Levels of automation in paid search are rising fast, and we believe this is a change to be embraced. Automation – when done well – allows for more efficient management and optimisation of paid activity, ultimately freeing up time to focus on more strategic thought and action.
In this series, we’re going to look at how to use automation to manage your PPC activity, including:
Automated bidding frees-up time that was previously spent manually calculating ‘optimal’ bids on a daily, or twice daily basis. In reality, there is no precise way to manually calculate optimal bids, as an optimal bid varies from auction to auction. With manual bidding you’ll always be overbidding for some clicks, and underbidding for others. This is part of the reason why Google’s Smart Bidding has emerged over recent years. Let’s take a look at these Smart Bidding strategies.
Google’s Smart Bidding strategies look at billions of different data signals when setting bids during each and every auction. They’ll consider time of day, location, historical behaviour, browser, OS, likelihood of conversion – and many others – and then how these all combine together to produce an optimal bid during that moment. This should, in theory, ensure you always pay the right amount for that click.
Google Ads now has several automated bidding options available:
It’s important to note, however, that Smart Bidding isn’t always right for everyone (we even wrote a blog post a while back asking…can you trust it?). There are a few things to keep in mind when considering it:
If Smart Bidding isn’t a viable option for your account, that doesn’t mean you have to resort to manual bidding. There is plenty of automation that you can introduce to an account via the use of scripts…
Scripts are pieces of code which can automate many PPC processes. Whilst they may look complicated if you’re not a developer, the good news is that you don’t need any knowledge of coding to be able to use them effectively, and there is a huge resource of ready-made scripts available online that you can just copy and paste into your account.
Because there are so many out there, we’ve selected a few of our favourites to really up your automation game.
24 hour bidding – Google Ads only allows for 6 custom bid adjustments by time of day to be made – but what if you need to adjust your bids more frequently than this? This script allows you to change your bids up to 24 times a day based on whatever bid modifiers you choose. You can also split this out by day.
And if you don’t know what bid modifiers you should be using?
Heatmap bid analysis – This script analyses your current data by hour and day and produces a visual heatmap of performance, complete with suggested bid modifiers, saving you a ton of time when combined with the 24 hour bidding script.
Weather based bidding – If your PPC performance is affected by the weather conditions, then this script could come in handy. It links to the OpenWeatherMap API which references the current weather conditions in the locations you’ve specified. You can then set the bid modifier you want to make depending on the weather conditions.
So now it’s over to you to start using these strategies to improve PPC performance and free up your time to focus on developing strategy, innovation, and your own personal growth. In our next post, we’ll be looking at how you can use automation for ad writing & testing. To keep up-to-date with this series, and our other posts, make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter.
If this article has inspired you to improve your PPC performance, get in touch to find out how we can help!