Managing a PPC campaign takes time. A big part of that time is taken by activities you repeat over and over, like scheduling ads, optimizing bids, and keyword management.
Some of the activities you do to manage your campaigns are small and may take you 10 minutes. But aggregate all those little tasks, and you will see you are losing many hours a month you could spend in higher-value activities.
In this article, you'll learn how to use automation to save up to 10 hours a month when managing your PPC campaigns.
On Your Own: 6 hours per month
Optimizing a campaign is one of the most time consuming tasks of any PPC specialist. Tasks such as setting up new ads to test, changing bids to reflect a new tactic, and improving the ad copy of a set of ads take too much time. Most importantly, it can distract the specialist from the big picture of helping a business improve its leads and ROI.
With Automation: 2 hour per month
You can use automation to help you optimize a wide variety of basic optimization tasks, such as:
- Pause ad sets and ad groups which spend over their desired limits
- Pause low performing ad sets, ad groups, or specific ads
- Increase the spending of ad sets, ad groups, or specific ads based on their high performance
- Adjust the bids based on the impact (including ROAS and CPA)
- Run ad tests
Google AdWords already lets you set simple automate ad rules. You can also use scripts and other AdWords automation tools, which usually give you greater control and more automation options.
Facebook has also released automation rules in 2016, allowing advertisers to optimize campaigns in a similar fashion than to Google AdWords. Some of the automation rules Facebook offer include:
- Pause campaigns, ad sets or ads based on performance
- Increase or decrease campaign budgets based on performance
- Increase or decrease manual bids based on performance
- Receive email alerts based on ad performance
Even though Facebook's automation rules are good enough for companies with smaller budgets and levels of complexities, they can be too restraining for larger business. With the help of a tool such as AdStage, you can automate your campaigns with greater flexibility.
For example, you can implement your automation rules across multiple campaigns and ad sets simultaneously. What's more, AdStage allows you to apply as many rules as you wish, while Facebook only lets you set up to 100 automated rules per ad account.
On Your Own: 2 hours per month
Ads don't last forever. PPC specialists know this very well when they try to scale an ad that is performing well but stops performing as it should. The reason why a well-performing ad stops bringing any meaningful results is due to a process known as "ad fatigue." When a publisher hits an audience with an ad too many times in a short period of time, the audience's attention to that ad drops, which lowers the CTR and, therefore, increases its costs.
To fight ad fatigue you can implement a tactic called "ad rotation." This consists on manually creating a large number of ads within one ad group (or set), with their respective images and copy for each one. Then, you could set a schedule time for each one, run them, and after a certain time has passed by, compare the results.
The problem with this solution is you would need to keep a tight schedule on each ad running time as well as manually check when they are supposed to stop. Finally, you would need to stop the ad yourself, and activate a new one. Repeat that over a dozen times, and you can imagine you can end up wasting a lot of time (without counting the mental fatigue that can give you).
With Automation: 30 Minutes per month
Automating ad rotation would help you set all your ads at once (with their respective headlines, copy, and images), set up how often you want to run them (which could be hours, days, weeks, or even months), and let the ads rotate automatically the way you set them up. You can then set up an alert (which you will see later how to do) and check the results without having to check constantly how they are performing.
Google AdWords currently allows you to use automatic ad rotation. Google offers four options:
- Click optimization (the default option): With this option, Google would optimize your group to make it receive more impressions and clicks overall.
- Conversion optimization: When Google optimizes your ads for conversion, they deliver the ads that have converted better more often into the ad auction than other ads in the ad group.
- Even rotation: In this option, Google rotates your ads more evenly into the ad auction, helping your ads with low CTRs and conversion rates to show more often.
- Indefinite rotation: In this option, Google also delivers your ads more evenly into the ad auction, but does so for an indefinite amount of time and does not optimize.
