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Death by alerts.

Will your custom AdWords tool monitor AdWords performance?

You could use the AdWords API to watch out for landing page errors, ad disapprovals, low impressions, ad spend etc. You can save loads of time by automating the daily checks a human would do.

But, it's surprisingly difficult to work out when your monitoring system should warn your users.

Some notifications are easy. You definitely want to tell a user when there is a disapproved ad, a broken landing page or a failed payment.

It's much more difficult to decide which performance changes are normal and which warrant an alert.

Here are a couple of principles to guide you as you design an AdWords monitoring system.

Set sensible defaults.

Perhaps your app has a budget pacing feature. It will alert the user if their ad spend is going to be over or under a monthly budget. You know ad spend varies by day so you have a threshold for triggering an alert. Say 10% over budget or under budget.

You could ask the user to set the threshold when they first use the app. At this stage they're probably going to get it wrong and get too many or too few alerts. Neither is good.

It’d be better if you calculate a sensible default and set it for the user. They can change it if they need to.

Allow for normal fluctuations.

Clicks, conversions etc fluctuate wildly from day to day. You'll send a lot of false alerts if you consider only one day's performance. It's better to account for normal fluctuations using trends, rolling or weighted averages.

Give context in the alert.

Your user must decide if your alert is a real problem or a blip. Give them the data they need to make the distinction.

If you’re sending alerts by email, you can give it to them in the alert message. If you’re using Slack or SMS, give them a link that’ll take them to a page in your app with the necessary data in a useful format.

Link to where the action is.

Give your user a link directly to the page in your app or in AdWords where they'll take action. For instance, if you're alerting about under spending, give them a link to where they can adjust the daily budget.

Need help with the Google Ads API? Email me ( for a no-cost, no-obligation chat. I’m always happy to talk Google Ads and code.

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