If you manage an AdWords account, you know it’s not an 8 to 5 job. You can probably relate to the experience of checking campaign spend every five minutes to make sure you pause a campaign at just the right moment so you don’t exceed your budget. Well, Google has taken another step to solve all of life’s problems with the release of AdWords automated rules .
Automated rules have been out in limited release since December, but the feature is now available on all accounts. This new tool allows you to schedule automatic changes to your accounts. I’m going to go through the basics of using automated rules, so get ready because you are about to have a lot more free time on your hands.
What You Can Automate
There are currently three types of changes you can automate:
- Status Changes – pause or enable keywords, ad groups, campaigns, or ads based on conditions you set.
- Bid Changes – increase or decrease bids for selected keywords or all keywords in an ad group or campaign.
- Budget Changes – increase or decrease your campaign budgets at certain times of the week.
There are many ways you can utilize these rules to make managing your accounts easier. I manage a retail client who has many different promotions running. Now, instead of staying up until midnight to pause ads when a promotion expires, I can simply set the date and time I want to pause these ads and Google will take care of the rest.
How to Automate Rules
I’m going to use my example above to go through the steps of setting up an automated rule. You can access the Automate menu from the Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords, or Ads tab. To pause ads, go to the Ads tab and click on the Automate drop-down box:
From the drop down menu select Pause ads when…
Now you can create your rule. I selected all the ads that were specific to the sale, 24 in total. My client’s sale ends on March 19th so I set my ads to pause on March 20th at midnight.
After you are done setting up your criteria, click the Preview button to verify you’ve set everything up correctly. I highly recommend always previewing your changes. The first time I ran through this I realized I had selected some ads not related to the sale. If this is your first time creating a rule, a box will appear asking you to grant access to allow Google to operate on your account. Click Authorize now.
Once you’ve confirmed your rule is set up properly click Save.
Managing Automated Rules
You can view all the rules in an account by click Rules in the Control Panel.
You’ll be able to view all the rules for an account, but you can only edit the ones you’ve created. Now let me clarify that you can only edit the status and name of a rule, not the criteria. If you want to change the date or time to pause your ads you’ll have to create a new rule. Each user is also only able to have ten active rules running at a time so make sure to pause active rules you don’t want running anymore.
I know Google AdWords  releases what seems like a new tool every day, but this is one I plan on taking full advantage of and I recommend you do too!
This is a guest post by Bethany Bey, an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing , a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO. After getting her MBA from Valparaiso University in 2010, Bethany joined the Hanapin team and is excited to be working in the fast-paced world of Internet marketing.