Automating PPC: The Ultimate Guide for Automated Ad Campaigns

What Is PPC Automation?

PPC automation is the practice of utilizing specialized software to automatically manage and enhance your pay-per-click advertisements. These tools modify settings such as ad budget, keyword choices, and ad positioning (the placement of your ads) using real-time data and predictive analytics. All of this can often be done with minimal time investment.

Managing your pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns can be time-consuming, but there’s a solution that can save you time and improve your ROI: PPC automation.

This innovative approach uses specialized software to automatically manage and optimize your PPC ads, adjusting settings like ad spend, keyword selection, and ad placement based on real-time data and predictive analytics.

With just minutes of your time, you can achieve more precise ad placement and timing, reaching potential customers more efficiently and likely at a lower cost. In this article, we’ll explore how PPC ad automation works, how to create automated PPC campaigns, and which PPC automation tools to consider.

Advantages of PPC Automation

PPC ad automation offers several benefits that can help you achieve your campaign goals faster and more cost-effectively:

Enhanced ROI:

Automation tools continuously monitor your ad performance and adjust bids and placements in real time. This ensures maximum visibility and engagement, leading to a higher ROI for your advertising dollars.

Improved Efficiency:

Automation handles tasks like bid adjustments, placement selection, and data analysis, saving you time and ensuring your campaigns remain optimized.

More Precise Targeting:

Automation leverages real-time data to fine-tune audience targeting, ensuring your ads are displayed to those most likely to take action.

Reduced Errors:

Automation streamlines tasks, minimizing human errors such as overbidding or mistargeting.

Better Scalability:

Automation tools can handle the complexity of managing more ads and reaching broader audiences as your business expands, ensuring your advertising efforts remain effective.

While PPC automation can streamline ad campaigns, regular monitoring is still recommended to ensure they remain aligned with your goals, target audience, and budget.

Now that you understand the advantages of PPC automation, let’s discuss how you can automate your PPC campaigns.

PPC Campaign Elements You Can Automate

Running a PPC campaign involves several components, and automation can streamline many of them. Let’s consider Google Ads as an example. Here are five key components you can automate:

Bidding

Managing bids manually can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with numerous keywords and campaigns. It’s time-consuming and prone to inconsistencies and oversights.

Automated bidding in PPC uses real-time data to adjust your bids automatically. For instance, if there’s a surge in searches for your product on weekends, the system can increase your bid during that time, optimizing your budget and ensuring your ads reach the right audience when they’re most likely to engage.

This approach eliminates the need for constant monitoring and bid adjustments, reducing human error and improving the efficiency of your campaigns.

How to Get Started with Automated Bidding

Getting started with automated bidding in Google Ads involves selecting the right bidding strategy for your campaign goals and then implementing it in your Google Ads account. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Select the Right Bidding Strategy: Choose from Google Ads’ popular automated bidding strategies based on your campaign goals:

Maximize Clicks: Maximize the number of clicks within your budget.

Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC): Automatically adjust bids to get more conversions.

Maximize Conversions: Automatically adjust bids to get more conversions.

Maximize Conversion Value: Optimize bids for high-value conversions.

Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): Control total budget by setting a target cost for each acquisition.

Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): Maximize revenue by setting a target return on ad spend.

Implement the Selected Bidding Strategy:

Log in to your Google Ads account.

Select “Campaigns” from the left menu.

Click on the name of the campaign you want to edit.

In the campaign settings, navigate to the “Bidding” menu.

Choose your automated bidding strategy from the options available.

Save your changes.

Creative Testing

Testing different ad variations is crucial for optimizing your campaign performance, but doing it manually can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Automating creative testing simplifies the process by analyzing ad combinations in real time to identify top performers.

For example, in search ads, if a specific headline and description combination consistently performs better during weekday afternoons, automated testing will prioritize showing that combination during those times. This ensures consistent ad optimization and saves you time, especially when managing multiple ads.

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How to Get Started with Automating Ad Creative Testing

To automate ad creative testing, follow these steps:

Create Multiple Variations: Develop several versions of your ad creative, including different headlines, descriptions, and images.

Upload Variations to the Ad Platform: Upload your ad variations to the ad platform you’re using, such as Google Ads.

Create a New Campaign: In Google Ads, create a new search ad campaign.

Input Multiple Versions: When setting up your campaign, input multiple versions of headlines and descriptions. Google Ads provides fields where you can enter these variations.

Enable Automated Testing: Enable the automated testing feature in Google Ads. This allows the platform to test different combinations automatically and show the most effective ones to your target audience.

Monitor Performance: Once your campaign is live, monitor its performance. The ad platform will continuously analyze data and automatically adjust which creative elements are shown based on real-time performance.

