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3 Google AdWords automated rules that could save you £££’s

Over the past few months, Google have been rolling out numerous updates to Google AdWords and Analytics.

Google seem to be rolling out update after update, with even more to come in the next few months. Even for a Google Approved Professional (GAP) like me, it can be hard to keep up with all these changes, so I can only imagine how difficult it is for business owners who have no choice but to tackle AdWords themselves.

Obviously, not all updates need implementing nor are beneficial to all businesses. However, if you do decide to implement changes to your campaigns, then it is essential that you give them time to bed in; providing you give them time, there is no reason why your campaigns will not benefit.

Today, I am going to share with you 3 automated rules within Google AdWords that will help you save money.

If you are unfamiliar with AdWords, the automated bidding rules are located within the Campaign, Ad Group and Keyword tabs (See below image)

Rule 1. The first one my favorite and brings back position based bidding.

The Rule(s):

Requirements: Performance, Average Position, Better Than (Target)
Automatic Action: Decrease bid by 10%
Frequency: Daily using data from the previous day.


Requirements: Performance, Average Position, Worse Than (Target)
Automatic Action: Increase bid by 10%
Frequency: Daily using data from the previous day.

Before you implement this rule, I would highly recommend that you look at you past keyword data to determine your best converting position. You can run this for any period of time you want.

This will require two rules to be setup

The Results:

This will require you to set up two rules. Again, I recommend that you first decide what position you feel is best for you and base your settings on past conversion data.

These two rules work in conjunction and continually read your bids so that on average your ads appear in your desired position. As with any settings or rules you implement, it is essential that you not only monitor the results but also give changes time to bed in and take hold. Too many times over the years I have seen business owners and agencies panic and turn off new settings and rules too soon.

Remember, ‘the top ad position is not always the best position for you’. If this statement surprises you, you may want to experiment and set your target position at 2-3, as you will still be appearing in the top of the paid search results. Additionally, you could quite well find that by setting your positions to 2 or 3 that your conversion rate stays steady but see a better overall ROI.

If applying rules are second nature to you and you are experienced in AdWords, then you may want to experiment even more and aim for a target position of 1.8 or 2.2.


Rule 2. If our ad is appearing in the banner (generally the top 3 ad positions on desktop computers) for this keyword, and we have sold something, leave it alone.

The Rule:

Requirements: Performance, Average Ad Position, Better Than (3) AND Conversions (1-per-click)
Automatic Action: Decrease bid by 10%
Frequency: Adjust this to suit your needs. How often should your campaign be converting? I like to set this rule to run weekly or monthly on most campaigns, it is more of a safety net rather than a daily management tool, but it is up to you.

The Result:

This simple rule is saying; if our ad is appearing in the top 3 position for this keyword and we have had a conversion, leave it. If we have not had a conversion in this period, then decrease the bid on the keyword by 10%.

Applying this rule will stop you paying top prices for keywords that are not performing right now. Even top performing keywords have dry spells, and if you’re not looking at them as regularly as you should, then this rule will bring them into line until you next review them.

Likewise, if you have a few star performers that are not getting the coverage and respect they deserve, then you could create a rule that says; increase bids for keywords with an average Ad Position lower than 4, and conversions greater than 10.


Rule 3. Push bids up for any keywords not making the first page

The Rule:

Requirements: Below first page bid.
Frequency: The frequency of this rule is up to you. Before this rule existed, I would check these manually on a weekly basis, so it might be a good place to start.
Max. Bid: Set this to what you are comfortable prepared to pay, usually I would set this to the upper limit of max bid level. This rule is a good safety measure just in case there is a huge shift in the market, after all, you do not want your automated rule to match bids whatever the cost.

The Results:

This rule will automatically push the bids up for any keywords not making the first page. Sometimes good keywords can end up slipping past you because they are not getting enough impressions to be noticed. We’re busy people, most people stick to the rule of thumb to generally focus on the parts of the campaign that are spending the money, but this can mean some excellent keywords that haven’t been given a chance to do their stuff can be missed. Use this rule to give all your keywords a chance to impress.