Google Ads Automation uses tools to automate your PPC for maximum efficiency. Learn how a top digital marketing agency uses it – because every click counts in marketing.
How to automate Google Ads for time and cost savings:
- Set notifications to keep tabs on performance
- Use campaign rules for easy scheduling and bid adjustments
- Save time on keyword monitoring with automated bid management
- Use responsive search and display ads for ad creation
- Sync integrations to GA4, Zapier, and more for campaign insights and lead generation
At a glance, Google Ads automation sounds like a marketer’s productivity dream.
Imagine less time glazing over bid adjustments or brainstorming endless negative keywords. Game-changing, right?
But that time saver can quickly turn into a marketing-budget drainer if mishandled.
As a top 3% digital marketing agency, we’re all onboard for automation. Yet, we recognize that merely automating isn’t the silver bullet for a seamless marketing strategy.
We supercharge automation with real-time data from our proprietary tech, ConversionIQ. But the real catalyst for conversions? It’s the human touch of our seasoned SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) strategists, armed with decades of experience crushing conversion and traffic goals.
We caught up with Chloe Derse, HawkSEM’s team lead and paid-media extraordinaire, to discuss how brands can maximize ROI with Google Ads automation tools like:
- Scripts for email notifications
- Campaign rules
- Automated bidding
- Responsive ad creation
- The do’s and don’ts
Ready to make your Google ads campaign management seamless? Keep reading!
What is Google Ads automation?
Google Ads automation represents built-in automation tools on Google Analytics for your PPC campaigns. Beyond this, marketers can automate certain PPC features with workflow automation software tools like Zapier.
How does it help brands?
Essentially, you can use Google Ads automation to complete a wide variety of actions automatically through conditional statements, which trigger actions based on selected criteria.
Derse highlights the main benefit: saving time.
“[It] gives you more time to spend in the account on bigger initiatives that move the needle with performance. Managing accounts without some of these time-savers prevents the accounts from growing and can keep them stagnant.”
So, how does HawkSEM tailor Google Ads automation for its clientele?
5 ways to automate Google Ads for time and cost savings
We get it, keeping up with all of Google’s algorithms while trying to maximize conversion rates can get tricky and tedious. But when it comes to the repetitive tasks in Google PPC campaigns, automation is your best friend.
Here are some of Derse’s favorite ways to automate Google Ads:
1. Set notifications to keep tabs on performance
With the barrage of alerts on Google Analytics, it’s easy to miss crucial updates about your campaign performance. Email notifications serve as gentle reminders to keep you in the loop. Derse leans heavily on these automated email notifications through Google Ads scripts to keep a pulse on performance metrics:
“There are some simple account checks that you can automate easily with scripts. Some of these will send along an email notification if something is out of the ordinary with performance, which can help you easily remedy the issue.”
Below is Derse’s curated list of smart scripts for Google Ads performance:
Search query n-grams
N-grams are a sequence of phrases where 1-gram is one word, 2-gram is two words, etc.
With a plethora of keywords spanning across your ads and campaigns, it’s essential to stay up-to-date on the evolving search trends. What if your target audience stopped searching some of those keywords, yet you were still paying to rank for them? Derse leverages Google Ads automation to monitor the frequency of search queries:
“This exports the search terms from the account, split out into 1-word, 2-word, and 3-word search terms. This helps you to see at a glance which terms are performing best, as well as the ones that may be spending a lot but not converting.”
Account anomaly detector
Seeing a sudden plunge in monthly conversions? You’d want to be the first to know. Fortunately, you can automate email notifications for any sort of drastic performance drop.
The Google Ads account anomaly detector is a vital automation function because when it comes to Google Ads, time is of the essence. The sooner you notice a performance drop, the faster you can identify the problem, rectify it, and recover your rankings.
Negative keyword conflicts
Negative keywords help you avoid wasted ad spend. But if you’re working with a large ad budget and plenty of campaigns, it’s easy for someone on your team to overlook a negative keyword or two. So they try to rank for it in a newer campaign, only for their new ads to not show up for it.
You can use a Google Ads script to send you a notification any time you bid on a keyword that’s also on your negative keyword list.
A sleek, persuasive landing page isn’t always easy to master. But nothing’s worse than a potential lead hitting a 404 error page. Derse can’t risk that kind of blunder in her stellar Google Ads campaigns, which is why the link checker is a staple in her automated notification list:
“This checks for broken links that ads are pointing to. If an ad is directing to a broken 404 page, this will alert you so you can either pause the ads or fix the issue with the page.”
Declining ad groups
Ad groups are efficient for bulk traffic and leads, but can quickly get expensive without the right results. Plus, it could take a couple of weeks for ad group performance to regulate after some ups and downs.
But after three weeks of low performance, it’s time for a re-evaluation. So naturally, Derse includes declining ad groups in her script list, too.
“This script lets you know if there are particular ad groups in an account that have been getting lower performance over three weeks in a row,” she says.
While all these scripts are invaluable for saving time and staying on top of ad performance, Derse offers a word of caution:
“Any time you use an automation, you’ll want to make sure it’s working properly and that what you’re seeing in the account matches with what the notification is telling you. For example, if you get a notification from the Declining Ad Groups script, you’ll want to make sure that you see the decline in performance before making changes in the account.”
Derse also adds that scripts can lend a helping hand. Just do some due diligence when reviewing their performance alerts.
2. Use campaign rules for easy scheduling and bid adjustments
If you’ve ever wanted to rip your hair out when monitoring keyword bids, you’re not alone. Derse saves herself the trouble with Google Ads automation rules:
“You can use rules to prevent needing to constantly check bids. For example, if a campaign is on a manual bidding strategy, you can set up an automated rule that will change a keyword bid if specific conditions are met.”
What if you use dayparting for your campaigns, like scheduled times and dates for maximal ROI? Rules are your ally, too. In this case, you could pre-schedule a campaign and set up a rule to auto-pause it on a specific date.
3. Save time on keyword monitoring with automated bid management
Sometimes, we bid modestly to respect our marketing budgets. But if you add just a few more cents to your keyword bid, you might maximize your chance of a click or conversion. Talk about a tightrope walk!
Google Ads automated bidding strategies can walk that tightrope and recalibrate your bids based on the likelihood of achieving a click or conversion. But what if you’re less concerned with conversions and more concerned with brand awareness? Google’s automated bidding offers you different strategies for various goals, like:
- Target ROAS
- Target CPA
- Maximize conversions
- Maximize conversion value
- Target impression share
- Maximize clicks
Impression share and clicks are solid strategic goals for brands who want to build brand awareness or foster lead generation, while ROAS, conversions, and conversion value are more sales- and conversion-focused.
However, it’s important to remember that Google’s primary aim, like any business, is profitability. Meaning? Their automated bidding strategies might not always align perfectly with your budget constraints. Moreover, mixing multiple marketing goals within the same campaign can complicate automated bidding.
That’s why we recommend pairing automated bidding with vigilant monitoring and adjustments by seasoned PPC experts.
4. Use responsive search and display ads for ad creation
Ever feel overwhelmed trying to think of fresh ad copy or curate the best display photos? Maybe you’re flooded with hundreds of options and struggling to find the right words to pair them with. We get how impeding that creative block can feel—Google’s automated ad creation features offer some relief.
Google offers two forms of automated ad creation: responsive search ads (text ads) and responsive display ads. These automation features help you speed up ad creation, but you shouldn’t rely on them fully.
Let’s delve into each to understand their potentials and pitfalls:
Responsive search ads (text ads)
If wordplay isn’t your forte, responsive text ads can be your muse. Simply plug in headline and description ideas for Google to propose a winning combination based on your audience and keywords. The best part? Google continually refines these combinations to help you make edits that better meet your conversion goals and audience interests.
But for best results, you need diverse and distinct inputs. Our advice? Experiment with varied keywords, calls to action (CTAs), unique value propositions (UVPs), and locations, especially if local SEO is part of your strategy.
Responsive display ads
Perhaps you have a solid logo or product photo but aren’t sure how to mesh it together with ad copy in your PPC ad. That’s where responsive display ads come in.
Google’s AI automation features will take in your creative assets and form a display ad combination that you can use on the search engine for display campaigns. You can also create responsive display ads for YouTube, websites, Gmail, and other ad platforms.
We’ve even seen ecommerce brands tap into Google’s Performance Max, which combines multiple machine learning and AI features on Google like responsive display with automated bidding. But it’s better for those with substantial expertise.
“I think it’s great for ecommerce clients, but there are very few scenarios where it is effective for lead generation,” says Derse. “It needs to be managed carefully because, without the right guardrails in place, it will run wild.”
In need of that extra creative oomph in your ad creatives? HawkSEM boasts an epic team of SEO, PPC, writing, and design experts ready to make your ads pop on the SERPs.
5. Sync integrations to GA4, Zapier, and more for campaign insights and lead generation
Are you harnessing Zapier’s vast compatibility with over 4,000 web apps? Maybe you automate workflows by bridging Salesforce to Slack or Mailchimp to WordPress. According to Derse, you can integrate Google Ads with Zapier and many other tools in your tech stack:
“Zapier has lots of great automation opportunities with Google Ads that make it easier to keep track of new leads. You can track offline conversions, set up custom email notifications for new leads, or add new leads to a spreadsheet so they don’t have to manually be added.”
As for how that looks productivity-wise?
“Using Zapier for one of my clients saves me about an hour a week, which is time that I can instead spend in the account optimizing.”
Another of Derse’s favorite integrations? Google Analytics 4 (GA4), Google’s latest iteration with insights from multiple advertising platforms and advanced data control. Beyond analytics, GA4 offers awesome performance-based automation features, which expedite strategic insights. Derse outlines how she uses GA4 and other software integrations to boost Google Analytics insights:
“You should have GA4 connected to Google Ads because it will allow you to see additional metrics that you would otherwise not be able to see for site engagement. If you’re using a mainstream CRM (Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot), it is available to be linked.”
Why have them connected?
“[It] will give you more insights into the campaigns, ad groups, and keywords that are bringing the most qualified leads. It gives you the complete picture for what is working well and what is not, and allows you to make informed decisions about the changes to make in the account,” says Derse.
Eager to automate Google Ads? With the insights from this guide, you’re primed and ready. But remember, while preparation is key, time is gold for the modern marketer.
“If there’s an issue with a script and it isn’t working, there is a lot more manual work that you’ll have to do in the meantime, and the account won’t be moving forward,” says Derse.
That kind of manual work can get real technical, real fast. Your best solution for peace of mind, speedy marketing campaigns, and speedier conversions? Partnering with an award-winning PPC management agency attuned to the intricacies of your Google Ads campaigns.
HawkSEM has served thousands of clients across retail, ecommerce, SaaS, finance, education, and other niches with Google Ads campaigns that deliver an average of 4.5X ROI. We’ll harness automation features to their full potential, bringing you the ROI your brand truly deserves.