Managing a Google Ads account can be difficult, especially if you do not have the time or the dedicated team. Fortunately, there are ways to automate your accounts directly in the platform. One of my favorites is Google's automated rules feature. Today, I will review the rules to follow and give advice on how to make yours as effective as possible.
Automated Rules Basics
Automated rules can be a very powerful way to semi-automate your Google Ads accounts. They are pretty much exactly what they look like: a set of rules with conditions that run automatically and make changes to your accounts.
Automated rules are highly customizable and allow you to make scheduled changes to most aspects of an account. Here are all the places that automated rules may apply:
When you are ready to create a new rule, you can follow several steps. The first is to simply navigate to the campaign or account you want to automate in the interface. Check the blue box next to what you want to automate, click "Edit," then choose "Create an Automated Rule."
", then choose" Rules "under the" Bulk Actions "section.
Once you have selected what you want to automate, you are prompted to select the type of rule to execute. Depending on the aspect of the account you want to automate, there are a handful of different options, but they usually boil down to the following:
- Send an Email  Change Offer / Budget
Each of them is relatively explicit and I will not go into detail at this point. The next part of rule building is where you can be very personalized for your needs.
Once you have chosen the type of rule you want to execute, it's time to set conditions. It's where the fun really goes.
In the Automated Rules Generator, a screen that looks like this one depends on the chosen route:
I will review a slightly more complex rule Change keyword bids based on performance to give you an example to follow. Your rules can be as simple or as complex as you like, but I hope that a slightly more detailed example will be more useful than a simple one.
On this screen you will see that there are actually 6 different sections of the construction of a rule:
- Type of Rule
- Apply to
- Define Action
- Since we have already touched on the Rule Type section, let's move to each of the remaining parts of the editor screen to have an idea of how to configure automated rules.
In this section we will select the rules to apply to our automated rule. In this example, I'll choose the keywords I want to rate, but for other types of rules, you'll choose campaigns, ads, demographics, and more. you want to automate.
Let's say that for this rule, I only want to focus on the keywords in a handful of specific campaigns. I would choose the option "Keywords in the selected campaigns", then select the campaigns in the pop-up window:
Now that I have chosen my campaigns, this rule will apply to all keywords in these campaigns, but will not make any adjustments to any other set of keywords in my account.
In this section, we will define the actions to perform on the keywords. This will depend on the conditions defined in the next section.
For my keyword rule, I can choose from different actions:
For this rule, I want to lower bids when my CPA becomes too high, so I'm going to choose the "Decrease bids" option.
I am then asked to choose if I want to reduce my bid by a percentage or an amount.
By percentage, this simply means that my bid will decrease by X% each time the rule runs. If I drop by an amount, it means that my bid will only lower the amount I have set, like $ 0.25.
When automating multiple keywords, ads, campaigns, etc., with different levels of bids or budgets, it's best to set percentage rules for the changes to have equal impact on all campaigns. A decrease in the keyword's bid of $ 0.25 could result in a drop of the keyword in a bid of $ 20. But for keywords with a bid of $ 1.00 or even $ 0.50, you've lowered bids by 25% to 50%!
If you only define 1 to 2 aspects of your account with similar starting points, a change in amount will be a good option if you prefer.
General rule: If in doubt, use a percentage change.
In this section, we define the performance criteria to be achieved before the rule is executed. Which means that if I want to lower the bids when my CPA is too high, I have to tell the system the amount that a CPA has to exceed to get too high
When you click on the link Blue "+ ADD" under Generator conditions, you will be prompted with a list that looks like almost every other filter in the account. It is there that the automated rules get their power. You can create highly customized conditions to meet for the execution of your rules.
For this example, I will choose "Conversions" and "Cost / Conv." The following conditions mean that if multiple conversions take place and the CPA is complete, 100 $, then my rule will be to lower my bids by the percentage I've set in the previous section.
Here you can choose any criteria.
One important thing to note is that you have the ability to set conditions based on the text of the keywords, the name of the campaign, and so on.
Ideally, you have been able to choose the right campaigns, keywords, etc. that you want to automate in the previous section. But let's say that there are some keywords that I want to exclude from this rule in the campaigns I chose above. I can simply choose the "keyword text" from the options in the condition, select "does not contain", and enter the keyword phrases that I want to exclude from this rule.
to all keywords in the campaign except those containing the text "blue shoes".
The frequency section is fairly simple to configure, but it can be very important to pay attention.
The first date option you choose is the frequency at which you want the rule to search for conditions to make the changes you have made.
