My day typically starts with the sound of my alarm clock ringing, prompting me to shut it down and check my phone. Reminders show up, regarding my meetings for the day. I get ready and drive down to work. Google Maps alerts me about traffic congestion on my route. I reach the office and open my laptop. A system update alert pops up. I check my emails and a gentle reminder about my contribution due to The Search Agency’s blog comes in. All of this makes me realize that alerts and notifications have become such an important part of our daily routines. This is true for paid search marketing, as well: Carefully-set alerts and reminders can be very useful for day-to-day account management. Let’s look at some interesting — and certainly helpful — ones.
1. URL Checking
There are automated AdWords scripts that will test all URLs for keywords, ads and sitelinks and send notifications/alerts based on your requirements. You can enter email IDs where you’d like these notifications to be sent and specify the notification setting (whether you want to be notified every time it’s run or only when bad URLs are found). These notifications are useful for catching broken URLs proactively, saving you time you’d otherwise spending checking these manually.
2. Budget Control
On platforms like AdWords, DoubleClick and Bing Ads, budget and cost notifications can be set to ensure optimum spend. You can choose to be notified in case of spend above, below or equal to your chosen amount based on a set number of days (e.g., the previous day, last seven days, etc.). This way, you can be alerted in case you over or under-spend or make changes, accordingly.
3. Impression Share Management
Many brands insist on maintaining a specific percentage of impression share. Therefore, notifications can be set so that if brand impression share drops below the set level, you’re immediately alerted. You can then make bid changes to improve impression share on time. This can be set for lost impression share based on rank and budget.
4. Google Analytics Metrics
For clients on Google Analytics, AdWords allows you to set alerts related to Analytics metrics, as well. Let’s say bounce rate is an important metric to track for a certain brand. You can set alerts to be notified each time the bounce rate is above a certain number. Ditto for pages per session, average session duration and percentage of new sessions.
5. Custom Conversion/CPA Management
Now that custom formula columns can be created, you can set alerts to be notified of changes in those column targets, as well. For example, if you have a target CPA for weighted conversions for your account, you can set alerts to be notified if it exceeds a certain number. Ditto if conversions fall below a certain number. This can help you catch non-performing campaigns or keywords, or help you easily track related issues.
Many of these can also be set to make changes in the account instead of just sending notifications. For example, certain rules can be applied to make bid strategy changes in the event that keywords fall below a certain position. Or if an ad contains a certain text, they can be activated or paused on certain dates at certain times. If used strategically, automated alerts can help save time, catch errors and highlight optimization opportunities.