Save Time Optimizing Ad Accounts with Automate Bulk Actions
Managing your ad campaigns individually on each network is time consuming and repetitive. Instead of dedicating resources to analyze campaign performance or refining your ad creative, you’re stuck juggling multiple open tabs to perform the same tedious optimization tasks across all your active campaigns.
Introducing some automation into your ad management workflow is a sure-fire way to avoid wasting time making the same manual across all your ad creative. If you can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort you’re currently spending on tedious optimizations, you’ll be able to re-allocate that time and effort into thinking about strategy, audience targeting, and testing.
What Are Automate Bulk Actions?
Bulk actions allow you to make precise optimization, in mass, across a selected group of desired accounts, campaigns, and ad creative. Make quick, sweeping changes across accounts, campaigns, ad group/ad sets, and ad creative based on the metrics or actions using simple if-then logic to apply changes to your accounts based on the criteria you set.
Bulk Actions help you efficiently optimize your accounts:
- Edit bids, budgets, and statuses of any campaign, group/ad set, ad, or keyword across your ad networks all at once.
- Gain peace of mind with real-time status email notifications that let you know the Bulk Action task successfully applied your changes.
- Save and run common bulk actions across multiple campaigns, ad groups / ad sets, or ad creative at the same time.
What Are Some Common Ways to Use Bulk Actions?
Quick House Cleaning: Pause All Low-Performing Ads
It’s important to run periodic reviews of your campaign’s ad performance and pause the ads performing poorly while increase spend for the ads converting the most leads. Allowing bad ads continue to receive impressions will hinder customer acquisition efforts and result in low quality scores.
Continue refining campaign performance and use Bulk Actions to automate identifying and pausing low-performing ads across all your networks; including Bing, Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Use Bulk Actions to automate identifying and pausing low-performing ads across all your networks.
For example, you may want to pause poor performing ad creative that generated a high average cost per conversion.
Looking at performance over the last 14-days:
- Spend > $400 AND
- Conversions > 5
- Cost per conversion > $200
- Then pause the ad copy
Make Keyword Bid Adjustments in a Flash
Keyword bids directly impact campaign profitability and ultimately your ROI. For example, if you bid too low, you risk missing valuable opportunities to reach potential customers. Other the other hand if you bid too high, you’re also driving up your cost per acquisition and diminishes your returns. Edit your bids according to your desired advertising goals.
Take advantage of great performing keywords, by raising their bids so they can show in higher positions and more often.
Looking at performance over the last 30-days:
- IF average position is <3 AND
- IF conversions are > 5
- IF cost / conversions < $80
- Then Increase bid by 5%, with a maximum ceiling of $8.00.
Health Check for Your Quality Scores
Search marketers interested in increasing ROI have to not only understand, but also improve Quality Scores to optimize PPC campaigns. Quality Score is a grade assigned to your paid search campaigns at the keyword level, by either Bing Ads or Google AdWords. Ad networks prefer relevant ads because they offer searchers a better user experience by displaying only the most relevant results for their search intent.
Low quality score keywords can be costly to your overall account, driving up average cost per click, and inflating cost per conversion averages. Pause poor performing keywords in one sweep with a low quality score bulk optimization.
Looking at keyword performance over the last 14-days:
- IF Quality Score <5
- IF average CPC > $1.25
- IF spend > $200
- IF cost per conversion > $100
- Then pause the keyword
Putting It All Together
Advertisers are already seeing success with Automate. One large educational organization immediately lowered costs by $18,000 in a 28 day period with one dayparting rule. Other direct advertisers, such as HIRED, have been able to decrease their costs per acquisition by over 30%; while agencies, like Inflow, see an average lift of 20% conversions using automated rules to adjust bids, budgets, and flighting across search and social channels.
Now you can instantly make sweeping changes across all your accounts, campaigns, ad groups / ad sets, ads, and keywords right inside Automate.
