Biddable Blog Series: AdWords Scripts 101

May 5, 2016

Google Adwords scripts can be a powerful tool for PPC account management.

For those who have never heard of scripts, they are sections of coding, which can be inserted into Adwords allowing for account customisation in four key ways: reporting, bid adjustments, ad customisations and alerts. The purpose of these scripts ranges from reducing manual hours spent deep-diving into account data for optimisations to weather-based bid adjustments. Here are a handful of the Biddable team’s favourite scripts:

 

1. Declining Ad Groups Report

By default, this script pulls a report which assesses whether an ad group’s performance is declining, based on click-through rate. It examines all active ad groups in an account and will trigger if an ad group’s CTR has been declining for three consecutive weeks. These under-performing ad groups are then pulled into a spreadsheet so the account manager knows which ad groups require attention. One of the wonderful things about scripts is that, with a relatively basic understanding of coding, the parameters are completely under your control. For example, the three weeks data that this script draws from can be extended or shortened to suit the account. If click-through rate is not one of the KPIs, the criteria for “worsening” can be changed to revenue, average position or conversion rate to name but a few.

https://developers.google.com/adwords/scripts/docs/solutions/declining-adgroups

2. Weather-based Bidding

Weather affects consumers on three levels; their purchase method, their mood and their product choice. Brands and businesses can modify their bidding based on weather scripts, ensuring maximum share of voice during these periods without a lot of manual work adjusting bids. For example, a theme park or a business selling air conditioners might want to increase their visibility on search during a summer heat wave, or a company selling gloves and scarves or sledges would want to be most visible when it’s snowing. Using the OpenWeatherMap API you can increase or decrease bid modifiers depending on the temperature or weather condition in any given location.  Used intelligently, it’s a no-brainer for most businesses to increase their visibility when it’s going to count.

Google Weather

https://developers.google.com/adwords/scripts/docs/solutions/weather-based-campaign-management

3. Sales Countdown

Sales can be a great thing to shout about in ad copy, but a sales countdown script can add a sense of urgency and improve CTRs without you having to manually update ad copy. This script allows you to set an end date for the offer in the ad copy, which embeds a countdown that automatically updates every hour. Around Christmas last year we used this for a client with the message “last standard delivery in X hours” and “last Xmas delivery in X hours” for the final day to order in time for Christmas. Within that final day the countdown ads drove a CTR 2% higher than regular text ads. We certainly saw the benefits of countdown scripts to impress a sense of urgency on the user, boosting engagement with the ad.

Countdown

https://developers.google.com/adwords/scripts/docs/solutions/sale-countdown#how-it-works

4. Negative Keyword Conflicts

Even the most diligent account manager can sometimes miss keyword conflicts whereby phrase or broad negative keywords are blocking all your regular keywords from appearing in front of users. This could be a common issue if multiple people are actively updating the keywords in your account. This script will find any keyword clashes, collate the data into a spreadsheet and email you an alert, allowing you to quickly and easily correct the keyword conflicts without having to trawl through the account(s) manually. The frequency at which the script analyses the account is also flexible. If you do weekly keyword optimisations the script can run once a week, but if you do daily deep-dives into the keyword data, you can set the script up to run as often as hourly. These can be very useful in negating any human error and ensuring all your keywords are showing to searchers.

https://developers.google.com/adwords/scripts/docs/solutions/negative-keyword-conflicts#scheduling

 

These are examples of the four different categories that Adwords scripts fall into: reporting, bid adjustments, ad customisations and alerts. This is by no means an exhaustive list and there are scripts for more or less anything you can think of, with plenty of people creating free scripts for you to try out. For more information on what kinds of scripts are on offer visit the Google Developers webpage.

If you have any revolutionary scripts to share please feel free to post them in the comments section below. If you have any questions about scripts, or anything else in the land of paid search or social – don’t hesitate to give us a ring on 020 3597 1400 and a member of the Biddable team will be on hand.

Will Kynaston, Biddable Account Executive


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