Hidden, Game-Changing AdWords Features Part 2: Scripts

Randy Antin

Aug 30, 20163 min read
Hidden, Game-Changing AdWords Features

As useful as Google AdWords is, it can be time consuming to maintain and update your campaigns. That’s where scripts come in. Do you want to frequently monitor for errors and ad disapprovals? There’s a script for that. Do you want to alter your bid based on real-time data? There’s a script for that, too. There are hundreds of scripts available that can ease the campaign management burden.

AdWords Scripts: Time-Saving Taskmasters

Scripts are a feature to “hack” AdWords using JavaScript. Scripts essentially speak to your AdWords account in incredible detail. The  key parts of an AdWords script help you automate processes so you can focus on the more crucial parts of your campaign. If the thought of using JavaScript is intimidating, have no fear. You don’t have to build scripts from scratch if you don’t want to; simply adjust scripts that have been  created by others

Scripts save time because they monitor your account and automate tedious tasks. The best part is that they already exist for numerous functions including account alerts, bid changes, and destination URL updates. 

How to Put Scripts in Place

Implementing scripts isn’t as hard as you think. First, go to your AdWords dashboard and select the campaign you want. Then, select Scripts from the Bulk Operations section in the left navigation menu and click on the +Script button. If you don’t want to create a script from scratch, you can simply copy and paste the script you’ve found into the script editor and click Authorize Now. You can preview how the script will work; you’ll then save it to enable it.

Now that your script is set up, you can access and edit it whenever you want. You can run it immediately or set up a schedule for it to run in the future – and if you don’t like the script, you can remove it. 

What AdWords Scripts Can Do for You

By implementing scripts for efficiency, better planning, and monitoring, you set yourself up for a more successful AdWords campaign. Here are four ways digital marketers can take advantage of different scripts: 

1. Reclaim your daily schedule.

Account maintenance eats up a marketer’s time. Take back a big chunk of your day by using scripts that automate certain processes such as bid modifiers, ad creation and error-checking. With more time at your disposal, you can concentrate on more complex analyses that you might not have had time for.

For example, when I start a new campaign, one of the first scripts I implement is the URL checker. This script is a vital time saver, especially for startups, where things move pretty quickly. Someone could change a URL and not tell marketing until an hour later, but this script identifies any errors or redirects in the URLs, saving your team time. 

2. Update your calendar early.

With AdWords scripts, you can plan for changes in seasons or times of day by using historical data to understand the efficacy of your campaign by the hour. You can even go a step further by adding scripts that update your ads to new deals or to holiday wording.

The 24-hour bidding schedule, for instance, helps me implement day-parting strategies after I’ve analyzed my historical data on campaigns for a specific amount of time. If my campaign does better on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. by 50 percent, and then performs worse the following month, this script will allow me to make quick changes to the account rather than manually adjust bid modifiers through the interface.

With that info, I can in turn create a grid in a spreadsheet of all bid modifiers by hour and day.

3. Test out new and different scripts.

There are even scripts based on events that aren’t available in AdWords, such as a script that changes bids based on the weather. Obviously, this isn’t a feature that will be useful to everyone, but this is just one example of the range of new bidding strategies and features that scripts enable you to test. 

The Quality Score report is one script that’s great for tracking QS for a set of keywords. If I ever need to adjust keywords that are suffering in QS, this script will let me know whether the QS is improving based on my changes.

4. Look before you leap.

Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s nice that scripts can serve as eyes in the back of your head. Instead of making a mistake that costs you or your client money, you can use scripts to catch errors and potential disasters.

The link checker script looks for 303 and 404 errors and bad URLs, then emails you about them. The anomaly checker alerts you to any unusual changes in performance. You’ll be able to act quickly and fix mistakes that you might not have caught. 

Managing AdWords campaigns on a daily or weekly basis can lead to a mountain of work, much of which is dull when you monitor everything yourself. When you automate tasks through scripts, you can focus on the more challenging and interesting parts of the campaign. 

There’s no limit on how many scripts you can use, so use as many as are helpful to you. Particularly if you have campaigns where changes are made frequently and quickly, scripts are the answer to your campaign management needs.

Do you use scripts in AdWords? Let us know about it in the comments.

AdWords Features Part One

AdWords Auction Insights

Author Photo
Randy AntinRandy Antin is VP of marketing for Jumpshot, a marketing analytics solution that provides behavioral trend insights of its 100 million-user panel by analyzing their clickstream activity. He has previously held roles at numerous startups and more established companies, including The Gap Inc. and Travelocity. His digital marketing experience includes everything from search to affiliates to structured feeds to retargeting. He has been attracted to big data and behavioral trends ever since he came in seventh place in a fantasy baseball league 15 years ago. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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