AdWords: Focusing on What's Important with Automated Rules
Focusing on what's important with automated rules
At this point, you're getting pretty good at optimizing accounts and every day you're in there checking out areas for improvement, making changes and using the data to drive your next steps. And you're also finding that a lot of what you do consists of repetitive tasks that end up taking a lot of time out of your day. Automated rules can help you save the time you're spending on those tasks, so that you can use those saved minutes and hours to do more interesting and valuable things with your day. The general process you want to follow starts out with thinking about the overall goal you want to achieve. Let's take an example from our own account.
We want to launch a new campaign to promote a new event that we're having in Berkeley, and we want to make sure that we sell as many seats to this even that we possibly can. An event registration signup is our conversion, and we're tracking that conversion action here in our account. Next, we'll come up with a strategy. First, we want this to start running as soon as we open up registration for this new event. And let's pretend that that's going to happen on June 18th at 9 o'clock in the morning. Then, we'll want to let this campaign run for a while to collect some data, and we'll want to check in on the campaign to find our well-performing keywords with high conversion rates, so we can increase those bids.
We'll want to get more exposure and more conversions, but we also want to make sure that we keep our cost per conversion to profitable levels. Last, while I don't have time to check in on this account every single day with everything else I have to do to run my business, I do want to know if, for any reason, my ads stopped running. There's a lot of this strategy that I can automate. So, let's take these one by one. First, I wanted to launch this campaign on June 18th at 9 o'clock in the morning. Once my campaign is created, I'll put it in a paused state and then I can automate that process of turning it on, with just a one-time rule.
I'll head over to my Campaigns tab, select the campaign I'm about to automate the launch of, and choose, Enable campaigns when, from the Automate drop down. Next, I'll make the requirement that the campaign matches the one that I want to launch, and I'll choose this rule to run with the frequency of one time on June 18th at 9 a.m. I'll give it a name and I'll chose to have the system send me an e-mail when it happens so I know everything went okay. Next, I'll preview the results to make sure this is going to do what I want it to, and I can see it here that it will.
When the rule runs on the morning of June 18th, the status of the campaign will be changed from Paused to Enabled. So, my next step was to let the campaign run for a while to collect some data and then look to see if I can get more exposure and more conversions by upping the bids on my best performing keywords. I can automate that too. Here, I'll drill into my campaign, and select, Change max CPC bids when, from the Automate menu. I'll leave this applied to all but the deleted keywords in this campaign, and I'll automate the action of increasing my bids by 15%, with a cap of $2, when the conversion rate is above 2.5%, and my cost per conversion stays below $30.
I'm going to run this every single week, and I'll schedule it for Monday mornings. Again, I'll give it a name, I'll check the preview, and in this case I'm going to choose to be e-mailed only if the rule has a problem or if it results in making any changes. Note that it's a good best practice to match the frequency in which you're running the rule with the same previous time period. You can see here that I'm running this weekly and I'm using the data from the last seven days to drive this decision. The last thing I wanted to do was make sure that I'm aware if something happens on this campaign, where it's not getting me the exposure I need.
So here, I'll use a, Send me an e-mail when, rule and I'll apply it to all the ad groups in this particular campaign. I'm going to set it up to e-mail me at the end of each day if any of these ad groups have gotten less than, say, 50 clicks during the day. This will let me know if I've got any problems I need to look into, without my having to log in and manually go through all of them. As you can see, there are lots of things you can automate, and don't forget step four of the workflow. Start out small and make sure your rules are working the way you want them to. As you scale up your automation, also remember that this doesn't replace checking in on the account's performance.
You want to make sure that the end result of your automated rules is that you're constantly getting better return on your advertising investment, so don't be afraid to tweak these rules or your strategy as you go. And most importantly, now that you're automating the repetitive tasks that used to take time out of your work day, don't forget to put all that saved time to good use with the more strategic aspects of campaign management that can't be automated.
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