In the realm of digital marketing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns stand as a cornerstone of quick visibility and traffic acquisition.

With advancements in technology, automation has become a vital tool, allowing marketers to manage and optimize their campaigns efficiently. However, while automation in PPC offers numerous benefits, it also presents significant risks if not handled with care.

Here’s what you need to watch out for.

Over-Reliance on Algorithms

Automation relies on algorithms to make decisions about where, when, and how much to bid on ads. While these algorithms are powerful, they lack the nuance that a human manager can bring. Over-relying on automation can lead to situations where your campaigns are spending without adequately considering the unique aspects of your audience or market shifts.

In addition, because of the lack of context, algorithms require significant data to make the correct bidding decisions. For example, for optimal decision-making, it is recommended a single Pmax campaign receive upwards of 60 conversions per month. Many accounts will struggle to find enough consistent and sustainable volume to educate the algorithm.

Tip: Always monitor automated bid strategies and adjust based on campaign performance and external market factors.

Loss of Personal Touch

PPC campaigns thrive on being highly targeted and personalized. Automated tools often standardize the ad creation and placement process, which can lead to generic ads that fail to resonate with specific audience segments. It goes further than just users ignoring generic ads. Low engagement and low click-through rates result in the platforms’ higher cost per clicks and cost per impressions.

Your brand is also negatively impacted.  According to Ad Week, More than 1/3 of all Americans will refuse to purchase a brand because of a previous bad advertising campaign

Solution: Use automation tools to handle routine tasks but keep strategic decisions—like ad copy and targeting—in human hands to maintain a personal touch.

Data Privacy Concerns

With automation, an increased amount of data is collected and processed by algorithms. This raises concerns about data privacy and the security of user information. Privacy legislation has been ongoingly developing and laws are different from country to country and state to state in the US.

Precaution: Ensure that your automation tools comply with all relevant data protection regulations and that privacy settings are configured to protect user information.

Risk of Ad Fraud

Automated PPC campaigns can sometimes be vulnerable to ad fraud. Bots and fraudulent players can mimic campaign parameters, leading to wasted ad spend. In fact, it is estimated that 38% of web traffic is automated/bots and of these bots, 24% are considered “bad bots”

Action Step: Employ advanced click fraud detection services and monitor your campaign analytics for unusual activity.

Budget Mismanagement

Automation can lead to rapid budget depletion if not correctly configured. Automated systems might bid aggressively or on the wrong audience, resulting in poor ROI. The recent DOJ trial against Google has revealed the cost per clicks on Google more than doubled from 2013 to 2020. It is expected that CPCs will continue to increase every year, especially with the rise of automated campaigns like Pmax.

Recommendation: Set maximum bid limits and regularly review budget allocation versus campaign outcomes. A practical approach is the 70/20/10 budgeting model recommended by experts, where 70% of your budget is allocated to core campaigns, 20% to promising new tactics, and 10% to experimental ideas.

While automation in PPC management offers undeniable efficiency and scalability, it is crucial to approach it with a balanced perspective. Integrate human oversight with automated processes to leverage the best of both worlds, ensuring your campaigns remain effective and aligned with your business goals.

At (un)Common Logic, we understand the balance needed between automation and human intuition.

Our PPC management services are designed to maximize your advertising efforts while safeguarding against the inherent risks of automation. Click to learn more about our paid media services.

For more insights into managing your PPC campaigns effectively or to inquire about our digital marketing services, contact us today. Our experts are here to help you navigate the complexities of digital marketing with ease.