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Google Ads automation rules are a convenient way to make specific changes to your Google Ads account happen without your participation. They are useful not only for automating regular activities that you frequently perform on your account, but also for occasional changes.
Changing communications or campaign budgets before or after the season, or during certain hours and days of the week will not require our presence – holidays or weekends will also be handled by the appropriate rule. And with efficient oversight of multiple client accounts, as is the case indigital agencies it is even essential.
Regulations can also be used to notify us of the fulfillment of certain criteria by email at regular intervals – they can, for example, alert us when the number of conversions acquired on a given day or week has dropped below a level we specify.
When using automatic rules, the functionality of labels also comes in very handy – not all elements of a Google Ads account can be easily sorted by content or name, especially if we have not taken care to easily distinguish them beforehand.
Things-that-can-be-changed-by-Google Ads rules
When we go to the section on all the automatic rules in our advertising account, we can create a rule for any item in one place. The list includes rules for campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads and other account resources – and, more recently, rules for the component group of the Performance Max campaign
Depending on what specifically you want to change with a rule, the available options change. Changing the daily budget will only apply to rules involving campaigns, as it is on this component that we determine the amount of advertising expenses we want to incur. For ad groups and keywords, we can modify the rates, including automatically raising the CPC to the proposed rate for a specific place in the search results – as long as, of course, we use manual cost-per-click rather thansmart rate-setting strategies
All items that can be given labels can, thanks to the rules, get them automatically – which is useful especially if you only want to flag something after the criteria are met, and already decide exactly what to do with it yourself.
The common feature of all available types of automatic rules is the ability to pause or enable an element of a given type at a time we set with hourly accuracy.
When defining rules, it is worth, first of all, to base on the individual situation of a given business – it is difficult to indicate specific parameters or numbers without taking into account what results are obtained by advertising activities and what is the business objective.
Practical examples of applying Google Ads rules
The most obvious example is the aforementioned seasonal communication – thanks to the rule, changing ads will be possible even after midnight on the day of the change. But similarly, you can change the messages for selected hours or days of the week.
We can also create a rule to automatically pause keywords or ads that get results below the expected ones, according to the criteria we set.
Some of the rules no longer apply as they once did, because the stronger we use smart rate-setting strategies, the less we have the ability to modify rates on specific factors. Which is not to say that we can’t withhold a lower-performing audience, or modify the CPA by a certain percentage or amount.
The rule will also come in handy if, because of the payment method, we don’t have the ability to secure the entire account with a specific budget limit – and it will automatically halt activities when campaigns exceed the specified expenses. Even with a budget order, if we have a strictly defined budget for specific campaigns, it will also give us more complete control.
Regulations can also be used to inform us of a lack of clicks on a given day or another very abnormal effect of a campaign – by selecting an email notification, a message will drop into our inboxes with the names of the campaigns for which our rule has been met. This will give us the opportunity, for example, to increase the budget that has already run out, or to find another reason that affected the sudden stop of the campaign.
Through the use of Google Ads automatic rules, even on a very busy day we will get a change or information about the situation without having to enter the advertising system.
How to set a rule in Google Ads
Google Ads rules can be set up in two ways. We can go to the aforementioned Rules section in Tools and Settings of the Google Ads account, and check all the available options – it’s worth checking out. It is also here that we will check the already existing automatic rules, their execution conditions and actions, and make appropriate changes.
The second – in my opinion more intuitive – is to rely on the Google Ads interface in the browser regarding the element we are interested in the planned rule. The menu for creating an automatic rule will usually be found above the effectiveness data table, under the button with 3 dots and the caption More – one of the options to choose from will be precisely “Create automatic rule.” When we select specific items, the option to create a rule will be in the drop-down menu under the Edit section. This allows us, above all, to quickly take action without entering the criteria of our view from scratch.
After clicking on “Create automatic rule”, the Google Ads rule configuration interface opens for us. If we have previously filtered the list or used a check mark, our filter will immediately be in the Conditions section.
The filter will be in the “Create automatic rule” section.
Let’s now go through each section in turn.
The name of the rule is for our information so that we can quickly identify it later in the list of all automatic rules and figure out what it is responsible for.
Then we can define up to five actions to be performed when certain conditions are met. What’s more, each of these actions can apply to a different set of elements. If we want to change the communication from seasonal to standard, and use, for example, a filter by labels – it no longer requires us to create several rules to apply different changes to other objects, as long as it is an object of the same type that the rule applies to.
The options available, what exactly is to happen in a Google Ads account and under what condition, depend primarily on the structure element being changed. For example, when it comes to campaigns, you can, through a rule, turn them on or pause them, change their budgets, labels, or send an informational email.
When selecting a rule, it is worth exercising caution – modifications to parameters like rate or budget should, just in case, be additionally protected by a limit that such a change cannot exceed – this is an optional field.
The next step in defining an automatic rule is to determine the frequency of execution. When we are talking about a seasonal change of communication, we will rather be interested in a one-time term, with a strictly defined date and time range. If we base the conditions of the rule on some parameter from the account, it is worth paying special attention here to what data the rule will use – this is where we choose whether we are talking about the current day or month, or some already completed period.
In the last section we choose the e-mail notification criterion – having 4 options to choose from:
– sending a notification every time an automatic rule is executed – especially useful at the beginning if we want to check if our rule is definitely running when we expect it
– sending a notification only in case of changes or errors – by analogy, if the rule changes something in the account, we will get such information
– sending notification only in case of errors
– no notification
Most rule settings can be modified later.
Finally, before saving an automatic rule for later execution, I recommend clicking the “Preview” option. Admittedly, this only gives you an indication of what would happen to the rule if it were executed at that exact moment – that is, some of the conditions on which it is based might not be met. Particularly useful if you want to check whether a timed operation to pause or resume an item will work as you plan.
Such a script will, among other things, allow us to regularly check links across the entire ad account, and properly configured will notify us of necessary intervention in case of a non-functioning page. Thanks to scripts, we can also take into account external data, such as, for example, the weather forecast in a particular region.
Each script, before running or even previewing, must be individually authorized – so there is no question of accidental operation. This is an additional safeguard on Google’s part, as the scripts themselves can be very intrusive, and in the history of changes caused by the script, it is the authorizing user who will be listed as the executor.
The scripts can also be used as a way to make changes to the script.
Certified specialist with many years of experience, with Up&More since 2016. Her campaigns have been awarded many times in prestigious industry plebiscites. He has experience with clients from the development, automotive and mobile application industries.