Facebook Ads rotation works differently, as they set up their ads in a way that different ads within the same ad set compete against each other for delivery. That means they display all the ads in your ad set until it's clear one is performing better. As soon as that happens, the highest-performance ad will be shown more prominently than the others. Because of the nature Facebook rotates their ads, if you would like to have your ads display more evenly over the lifetime of an ad set, you need to separate your ads into different ad sets. Even if this rotation is automatic, it still requires a lot of work.
To this end, AdStage can help you rotate your ads with a feature called Flighting, which allows you to cycle a selected set of Campaigns, Ad Groups, and Ads. Once the first group of ads meets the time condition selected, those will be paused and the next step will be enabled.
Ad Scheduling (aka. Dayparting)
On Your Own: 2 hours per month
Unless you run a local business, showing your ads to your prospects at the right time can be a tiresome process. The prospects who live in the East Coast may be receiving ads that aren't relevant at their time zone, which means you end up wasting money on people who aren't likely to convert.
In some cases, it's easy to know when your ads are more likely to be effective. For example, if you run a business with limited service hours which will be closed at certain times, you probably want to restrict your ads to run only while your business is open. In this case, you can limit your ads to run from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday to Friday.
In many other cases (like in the case of an e-commerce store), it's hard to tell beforehand when your ads will perform best. That's where scheduling your ads to show at specific times, when they have proven to work best, can be a more efficient and time-saving process.
With Automation: 15 Minutes per month
Ad scheduling, also known as "dayparting", show your ads to the right people at the right time. You can schedule your ads to show at specific hours and days of the week. Your ads will be served your audience’s time zone so you get the results you want.
Both Google AdWords and Facebook offer dayparting in their campaign managers. The problem is they don’t make it easy for you to turn off your campaigns.
AdStage Automate lets advertisers use dayparting through the campaign scheduler. Based on data taken from your previous campaigns, you can show your ads at specific times of the day or week when they have shown to be most effective. This helps you spend your budget as efficiently as possible. Scheduling your ads in Power Editor requires a lifetime budget. With AdStage, in contrast, advertisers have no restrictions on what budget types can be used for scheduling.
On Your Own: 3 hours per month
How many times have you run a campaign and feared it would end up spending more money than you desired? If you measured how much time you spent monitoring your accounts and campaigns, you’d probably gasp at the number. Whether you check in on a campaign's spend, on your KPIs, or simply troubleshooting problems that show you, logging into accounts to look at the numbers is time-consuming.
With Automation: 15 Minutes
You can end all your worries by receiving a curated list of your accounts and campaigns straight to your inbox. With automation you can set a threshold in relation to a certain metric, and the threshold is hit, you immediately get an email or message. Alerts do all the work for you by sending updates as soon as you over or under spend, make specific adjustments, and anticipate problems before they happen.
Facebook currently doesn’t offer alerts, while Google Adwords does. Google Adwords lets you get the following email notifications:
- Billing alerts
- Campaign maintenance alerts
- Google market research
- Customized help and performance suggestions
- Disapproved ads and policy alerts
- Special offers
AdStage also allows you to create custom alerts to your inbox.
On Your Own: 2 Hours per month
Reporting is a common activity any PPC specialist spends a large deal of time on. The problem is, each time they need a report, they need to log in, pull all the necessary data, organize it, and export it. If they need the same report every a specific period of time, they can end up spending more time than necessary creating those reports.
With Automation: 20 minutes per month
Both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads lets you automate your report creation. The problem with their standard reports is you can't customize it. For example, you can't compare the performance of your AdWords and Facebook Ads campaigns. You can't create standardized templates for reuse. This is not to mention how confusing and ineffective creating reports can be. Neither companies allow you to add graphics or tables. To do that, you you have to export your data and work it on Excel, which can be even more complicated and time-consuming.
AdStage allows you to create custom PPC report templates, and then schedule them as a recurring report (including daily, weekly, or monthly) straight to your inbox. You can also add your team members or clients with ease.
If you are a PPC specialist with too much work and not enough time, this article has shown you the power of automation. Throughout this article, you have seen how automating five tasks in your PPC management can help you save 10 hours (or even more).