Automation everywhere. There is no way around it.
In the world of advertising, automation has not only become the norm, but in some aspects it has become the default way to advertise.
With every technology update (good or bad), there is always some give and take from the marketing community about how to avoid or outperform automation, or how to build on the latest technology.
Automation used to be a word to fear because it meant you had to know how to code.
Fear no more! Automation itself has become so automatic that it allows you to rely on the right tools and work smarter, not harder.
I’ll take you through three different areas where you can embrace automation and use it to your advantage in Google Ads – no coding skills required!
Before we dive into these tips, let’s take a look at what automation is in the sense of Google Ads and how it can benefit you.
What is automation?
In its simplest sense, automation can be used in many ways in Google Ads. You can use automation to:
- Run A/B tests or different ad formats.
- Implement bid changes based on your criteria.
- Enable or pause campaigns, ad groups, keywords or ads.
- Change budgets.
- Run reports.
To summarize, automation can help you simplify account management and scale your efforts.
Ramping up the importance of automation, Google has declared automation one of its three priorities for 2022.
The benefits of automation
There are many benefits to using automation in Google Ads.
As mentioned above, the biggest benefit can simply be in the time saved by allowing automation to complete monotonous ongoing tasks.
Additional benefits of PPC automation certification include:
- More efficiency and productivity.
- Focus more on analysis and strategy.
- Spend time on things that move the needle.
- Faster results and the ability to test more.
Convinced yet to try automation? If not, we hope these 3 ways to automate will help change your mind!
1. Take advantage of Google’s built-in default default rules
This is the most obvious of the three but it gets repetitive.
Google Ads is constantly evolving its interface and automation tools available to PPC professionals.
One of the first examples you can use automation for is creating A/B tests, or “experiments,” in the Google Ads interface.
I’ll be the first to admit that when Google first introduced Experiments, it was tricky to set up. The process was so confusing that my tests failed several times because the setup was wrong!
Fortunately for us, Google has simplified how we test and expanded the types of items you can test.
In the interface, click “Experiments” in the menu on the right side, then click the blue “+” button to create a new experiment.
In this example, we’ll choose the “Optimize text ads” feature.
With this experiment, you can choose which campaigns you’d like to test your text ads with.
After selecting the campaigns to test, you can create ad variations on either:
- Find and replace text in titles and/or descriptions.
- Update the text to add, remove or pin titles and/or descriptions.
- Update your final URL links, display path, or mobile final URL.
Finally, you set your divergence details. This includes choosing a timeframe for how long to run for the experiment, as well as splitting up the experiment.
If you’re looking for real A/B testing, I’d recommend keeping the split at 50%. Make sure to choose whatever is appropriate for your individual testing requirements.
Automatic rules are the most underappreciated feature of Google Ads, in my opinion. There are so many things you can automate with simple rules!
Some examples of tasks you can automate:
- Create a rule that all sale ads with a certain rating will be paused on the last day of the sale. In reverse, create another rule that enables evergreen ads once you pause sale ads.
- Set a rule that triggers daily for keywords below the first page bid. A word of caution: if you’re on a budget, make sure you set a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) so Google isn’t caught off guard by your bids.
- Establish a rule of thumb that runs weekly (or monthly, depending on volume and spend) for keywords that have a CPA above your usual threshold. You can either choose to pause these keywords or have Google send you a list of these keywords.
- In this scenario, I usually go for Report, because a lot of times, non-brand keywords have a higher CPA than brand, and you can inadvertently turn off keywords that are helping brand conversions increase.
Google has a complex (and simplistic) set of automated bid strategies.
It is likely that regardless of your objective(s), Google has an automatic bid strategy aligned with your objectives.
Some of the more popular bidding strategies include:
Recently, Google has simplified the number of bidding strategies available.
They used to have Target ROAS and Target CPA strategies, but they combined that with the “Maximize Conversion Value” and “Maximize Conversions” strategies, respectively.
