Using Alerts to Cover Your @$$

While certainly not the most exciting things to sit down and create, AdWords Alerts can save you from making big PPC mistakes, such as:

  • Hitting your budget and losing out on available impressions
  • Missing CPA targets
  • Not realizing an account has been paused or is no longer getting traffic
  • Failing to install a conversion tag on new landing page
  • … and more

The first step in setting up alerts in Google AdWords is to dream up some worst-case scenarios. In our agency, for example, we need to know when a campaign spends 95% of its budget because if we hit up against budgets on a consistent basis, we are likely losing impression share and have some bidding work to do. That might throw up a big red flag to our client. So… red flags = alerts!

We might set up this alert like the following: 

Other worst-case scenarios might be:

  • a website going down
  • conversion rates dropping below a target
  • cost per conversion going above a target
  • someone forgetting to un-pause a campaign

Using alerts to signal problems early on can be a real savior for any advertiser. Make sure to do these at the MCC level (if possible) and alert more than one team member for redundancy.

Once you have some alerts set up, let them run for a few days and tweak as needed. But keep in mind, you cannot Edit an existing alert in Google Adwords! Instead, you’ll need to create it over from scratch. Another good practice is to advise your team on how to handle alerts that signal problems. Put together a contingency plan and assign responsibilities accordingly. Worst-case scenarios can and should be managed as long as someone with authority is paying attention!