6 Super Time-Saving Tips to AdWords PPC Management

It’s the busiest time of year. Somewhere in between scoring online deals and 2013 planning, the AdWords account is screaming for attention. Hey, bids don’t manage themselves. Or do they?

Check out these top six time-saving tips for Google AdWords PPC.

1. Campaign Diagnostics

Google is currently rolling out a new feature called Campaign Diagnostics. The tool will run in the background and look for issues or conflicts within the AdWords account.

This may be similar to the messages that have been appearing in accounts alerting advertisers of conflicting negative keywords or ad groups without keywords. This will be a great feature to take the time out of troubleshooting and more quickly identify problems before they persist and impact results.

campaign-diagnostics

2. Diagnose Keywords

Diagnose keywords is a great tool that quickly reports if ads are showing for each keyword and provides a status such as “ad showing now”, “paused”, or “low search volume”. Hover over the speech bubble next any keyword to get a more detailed status.

In the keywords tab under any campaign or ad group, go to “diagnose keywords”. In newer accounts I am seeing this in the “more actions” dropdown tab.

Red flag message examples include:

  • Budget limited or exhausted: “We're only showing your ad occasionally because of your budget.”
  • Low bid or quality score “This keyword is triggering other ads with a similar keyword: keyword Campaign name > Adgroup name”

This can fast-track identification of any problems with keywords that may not be immediately obvious.

diagnose-keywords

3. Bulk Edits for Large-Scale Changes

For advertisers who manage their PPC from the web interface, a new recently released feature will make your life much easier. The bulk edit feature allows changes to campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords with a few clicks. Common edits include the ability to increase or decrease bids, search and replace ad text, or set new budgets.

From any tab, select the “edit” drop down to see the edit options for that tab. There is the chance to preview the changes before making them final. While there are some limitations for advanced users, options like “raise to estimated top of page bid”, for keywords for example, may be a no-brainer.

4. Schedule Reports

This one’s so simple you may have forgotten you can schedule reports from AdWords to automatically appear in your inbox with the metrics you want with the frequency you want them. Run and download a report from any tab and select “email and schedule report”.

Select the users to receive and frequency. Set up simple reporting to automatically be delivered to key stakeholders to keep them in the loop and saves time running ad hoc reports.

schedule-reports

5. Negative Keyword List

Advertisers often add negative keywords frequently across ad groups and campaigns. This can get complicated, time consuming, and mistakes can negatively impact performance.

Recently Google rolled out the ability to use lists of negative keywords that can be shared across AdWords campaigns. When adding negative keywords, you can simply apply it to any master list and it is added to all campaigns the list is associated with. This eliminates the need to mess with navigating across several campaigns.

negative-keyword-list

6. Automated Rules

For advertisers who aren’t using fancy PPC management platforms, AdWords automated rules are the best thing since the invention of Cyber Monday. Automated rules make things happen across the AdWords account based on criteria you specify. Use this feature to save time on tasks that are performed frequently and that take up a lot of time.

My top time-saving picks for automated rules include:

  • Changing bids to get to a desired ad rank or top of page rank.
  • Turning on/off promotional ads.
  • Increasing budget on campaigns that are performing well based on CPA.

Any changes made can be reviewed and reverted in the change log. Manage the automated rules through “Automated rules” link in the side navigation panel of your account.

OK, your turn. Share your favorite time-saving tips for AdWords PPC management in the comments – but any response that includes Excel is strictly forbidden!

About the author

Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co. , an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. More than just passionate about search, Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics.

In addition to agency work, she has led successful online marketing programs at Thomson Reuters in search marketing, merchandising, and ecommerce strategies at the enterprise level.

Lisa frequently lends her expertise to the search industry through organizational involvement, speaking, and writing. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ, she writes on the topic of paid search. She holds a BA in Economics from Valparaiso University and is a Google AdWords Certified Partner.