Case Study: How AdWords Automated Rules Increased ROI by 250%

Danny Sánchez-Mola

Aug 09, 20164 min read
How AdWords Automated Rules Increased ROI by 250%

“Why is Monday so far away from Friday but Friday is so close to Monday?” proclaims the popular saying. Oh, go figure the reason why!

This saying proves that not all days are created equally. This holds just as true for social behavior and for consumer behavior.As much as our mood is different on Monday from what it was on Friday, so is our consumer behavior.

The consumer behavior path starts with a thought, continues most times with research in Google and is followed by comparisons between a handful of businesses offering the product or service we are looking for. This path usually leads us to consider just one of those businesses and ends with the purchase or action itself.

Marketing research literature has long tackled the different ways in which consumers act around holidays, the first of the month, Mondays, Fridays, weekends and other days or times.

Businesses in general and advertisers in particular ought to pay close attention to when their prospective customers are more likely to start and end their consuming paths to market their products or services accordingly.

Timing Is Everything

When it comes to emails, for instance, it has been proven that consumers are more likely to open an email if it is received on a Tuesday.

They are also more likely be opened if they are received in the mornings, but they are more likely to take action if they are received in the evening because we have more time then. Monday mornings are proven to be the busiest of all times so emails are more likely to be erased or pushed to the bottom of the pile.

Throughout this case study, we will exemplify how setting an automated rule to adjust AdWords’ campaign budgets and keyword bids by the day of the week, increased the AdWords ROI by over 250 percent. This case study methodology and results can be easily extrapolated to any business whose sales or transactions are expected to happen during certain days, or certain hours of the day.

We can think of flower shops, for instance, that rely on certain days during the year to do most of their business, accounting firms that likewise rely on the pre-tax season to get most of their clients, or fitness centers that rely on the new year resolution to attract most monthly subscribers.

Background: The Client

Sunday Medical is a concierge level primary and urgent care medical clinic, in Marin County California. This top-rated medical clinic decided to open on Sundays as a service to the community. Indeed, Sunday’s medical service is something many people need at one point or another and AdWords makes for a great marketing channel to raise awareness about it.

Analyzing the account’s performance by day of the week, we realized that Sunday consistently outperformed the rest of the days in several key performance indicators, including click conversion rate.



To sum it up in two words: automated rules. This powerful AdWords feature is simple to use and provides a great deal of flexibility in doing, redoing, and undoing changes contingent to certain conditions.

Rules can be applied to make changes at any account level - campaign, adgroup, keyword, or ad - when a given condition is met. The same rule can be undone when the condition is no longer met. In our case, since we identified Sunday’s as the best performing day of the week, we set the automated rules to maximize the business exposure in AdWords during Sundays.

Automated rules make the process a breeze since all it takes is 5 minutes to set them up.

We set two automated rules, at both the campaign and the keyword level. On the campaign level, we increased the budget by 100% on Sundays at 9 AM and decreased it on the very same Sunday by 100% at 9 PM. This can be done on all enabled campaigns or on any selected campaigns.

Increase budget automated rule


Decrease budget automated rule


For the keyword, we increased the bid on Sundays at 9 AM by 100% and decreased it on the very same Sunday at 9 PM also by 100%, for keywords with an average position worse than 2. This can be done either on all enabled keywords or on any selected keywords.

Increase bid automated rule

SEMrush provides a great tool to identify the position of strategic keywords over time which we can use to apply more granular rules to them, such as increasing the keyword bid by a larger percent and selecting only a handful of strategic keywords to apply the automated rules. This feature is very useful for campaigns whose ad groups house keywords performing very differently on different days of the week.

Keyword analytics pay-per-click campaigns



Immediate benefit results:

ROI - The AdWords ROI increased by over 250% after applying these day-based automated rules on both the campaign and keyword levels.

Future benefit results:

Quality score: The more clicks on your ad, the higher your keyword's quality score will be overtime. Not only click-through-rate affects quality score, granted, but it is a key factor in increasing it. The higher the quality score, the less you need

Cost per click: With a higher quality score, our keywords now need to bid less to keep the same ad rank. Ad rank’s components are quality score, bid and the ad extensions.

We have total control over the AdWords extensions which we can create ourselves. But if we want to decrease our keyword bid, the other element we need to optimize is the quality score. It can take some time for a keyword quality score to go up (or down). Increasing the click-through-rate, as we have read, is one of the ways to increase it and to decrease accordingly the cost per click.

Summary of Automated Marketing Success

Not only do automated rules have an immediate benefit, they have a long term benefit as well. Setting them up takes few minutes and all the advertiser needs to do is analyzing when your prospective customers are more likely to click and take action.

You can use AdWords and SEMrush to determine the dimensions upon which you want to set automated rules for – i.e., day of the week, time of the day, performance of a given campaign or keyword. When setting a rule, just remember to set another one to undo it afterwards, unless the rule has a set start and end date or condition. The time to use the AdWords automated rule feature is now.

Author Photo
Danny Sánchez-MolaDanny Mola is the Founder & CEO of Kolau, the only all­-in-­one marketing platform geared towards users with no marketing experience. You can follow Kolau on Twitter and on Facebook.
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