Takeaways from Great Day for PPC Automation conference

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Linz (Austria) hold surprising gems, this month I found out SMEC is hosting a conference there dedicated to ppc automation and, god damn, it delivered. I thought I’d share the most memorable know-hows and inspirations from a “Great day for PPC automation”. If you enjoyed this article, share it!


Lifespan of campaigns shrinks down fast. Either adapt quickly to modern world and innovations or die.

While people think they spend thinking about today’s tasks, tomorrow’s and day after tomorrow’s in proportion 60%-30%-10%, in reality this proportion was 93%-7%-0%.

The thing everyone ignores is that there’s also a lot of effort dedicated to solving tasks and issues from yesterday.

Raise your team and make it diverse to focus on what teammate can bring to the table instead of being monkeys doing lots of manual repetitive labor.


In 2019 have shopping campaigns or die.

CSS shopping brings more and cheaper clicks. As the result CSS shopping campaign make up >90% of shopping traffic for OTTO.

Showcase shopping ads has significant CTR difference as you go more gradually detailed with your ad and inventory filter.


Agency has to balance really a lot of things.

While you might want to focus on your goals and create a work-around against Google, you might consider few thing still.

For example a RSA spreadsheet generator.

… or a smart bidding system.

Instead learn to leverage Google’s innovations for simplifying your job.

Launch a DSA campaign, see which KWs works and then build campaign structure based on this information.


Thorsten from Brille24 didn’t share much regarding automation unfortunately because it seemed at the end of the presentation that they themselves look for ways how to automate their ppc processes.

However, what I did enjoy from his presentation was example of dividing channels to offline and online based on analysis of searches’ meanings.

As well as segmenting landing pages in ads based on audience lists:


My favourite presentation of the event since it was filled with scripting inspiration and paranoia of google’s automation 😀

I suppose 2012-2016 we heard every year “this is the year of MOBILEE!!!”

Google optimizes on the data you provide. Make sure you don’t provide shit – bad conversion tracking, wrong conversion actions etc.

As agencies balance good performance, profit for themselves and profit for clients, Google has to juggle providing relevant searches for users, show more searches to earn more from ppc sometimes less relevant… etc.

From official source:

So far the results make sense 1.62 is close to 1.60

But separate clicks cost around 7… what the hell… and no, none of the most expensive clicks converted 🙁

I gotta say it really depends on business domain and language.

Though there’s indeed more traffic and it seems relevant CTR wise, but it doesn’t convert as good.

DSA is a pretty dope PPC tool. However if you don’t have it set up properly with exclusions or page content can be triggered by some generic searches – you might get very fucked.

For example: shampoo by Disney will kill my budget with disney movies and toys searches.

“on the days with lots of high quality traffic” became “on days with high traffic“.

The links from these slides are at the end of this presentation.

Exclude close variants to keep exact match exact

Monitor close variants to keep or add

Automatically add all positive keywords in your account as a negative in your DSA campaign

Pause auto-added ads by Google and send email

Limit budget overdelivery


People bitch when they’re not happy with your company and leave easily.

Here’re some stats on this:

Different departments keep interacting and overlapping in customer lifetime cycle:

Deliver to people unique experience – don’t show to people on different funnel level the same ads and landing pages.

Example: for “hotels in mallorca” Booking shows a booking form and Trivago educates on top 10 locations there.

Examples of different messages in ads and landing pages. Later you can use people visiting those pages as audiences to target further.

David Merrifield – Driving Organisational Change to Achieve PPC Automation at Scale 

Sven Achterberg – Change in the Google Shopping Universe

Polle van Elsacker – Confessions of a Paid Search Marketer

Thorsten Ahlers – Clear-sighted Campaigns: Strategic Control in Search and Shopping

Nils Rooijmans – Keeping an Eye on Google’s AI Using Scripts

Thomas Wrobel – CX at Scale: Winning Market Share with User-centric Search Automation

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