I recently had an exciting conversation with one of our Account Executives on the AdWords scripts feature. After using scripts to optimize the Client’s campaigns, click volume increased 25% and conversions increased by 45% over the same 14-day time period.
Me: So, Have you tried out scripts?
Account Executive: Yeah, they’re great!! So much time saved!
Do Not Miss Out On the Opportunity to Use Scripts
Do you need to be a programmer to be able to implement this? No, you do not.
Where do I get scripts to use on my accounts if I can’t write them? We will give away a few of our scripts to get you started. Read on.
Having worked with optimization scripts and programs via the API before, I was excited to start out. The possibility of creating our own bundle of scripts that could then become our very own in-house “optimizer” was thrilling and opened a wide range of possibilities in terms of Client account optimization and automation. In essence, we were looking to simplify our internal optimization processes.
The Role of Scripts in Scaling our Portfolio
At White Shark Media, we handle hundreds of Google AdWords campaigns and were excited at the time-saving potential that implementing scripts could yield. We had created several optimization procedures that were on the mark, and had proven to be very successful. These normally took a deep dive through our accounts, going through keywords (… and negatives), ad copy, ad groups and campaigns; skimming and scanning all performance metrics in search of room for improvement within our accounts. These procedures were great, but very manual.
Ideally, my initial thought was to invest all of that time saved, on Client communication, reporting and strategy. No longer would we have to manually skim through endless data sheets in the Google AdWords interface, Excel or AdWords Editor looking to improve performance on a given account. Why should we go the manual route, if we could devise a tool that could do this in an automated fashion even better than we do? Enter AdWords Scripts.
With this scenario in mind, we created several one-off, basic scripts that tackled common challenges that Campaign Managers run into when optimizing AdWords accounts. Creating the scripts was fairly easy and straightforward and we were quickly testing them out with some of our Client accounts; carefully using them in accounts that could benefit positively from the implementation.
Enter “The Optimizer”!!!
There is another script-like feature in AdWords called the Conversion Optimizer which helps make bid adjustments to an account to maximize conversions based on a target goal. I felt great hesitation from Campaign Managers and Account Executives regarding what this optimization program actually did, and I shared some of their concerns to a certain extent. While some accounts have been successful with the Conversion Optimizer, others have not.
There is not enough background information as to what the Conversion Optimizer does and why, other than optimize the account to achieve a target cost-per-conversion. In other words, AdWords strategists want to know what is going on with their accounts. The thought of losing a Client or a budget, whether that is your budget or someone else’s, can be a nightmare and is a main concern. In this regard, Scripts offer more control.
Some of the key benefits of AdWords Scripts are that they run on Google servers and no hosting is required. The interface is simple and it’s easy to get up and running. Scripts also require less knowledge to run than knowing about the AdWords API and are more powerful than Automated Rules.
4 AdWords Scripts to Use Now!
We started out our script venture with simple script ideas solely for optimization purposes. The idea behind these first two scripts was to improve account performance by pausing and/or deleting keywords that were performing poorly:
- Pause ad copy with a CTR below 0.50% and with less than 10 clicks in the last 30 days - Download Here
- Pause keywords with no clicks and with more than 1,000 impressions over the last 30 days - Download Here
The purpose of the script below was to boost traffic from keywords that had a high Quality Score already.
- Increase Bids by 30% on Keywords with a Quality Score of 8 or Above - Download Here
- Increase Bids by X to Reach the Estimated First-Page Bid - Download Here
Step-by-Step Instructions to Implementing AdWords Scripts
In the Campaigns tab, go to Bulk Operations, then to Scripts, then hit Create, Manage Scripts and finally Create Script.
For starters, paste one of the scripts that we have provided and hit the Preview button. After the script runs, it will give you a log of the potential changes that the scripts will make to your account. Once you run the script, you will be able to check on the account and the changes that it made.
From here, you can implement the changes to your account and also Save the Script in the Shared Library under Bulk Operations for later use.
For bonus points, an easy change you can make to the scripts we currently have, is to manipulate date ranges and conditions to fit your account needs. For instance, if the date range is too restrictive and is set to 14 days and you would like a more comprehensive long-term use, you can go ahead and edit to 90 days. In the same fashion, you can change metrics and restrictions on your account to fit the account’s volume and performance. If it makes no sense to measure an account’s performance based on a 100 clicks because it’s a very high-volume Client, then you can go ahead and bump it (or scale down) the volume metric as you see fit.
Another great feature that was recently rolled out is the integration of Analytics metrics in the AdWords interface. For example with bounce rate, we have a user behavior metric on our website that we can trace back to our AdWords performance and setup. With one-page websites though, Analytics does not register multiple page views unless visitors reload the page, which results in a high bounce rate. In this case, a high bounce rate does not necessarily mean you have to redesign your website (Source: Analytics Glossary)
As such, a script that runs through your account at the keyword level that gives you insight into your keyword bounce rate, is a great tool in your arsenal. This way you can measure user response times when they reach and interact with your landing pages. However, we need to keep in mind that most websites with a one-page site will have a high bounce rate.
Great! If you routinely performed these checks manually and took 10 minutes or more to do so, you can continue to use scripts to mimic manual procedures of old to automate and save time.
A Word of Warning!
I just want to add a quick word of warning before wrapping up. Tempting as it is to go for an easy fix, we shouldn’t use scripts robotically and expect great results by running them in a mechanical fashion. We should always have a comprehensive, analytical view of the account and monitor performance trends on our accounts.
It’s a Wrap… for Now at Least!
Scripts are a great tool in our optimization arsenal that can help us save time by making changes to accounts that will benefit their performance by increasing CTR, decreasing CPCs or boost click volume to squeeze more results out of our advertising budgets. If creating scripts is a daunting task, we’ve provided several basic ones that are completely customizable and can fit different account scenarios. I hope this helped as a good intro on scripts and their amazing potential. Live long and optimize!
For a great educational webinar on AdWords Scripts, I recommend the following webinar session: