads. But if you reach a point where they’re not resonating with your target market like you’d hoped, it’s best to pause them and return to the drawing board rather than waste any capital on ineffective marketing. 

The thing is, it’s not like you spend your every waking moment in front of your AdWords dashboard. You’re busy and you’re on the go. Fortunately, you can schedule email notifications when ads experience consistently low conversions. This does not affect changes automatically on your behalf. It merely prompts you to make an informed decision from wherever you happen to be.

Pausing ineffective keywords

Choosing the right keywords isn’t always an exact science and no matter how much keyword research you do, sometimes a certain keyword doesn’t perform as well as you’d hoped. Automated rules allows you to pause con-converting keywords within parameters decided by you.

Managing your campaign budget

Who wants to pay over the odds to display ads on low performing days? Depending on the nature of your business, your campaign or your target demographic your ads may perform far better on certain days of the week. By automatically scheduling ads or campaigns you can ensure that your budget is put to work on days when it is historically proven to generate a higher ROI and eliminate budgetary waste.

What are Automated Rules for Adwords & Bing Ads?

Automate repetitive tasks to save time and improve numerical precision. Automated rules use numerical figures from your account data to calculate changes- instead of human estimates or manually using a calculator.

This involves changing areas within the account back and forth again depending on Adwords performance or/and known external factors.

Automated rules are useful for performing repetitive tasks that must be to done frequently. For example showing advert versions on certain days or at different times of the day can automatically be scheduled. This instead of using Ad Scheduling which is also an option but would require 2 duplicate campaigns to be stopped and started.

Automated rules run 24/7 and 356 days per year- and can start and stop again on specified days and times.

Keyword bidding rules can also use conversion metrics such as cost per acquisition or ROAS thresholds for making adjustments.

Automated rules leave an audit trail of changes which is useful to confirm the rule has been completed- and all the changes that have taken effect.

For complex rules and interdependent rules, Adwords scripts provide more functionality. Scripts often use a Google Docs Sheet interface which makes it easier to create complex rules.

Google Adwords Bidding Scripts & Automated Rules

Optimising keyword bids are one of the most important activities when managing AdWords accounts. Keyword bids have a direct impact on the placement of an advertisement (how high does it rank in Google Search) as well as its cost. Advertisers often develop their unique customised bidding strategies that help them meet their goals.

Automated Rules is a powerful AdWords feature that allows advertisers to modify bids of keywords meeting certain criteria, and do so on a schedule. Often, advertisers end up creating a large number of Automated Rules, and they become quite difficult to manage.

The Google Adwords Multi Bidder offers functionality similar to that of Automated Rules based in a spreadsheet interface. Each row in a spreadsheet is in effect equivalent to an entire Automated Rule. Managing 100 rules—a difficult task in AdWords—becomes a lot easier.

The basics of setting bid adjustments

As a guideline rule the higher the conversion rate, the higher the ad position/rank should be. This will require a higher bid on certain keywords,  and lower bids on the keywords with average to poor performance. If a keyword is not getting any conversions, it can be blocked using negative keywords.

How we can help

Automated rules can help to put you in the driver’s seat when running and managing ad campaigns. Nonetheless, mastering the nuances of automated rules takes time, experience and expertise which busy entrepreneurs may simply not be able to spare. We can help you with every aspect of launching and managing your Google Ads campaigns ensuring that they are consistently effective and cost-efficient.

If you’re ready to take control of Google Ads with our help and expertise, contact us today.

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