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2017 / 14 March

Google Adwords Editor Custom Rules: How it works + Default Rules + New Rules

Google Adwords Editor Custom Rules: How it works + Default Rules + New Rules

As you may know, the new Google Adwords Editor (AWE) is out – version 12 – and has a new feature called: Custom Rules. In this article, you will be able to find 3 topics:

1.      How Custom Rules work on Adwords Editor

2.      The 16 default Custom Rules with an extra comment on how you should look at them

3.      New Custom Rules you can add on your Editor and some use cases.

 

How Custom Rules work on Adwords Editor

The best way of looking to custom rules is to see it as an IFTTT rule or an IF function – for excel junkies like me.

For example:

“ If I don’t have at least 4 sitelinks , then give me a warning”

Since Google Adwords has its best practices that they want you to follow, they’ve added 16 default rules (or IF functions) that let you know if your campaign is complying with some of those 16 best practices so you can improve your Adwords Account Health Score. Plus, they also let you create more custom rules – the reason for the custom rules name, I guess – to your pleasure.

It gives you 2 options on the action it should take (or “severity” on AWE). It will either show you a warning:

Or an error:

And, as it says on the image, the second will actually prevent the campaign to be published if that rule isn’t met.

You also need to specify the type of field the rule should respond to. You will need to select several or one of the following:

And the fields that correspond, or not, to the rule.

Warning: these rules will not be sharable – for now at least. They are only present on your computer. Once you apply/publish the rule, it will only be available on your computer for that account.

 

16 Default Custom Rules on Editor

  • FEWER THAN 4 SITELINKS

Your Search Network campaign has fewer than 4 sitelink extensions. Improve CTR by adding more.

Google’s Reason: Use at least 4 sitelink extensions to make your ads more prominent, which can increase CTR Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: Great advice from Google but if you only have a 1 lead/form conversion page, try not to send traffic away from that page.

You can test if your ad will actually benefit from the sitelinks in an experiment, after adding the sitelinks in the experiment see if your lower CPC compensates the potentially lower conversion rate.

 

  • FEWER THAN 4 CALLOUT EXTENSIONS

Your Search Network campaign has fewer than 4 callout extensions. Improve CTR by adding more.

Google’s Reason: Use at least 4 callout extensions to make your ads more prominent, which can increase CTR. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: No argument here. DO IT! You should even replace the “severity” level to: ERROR: Prevent Posting

  •  NO CALL EXTENSIONS

Your Search Network campaign has no call extensions. Improve CTR by adding one.

Google’s Reason: Use at least one call extension to make your ads more prominent, which can increase CTR. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: Again, it depends on what your conversion is. I would test it first and please if you go ahead with it, be sure to register/track the conversions made by the phone.

 

  • NOT TARGETING SEARCH PARTNERS

Your campaign has Search Partners disabled. Enable it to reach more customers.

Google’s Reason: Showing your ads on partner sites can help increase your ads’ reach and traffic. Clickthrough rates on search partners don’t affect Quality Scores on Google Search. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: I’ll use the german version “naja” (yes and no). It should apply only if you are not restricted by budget or want more inventory (more searches) for your campaign. Usually the traffic I get from these search partners just suck for my conversion rate. But test it, the clicks here can be cheaper than on Google Search.

  • MANUAL BIDDING

Your campaign is using manual bidding. Use Enhanced CPC or an automated bidding strategy to bid more efficiently.

Google’s Reason: Use Enhanced CPC or an automated bidding strategy to bid more efficiently. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: I know a lot of people on #PPCchat may disagree but I do believe this is a good warning. If possible, I always use it. I have seen that Google’s machine learning is getting better every day and it does help with my CPA costs. Again, if possible.

  •  NO OPTIMIZED AD ROTATION

Your Search Network campaign isn’t using optimized ad rotation. Use optimize for clicks / conversions to show your best performing ads.

Google’s Reason: Use optimize for clicks / conversions to show your best performing ads. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: Not the best warning but sure. I still do like to test my ads on even rotation and 90 days later, have Google change it.

  • ACCELERATED DELIVERY

Your campaign is using the accelerated delivery method. Use standard delivery to show your ads more evenly throughout the day when your budget is limited.

Google’s Reason: Accelerated delivery is likely to use up your campaign’s limited daily budget early in the day. Use “standard” delivery, which is more optimized, so that the delivery of your ads is spread more evenly throughout the day. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: The default is never “accelerated delivery”, so, if we chose it, there might be a reason Google! 😉 Anyhow it might help you if later you find that you need to optimize your budget.

  •  NO SEARCH AUDIENCES

Your campaign / ad groups aren’t using audience lists. Attach an audience list to get a better ROI.

Google’s Reason: Attach an audience list to get a better return on investment. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: I usually remove this one and I’ll tell you why: To know exactly, and easily, what my ROAS or CPA truly is, I just separate it in two campaigns: one for SEA RMK and another one non-RMK. This allows me to adapt the budget and message to this audience. I found that keeping both campaigns separated have their advantages in terms of control.

 

  • FEWER THAN 3 ADS (APPLIED TO AD GROUPS)

Your Search Network ad group has fewer than 3 ads. Add more ads to let optimized ad rotation show the best performing one.

Google’s Reason: Use at least 3 variations of your ads in your ad groups to let optimized ad rotation show the best performing one, which may improve CTR or CVR. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: Thank you Google! Just know that you at least should have 3 ads running all the time. If anything, in the future, what will differentiate us PPC’ers will be the ads.

