Finding the right balance of automation and human intelligence in PPC

Why you need a human touch to your PPC automation.

The debate regarding PPC automation is continuing to rage on as updates at google continue to swing in favour of ceding control to the computer. Just last year in July, Google diluted keyword accuracy and also removed ad copy testing although with the ability to pin headlines and descriptions some testing is still achievable.

In this article, we’ll explain why it’s still crucial to have a trained human eye on your PPC campaigns – no matter how much time you believe you are saving and how much you believe that consumer behaviour is becoming more predictable.

Firstly, Google is providing recommendations like the addition of broad keywords into various ad accounts, as well as suggestive naming and optimisation scores, which appear to be reflecting Google’s objectives for ad management as opposed to that of the end client. This poses a risk as less experienced PPC professionals may accept the recommendations as opposed to taking the time to optimise the account correctly.

By looking beyond Google’s recommendation it allows us to factor in human intelligence which can make a difference to the efficiency of the account. Human-based intelligence takes into account more than one metric to optimise the campaign as opposed to a single conversion factor often employed by Google’s algorithm.

Furthermore, casting a human eye over the accounts can allow you to separate the various ads which allow you to apply tactics involving either human or artificial intelligence.

Human intelligence can avoid unnecessary waste.

Back in 2013 when Google removed device targeting control with “enhanced campaigns.” The inability to separate out device targets caused huge inefficiencies and wastage for end clients. Therefore there is an inherent risk that the end clients’ cost continues to rise when the additional automation advised by google is preferred. Especially in competitive markets.

This is particularly important to understand as automation relies heavily on a learning phase, which despite being associated with the start of campaigns can often be activated if a significant edit occurs. This could also be completely out of the client’s control as if bid-automation is being used by a large number of competitors, then the price across the entire competition will continue to rise.

Alternatively, by having a human who can pull on more external data (including budget, demographics, stock levels etc), campaigns can pivot to achieve a new target almost immediately.

Automation has its place

Of course, automation has a place. Its product catalogues are so big that a manual approach isn’t economically viable. If demand for the product is relatively flat throughout the year with few product launches then it can be effective. More so, it does allow a smaller business to enter the market with it being easier for non-experts to run campaigns.  However, as accounts begin to grow, finding the right combination can be tricky.

In addition, you still need creative humans to feed ad variation components into the system. Whilst AI can determine ad copy suggestions. It cannot infer why an ad may be effective or ineffective with your target audience. No matter how advanced it gets, human creativity will allow you to build consistent messaging across on and offline platforms.

Therefore, if your monthly PPC spend is beginning to increase and you are heavily reliant on automation. Now might be the time to speak to us about an account audit. To find out more click here.

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