Google Ads recently announced the rollout of the ‘Auto-Apply’ feature to all Google Ads accounts in 2022, allowing users to manage and automatically apply recommendations. This is part of Google’s ongoing strategy to increase automation and encourage users to move away from more manual campaign management.
What is Google Ads Automation?
Google Ads automation (or PPC automation) allows marketers to control their Google ad campaigns through machine learning, without manually having to update certain aspects of campaigns – for example, bidding, ad delivery, attribution, and targeting. By automating some of the campaign management, Google relies on insights from automated rules and machine learning to automatically apply changes.
Here are 5 automations that we like and actively use to manage client campaigns.
1. Auto Apply Data-Driven Attribution
Data-driven attribution gives credit for conversions based on how people engage with various ads and decide to become your customers. It uses data from the Google Ads account to determine which keywords, ads, and campaigns have the greatest impact on business goals. It’s considered to be a more holistic way of attributing conversions rather than using the legacy list of attribution models (as an agency we have typically used ‘Position-based’ attribution prior to data-driven being made available).
How do I get it? Go to Recommendations > Auto-Apply and under Bidding & Budgets tick ‘Upgrade your conversion tracking’.
2. Google Ads Automated Rules
Google Ads automated rules can help users reduce time spent analyzing campaign data to look for trends in keywords, ads, placements (and much more) that are negatively or positively impacting performance.
Users can set up automated rules with specific conditions, and these rules will fire as soon as those conditions are met. Spending too much money on a keyword without conversion? Set up a rule to pause them. Looking to increase the budget on high converting ad groups? Set up a rule to increase the daily budget as soon as the conversion rate reaches a certain threshold.
This is a great way to manage ad spend more efficiently with immediate action taken – whether it’s during working hours or not. Other useful rules include automatically removing keywords with a low quality score or high cost-per-click.
How do I get it? Go to Tools & Settings > Bulk Actions > Rules and choose from a whole list of rule categories.
3. Auto Remove Non-Serving & Conflicting Keywords
Note: this recommendation has been updated since Google changed the conditions for ‘Remove Redundant Keywords’.
We’ve refined this recommendation following Google’s announcement in January 2023 that it would begin removing redundant keywords across different match types. This means that with ‘Remove Redundant Keywords’ switched on, Google could remove phrase or exact versions of a keyword if a broad match exists. This is therefore not an automation that we would continue to recommend. Instead, there are still benefits to be had in choosing auto-apply for removing non-serving keywords and conflicting negative keywords – the latter serving as a useful reminder of keywords you may have previously added to your negative list, but now wish to target (perhaps due to product, service, or market expansion).
How do I get it? Go to Recommendations > Auto-Apply and under Keywords & Targeting select the following options:
4. Smart Display with Pay for Conversions (proceed with caution!)
Looking to run display ads but want to be charged by conversions, not clicks? Smart Display takes away some of the granular targeting by combining prospecting and remarketing all in one campaign, but can provide better results for conversion-focused campaigns – if you have enough conversion data from standard display campaigns to support it.
If your account has conversion tracking set up and meets the eligibility requirements, you can create a campaign with Google’s Smart Display with Pay for Conversions. When setting up a new Smart Display campaign, under Bidding choose ‘Conversions’ under the Pay for drop down menu. Keep an eye on the quality of the conversions, and compare them to those coming via standard display campaigns.
5. Managing Ad Schedules with Scripts
For large accounts where you want to use scripts to apply ad schedules with bid adjusters, you could use the example script below (and configure as needed). Scripts are applied under Tools & Settings > Bulk Actions > Scripts. When you run a script, it will appear in the “Logs” section with information about its progress. You can stop a script by clicking the Stop button next to any running script.
Need help with Google Ads?
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