On June 1, Bing Ads announced that they’d be adding automated rules to their system. This is an oft-requested feature that Google has had for quite some time. If you’re not already familiar with automated rules, there’s no better time than now to learn about them. When used carefully, they can be a powerful tool that can save you time and boost your SEM campaigns.

Automated Strategies

You can’t just put your campaigns on auto-pilot and expect them to succeed, but you can eliminate some of the tedious work that goes into the day-to-day maintenance for your ads. There are a lot of basic strategies you can automate with these tools. You can create rules that do things like keeping your ads on the top of the search results page.

Keep Your Rank Up

Once you’ve squared away your quality score and optimized your ads and keywords, you may find yourself locked in a constant struggle to keep up with the auctions. Both Google and Bing offer you the ability to automatically monitor your ads and make adjustments without having to manually intervene every time someone moves their bids around.

Bing’s new solution looks suspiciously like Google’s old solution, which makes this rule easy to implement in both engines. In both interfaces, you’ll find the “Automate” button on the Campaign, Ad Group, Ad, and Keyword screens just above your data tables.

Automation Screens for Bing and AdWords
AdWords (top) and Bing (bottom) have a strikingly similar functionality here.

If your goal is to dominate the search results, you can hover over “Create rule for keywords”. You’ll see the following:

Automation Screens for Bing and AdWords - Top Page Bids
Once again, AdWords (top) and Bing (bottom) have a very similar setup.

Once you click these options, you’ll be presented with an opportunity to define your rule. You’ll select:

  • Which keyword(s) the rule should apply to
  • What your maximum bid value can be (this is important, as it will keep you from overbidding)
  • What metrics your keyword must possess to trigger the increase (i.e. CTR > 5%, bounce rate < 60%)
  • How often the change should be applied (daily, weekly, monthly, or one time)
  • What time the change should be applied
  • Whether or not the system should notify you via e-mail when a change is made

Once you’ve set up your requirements and named your rule, you can enable it and let Google do the work of keeping your ads on top of the page.

Keep it Simple and Watch Your Numbers

It’s certainly possible to create a dizzying array of automated processes to manage all your ads, but for the most part automation rules should be used to take the sting out of daily tasks that are required but monotonous. If you spend too much time making rules, you might not actually save any time in the long run. Besides, there are some things that require a human touch. Spotting trends and taking advantage of them will still require diving into reports to see how your keywords are doing. Automation will give you more time to do that, which should help you expand your program instead of being stuck micromanaging the easy stuff.