Rule Engine - User Guide

What is it?

The Rule Engine lets you create custom optimizations that can make bulk changes to your Google Ads account. These can be strategies that can help you bid to a target CPA or, give you a list of keywords and ad groups that are more expensive than their peers. The suggestions can be reviewed and applied immediately, and the process can also be automated by running the recipes on a schedule. 

Understanding how the Rule Engine is structured

The Rule Engine has three levels that help you organize, construct and apply rules:

  • Recipes - This is the highest level. Each recipe can contain multiple rules, and it is possible to run multiple rules in a sequence using a recipe. Each recipe is essentially a group of rules.

  • Rules - This mid-level contains the rules. Each rule can contain multiple conditions and associated actions. All conditions in a rule need to be satisfied for the actions to be applied.

  • Conditions and Actions - This is the lowest level and the one where the configurations are set. Each set of conditions can have one or more actions associated with it.

How do you use it?

In the Rule Engine, you can create a recipe, which comprises a set of rules that’ll perform certain actions based on designated conditions. These rules, conditions, and actions are defined by you and are based on your own needs. 

You can use our instant recipes (pre-built sets of rules) to get started or add your own custom recipe, with the option of copying the settings for a recipe from another account. 

Instant Recipes

There are some pre-built recipes available for performing specific actions within your account. These are called Instant Recipes, and you can select any of these according to your requirements. Some examples of instant recipes are: Find Expensive Keywords, Bid to Target CPA, Find Expensive Product Groups, and more. You can find the complete list here.

Custom Recipes

You can create your own custom recipes as per your business needs. 

The first step is to choose which level the rule should run on and what it should analyze: Campaigns, Ad Groups, Keywords, Product Groups or Search Terms. 

Please note that this setting cannot be changed after the rule is created.


Name for the Recipe: 
The first part of the setting is to give the recipe a name. It is a good idea to use a name that enables you to identify what the recipe does. 

Recipe Filters:  
This setting enables you to run the recipe on keywords and ad groups that have a specific label. Google Ads doesn't let you label product groups so this filter won't work if the recipe is being run on product groups.

Custom Variables:  
Custom Variables are used to assign values that you want to consistently use in your recipe. They are very useful when using formulas/expressions as you can use the variable in different places in the formulas or rules instead of selecting the value manually when creating the new rule or expression. You can read more on how to set them up here

Connect External Data:  
With the Spreadsheet capability in the Rule Engine, you can upload any data (like conversion type or phone calls) from any source (like a CRM or any 3rd party tool) and use it to apply changes in your Google Ads account. You can use metrics that are not available in Google Ads to change bids or change the status of your keywords. You can read more on how to set it up

Custom Date Ranges:  
Add your own custom date ranges to use inside the Rule Engine, with any necessary offset period, to improve the results of the primary analysis. You can read more on how to set them up

After you've established these settings, you can begin defining the conditions for the rule. 

Creating Conditions

In this step, you’ll define the metrics to be analyzed as part of the condition. At this level, you can create simple conditions that analyze one metric, like find keywords that have Cost greater than X and zero conversions, or you can create complex rules that use formulas on the right-hand side. For example, find all keywords that have a cost/conversion that is twice that of the campaign average.

  • Select the metric you want to use to evaluate performance.
  • Specify the devices, date range, and level where the metric should be evaluated. 
  • Choose the value the metric should meet for the condition to be satisfied. The value can be entered as a constant number, a metric or an expression (formula).

The metrics available are grouped by Attributes, Performance, Conversions, Attribution, Competitive Metrics, Conversions by Categories and Custom Conversions. 

If you had already set a custom variable in the first step, you will also see it here.

Custom Conversions

You can choose to evaluate performance through standard conversion types, or custom conversions. These are set up in your Google Ads account. They are tracked and displayed with the category and name you've previously set, making it easier to track specific conversions in your account. 

Running Recipes on Search Terms

The recipes in the Rule Engine can also be run on Search Terms for actions such as analyzing high performing queries and adding them as new keywords or queries with high cost and no conversions to add as negative keywords. You can read some of its use cases here.

Conditions can be set to only consider those queries that are not currently present as keywords in your account, campaign or ad group, to avoid creating duplicates.

The actions available for recipes running on Search Terms allow you to add as Negative Keyword at the ad group or campaign level, and as a positive keyword at the ad group level.

For any new positive keyword, you can set its bid using a constant number, expression or a single metric. This could translate into, for example, setting the bid to be Avg. CPC, Minimum bid to Avg. CPC and Maximum bid to First Page CPC.

Creating an Action

Start by defining the type of value to be used in bid changes. This can be a constant number, a percentage, a metric, or an expression. Then choose a minimum and maximum bid. This ensures that even if the condition is met, the system won’t set the bid below or above a designated limit.

There are multiple actions that can be performed, however, they will depend on the level or entity on which you are applying the actions. 

Modify CPC Bids: Increase CPC Bids | Decrease CPC Bids | Set Bids

Modify Status: Enable | Pause

Modify Labels: Add Labels | Remove Labels

Include in Reports: Matching suggestions will be included in report. No changes will be made.

Modify CPM Bids: Increase CPM Bids | Decrease CPM Bids | Set CPM Bids

Rules and Recipes

After creating the action, you'll be directed back to the rule page. Here you can:

  • View all the conditions that are part of the rule.
  • Edit the conditions, duplicate or delete the actions.
  • Add any extra actions to be taken if the conditions are met.

Once you're done with this rule, click done to go to the recipe.

On the recipe page, you can view the different rules that are part of the recipe.

Preview Suggestions

To see the suggestions that are generated based on the rules in the recipe, you can click on Preview Suggestions. This preview is based on real-time data from your Google Ads account and shows you the keywords/ad groups/product groups that meet the criteria and the actions that will be applied.

Select the campaigns to be considered for the suggestions. Only the campaigns with suggestions based on the rules will be listed. You can:

  1. Preview suggestions for individual rules, if multiple rules were processed.
  2. Preview and apply the new bid changes from Optmyzr using the 'Instant Apply' button.
  3. Send the suggestions via email.
  4. Download a CSV with the suggestions.
  5. Automate to run on a schedule. 
  6. Customize the suggestions using filters. 

Favorite and Global Recipes

Starring a recipe makes it a favorite for that account and allows you to access it directly from the optimizations drop-down menu, meaning you don't need to go to the Rule Engine page to run it anymore. It is a good idea to star/favorite frequently used recipes.

Global Recipes allow you to create a recipe to be used across all your accounts, without having to replicate it manually in each one. It is like building your own custom optimization and for ease of use, it can be accessed directly from Optimizations -> Rule Engine. Global recipes can also be included in Custom Workouts. You can convert a recipe to a global recipe on the recipe pages, by modifying it through the right-side actions and revert it back to an account-specific recipe as well. 

You can check some frequently asked questions here.

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