“The machines are coming, the machines are coming!” …the tricorn-hat-clad PPC practitioner shouted as he sprinted up the idealogical tower of his web browser to ring the great bell of Twitter to warn the ignorant of impending invasion.
Silly mental image? Yup, so is the concern that automation is always something to be feared when it comes to PPC management.
As many have written of recently, there is a growing set of tools and actions that can be taken in our Google Ads to save us from the mind-numbing repeatable tasks of PPC-yesteryear so we can invest our time increasingly in reporting and strategy (the human connection parts of PPC that should remain safe for quite a while).
That being said, there is another oft-repeated assumption that I’d like to address in this post. That is, the notion that the PPCer of the future needs to know how to code. I’ve even heard some hint at the fact that the coding PPCer is a better version of the “normal” PPCer.
I’m here to say that you can be an excellent PPCer, excelling at automation, without knowing how to program your toaster… because you have one or more of these three strategies under your belt.
1. You Utilize the Ever-Increasing Automation Options Native to the Search Engines
This one is the most obvious of the bunch, but bears repeating. There are a variety of automation options in Google, especially now that the New UI is here.For instance, we recently wanted to test whether adding a simple promotion extension would be enough to promote a client’s Fall sale, or if changing the headline text to directly call out the sale would have a greater impact.
To measure this, we set up an Ad Variation (now available in the New UI) test… and the experiment was set up in just a few minutes! Amazingly simple, and we’re excited to see the details of the test once it’s run for the month.
Setting up an experiment like that used to be significantly more complicated so it’s great to see automation like this that takes away manual tasks we used to have to do… all directly within the UI.
Automated Rules Are The 💣💥
It’s amazing what you can do with simple automated rules in Google Ads.
A few examples:
- Utilize a rule that pauses a label for sales ads on the last day of the sale, and another rule that re-enables the evergreen ads again when the sale is done.
- Set a few different automated rules to fire on keywords that hit certain filters, let’s say: all keywords over $100 in spend which are also over 400 percent ROAS, and finally are under 95 percent Search Impression Share… and run that rule every week looking back on the past 7 Days (Congrats, you just automated bidding).
Another (more obvious) version of automation within search engines is the actual bidding strategies native to those engines (e.g., Target CPA bidding, Target ROAS bidding, enhanced CPC, etc.).
This is not the time nor the place to delve into the unique specifics of these, other than to acknowledge their existence as legitimate, no-coding-required automation options to experiment with your campaigns.
2. You Pay for & Utilize Smart Tool Options That Allow You to Automate All the Things
What’s another way you can automate your accounts successfully without knowing a </br> of code? Easy, you find a tool that does what you want it to.
We use Optmyzr to assist us in bulk operations such as rapidly building out an account based on certain parameters, making smart, automated weekly bid adjustments, and running ad tests.
There are other great automation tools out there as well.
Shape can help you manage overall budgeting and projections. Adalysis can assist with significant ad tests and insights (among other things). Acquisio, Marin, Ninjacat Reporting, the list goes on!
There are various priced options out there, and with the explosion of the Martech landscape, you can likely find a tool for just about anything you want to do in an account (as long as you can pay for it).
3. You Pay Someone to Code for You
Last, but not least, there is a final option for automating custom solutions if, like me, you would starve if your life depended on your ability to program your way out of a locked room.
That is, you can pay someone to do it for you.
I know this may shock you (sarcasm alert), but we are in the most astonishingly connected culture the world has ever seen.
There are people around the world you can communicate with instantaneously who are willing to work for the right price and job.
One suggestion I have here is to build your network so when it comes time to needing someone to assist you know who you can use and trust. I have a friend in the UK who has assists me with a custom Ads Script here or there that I am happy to pay for.
You don’t need to know how to write a script if you’re willing to pay for one.
Consequently, if you’re one of the talented PPCers who is also handy with algebra and a well-placed semicolon (and don’t want to work for one of the billion martech startups), then I’d recommend considering marketing your services to non-coder PPCers.
You never know, if you expand your network enough you could have an extremely healthy side-gig (or full-time gig!) as the go-to script developer for your PPC buddies.
So, all that to say, you may be like me with a boat-load of additional responsibilities on your plate… learning to code not being high on the list. In that case, never fear!
You too can master PPC automation by using one or all of the previously suggested ways. Welcome to the gig economy.
Those who can’t do, pay someone else who can!
More Paid Search Resources:
- 5 Ways to Automate More of Your PPC This Year
- Machine Learning in Google Ads: How & When to Use Smart Bidding
- 5 Things You Could Be Automating with Google Ads Scripts
Screenshot taken by author, October 2018