The "Once" setting means that this rule will only be executed once. This is great for pausing / activating campaigns around vacations or promotions. The other parameters will define a recurring rule.
For my rule, I want to set it up for a weekly run. This means that the rule will parse the associated keywords for conditions set once a week and will only make changes to the keywords that meet these conditions.
I can then choose the day of the week and the time of day. run.
The "using data from" option allows you to choose the data for which you want the conditions to be examined. The drop down menu has a ton of options available.
Important note on date ranges
It is important not to double-click on the data. you do not want to optimize the same set of data twice.
If my rule set is run every week, the longest data window I should set is the "7 days before" option. If I go back further, as say the "14 days before", I will optimize twice the same dataset: once in the last 7 days and again in the last 14 days. .
You should optimize only once on a set of data. Make the changes you want, then analyze the new performance to see if this optimization worked. If that was the case, great! If this is not the case, then you still have work to do. But the data from the first dataset that you have optimized should not be included in the second set of changes.
This section tells Google Ads how often you want to receive emails around this automated rule:
opt for at least one email whenever the rule executes with modifications or errors. This will allow you to get an idea of the changes made to the account according to your rules. If you're using automated rules to report issues in the account or to alert you to performance changes, use the "If you're using automatic rules" whenever this rule executes setting is the best option.
For example, if you want to make sure that your brand's keywords are still at average position 1.2 or higher, you can define a rule that looks like this:
You will only receive an email when the keywords of your brand have fallen on average and you can log into the account and take appropriate action.
Naming your rules is the last thing you do before you set a live rule. This may seem like a small thing, but if you have managed an account for a long time – maybe several years or more – Make sure you have labeled and organized well at where you need to perform a retroactive report analysis.
For example, if you want to interrupt your campaigns on Labor Day, it's a good idea not to simply name your "Suspend Campaigns" rule, which appears, but also to include Labor Day and Labor Day. # 39; year. You can go as far as adding the date of change and time if you wish, but I have found that knowing the holiday weekend of the year is enough.
Because this is specific to the rules naming convention, you can also better use the history of automated rule changes. In this report, you can see what rules were executed, what changes were made, and if there were errors.
Potential Automated Rules to Run
Now that we know how to set up automated rules, I want to give you some examples of rules that might be appropriate in your accounts: 
- Pausing / activating campaigns around a holiday or promotion
- Adjusting keyword bids based on CPA and conversion performance
- Increase keyword bids] Increase bid modifiers on an age group if the CPA is 20% lower than your target
- Reduce the budget on a display campaign if your CPC is greater than you wish
- more than 50%
The sky is really the limit here. Consider these statements as simple if / then in your account.
3 Last Tips for Configuring Your Automated Rules
Before you start using your account, here are some of the best practices for automated rules that I found important in my account management years.
Do not automate something you did not do yourself
I think this is one of the most important things about automated rules: if you do not have it done manually, do not automate it. There are too many options for errors if you have never made any specific changes before letting the computer take over.
Pausing and activating campaigns after a holiday is pretty self-explanatory. By scanning it manually you will be sure to understand if there are any reservations to the rule.
For the supply or budget adjustments, however, it is crucial. I recommend doing a manual bid at the rate you plan to set a rule for at least a month before you set the rule. This will allow you to test if the changes you make are what you want and if they have the desired effect. Maybe you started to think that a 10% fit was a good idea, but during this month, the impact was not the same as you did. wish or the result is too positive. You might even find that some keywords can use a 15% fit while others require 5%. You have just discovered that you need two rules instead of one.
Without this time required to learn and manually adjust campaigns, you risk not making your automated rules as effective as they should be.
Rules are not monitored
Automated rules can be a great way to escape manual work, but they can not and should not replace a user who reviews the account. Regularly check the rules you have defined. Do they work as they should? Do they have the desired impact in mind when you created them? Should we adjust things?
Even if you go once a month or once a quarter, check back regularly to your automated rules to make sure you're doing the work you need.
Think About the Positive and Negative Aspects
The example I gave above was aimed at reducing bids on keywords if the CPA was too high. It's a negative thing to minimize in an account.
But what about the positive?
Whenever I set up an automated rule, I always think that there is a counterweight to the action I take. Is there a rule I could use to raise bids on low CPA keywords? If I suspend campaigns, should I activate them later?
The balancing rules may not always be applicable, but I have at least found that the reflection exercise can help me to think better about my strategy and to make sure my rules are fine. established.
And that's it! Automated rules can be a great way to save time on your account, but they need to be thoughtful before you set them up and certainly do not run the account without you getting involved.