Machine learning and automation are no longer new, especially when it comes to Google Ads. And while the prospect of using them may still seem scary to some, most of you recognise that failure to take advantage of these technologies could leave you outclassed by competitors.
Many, however, don’t know how to truly make the most of automation and all it offers. After a somewhat shaky start, automation in Google Ads has become incredibly effective and we’ve seen it yield fantastic results.
Unfortunately, the improvement in results offered by Smart Bidding means that many companies begin to rest on their laurels, content in the comfort of improved (but not maximised) conversions. But go the extra mile and automation in Google Ads can achieve so much more.
Assuming you’re a person that wants to get the most out of Google Ads, here are our top 5 tips on how to excel with Google Ads Automation.
1. Ensure Your Tracking is Solid
Due to its data-led nature, by far the most important way to take advantage of automation is to ensure that Google's algorithm is fed with accurate information. If you’re feeding Google bad information it’s more likely to make poor decisions.
Use Google Tag Manager to make sure actions that are important to you - and Google - are properly recorded and fed back into the algorithm. Only then can you be sure that Google Ads is learning what you want it to.
And if you are tracking a large number of conversions, it’s essential that you use Conversion Action Sets to optimise for the right conversion. To find out more about this, our man Lewis wrote about it recently...
2. Have Clear Objectives
It’s particularly important for Google’s algorithm to be told what’s important to you. Smart Bidding is very good at optimising to the goal you set, but this can often come at the cost of other metrics.
Knowing what is a priority and selecting the most appropriate bidding strategy helps avoid any nasty surprises. This may seem obvious, but it is very easy to get pulled off track by performance metrics.
Pressure to meet a certain ROAS could easily result in a mistaken use of the Target ROAS bid strategy only to find conversions fall, resulting in unhappy colleagues frustrated at the lack of sales, despite the amazing ROAS.
It is also important to have a clear idea of objectives when using automated creative. One of the most important things about creating Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) is excluding parts of the website that are not relevant to your objectives. Things like policy pages should obviously be excluded, but so too should pages that show deals if the objective of your ads is to result in high-end conversions.
3. Take Full Advantage
Point two leads nicely on to point three - Google Ads Automation is more than just Smart Bidding!
Using automated campaigns without DSAs and Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) is like driving a car with the handbrake on. By automating every aspect of your campaigns you let Google take over, maximising the information available. So, make sure you take full advantage of all that Google has to offer.
4. Give It Time and Data
Give Google’s algorithm a chance to learn. Google is making convoluted calculations and drawing complex conclusions based upon masses of information and then testing them to see what works. Without data to test its ideas against or time to gather user decisions, Google’s conclusions will just be theories.
Google needs impressions, clicks and conversions to optimise its ideas into effective actions. With an account with lots of activity this may only take a few days, but if the account sees less traffic it is important to allow it enough time to learn.
Equally, it’s important not to toy with your campaigns too much while they learn; too many changes means the algorithm is less likely to be able to differentiate between correlation and causation.
5. Stick With It!
The literal definition of ‘automated’ might be “carried out by machines or computers without needing human control” but, in reality, there is always a need for human input.
Just as manufacturing machines need maintenance, so too does Google Ads Automation. Setting up automated campaigns, letting them loose and never returning will see your accounts suffer to entropy.
Even your automated campaigns need constant check-ups to ensure all of the above is still true; the tracking is still accurate, objectives are unchanged, the latest developments are in use and it is learning effectively.
Updating the copy fed into an RSA, adjusting account budgets based on performance and updating tracking to make sure you get the best data are all vital to the long-term health of the account and making the most of Google Ads automation.
Although Google Ads Automation is far more effective than it has ever been, there are still important things to consider when setting up an automated strategy, and important actions to take in the implementation of that strategy. Automation is here to stay so making sure you know how to use it best is vital.
If you'd like to talk to us about Google Ads Automation, how you can get set up and what impact it might have on your business, please get in touch with the team today >>>