While setting up Google Ads campaigns, we often need to perform mass actions: change bids and budgets, pause and restart ads, etc. Fortunately, automated rules for bulk actions make our life easier, letting us automate monotonous and time-consuming manual work.

In this article, we highlight ten real-life situations when rules will come in handy. We have drawn up step-by-step instructions for each case so that you can set everything up without any difficulties.

How to Find and Edit Automated Rules in Google Ads

Automated rules let you make changes to your account automatically, based on the settings you choose.

You can get access to the Rules from the Tools section —>Bulk actions —> RulesYou can get access to the Rules from the Tools section —>Bulk actions —> Rules

To create a rule, press +. Select the level you want to apply the rule from the drop-down list.

There are 12 types of rules. They are:

  • Campaign rules
  • Ad group rules
  • Keyword rules
  • Ad rules
  • Display keyword rules
  • Topic rules
  • Placement rules
  • Audience rules
  • Age range rules
  • Gender rules
  • Parental status rules
  • Income range rules

Press + to see the drop-down menu with a list of rule typesPress + to see the drop-down menu with a list of rule types

In the rule edit box, the content will differ depending on the type of rule. For example, when you make a campaign rule, you need to specify the following:

  • Name (create an informative rule name so that you can understand what is behind):

For example, Launch Black Friday adsFor example, Launch Black Friday ads

  • Action (meaning what needs to be done: enable or pause campaigns, change budgets, send email):

Choose one action for every ruleChoose one action for every rule

  • Apply to campaigns in selected accounts or only to selected campaigns:

Select specific campaigns or entire accountsSelect specific campaigns or entire accounts

  • Conditions (the criteria are divided into groups; you can choose several conditions, they work according to the logical operator AND):

Select conditions from the list or use the Search barSelect conditions from the list or use the Search bar

  • Frequency (it can be set as once, daily, weekly, monthly):

The system uses the time zone of your accountThe system uses the time zone of your account

  • Email results (email notifications keep you up to date about the changes in your account):

There are four options for Email results—you should choose one of themThere are four options for Email results—you should choose one of them

After creating a rule you should save the changes. The new rule will appear in the rules list.

On this tab, you can pause, run, delete or edit rulesOn this tab, you can pause, run, delete or edit rules

The rules apply to all campaigns, ads, or other items in your account that meet the specified type of rule.

Another way to create rules

You can create automated rules from campaigns, ad groups, and keywords sections as well. Click the 3-dot icon (More) above the statistics table and select “Create an automated rule.”

Diving into Automated Rules in Google Ads [10 Real-Life Examples]Diving into Automated Rules in Google Ads [10 Real-Life Examples]

Now then, we have figured out how to create rules. Let’s dive into real practice and see how to set up rules for various tasks.

How to Set Up Automated Rules: 10 Examples

#1: Pause/Enable Ad Groups for Specific Products

Let’s say you are running ads for a wide product range, and at some point, you need to stop ads for some products (for example, you stopped selling those products, or they are temporarily out of stock, or your budget is not enough).

Let’s create a rule to stop ads for candlesticks:

Rule typeAd group rules
NamePause ad group “Candlesticks”
ActionPause ad groups
Apply toAd groups in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Ad group status: All but removed 
  • Attributes/ Ad group name / contains candlestick
FrequencyOnce (you can set current time or time when you need to stop ads)
using data fromYesterday

Setting up the rule that stops ads in selected ad groupSetting up the rule that stops ads in selected ad group

You can modify this rule. For example, you can add other conditions to pause ad groups: Conversion rate, CTR, Clicks, etc.

This rule will stop ad groups containing “candlesticks” only if the conversion rate is under 5% and they get < 5 clicksThis rule will stop ad groups containing “candlesticks” only if the conversion rate is under 5% and they get < 5 clicks

#2: Schedule Ads For Black Friday or Other Specific Event

Google Ads allows you to start and stop campaigns on a schedule. However, this setting is only available at the campaign level. If you want to schedule specific ads from several campaigns, automated rules can help.

Let’s assume you want to schedule ads for the Black Friday sale. The ads should show from November 18, 10:00 AM, till November 26, 10:00 AM. You’ve already created five ads in different campaigns; all of these ads contain the words “Black Friday” in the headline, so they are easy to identify.

To schedule ads, you need to create two rules. The first one will launch ads on November 18 at 10:00 AM. Here are the settings:

Rule typeAd rules
NameEnable Black Friday ads
ActionEnable ads
Apply toAds in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Ad status: All but removed
  • Attributes / Ad text / contains “Black Friday”
FrequencyOnce
using data fromYesterday
Email resultsEvery time this rule runs

This rule will run ads on November 18, 10:00 AMThis rule will run ads on November 18, 10:00 AM

Make sure to enable email notifications every time the rule runs. Since you set up the ad launch earlier, this will help you not to forget about them.

