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SEM Tip of the Week


Using AdWords Labels, Automated Alerts and Evernote to Track PPC Changes

Managing tens of thousands of PPC keywords, campaigns, adgroups and ads at the speed of light creates numerous challenges.  Not the least of which is remembering WHY A CHANGE WAS MADE weeks or months later.

Sure, Google and Bing archive our changes in their respective "Change History" logs.  And while the logs reflect WHAT changes were made by whom and on what date, they don't explain WHY the change was made.  

Keeping track of the WHY and monitoring the result of the change, i.e., new bid rule, new experimental keyword, new ad messaging, etc. is daunting, to say the least.  Some changes might not have had the desired effect and will need to be reversed.  Assuming you remember to follow-up on the results of the change...

So, what's a PPC'er to do to prevent all of this from falling through the cracks, only to discover later that a campaign (or account!) is heading in the wrong direction due to a particular change?

We like to use the "belts and suspenders" approach for major changes that could have significant implications on the performance of our campaigns.  This approach relies on the following: 

  • AdWords labels
  • AdWords automated email alerts
  • Google calendar reminders
  • Evernote (our favorite efficiency tool!)

Let's use the example of adding a new adgroup to a campaign for the purpose of testing some new keywords. Here's how we make sure we don't lose track of this new adgroup, especially if the keywords are unproven in the PPC account:


  1. Apply labels to the new keywords like this:
    AdWords keyword labels 

  2. Create an automated email alert for the labeled keywords so you'll be notified when the keywords start to receive traffic like this:
    Create email alerts by label

    Be sure to create a rule name that will make sense when it hits your inbox!

  3. Create an Evernote "change log" describing the change, the reason for the change, the desired outcome, etc.  Set a "reminder" for the note, i.e., "next week", and Evernote will email your note to your inbox.

    Evernote "change log" with reminder set
    The wonderful thing about Evernote is that you can continue to add updates with the results of your change.  The note can be shared with your team, your client, management, or anyone you wish either by emailing the note or sharing out the folder that holds the note.

  4. If the change requires long-term ongoing monitoring, set a recurring Google Calendar reminder:
    Recurring Google Calendar reminder 

We have found this combination of reminder tactics to be extremely useful for keeping our Google AdWords campaigns on track!  Hey, bingAds, when will you step up and roll out Labels and Automated Email features?








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