Auto campaigns can be a great source for new keywords is you run them properly. Otherwise, they can be like an untended garden; quickly overrun with poor quality clicks and impressions and an apparent lack of conversions. An auto campaign that is not kept in check can waste lots of money without helping create valuable customers.
What is so automatic about them?
Your auto campaigns are created by simply selecting a product listing to advertise. The search terms that will call up your ad are connected to the keywords in your product listing as well as the title of the listing. All of the keywords and words in the title are turned into broad match keywords that can show up in a multitude of searches. We used this example in our ad overview article, but if you have the dimension 4×7 in your title or keywords, then your product’s auto campaign can show your product when people search ‘4,’ ‘7,’. or ‘47’ among other things.
The automatic part of auto campaigns is how the keywords are generated: outside of the product listing and title you have no control over the keywords that you would like your auto ads to show up for. That can be an excellent thing as it allows you to use auto campaigns to discover some keywords that you may have never thought of. Maybe ‘4’ converts users at a high rate, but ‘7’ does not.
Caring for Your Auto Campaigns
Negative keywords are a wonderful thing: they stop your campaign from showing up when that term is used in search. Take the above example: for some reason you have never seen a conversion when folks search for ‘4×7.’ You can make that a negative keyword so that your ad never shows up when someone searches for that. If they aren’t going to buy your product anyway, what good is it to show up in those results?
We recommend sticking with Negative Exact keywords as Negative Phrase keywords can get a bit unruly at times and stop your ads from showing up when they should. Adding something – like 4×7 – to your Negative Exact keywords in your auto campaign keeps your ads out of ‘4×7’ seraches exclusively, but your ad could still show up if someone searches ‘4x7s.’ Technically, those are different search terms, and you only have ‘4×7’ listed in your Negative Exact keywords. This is not a problem, you can easily add ‘4x7s’ to that list if you need to.
Because you have your auto campaign bids set low, learning about negative keywords is both valuable and inexpensive. Negative keywords are like weeds, you never know exactly when one will pop up, but they will and if you stay on top of caring for your campaigns it will not be hard to remove a couple every week or month.