Let’s create the second rule right away—it will stop these ads on November 26 at 10:00 AM. The settings are listed in the table:

NamePause Black Friday ads
ActionPause ads
Apply toAds in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Ad status: All but removed
  • Attributes / Ad text / contains “Black Friday”
FrequencyOnce (November 26, 10:00 AM)
using data fromYesterday
Email resultsEvery time this rule runs

#3: Stop Ads with Low CTR

This task is typical for a PPC manager. Low CTR results in an Ad Rank decrease; therefore you need to raise bids to save your positions. And this is where you lose your money.

Before setting up a rule, you need to define what is a “low-level CTR” for your case. For example, you may consider CTR as low if its value is under 25% of the campaign average. In this case, if the average CTR for a campaign is 11.8%, low will be everything under 2.95% (11.8% * 0.25).

Let’s create a rule that will pause ads with a CTR under 2.95%.

Rule typeAd rules
NamePause ads with CTR < 2.95%
ActionPause ads
Apply toAds in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Ad status: All enabled
  • Performance / CTR / < 2,95%
FrequencyOnce (you should enter the current time)
using data fromLast 30 days (or you can choose All time)

Enabling ads with a low CTREnabling ads with a low CTR

Keep in mind that pausing ineffective ads is an extensive path. It is much more useful to test them out—try a variety of headlines, descriptions, and quick links.

#4: Pause Broad Match Keywords with Low Conversion Rate

Broad match keywords expand your audience reach, but often they drive low-quality traffic, wasting your budget. That is why it makes sense to stop non-converting keywords, especially when your daily budget expires before the end of the day. 

Let’s create a rule that stops ads for broad match keywords that perform conversion rates under 0,1% and drive traffic over 1,000.

Rule typeKeyword rules
NamePause keywords (Conv. rate < 0,1%, traffic > 1000)
ActionPause keywords
Apply toKeywords in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Keyword status: All enabled
  • Match type / Broad match
  • Conversions / Conv. rate / < 1
  • Performance / Clicks / > 1000
FrequencyWeekly
using data fromLast 30 days
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

Please note! Users need some time to decide whether they’ll become your clients. That is why for automated rules with conversions as conditions, we recommend you using data from more than seven days, or even better, more than 30 days.

#5: Increase Bid When Your Ad Goes Beyond the First Search Results Page

This rule can be helpful if you want your ads to show on the first page on Google Search. The rule monitors ad position and, in the event that it decreases, it pushes the ad to the first page by increasing the bid.

Rule typeKeyword rules
NameChange bid to the first page 
ActionChange keyword bids
ActionRaise bids to first page CPC
Max. bid limitOptional
Apply toKeywords in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Keyword status: All enabled
FrequencyDaily
using data fromLast 30 days
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

This rule will return ads to the first page on Google SearchThis rule will return ads to the first page on Google Search

Also, you can set the rule to push ads to the top of the page. To do this, you need to select the action type “Raise bids to top of page CPC.”

#6: Change Bids Depending on Conversion Cost

This rule allows you to bid higher for keywords with good conversion rates and lower bids for those that aren’t converting.

Let’s create a rule that will check the account once a week and increase bids by 20% for keywords that brought more than 40 conversions in the last 30 days, and each conversion costs <= $10.

Rule typeKeyword rules
NameIncrease bids by 20% for keywords with  > 40 conversions, Conv. cost <= $ 10
ActionChange keyword bids
ActionIncrease bids/ Increase by percentage / 20%
Upper bid limit Optional
Apply toKeywords in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Keyword status: All enabled
  • Conversions / Cost / Conv.<= $ 10
  • Conversions / > 40
FrequencyWeekly
using data fromLast 30 days
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

This rule will monitor your account once a week, every Sunday at 1:00 AMThis rule will monitor your account once a week, every Sunday at 1:00 AM

The next rule will lower bids by 20% for keywords with less than five conversions that costs over $20 each.

Rule typeKeyword rules
NameLower bids by 20% for keywords < 5 conversions (> $20)
ActionChange keyword bids
Apply toKeywords in selected accounts
ActionDecrease bids/ Decrease by percentage / 20%
Lower bid limitOptional
Conditions
  • Keyword status: All enabled
  • Conversions /Cost / Conv. >20$
  • Conversions / < 5
FrequencyWeekly
using data fromLast 30 days
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

You can set the lower bid limit or just decrease all of your bids by a certain percentageYou can set the lower bid limit or just decrease all of your bids by a certain percentage

#7: Increase Bids For Audiences with Low Top Impression Rate

Some audiences may perform a lower Search Top Impression Rate than others. For this reason, it makes sense to warm up the audiences who rarely see your ads.

