There are several features in both Google AdWords and Bing Ads that can not only save time, but also improve efficiencies across the board.
When summer rolls around, our thoughts are on vacations, weather, and efficiencies that can get us out of the office a few hours early each Friday. There are several ways to save time and improve results with automation, scheduling, and using shared assets for pay-per-click (PPC) in AdWords and Bing Ads. Look for the following features to free up time and resources:
In the Automatic CPC setting, advertisers focus on driving click traffic but give AdWords control over individual cost-per-click (CPC) bids. Set a daily budget and AdWords will automatically adjust bids with the goal of getting the most clicks for the budget. With automatic bidding, AdWords does all the work to get the most clicks.
There is also the option to set a CPC bid limit. Setting a limit can help control costs, but may also potentially limit clicks if set too low. Test and adjust as necessary to find best balance.
Select "AdWords will set my bids to help maximize clicks within my target budget."
Save time in managing budgets by assigning a shared budget in AdWords. This will distribute budget across the associated campaigns, so it is best to choose campaigns that are similar in spend, bids, and goals. This can also be useful for campaigns that have an inconsistent or slow spend so that leftover budget is automatically allocated to another.
Google will spend budget to get the most clicks for the set budget. This can be set up through the shared library where the budget and campaigns can be defined, as well as the delivery method (standard or accelerated delivery).
Both AdWords and Bing allow for scheduling campaigns for days of the week and hours of the day. This can help with managing the best time to run your ads based on past performance. In most cases, bid adjustments can be set for the days or hours the campaigns are running.
In addition, AdWords can start and stop campaigns and ads at certain dates and times. Use this for seasonal campaigns or testing campaigns so that analysis can be done as time permits rather than hovering over campaigns and manually stopping them.
In AdWords, ad extensions like call extensions and sitelinks can be scheduled, which is a great way to easily include promotions or other time-sensitive calls-to-action.
Through automated rules in AdWords, rules for ads and keywords can be set up to pause or enable based on performance requirements. Within each tab, look for the "automate" drop-down box to see available options.
Create an alert to certain performance metrics by setting an automated rule. AdWords will to send an email when a threshold or goal is met.
For example, set an email to be sent when conversions rate drops below a certain level. In the screenshot, the rule indicates to send a notification when the conversions rate drops below 2 percent. Automating notices like this can save time by zoning in on exact problem areas of an account and focusing efforts when time is tight.
In AdWords, use the shared library to create ads that apply to multiple AdGroups across the account.
Sharing ads can save a great deal of time, but it is also not appropriate for all AdGroups. Optimally, we want to create ads that are customized with keywords for each group. There will be cases in which sharing ads is the best bet and this feature is a big time-saver.
These features can not only save time, but improve efficiencies so they are appropriate for use anytime. What is your favorite time-saving tip and what were the results? Tell us in the comments.
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Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, she writes on the topic of paid search. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.
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