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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
We all know this Valentine’s Day trope: Hard worker forgets to buy loved one a Valentine’s Day treat and scrambles at the last minute to get them something they’ll adore. Don’t let your PPC advertising leave you scrambling on V-Day either. Coordinate and automate cross-channel campaigns ahead of time, so you don’t have to do a thing on Feb 14:
1. Set up your ad copy for months, weeks, and then days and hours before Valentine’s Day. You probably even want day-of ads for those last-minute folks (you can always give a gift certificate or shipping confirmation for that fancy watch, right?). Then, schedule your ads for the specific times they should be running and shut them down during non-peak performance windows. For those day-of ads intended for people leaving work and grabbing something on the way home, make sure you’re adjusting for the location/time zones you’re covering.
2. Combat ad fatigue by cycling in fresh creative automatically. After someone has seen the same ad of a kitten wearing a necklace for two weeks, it’s time to feed them something new (no matter how cute it is)!
3. Automatically shift budget to high performing campaigns. The Valentine’s Day rush only comes once a year and you don’t want to waste a cent!
4. 48% of searches for Valentine’s Day on Bing in 2016 came from mobile devices. Make sure you’re optimized for mobile with ad extensions, attractive mobile ads, and automated alerts for phone calls or impressions so you can see who’s buying on-the-go.
5. Valentine’s Day breakups happen, and so it must be with some of your ad copy. Prune and pause underperforming copy based on spend and CPC (for example), without having to lift a finger.
6. Sit back and relax (or maybe run out a buy a gift for your sweetheart with the time you saved!).