You can set target ROAS or CPA targets under the two bid strategies listed.
Remember that bid strategies are set at the campaign level. This is important when creating a PPC account and concurrent campaigns.
Make sure to group ad groups and keywords into campaigns with a common goal. Segmentation + automation is a great way to succeed.
It should be noted that many of these automation tools for Google Ads are also available in Microsoft Ads.
As the search engine landscape is changing and expanding, many advertisers are branching out to other platforms to gain additional reach.
They have all available features listed above:
- Automated rules.
- Programmed bid strategies.
Since Microsoft Ads has countless automation tools that mimic Google Ads, it makes it easier than ever to recreate your PPC search strategy in Microsoft Ads.
2. Use custom script features
Scripts are another way to easily automate your calculations without knowing how to code.
In the past, the word “script” was something that many PPCs shy away from because of the implications for coding.
While using scripts is technical to code, the good news is that you don’t have to know how to code.
Scripts are usually pre-coded where you are only required to enter certain parameters in order for the script to run.
There are many different text resources that you can use to your advantage. Some of the best scripts available are for:
- Bidding and budget management.
- Automate spreadsheet reports.
- Enable or pause campaigns, ad groups, keywords or ads.
- Search query performance N-Gram.
- Landing page content checker.
With Brainlabs, they provide scripts for you to enter directly into your Google Ads account. There are currently 49 scripts available to choose from.
To add scripts to your account, go to Tools and settings On the top > Bulk Actions > Scripts.
It is important to note that you need to authorize the scripts to make changes on behalf of the user. You will be prompted with Google Ads.
In this example, I copied and pasted the “Low quality alert score” script into Google Ads from Brainlabs.
It prompts you ahead of time which inputs you need to change in order for the script to run successfully.
This script changed:
- Email address (so it’s sent to me on launch).
- Quality Score Limit (to submit keywords below a certain Quality Score that I choose).
- Label the keywords “true” (if you want low-quality QS keywords to rank for easy identification).
- Pause keywords to true (if you want the script to pause keywords that hit below your chosen threshold).
There are many pricing options available, so no matter your budget, you’ll likely be able to find a script that you can take advantage of and stay within your budget.
3. Use third-party software tools for advanced automation
As elucidated in the paragraph above, the explosion of the MarTech scene has produced many tools available to advertisers.
Optmyzr is a great tool if you want a hands-off experience when it comes to using scripts.
The texts are maintained and updated by the company. They also have dozens of Google ad scripts to choose from.
Optmyzr has a 14-day free trial so you can try it out before committing to a plan.
decomposition Another great tool if you’re looking for in-depth ad testing and insight capabilities.
Similar to Optmyzr, Adalysis also has a 14-day free trial before you commit.
Other tools recommended by the PPC community include:
- NinjaCat reports.
There are many more out there, so I encourage you to look for the third party tool that you will benefit the most from.
With all the tools available at your discretion, automation is nothing to be afraid of.
As a PPC professional, your job is not at risk of being cut out.
If anything, using automation to manage and scale your accounts allows you to be more strategic.
You’ll spend less time focusing on time-consuming tasks, and more time analyzing incoming data.
This change in the way you spend day to day at PPC can ultimately lead to your career success.
Knowing how to use automation, along with your critical thinking skills, will make you a better marketer.
The combination of automation and humans is the ultimate key to success.
With any automation tool, it is extremely important that you understand the “why” behind your automation tasks. Automation can only go so far based on the input you give for systems to learn.
Automation itself cannot replace humans in marketing. There will always be a personal side to advertising. This is where you come in.
If you’re not sure where to start, these three areas can help you on your way out of the weeds and into your “why.”
- How much can you trust the recommendations in Google Ads?
- 14 Types of Google Ads Extensions and What They Do
- PPC 101: A Complete Guide to the Basics of PPC Marketing
Featured image: Laurent T/Shutterstock