  • CONVERSION TRACKING NOT SET UP

You don’t have conversion tracking enabled. Enable it to unlock helpful features, like better reporting and automated bidding.

Google’s Reason: Enable conversion tracking to unlock helpful features, like better reporting and automated bidding. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: I am not going to state the obvious reasons why you should have measurable conversions but In a world where machine learning and data driven optimization is getting better every day it makes no sense not to let the machine (and you) know when your campaign is converting or not. This will let the machine know when and how to help you optimize your campaign.

If possible, do it!

  • IMAGE ADS BUT NO RESPONSIVE ADS (APPLIED TO AD GROUPS)

You have image ads but no responsive ads in your Display Network ad group. Use responsive ads to get many more conversions at a similar CPA.

Google’s Reason: You have image ads but no responsive ads in your Display Network ad group. Use responsive ads to get many more conversions at a similar CPA. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: I think I know what you are thinking: responsive ads are text ads, they are ugly, responsive ads look like a poor small business didn’t have budget for a real banner, etc. But hey, we have a saying in Portugal that goes: “against facts, there are no arguments”.

So, if you do think that your brand does not deserve a responsive ad because it does not represent your brand well, just please do yourself a favor, try responsive ads. From what I have seen, responsive ads can boost your CTR by 100% and lower your CPC by half.

  • CAMPAIGN TARGETING SET TO “TARGET AND BID”

You have Search Network or Shopping interests and remarketing targeting set to ‘Target and Bid’ which restricts traffic to just the users in your audience. Use ‘Bid only’ to target all users and adjust bids for the ones in your audience.

Google’s Reason: You have Search Network or Shopping interests and remarketing targeting set to “Target and Bid” which restricts traffic to just the users in your audience. Use “Bid only” to target all users and adjust bids for the ones in your audience. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: I hate when there are these damn strategies so that the user/business may invest more money. That is exactly what this warning is. If you add an audience to your adgoup it is normal that you want the ad/campaign to serve to this audience. If later the audience proves to not be sufficient, let me decide if I want to open the campaign for other people.

Google, that is such a Facebook play 😉

  • AD GROUP TARGETING SET TO “TARGET AND BID”

You have Search Network or Shopping interests and remarketing targeting set to ‘Target and Bid’ which restricts traffic to just the users in your audience. Use ‘Bid only’ to target all users and adjust bids for the ones in your audience.

Google’s Reason: You have Search Network or Shopping interests and remarketing targeting set to “Target and Bid” which restricts traffic to just the users in your audience. Use “Bid only” to target all users and adjust bids for the ones in your audience. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: You can go ahead and erase this one please! (previous reason)

  • TARGETING OPTIMIZATION DISABLED (APPLIED TO AD GROUPS)

You have targeting optimization disabled. Enable conservative automatic targeting to optimize your targeting to reach people your targeting wouldn’t otherwise reach, at around the same cost per person, automatically.

Google’s Reason: You have targeting optimization disabled. Enable conservative automatic targeting to optimize your targeting to reach people your targeting wouldn’t otherwise reach, at around the same cost per person, automatically. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: If you do have a display campaign by conversions and a automatic bidding system for CPA or ROAS, you should have this option more than on. This will allow Google’s Machine learning to identify new audience similar to yours that might convert.

Otherwise, if you are just targeting some placements or do not have automated bidding, leave this option unchecked. This option would allow Google go out of your segmented target just because it can get cheaper clicks.

  •  INACTIVE SEARCH NETWORK AUDIENCE TARGETED (APPLIED TO AUDIENCES)

Your audience has fewer than 100 active users and is targeted by a Search Network campaign or ad group. Your ads will not serve against this list until more active users are added to it.

Google’s Reason: Your audience has fewer than 100 active users and is targeted by a Search Network campaign or ad group. Your ads won’t serve against this list until more active users are added to it. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: Stop showing of AWE! This is another warning that has an impact on your account of 0%. If it doesn’t have 100 users still, it will have in a near future, so why the warning? Plus it will not affect your account at all.

  •  INACTIVE DISPLAY NETWORK AUDIENCE TARGETED (APPLIED TO AUDIENCES)

Your audience has fewer than 100 active users and is targeted by a Display Network ad group. Your ads will not serve against this list until more active users are added to it.

Google’s Reason: Your audience has fewer than 100 active users and is targeted by a Display Network ad group. Your ads won’t serve against this list until more active users are added to it. Here’s what Google Adwords says about it.

My advice: You can go ahead and erase this one please! (previous reason)

New Custom Rules you can add on your Editor and some use cases.

For now, I have 2 new rules and I’ll be adding more as (and if) the post grows.

  • MISSPELLING FOR A COMMON WORD

You might have notice that there is no spelling correction for other languages than English. With this in mind I looked at the most common errors for my language (just by googling it) and come up with a list that IF any of these words are in the heading 1, heading 2 or description the system will not let me publish that ad.

 

 

  • PARAMETER MISSING

If you work with several clients, you might know that not all of them have Google Analytics as a tracking tool. If that is the case, you need to always add a custom tracking parameter on every URL or at least on the tracking template. So, I have created a rule where system does not allow me to publish any ad without that code.

 

Have you created any custom rule? Leave it in the comments below and let’s make this a good repository for custom rules.

Connect with me here: https://www.facebook.com/daSilva.Diogo or http://pt.linkedin.com/in/dasilvadiogo/

The opinions expressed in this article are of my own and do not represent any of the companies I am related to.