Set up automated rules

Automated rules let you make changes in your account automatically, based on settings and conditions you choose. You can change your ad status, budget, bids, and more. For example, if you want to boost your keyword bid any time your ad falls off the first page of results, you can set a rule for that. In addition, you can use automated rules to trigger emails, without taking any other action, when specific conditions occur.

Using automated rules can save you time by cutting down the need to monitor campaigns and make frequent, manual changes.

This article shows you an example of how to set up an automated rule.

Before you begin

If you’re new to automated rules, read About automated rules in the previous and new Google Ads experience.

Instructions

 

The new Google Ads experience is now the exclusive way for most users to manage their accounts. If you’re still using the previous AdWords experience, choose “previous” below. Learn more

Here's an example of how to create a rule to raise your budget for campaigns:
  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Go to the Campaigns, Ad groups, or Keywords pages.
  3. Click the 3-dot icon above the statistics table.
  4. Select Create an automated rule.
  5. Select Change budgets from the “Type of rule” drop-down.
  6. Choose which campaigns to change budgets for (All enabled campaigns, All enabled and paused campaigns, or Select campaigns).
  7. Under the “Action” drop-down select Increase budget. You can choose to increase your budget by a percentage or specific amount. If you’d like to ensure you budget cost doesn’t exceed a certain amount for the billing period, you can set an optional upper budget limit.
  8. To add a condition, click +ADD, under “Condition”.
  9. Define the frequency of your rule.
  10. Choose they type of email updates you’d like to receive on issues affecting your rule.
  11. Name your rule.
  12. Click Preview to ensure you've set up your rule to run the way you want. Previewing is just for verification and doesn't make any permanent changes to your account.
  13. When your done, click Save rule.
Tips and guidelines for using automated rules

General tips

Use limits

  • Set minimum and maximum limits for your bids and budgets so they don't get too high or too low. Continuously raising bids can lead to unnecessarily high CPCs, while ongoing decreases could noticeably reduce your traffic.

Use enough data to make an informed decision

  • To ensure changes are being made based on enough data, we recommend using a long enough timeframe or adding an additional requirement like "impressions > X" to your rule.

Use consistent "frequency" and "using data from" options

  • Using a short frequency with a long measurement window can be problematic. Consider the rule, "If an ad's average position over the last 14 days is worse than 3, raise bids by x% daily." This would raise your bids more frequently (daily) than the rule is evaluating the ad's average position (on a 14-day window). It's generally better to use frequency and measurement windows that are consistent with one another (e.g., if you select a weekly frequency, then use data from the last seven days).

Preview

  • Preview your rules before saving them so you understand how they'll affect your campaigns. Depending on your requirements and settings, you could be making significant changes to a large portion of your account, so it's important to double-check.

Be vigilant

  • Try implementing a rule with a frequency of "one time" to monitor the actual impact. Once you're comfortable with how your rules are working, you can set them up to run on a recurring schedule (e.g., daily or weekly).

Configure rules appropriate for your business

  • Be aware of intra-day and intra-week trends (e.g. peak hour or weekday traffic could differ from non-peak hour and weekend traffic). Also be aware of how far away you are from your goals when setting magnitudes of changes (e.g. changing in small increments of 5% when closer to your goal and large increments of 20% otherwise). All these issues can be addressed by using multiple rules in conjunction with one another.

Be smart when scheduling two rules that affect the same items

  • What happens if you have two rules that affect the same items scheduled to run at the same time? Rules don't have a way to prioritize themselves, so even when you have two rules set to make concurrent changes to the same entities, both rules will run and make the specified changes to all entities. We recommend that you don't schedule multiple rules at the same time if they affect the same set of data. Instead, if you'd like to have two or more rules that make changes to the same part of your campaign, we suggest that you choose different times of the day for the rules to run.

If there are multiple rules on the same entities that are scheduled at the same time, our system will do its best to run them all, but there could be some errors resulting from trying to make conflicting changes at the same time. Setting different times for your rules not only helps avoid these errors, but it also serves as a way for you to prioritize your rules, so that the one scheduled earliest runs first.

Tips for rules that affect keyword bids

Setting up recurring bidding rules that operate on entire accounts or campaigns can be complicated. If they're applicable to your needs, you may want to try automatic bidding and Conversion Optimizer to help you manage your bids and budget. Here are some tips to help you configure automated rules that modify keyword bids and run on a regular basis.

Changing bids based on conversion data

  • Measuring a conversion is a longer process relative to measuring a click or impression; a conversion can happen many days after a click, and is only recorded if it happens within your chosen conversion window. Conversions also occur much less often than clicks or impressions. If you create any rules based on conversions, we recommend that you use longer "using data from" time ranges to properly capture your conversions.

Changing bids based on average position

  • Changing bids to control average position may not always work, because in some cases a bid increase results in more ad impressions. This could lead to your ads appearing in lower positions than they did before.

Changing bids based on clickthrough rate (CTR)

  • Your ad's CTR depends on its position on the page. If you create a rule that lowers your bid if CTR is low, this could result in a negative spiral where the ad declines further down the page and your CTR falls lower accordingly.

Next steps

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