Create your first ‘Bulk Action’ in Automate to save time and start focusing on campaign strategy today!
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).
Welcome to the May edition of What’s New in AdStage! We spent the last month building a ton of feature enhancements in Report and Automate.
Let’s take a look at the latest and greatest in Report and Automate below👇.
Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report
New Table Upload Widget
Take any excel, csv, or google sheets data table you have and upload it directly to Report!
Use Table Upload Widgets to Help You:
(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed
- Drop in your monthly opportunity and revenue reports from Salesforce into your cross-channel reporting views.
(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends
- Pull a campaign level performance report from your marketing automation system to see the landing pages or content driving the most conversions from your campaigns.
(3) Get a 360º View of Cross-Channel Top Performers
- Add in metrics from other channels, such as email, event, or organic social performance data.
(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets
- Customize your reporting views using Google Sheets to show data from your custom formulas. When uploading a table from Google Sheets, you’ll always have the most recent data – no need to worry about data accuracy problems 🙌 .
- Get step-by-step help with Google Sheets 👉 How do I upload a Google Sheet into Report?
Save Time Creating Reports with Dashboard Settings
Set Default Data Source at the Dashboard Level
Now you can choose to view data from specific account groups, accounts, folders, campaigns, ad groups, or ads at the dashboard level by setting a ‘Data Source’.
The data source you select in the dashboard settings, will now be the default level for any newly created widget.
Filter Your Performance Data Views Faster
New Widget Creation Layout
The widget fields now have natural language making it easier to breakdown performance data by any level of your ad account, and uncover deeper KPI insights from your reports.
Easily Identify Top Performing Networks at a Glance
We Standardized Network Colors!
Now when you create a cross-network widget, you’ll see each network has a standardized color. These network colors will be consistent across all dashboards and reports.
See Your Copy Next to Your Ads in Performance Tables
Add Headline, Image, and Description Columns to Ad Tables
We added the ability to see ad creative next to performance metrics, so you can diagnose which creatives are working, and what’s not, faster.
Add an ad level table widget to your reports for a side-by-side comparison of winning headline, image, and description combinations.
Sequence Ads Together to Tell Your Brand Story
New Automate Flighting Feature!
Drum roll please……introducing the latest addition to Automate: Flighting!
Now you can show campaigns, ad groups, and ads in an ordered sequence to reach your target audience at every buying stage (resulting in higher CTRs and conversion rates🤑 ).
Top Direct-Response and Brand Awareness Flighting Strategies
(1) Funnel-Based Storytelling
- Increase CTR and conversion rates using a specific series of sequenced ads to walk potential customers down the purchase funnel with relevant call-to-actions.
- For example start with a brand awareness message (Step 1), product information / value proposition message (Step 2), and finally use a targeted CTA to convert potential customers via signup form or make a purchase on product page.
(2) Prime-and-Remind Storytelling
- Use different ad formats to both “prime” people with the brand’s story using video ads, and “remind” people of the video narrative with display ads.
(3) Progressive Promotions
- If you are running a promotion with different percentages off per week, you can flight your ads to show accurately and timely.
- Easily schedule specific times to run your first week 10% Off Promo (Step 1), second week 20% Off Promo (Step 2), and third week 30% Off Promo (Step 3).
Have questions about Flighting? Check out the full product update for Flighting templates and getting started guides.
Let Your Alerts Do the Optimizing for You
Convert Performance Alerts into Optimization Rules with Just One-Click
Now you can easily convert your existing alerts into rules to automate the same actions you’re already taking on your accounts after you receive an email notification.
Your converted rule will have the same conditions as your alert, but now you can specify an optimization condition to apply once the rule is triggered. In other words, you can save yourself a ton of time on performing tedious management tasks.
Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results
1. Avoid Wasting Spend on High CPA Ad Sets
- IF Cost Per Result > $100 AND Spend > $250
- Using Data from Last 30 Days
- THEN Pause Ad Set
- Run Every 6 Hours
- RUN & EMAIL results
2. Pause Low Performing CTR Ads
- IF Status is Active AND Impressions > 5000 AND CTR < .05%
- Using Data from Last 7 Days
- THEN Pause AD
- Run Every Monday at 10am PST
- RUN & EMAIL results
3. Maximize Your Daily Budget
- IF Spend < $15
- Using Data from Today
- THEN Increase Bid Amount by 30% with Max. Bid = $10
- Run Daily @ 2pm PST
- RUN & EMAIL results
We always love hearing from you! Let us know what you think about the May product updates in the comments below.
P.S. Want to check out the full product release?
Visit our product updates portal, where we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with the latest and greatest from the AdStage labs!
Running a PPC campaign involves so many tasks and can’t-miss details that having a checklist is necessary to keep from overlooking an important step. But, often, a comprehensive PPC checklist can turn into multiple pages of bullets and sub-bullets. Surely, every PPC professional dreams of editing the list down! But how is that possible without losing crucial details? The answer is automation. As you’ll see below, implementing a single point of automation can eliminate multiple steps, and in many cases, optimize performance for better results.
1) Triggered Emails & Texts
If you totaled up all the time you spend monitoring simple milestones for accounts and campaigns, you’d probably gasp at the number. Whether it’s checking in on spend, key performance indicators, or troubleshooting red flags, logging into accounts to look at the numbers is time-consuming. Triggered emails do all the work for you, sending updates and alerts so you can combat over/under spend, make adjustments mid-run, and anticipate problems before they happen.
2) Automated Bidding
You’re not alone in feeling that bidding can be overwhelming and confusing. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads offer bidding options that let you set your goals for CPA, CPC, CPM, and specific objectives, in the case of Facebook. And because both bidding systems continue optimizing 24/7, you can feel confident you’re getting the most for your money without having to monitor and tweak around the clock.
3) Employ If/Then Logic
It’s always exciting to reach a milestone in a PPC campaign, but mindlessly clicking buttons to keep things moving can be a buzzkill. Optimization rules built on if/then logic will automatically roll progress along. For example, if you’re A/B testing ads and want to divert remaining budget to the better performing ad once it crosses a certain threshold, you can set an optimization rule instead of logging in, monitoring, clicking, tweaking, and so forth.
4) Dayparting and Flighting
Scheduling is one area where it’s extra nice to set it and forget it. Instead of logging in to manually launch ads, you can set your calendar for an entire campaign before the first ad is even published.
5) Bulk Action Cleanups
Click. Click. Click. Click. When you have bigger fish to fry, performing the same action over and over can be infuriating. With automation, you can perform bulk actions, so you can get rid of the old and getting started again with a clean slate quickly.
6) A/B split tests
Any good marketer knows testing ads before pulling the big trigger is a must. But running multiple mini-campaigns at once is just double, or triple, or even quincentuple the work depending on how many ads you’re testing. Automating A/B split tests allows you to set up many ads in one go, and pull one complete report.
7) Fresh Creative
We’ve talked about ad fatigue in previous posts, but what can be equally tiring is manually shuffling new creative into the mix when performance stalls. Your dreams of an easier way to keep creative fresh have come true thanks to automation. Set your KPIs, load your creative, then watch as customers are wowed by a seemingly never-ending stream of new ads.
8) Custom Optimization Rules
The core of your PPC checklist might not change, but you’re likely constantly making revisions and additions based on your own data and learnings. Revising your checklist takes time, and you’re probably only expanding it as you add more details. With automation, you can plug in your data to create custom optimization rules, cutting out tiresome manual steps and ensuring you’ve saved valuable information for future campaigns.
9) One Control Center
Even with saved passwords, logging into dozens of accounts to make the same change is tedious. Automation software lets you adjust your ads on different networks from one account. This capability makes it much easier to be nimble, and test without investing a ton of time.