Let’s say you are running ads on Google Search and you want to increase the bids by 15% for the audiences with Top Impression Rate lower than 20%.

Let’s create a rule for the audiences:

Rule typeAudience rules
NameIncrease the bid by 15% (Impr. (Abs.Top) % < 20%)
ActionChange bid adjustments
Apply toAudiences in selected accounts
ActionIncrease / 15%
ConditionsAudience status: EnabledPerformance / Impr. (Abs.Top) %/ < 20%
FrequencyWeekly
using data fromLast 30 days
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

This rule will increase bids for low-performing audiencesThis rule will increase bids for low-performing audiences

#8: Increase Budget For Certain Days of the Week

Traffic is rarely distributed evenly throughout the week; this results in a lack of daily budget on peak days. To avoid this, you should increase your budget on high-traffic days.

Let’s assume that the daily budget is $50; peak days are Saturday and Sunday. On these days, the competition and the rates increase, and the budget is spent even before evening. The solution may be to double the budget for ads on Saturday and Sunday.

Let’s create two rules for the campaign. The first one is to increase the budget for Saturday and Sunday:

Rule typeCampaign rules
NameIncrease budget by $ 100 on Saturday and Sunday
ActionChange budgets
Apply toCampaigns in selected accounts
Filter byAvg. Daily
ActionSet new budget/ $ 100
ConditionsCampaign status: All enabled
FrequencyWeekly, Sat. 00:00
using data fromYesterday
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

This rule will increase your budget at Saturday midnight before your peak hours startThis rule will increase your budget at Saturday midnight before your peak hours start

The second rule will return to the initial budget settings from Monday.

Rule typeCampaign rules
NameDecrease budget by $ 50 on Mo-Fr
ActionChange budgets
Apply toCampaigns in selected accounts
Filter byAvg. Daily
ActionSet new budget / $ 50
ConditionsNo
FrequencyWeekly, Monday. 12:00 AM
using data fromYesterday
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

#9: Pause Campaigns That Have Spent a Certain Budget by the End of the Month

If you have a fixed budget for each campaign, it is convenient to control the amount spent with an automated rule. It will monitor campaigns daily, and if the amount spent exceeds the budget, the rule will pause such campaigns.

Let’s say you have a fixed monthly budget of $500 for each campaign. When the budget is spent, the system will stop the campaign.

Let’s create a rule:

Rule typeCampaign rules
NamePause campaigns that spent $500 in the current month
ActionPause campaigns
Apply toCampaigns in selected accounts
ConditionsCampaign status — All enabled Performance / Cost / > $500
FrequencyDaily, 12:00 AM
using data fromThis month
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

Make sure you use the data from this month and not from the last 30 daysMake sure you use the data from this month and not from the last 30 days

Don’t forget to enable paused campaigns next month setting up the following rule:

Rule typeCampaign rules
NameEnable campaigns that spent $ 500 last month.
ActionEnable campaigns
Apply toCampaigns in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Campaign status: All but removed 
  • Performance / Cost / > $ 500
FrequencyMonthly, 1st, 12:00 AM
using data fromLast month
Email resultsOnly if there are changes or errors

This rule will enable the stopped campaign from the next monthThis rule will enable the stopped campaign from the next month

#10: Email Notifications When the Part of the Budget Has Been Spent

In addition to bulk actions, you can set up notifications about various events using automated rules, for example, about spending part of the budget.

Let’s say you have a daily budget of $50; you can create a rule that will check the cost every day at 5:00 PM, and if it exceeds $30, you will receive a notification by email.

Let’s create a rule for ad groups:

Rule typeAd group rules
NameNotification about cost > $ 30 per day
ActionSend email
Apply toAd groups in selected accounts
Conditions
  • Ad group status: All enabled
  • Performance / Cost / > $ 30
FrequencyDaily, 5:00 PM
using data fromToday

You will receive an email if the costs are > $ 30, but the system won't pause the adsYou will receive an email if the costs are > $ 30, but the system won't pause the ads

How To Avoid Mistakes When Creating Automated Rules

Automated rules are great for bulk actions. But when using them, keep the following in mind:

  • Automated rules cancel only the most recent changes (for example, if the rule made changes to the budget on Monday and Tuesday, then you must first cancel the changes made on Tuesday, and only then—on Monday).
  • If you made manual changes to the campaign settings after executing the rule, you can’t cancel the rule’s execution.
  • If you have canceled the changes, you won’t be able to return them.

Be especially careful with rules that change your bids or budget. It’s better to take smaller steps—for example, if you need to raise your bids by 30%, start with 10% and analyze the results. The same goes for the budget.

Before setting up a rule, consider how it will work and whether you need to create a rule to revert to the original settings. Often managers forget this compensation rule, for example, when making schedule adjustments. As a result, the schedule doesn’t work—only a one-time rate or budget change takes place.

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