By following these steps, you can automate ad creative testing and improve the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Campaign management

Campaign management is the process of planning, executing, and monitoring PPC campaigns, including selecting keywords, setting bids, choosing creatives, and tracking performance.

Automated PPC management tools can streamline this process by allowing you to monitor campaign performance in real time and make adjustments based on predefined criteria.

For example, you can set rules such as pausing a campaign if its click-through rate drops below a certain threshold or increasing bids for a successful campaign. This automation saves time and ensures your campaigns are always optimized for performance.

How to Get Started with Automated Campaign Management

To get started with automated campaign management in Google Ads, follow these steps:

Identify Areas for Automation: Review your campaign management tasks and identify areas that require frequent adjustments, such as budgeting or bid management.

Access Automated Rules: In Google Ads, go to the “Tools” tab and click on “Bulk actions.” Choose “Rules” from the drop-down menu.

Create Automated Rules: Click on “Rules” and then “Campaign rules” to configure your automation rules.

Choose the action you want to automate, such as changing budgets or adjusting bids.

Set Conditions: Define the conditions under which the automation should take place. For example, you can set a rule to increase your budget on weekends if you typically make more sales during that time.

Configure Frequency and Timing: Select how often the rule should run (e.g., daily, weekly) and specify the time frame (e.g., Friday to Sunday).

Save and Activate: Save your rule, and it will automatically adjust your campaign settings based on the criteria you’ve set.

By automating campaign management tasks, you can save time and ensure your campaigns are optimized for performance.

Audience Targeting

Automated audience targeting uses machine learning to dynamically adjust the audience segments your ads target. This ensures your ads are shown to individuals most likely to engage with them.

For instance, if data indicates that a younger demographic is interacting more with your ads, the system can allocate more budget to target that age group specifically.

Automating audience targeting means you’re not just setting and forgetting; you’re continually optimizing, resulting in better ROI.

How to Get Started with Automated Audience Targeting

To automate your PPC display ads using Google Ads’ Optimized targeting feature, follow these steps:

  1. Access Ad Group Settings: Go to your Google Ads account and select the campaign you want to work on. Navigate to the ad group settings for that campaign.
  2. Navigate to Audience Segments: In the ad group settings, find the “Targeting” section and click on “Audience segments.”
  3. Enable or Disable Optimized Targeting: By default, Optimized targeting is turned on for all campaigns. If you want to disable it, simply toggle the switch to turn it off. If you want to enable it, ensure it’s already enabled or toggle the switch to turn it on.
  • Save Your Changes: Once you’ve made your selection, click on “Save” to apply the changes to your campaign’s ad group settings.

By using the Optimized targeting feature, your campaign can benefit from real-time conversion data to target audiences more likely to convert, ultimately improving your campaign’s performance.

Automated Reporting

Automated reporting in PPC streamlines the collection and presentation of data from your campaigns. Reports are generated at regular intervals, eliminating the need for manual report creation and reducing human errors.

For example, if you want to track the performance of a campaign every Monday morning, automated reporting can have that data ready for you at the start of the week.

Automated reporting provides accurate, timely insights without manual effort, helping you make informed decisions quickly and keep your campaigns effective.

How to Get Started with Automated Reporting

To automate your reporting process using Google Ad Manager’s scheduling feature, follow these steps:

  1. Access Reports: Log in to your Google Ad Manager account and click on “Reports” from the top navigation menu.
  • Create or Edit a Report: Create a new report or edit an existing one that you want to schedule.
  • Set Schedule: In the “Editors and scheduling” section of the report setup, you can schedule your report. Choose the frequency (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly) and date range for the scheduled report.
  • Email Delivery: Specify when and how often you want the report to be emailed. You can also choose to share the report with team members and external stakeholders.
  • Save Changes: Once you’ve configured the scheduling settings, save your changes.

By scheduling reports in Google Ad Manager, you can automate the process of generating and distributing reports, ensuring you receive timely insights tailored to your needs.

3 Other Types of PPC Automation Tools

Beyond Google Ads’ built-in automation features, you can explore three other types of PPC automation tools:

  1. Scripts: Custom code snippets, often in JavaScript, that automate complex tasks. They require coding skills and a deep understanding of the ad platform. Google Ads offers a library of pre-made scripts, and you can find others online for free. However, be cautious as scripted automation can significantly impact spending.
  • Third-Party Tools: PPC automation software developed by companies other than ad platforms. These tools offer advanced features for budget distribution, reporting, and managing campaigns across multiple platforms. They are suitable for users needing more sophistication than built-in features or scripts provide.
  • Custom Builds: PPC automation software tailor-made by developers for large companies with unique needs. This approach requires significant development expertise and resources but offers the most customization.

Consider these options based on your PPC needs and the level of automation sophistication required.