There’s no magic wand to eliminate all the to-dos on your PPC checklist, but letting automation take care of the small stuff means you have more time to focus on the big stuff. AdStage offers powerful automation tools to help you save time and optimize performance.
With AdStage’s Automation, HIRED has decreased CPA by over 30%, and Inflow has used simple if/then logic-based rules to increase conversions by over 20%. Test it out with a 14-Day Free Trial, or request a demo.
When you scale your AdWords accounts, you start to find even some of the most basic tasks start to take up huge amounts of time. I remember stepping up from managing smaller AdWords accounts with a few hundred ads (where I could easily keep track of my split tests in a few minutes per day), to some much larger ones where there were tens of thousands of ads. It would have taken me literally hours a day to review each one by hand.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The key to keeping on top of your AdWords accounts when you scale is Automation. And, one of the most straightforward ways to automate tasks is to use AdWords Scripts.
So what are the best AdWords scripts? Here are the 10 I absolutely could not live without:
This is hands down one of the best AdWords scripts ever written. It allows you to automatically record your Quality Score once per day so you can keep track of your historical quality score without having to purchase any software.
And, not only does it help you keep track of your historical Quality Score,it also allows you to create a dashboard within Google sheets that shows you your current quality score distribution and impression weighted Quality Score.
The script provides a number of settings that you can change to add further charts to your dashboard, such as click-weighted Quality Score.
Split testing when you have a few ads is not a problem, but when you have 10,000 or even 100,000 it becomes a big problem. This automated ad creative testing tool makes it easy to keep track of all of your split tests.
It works by analyzing the ads within an ad group and making a calculation as to whether there is statistical significance. This can be set to test a range of different metrics such as CTR and conversion rate.
Once statistical significance has been reached the script labels the ads as either “Current Champion” or “Loser 95% confidence”. It can also be configured to email you to say that a split test has finished.
One of the limitations of AdWords is that you can only use 6 different bid buckets per day, but you are likely to find that your conversion rate changes hourly.
There is however a workaround for this using AdWords Scripts and the Google Sheets API. It allows you to set the different bid modifiers for each hour within Google Sheets and then import them using the API into AdWords to change bids 24 times per day.
There are a significant number of industries where AdWords performance is affected by the weather (literally!) such as automotive, travel, home improvement, retail and many more, and for maximum ROI is it essential to change bids to reflect what’s going on outside.
This script allows you to increase or decrease your bids based on the weather in the location where a user is searching.
Most merchant feeds allow you to pause your Google Shopping ads when they are out of stock but there is no similar functionality built into Google search.
This script allows you to pause ads that are linking to out-of-stock products by scanning the page for the “out-of-stock” piece of code.
Seeing trends within your search query reports is fairly straightforward when you have a small AdWords account, but this becomes a lot more complex when you have millions of different search queries to review.
The solution here is to use something called N-Gram analysis, which allows you to see the aggregate performance of individual words or phrases. So, for example, if you are selling Alloy wheels, you would be able to see the performance of all of the search queries that contain the color “silver” for example.
Keeping track of your competitors is fundamental to AdWords success, however, it can be time consuming on larger accounts. The solution here is to use this competitor tracking script that allows you to map your competitors’ impression-share over time.
There are several limitations of using AdWords experiments. For instance, not being able to test the campaign settings themselves. This AdWords script provides a workaround in that it allows you to test virtually anything.
It works using labels. The results of the tests can be reviewed within the dimensions tab and will look like this.
This AdWords Script allows you to see how your AdWords performance changes hour-by-hour in the form of a heat map so that it is easy to visualize.
This script has also been updated so that you can see the performance of each device (mobile, desktop and tablet) hour-by-hour.
Most readers will know that visible Quality Score is made up of “expected CTR,” “landing page experience,” and “ad relevance”. This script allows you to visualize how your account is doing based on these three metrics so you can see which aspect of your account needs to be improved.
If you are interested in learning more about AdWords Scripts here are some good resources: