Efficiency in PPC: Automating Optimization

Whether you’re a small business owner managing your paid search campaigns yourself, or have a marketing team running them for you, we know that managing PPC campaigns can take up a significant amount of time and resources. That’s why we’ve used our expertise in running effective and efficient campaigns to put together our top tips into a 3-part series to save time on managing your activity. In our final piece, we discuss some ways you can automate your optimization.

PPC campaigns need almost constant management, and it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with all the tasks within an account. One of these crucial tasks is optimization: you want to make sure your campaign is performing as well as it possibly can. With so many things to stay on top of, claiming time back through automation is a great strategy for any marketer. In this piece, we’re going to look at two main ways to introduce automation into your optimization: bid strategies and scripts.

Bid Strategies

Manual or automated? It’s a dilemma that you constantly face when determining your bidding strategy. On the one hand, manual bidding allows you to take control of your account and optimize your campaigns on a granular level; setting maximum cost per click (CPC) at both ad group and keyword level. Automated bidding strategies, however, give managerial control over to algorithms, which use auction time bidding to select the most optimal bids to achieve your campaign objectives. A variety of bidding strategies is available depending on the desirable goal: whether that’s maximizing clicks or maximizing conversions, ROAS etc.

The main aim of these bid strategies is to help campaigns reach their maximum potential in a cost- and time-effective way. Automation gives marketers the freedom to manage large accounts and redirect brainpower elsewhere within the campaigns, such as in growth opportunities and strategies. Machine learning fully takes over campaign management with low levels of transparency, so marketers should still keep tabs on their account’s daily performance. Some settings may not be optimal for every campaign or might be more aggressive than desired, so ensure you monitor the implemented rules to determine their effectiveness.

Portfolio strategies are a way to further simplify the daily life of a marketer. This is a goal-driven strategy that groups together numerous campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. This ensures that the aggregate performance across the group of campaigns is maximized, without granularly associating bid strategies to every single campaign.

Remember, bid strategies need to be closely monitored compared to their initial set up and performance, to guarantee the desired outcomes. These will save time and resources in the long run, with an all in all stable campaign performance and fulfilled objectives.


Scripts are pieces of Javascript code that are ready for you to copy-paste into your account; no existing coding knowledge required. They are designed to carry out commands in Google Ads, by creating, editing, or removing items from your account and can also liaise with external platforms, such as Google Sheets, to facilitate reporting. Scripts automate internal functions, providing you with more time to focus your energy on strategic or creative decision-making.

Some of the most used scripts are negative keyword conflict, time of day script, 404 landing page checker with hundreds more available and easily accessible; and can run 24/7, every day of the year and at both an individual level and a cross-account level. In leaving these mundane and repetitive tasks to scripts, you’re increasing efficiencies across your campaigns. Take a 404 landing page checker script, which checks landing pages in each PPC ad available in an account. Ordinarily, this could take hours to finalize, or else you end up paying for clicks to broken URLs or seeing your conversions tank, but a script can scan all of your links and report back.

As with every automation, it is vital to remember that human judgment and experience cannot be simply replaced. It is up to you to monitor account changes and performance trends, as there is always a need for human input in order to review and maintain seamless processes.

NMPi Wins at the Drum Digital Advertising Awards US

We’re thrilled to share that the NMPi team has won the award for Most Effective Use of Data at this year’s Drum Digital Advertising Awards US! It’s an honor to have our work with Marks & Spencer International recognized in such a competitive category.

We worked with M&S to help them break down their budget allocations across international markets in a more nuanced way, increasing revenue and surpassing goals. The team developed a custom, cloud-based platform to process countless data points for each market to give unique scores based on complexity and potential.

“M&S International are thrilled to see how effective the team at NMPi are at evolving parts of our international strategy to spot opportunities and present a more data driven approach. The exciting part is that we can revisit the methodology to ensure we are continually evolving and staying ahead of the curve”- Matthew Johnston, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, International Ecomm

We’re incredibly proud of the team for all of their hard work, and we’re hoping to share more good news in the coming months!

Efficiency in PPC: Automating Your Reporting

Whether you’re a small business owner managing your paid search campaigns yourself, or have a marketing team running them for you, we know that managing PPC campaigns can take up a significant amount of time and resources. That’s why we’ve used our expertise in running effective and efficient campaigns to put together our top tips into a 3-part series to save time on managing your activity. In our second piece, we discuss some ways you can automate your reporting.

The abundance of data available to paid search marketers is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a crucial string in our bow to tailor campaigns to our exact needs, but crunching the numbers is often a time-consuming task. Plus, too much data can take you down a rabbit hole without any actionable insights.

Streamlining the reporting process should be one of your biggest priorities for reclaiming more time in your day so you can actually action and implement some of the insights that you can glean from your data. Here, we’ll be covering a couple of methods to speed up your reporting, along with some tools that can give you instant insights into your accounts.

Automated Email Rules

If you are an SA360 or Google Ads user, you have the option to have some reporting insights delivered directly to your inbox. These can be flexibly applied to all levels of your account and can alert you to any changes in performance on a daily or weekly basis. Daily checks are great for spotting general trends to optimize towards, but there are some changes that might be time-sensitive, or that won’t fall within the remit of the daily checks.

These automated email rules are a really useful tool to help you save some time. Depending on the conditions you set up, they can be used to pick out any top performers, alert you to any drops in performance, or highlight any budgeting issues. Our top tip is to create a folder or label in your inbox to collect these email alerts so that they don’t get lost in the daily stream of information coming into your emails – and guaranteeing that you get your performance updates automatically. Consider setting up rule alerts for the following to get you started:

  • Budget constrained
  • Report a keyword or campaign with no conversions
  • Alert for campaigns seeing the largest weekly drops in revenue (using custom columns and formula on SA360)

Budget Monitor

Regardless of whether you have a restricted or unrestricted spend, the creation of a budget monitor is an easy way to make your day-to-day life running accounts that little bit smoother. They can be used to help calculate how to phase your spend throughout the month, as well as providing a daily view of how your actual spend is comparing to your plans. Back this up with daily conversion and revenue data, and you get an easily digestible view of your performance that saves you time crunching numbers on a daily basis.

An Example of Budget Pacing.

Performance Dashboards

Much like a budget monitor, a performance dashboard is an important tool to pick out specific data from your accounts. While they are the most time-consuming option to set up of the reporting tools listed here, they are also the most flexible; with the ability to pull out data from all levels of the account. Using Google tools such as Data Studio, your dashboards can update in real-time, quickly highlighting performance trends.

You can create performance dashboards in Data Studio.

When you’re putting together your dashboard, you’re able to tailor it towards your specific needs. If you’re in need of some inspiration, consider some of these ideas of what to include:

  • What reports do you pull the most often?
  • Which reports take the longest to gather data for?
  • What metrics are most important for your account
  • Who will be using the dashboard?

These are just a few of our favorite tools that make reporting a breeze. Whether you’ve just got a few minutes to set up some email reports or you have the resources to set up a full performance dashboard, there’s sure to be an option that will help speed up the reporting process.

Incubeta DQ&A Named a Google Marketing Platform Sales Partner in the Americas

We are excited to share that our sister company, Incubeta DQ&A, has been named a Google Marketing Platform Sales Partner in the Americas, adding to our group’s long-standing Partnership status across APAC and EMEA, and cementing our global Google Marketing Platform Sales Partner status.

In becoming a certified sales partner in the Americas, Incubeta brings a 17-year heritage of defining, deploying, and optimizing the digital marketing technology infrastructures of hundreds of brands across the globe. 

Michael Ossendrijver, Incubeta DQ&A Brand CEO and Chief Strategy Officer at Incubeta, comments: “This partnership in the Americas enables us to provide our sophisticated service levels and proprietary products at a global level. Incubeta has been a proud and effective partner of Google Marketing Platform in APAC and EMEA for many years, so it’s exciting to be able to deploy this offering in the Americas with some fantastic brands joining us from the beginning.”

With the power of Google Marketing Platform combined with Google Cloud Platform, brands will have the ability to implement privacy-centric digital marketing infrastructures. Brands will also be able to achieve data-driven dynamic creative solutions at scale and speed, delivered through highly optimized paid media campaigns. Our proprietary technology further augments Google Marketing Platform’s functionality, providing clients with a unique proposition.

Luke Judge, CEO of Incubeta US and UK, adds: “We expect big things with Incubeta becoming a GMP sales partner in the US, and strengthening the service value of our specialist creative and media solutions in North America through Incubeta Joystick and Incubeta NMPi respectively. Our teams are geared up and ready to meet the needs in the US region from our offices in New York and Los Angeles. I’m excited to see us amplify and grow the success we have already seen in the US region in recent years.”

We’re looking forward to new opportunities to combine our group expertise across media, tech, and creative in the Americas.

Efficiency in PPC: How to Streamline your Ad Copy

Whether you’re a small business owner managing your paid search campaigns yourself, or have a marketing team running them for you, we know that managing PPC campaigns can take up a significant amount of time and resources. That’s why we’ve used our expertise in running effective and efficient campaigns to put together our top tips into a 3-part series to save time on managing your activity. In our first piece, we cover how you can streamline your ad-copy creation processes.

Ad copy creation and maintenance can become a time-consuming and complicated task if not managed properly, especially if you have a lot of promotions to handle which means you have to update copy frequently. Although ad copy is incredibly important in terms of branding and user experience, a performance marketer’s time would be better used optimizing the account to improve return on spend. In the first part of our PPC Efficiency series, we cover how you can speed up and simplify the ad copy process.

Text Ads – Ad Customizers And Their Feeds

Example of an Ad Feed

Ad customizers are a dynamic portion of a PPC ad that links to a feed. This allows us to change the copy of the ads quickly and efficiently through the feed, rather than by downloading and uploading Ads using programs such as Google Ads Editor. Furthermore, ad customizers can also be used to customize copy depending on a variety of factors such as device, audience, or even location.

Ad customizers save time and improve the manageability of your account in two ways. Firstly, they allow you to avoid cluttering your ad groups with multiple versions of static ads. This way, you can have a single ad with different copy that can dynamically change through the feed. This is opposed to uploading a new static ad every time a new offer goes live or if information changes – saving you time and effort in the long run.

Alternatively,  they can be used to slimline your campaigns. Using ad customizers, you won’t need to create multiple segments in your campaigns or ad groups with different targeting or messaging strategies. For example, rather than creating a campaign for your returning users and one for your new users, you can harness the power of ad customizers so that the same ad can display different messaging depending on the audience a user falls into.

Ultimately, ad customizers are a great way to ensure your ad copy is closely tailored to the user and their search term which, in turn, improves click-through rate, increases ad ranking and thus lowering cost-per-click. They also come in handy if you are advertising information that is frequently changing, for example, pricing information or a countdown to a sale.

Extensions – Sitelink Manager

Example of a Sitelink Manager

Sitelinks are a great way to increase your presence on the SERP, improve your click-through rate, and promote specific products, pages, or offerings from your site. However, they are often neglected and can become out of date and muddled in the account. This is where a Sitelink Manager becomes essential to your success.

A Sitelink Manager is essentially a handy Google Sheet where you can clearly see which sitelinks are live in the account and across which campaigns they are live. Conditional formatting allows you to easily view what is live and where very quickly. This lets you control the number of sitelinks you have live in any one campaign at a time, otherwise, you may end up reducing the visibility of each sitelink during a time when you’re trying to gain awareness of an important promotion.

Most importantly, you can also use a Google script to control your sitelinks through the Sitelink Manager. This gives you the ability to update, add, or remove sitelinks within the sitelink manager across multiple campaigns quickly and efficiently. This allows you to support multiple promotions, across multiple categories, across multiple timelines with ease. You can even schedule sitelinks within the manager easily.

In summary, a Sitelink Manager allows quick updates to the portfolio of sitelinks across your accounts, easy management of promotions which is particularly useful on retail clients and prevents old sitelink build up in the account which can make the account bulky and disorderly.

Ad Builders in Excel

Ad copy creation can be a long, confusing, and error-prone process if handled incorrectly. This can lead to disaster if copy containing errors is shown in the SERP to customers. Ad builders are a way to semi-automate the process of ad creation, simply by splitting your campaigns into categories and utilizing excel formulas to quickly create an upload sheet of error-free copy for a single campaign or even a whole account.

Reducing the amount of complexity in the ad copy creation process allows ad builders to speed up the process and also future proof ad copy by ensuring it is standardized across the account which makes any future changes to copy simpler.

4 More Nominations for Effective Digital Marketing Awards

We’re excited to announce that the NMPi by Incubeta team has been shortlisted for 4 more awards, following our recent win at the Drum Search Awards and nominations at the Drum Digital Advertising Awards US! This time, it’s the Effective Digital Marketing Awards, run by the team at Masterclassing. The categories are:

Most Effective Tech Platform: NMPi by Incubeta – Delivering Seamless Search for Marks and Spencer

Most Effective Retail or FMCG Campaign: NMPi by Incubeta and Marks and Spencer International – Not All International Markets are Created Equal

Most Effective Search Campaign: NMPi by Incubeta and Tipi – Closing the Online and Offline Gap

Most Effective Paid Social Campaign: NMPi by Incubeta and Eurail – Tapping into Eurail’s Endless Supply of Creatives

A huge congratulations to the teams and clients that worked on these campaigns. While we may not be able to celebrate in person, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for more good news when the winners are announced in September.  Check out the rest of the shortlist here.