5 Third-Party PPC Automation Tools to Try

Let’s take a look at some of the best PPC automation software tools from third-parties:

1. Position Tracking

Position Tracking is a tool that helps you monitor the positions of your search ads on Google, ensuring you stay informed about how your ads are performing. Here’s how you can set it up and use it effectively:

Set Up Tracking: Enter your domain into the Position Tracking tool and click “Set up tracking.”

Follow the targeting steps and then click “Continue To Keywords.”

Add Keywords: Add the keywords you want to track (the ones you’re bidding on) and click the “Start Tracking” button.

View Data: Once set up, you’ll see the main dashboard.

Click the settings icon and select “Google Ads” under “Type” to view data related to the keywords you’re bidding on in your campaigns.

View Rankings: Navigate to the “Overview” tab, scroll down to the “Rankings Overview” section, and click the “Positions” button to see which keywords your ads are ranking for and their ranking position.

Set Up Alerts: To set up custom alerts for significant ranking changes, click the settings icon and select “Triggers.”

Click the “Add new trigger” button, select the trigger event, and click “Add.”

Position Tracking also offers advanced filters, custom notes, and the ability to track your competitors’ ad positions. Pricing starts at $129.95 per month, with a free account option available for limited access.

2. AdEspresso

AdEspresso is a platform that simplifies the process of setting up and managing multiple ad variations for A/B testing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads. It helps you determine which ads and target audiences are most effective for your campaigns.

Key features of AdEspresso include:

Automated Campaign Management: AdEspresso can automate various aspects of your ad campaigns, such as testing ad copy and scheduling.

Performance Optimization: The platform can automatically stop ads that are underperforming and reallocate your budget to better-performing ads, maximizing your ROI.

Analytics and Reporting: AdEspresso provides easy-to-understand analytics dashboards and custom reports with metrics that you want to track, helping you make informed decisions about your campaigns.

Pricing for AdEspresso starts at $49 per month, with a free 14-day trial available for new users.

3. Swydo

Swydo is an automated PPC reporting software that integrates with over 30 marketing platforms, including Google Ads and Facebook Ads. It consolidates all your campaign data centrally, making reporting easier and more efficient.

Key features of Swydo include:

Scheduled Reports: You can schedule reports to be delivered weekly or monthly, or generate on-demand reports when needed.

Automated Data Collection: Swydo automates data collection and presentation, eliminating the need to manually pull numbers from different platforms.

White-labeling Options: The tool offers white-labeling options, allowing you to customize reports to align with your brand’s look and feel, or your client’s branding and specific needs.

Pricing for Swydo starts at $49 per month, with a 14-day free trial available for new users.

4. Adzooma

Adzooma is a platform that helps you automate PPC ad campaigns across Google, Facebook, and Microsoft advertising platforms. Here are some key features of Adzooma:

Automated Campaign Management: Adzooma allows you to set rules to pause underperforming keywords, adjust bids based on performance, and manage your budgets based on your goals.

Machine Learning Insights: The tool uses machine learning to analyze your data and provide insights to help you optimize your campaigns for better results.

Alerts: Adzooma offers alerts that notify you of key events, such as reaching a budget limit or pausing a keyword, ensuring you stay on top of your campaigns.

Adzooma offers a freemium model, with paid plans starting at $99 per month.

5. Adalysis

Adalysis is a PPC management software tool for Google and Microsoft Ads that offers a range of automation capabilities. Here are some key features:

Budget Automation: Provides insights into your spending and helps you choose the best budget allocation model for your campaigns. It also sends real-time alerts based on your budget targets and changes.

Ad Creation Tools: Offers a suite of ad creation tools that allow you to create hundreds of campaigns in seconds.

Automation of Reporting, A/B Testing, Auditing, Monitoring, and Optimization: Adalysis can automate parts of your campaign reporting, A/B testing, auditing, monitoring, and optimization processes.

Pricing for Adalysis varies according to your spend level and starts at $99 per month. There is a free 14-day trial available for new users.

Prepare for the Launch of Your Automated PPC Campaign

Automating your PPC campaigns can be a game-changer, saving you valuable time and potentially improving your returns. However, before you dive into automation, it’s crucial to build a strong ad strategy, starting with a competitive analysis.

One effective tool for this is Advertising Research. Here’s how you can use it:

Enter the domain of a competitor you want to research and click “Search.”

In the “Positions” tab, click on “Keywords” in the “Paid Search Trends” widget. This will display the total number of paid keywords the competitor’s ads appear for.

Scroll down to view the exact list of keywords, along with other data points like cost per click and search interest trend.

Switch to the “Ads Copies” tab to see your competitor’s actual ad copy and the corresponding keywords they’re targeting.

Advertising Research can be a powerful ally in your competitive analysis. Try it for free by signing up today.