It’s important to consider that PPC management will not be the same for every campaign and account. Everything from business goals to KPIs and levels of reporting can change, depending on the account. As business priorities shift, we need to be able to quickly adjust campaigns accordingly.
Automation can improve PPC performance and save businesses time, but regardless of its capabilities, it cannot drive optimisation strategy. This is simply because human expertise is needed to really grow an account, and this is often what can set one PPC account apart from another.
The smartest way to approach automation is using it with the aim of making time for those sophisticated and manual tasks that can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
What can PPC automation do?
Businesses can utilise the advantages of automation, but a human approach can take this to the next level. Machine learning has no doubt improved the capabilities of PPC, but a well-considered and ‘human approved’ long-term strategy is needed to really deliver results.
When is the human approach needed?
We’ve listed just a few examples of when a human approach is essential to the success of a campaign:
1. Topline strategy
As a PPC marketing expert, you will have a solid understanding of a businesses offering and goals before developing a long-term strategy. There is no tool that can plan the strategy behind a campaign, but it can certainly help it come to fruition once a campaign is live. The human approach is needed to really understand an audience and the goals that matter to a specific brand.
2. Split testing and feeding data
Data needs to be segmented for maximum results, and this can sometimes be lost when it comes to machine learning. For example, Smart Bidding is one of Google’s key automated services, and it uses machine learning to optimise for conversions.
A human approach may be needed for this to really work in your favour. We would recommend manually organising your PPC campaigns by device (desktop, mobile and tablet), which is not done as standard in Smart Bidding.
The algorithm requires as much information and data as possible about a campaign goal in order for it to work. The more data input it has, the better your campaign results will be.
3. Ad Creation
Automation can be a huge help when it comes to actually creating a PPC ad. But again, it cannot do the job by itself. To write compelling ad copy that drives results, you need to really understand a business, its offering, its USP’s and its goals. Ad copy that projects your core brand messages is the cornerstone of PPC.
4. Data interpretation
Without data, machine learning wouldn’t exist, but for this to translate into impressive ROI for a business, it needs to be monitored. This means keeping track of return on ad spend (ROAS), monitoring business goals, keeping on top of product margins and more. Again, it’s about ensuring that your digital marketing activity is impacting your bottom line.
A human approach is key when it comes to interpreting data and the meaning or story behind it. What are the key areas for growth? Which campaign strategies will help to achieve these business objectives? These are the kind of decisions that are made by humans who analyse data in relation to a business.
What should you automate in PPC?
A good rule of thumb when it comes to PPC, is to think about which tasks take the longest and whether automation could speed up the process, but not sacrifice results. As a PPC agency, we would usually recommend automating the following tasks:
1. Search terms reports and negative keyword lists
Search terms reports can be extremely time consuming, and you may find yourself spending hour upon hour looking through terms. These manual tasks can be automated with Google Ads scripts. For example, negative keyword research can be automated; enabling you to sift through those irrelevant terms in just minutes.
2. PPC reporting
Reporting is an essential part of any successful PPC campaign, but it can also take up a huge amount of time. We would always recommend automating this process where possible. Google Data Studio is a highly recommended tool for reporting, with multiple benefits including ready-made templates that can be plugged into your Google Ads account.
For highly detailed, cross-channel reporting, Supermetrics can quickly connect to a huge range of online marketing platforms, allowing you to pull different metrics into one place.
These are just two key examples of when automation can be highly beneficial for busy business owners or marketers.