We all have repetitive PPC management tasks we wish we could automate and get off our daily to-do lists. Fortunately, there are several options for PPC advertisers to achieve this, like Google Ads’ Automated Rules, and Optmyzr’s Rule Engine.
In working with hundreds of customers in my two years at Optmyzr, I noticed many advertisers don’t explore our Rule Engine’s most powerful capabilities because they assume it’s just another interface to control Google’s Automated Rules.
Turns out there’s much more to it than that.
The Rule Engine actually enables our power users to do some of their most advanced optimizations that they wouldn’t have time for without this level of automation.
I talked to Fred, one of our founders who shared that the Rule Engine was initially built as a script for a customer whose bid management strategy took a full day of his time every week!
The script was useful but limited to that advertiser’s strategy. So our company built the Rule Engine to allow every advertiser to automate their most powerful strategies.
While we’re fans of Google Ads Automated Rules for their simple setup, that simplicity is limiting when you want to take your account to the next level with a more powerful strategy. That’s the gap we’re solving with our Rule Engine.
Let me share 6 useful things you can do with the Optmyzr Rule Engine that you cannot with Google Ads Automated Rules.
1. Combine multiple rules into layered strategies.
Though in Google Ads you can add as many automated rules as you want, it’s not possible to combine them into a single optimization. In Optmyzr, this is possible with Rule Engine strategies.
In Optmyzr, a rule is a set of conditions and actions (if and then statements). Strategies let you combine multiple rules — in essence, letting you add the ‘else’ portion in an ‘if’, ‘then’, else’ rule.
For example, in just one strategy, you can consolidate all your search query management by adding one rule to add positive keywords and another rule to add negatives.
You can also have multiple actions applied to an entity. For example, you can add a label to the keywords your rule paused because they were found to be too expensive.
2. Use data from multiple date ranges.
Automated rules in Google Ads let you use a single date range for metrics. This makes it impossible to do relative comparisons, like to find ad groups that have a sudden spike in CPA for the past week compared to the last 30 days.
With our Rule Engine, you can bring in performance data from as many date ranges as you’d like, making relative comparisons very easy.
3. Use data from custom date ranges.
While using multiple date ranges is useful, it’s even better when you can customize those date ranges. Rather than just using default ones like the last 7/30/n days, you can build custom date ranges that are based on lookback windows.
For example, you can build a custom date range for 14 days ago to 8 days ago (week before last), and another for 7 days ago to 1 day ago (last week). This enables you to find search terms that have gained a lot of impressions in the past week compared to the week before, or ad groups that have seen a decline in CTR for a few weeks in a row.
4. Do relative comparisons of metrics across a hierarchical structure.
With our Rule Engine, you’re able to compare, in just one condition, the performance of the same metric at different levels. This comes in handy when you want to do a relative comparison using expressions/formulas.
For example, compare the CPA of one keyword versus the CPA of the campaign in which the keyword is located. Now you could do things like find keywords that are 50% more expensive than average for the campaign.
In Google Ads automated rules, you can compare a metric against a static value but not against other elements. So you can only do things like find keywords whose CPA is higher than $20. That’s not helpful when you know that CPAs vary greatly between brand and non-brand campaigns, and even between campaigns that sell different services in different locations.
By using a relative comparison, you don’t need to set a static target for all your comparisons, and it becomes very easy to simply look for outliers.
Note: You can also use expressions as actions to calculate new bids and targets.
4. Use external data.
What happens when you want to use data not available in Google Ads, but that is also important for your business and optimizations?
In Rule Engine, you can connect a Google Sheet to use your own data in your rules. You can get as creative as you want: use profit margins defined by your agency, analytics data, weather data, a list of holidays, etc.
For ideas and use cases, you can have a look at our series of blog posts Thinking Outside the Box & Do More with Optmyzr.
5. Set rules on autopilot or review them on demand.
While automations help you save tons of time, you may not always want to give up full control; this is why we also let you use your Rule Engine strategies manually. We give you everything necessary to create your own optimization tools and then run them on demand.
Following this idea, even when your strategies are running automatically, we still let you decide if you want to review the changes before you apply them. This is a huge advantage when you want to test your optimization before giving all the control to the automation.
6. Exclude recent changes.
You can avoid applying continuous changes to the same entity for a defined period of time to give them enough time to perform before it’s considered by the strategy again. This helps when you don’t want to stack bids or change the target CPA of an ad group that was already adjusted the day before.
This is particularly helpful in situations where you’re slowly changing things like bids until they meet your goal.
For example, if you automate bidding to set an ideal CPC based on the last 7 days’ conversion rate and your target CPA (new CPC = target CPA * conversion rate), you can run that rule as often as you want without worrying that your bids will get out of control.
However, the following is a riskier automation: new CPC = old CPC + $0.10 when last 7 days’ CPA is below CPA target.
It’s risky because if you run this rule 5 times per day, it will increase the bid 5 times even though the last 7 days’ CPA includes only a small portion of data since the last bid change.
With Optmyzr, you can remove this risk by excluding items that were already changed recently. Now every time the rule runs, it will only make suggestions for entities that were not already recently changed by the same rule.
The Rule Engine is my favorite, because you can tailor account rules to match what the individual client needs to be seeing for performance.
Larry C, Owner/Operator, 707 Marketing
If we have to sum up all of the above, it’s about two things: flexibility and more control. Which tool to use will depend on how much of your workflow you want to automate, and how much customization is required.
The Rule Engine definitely is a powerful tool that gives you much room to play with and is designed for both novice and advanced users.
Interested in learning more about it? Let firstname.lastname@example.org know, and we’ll be happy to help you!