AdWords Scripts: The Best New Tool In AdWords

Whenever I go to a conference, I make it my goal to come back with at least one great new idea or tool. And man, was SMX full of them. But by far, my favorite new thing from the conference was something I filed away in the I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-hear-about-this-before part of my brain. You heard it here first, folks: AdWords Scripts is the new hotness.

Google was generous enough to host a learning track at the conference, and they covered a lot of different topics. I attended the first two sessions. The first was an intro on AdWords Scripts, and the second was a hands-on demo of how to create one. For those of you not in the know, AdWords Scripts gives you the ability to write a Javascript-based program within your AdWords account to perform routine tasks and reporting. You can read more about the feature on the Google developers site here, but don’t be put off by all the programming lingo. If you have a basic understanding of Javascript coding, you should be able to create scripts on your own.

Okay, so you can create a Javascript snippet in your account and have it run a program. So what? Actually, this is a big freakin’ deal. Using AdWords scripts, you can pull info from an inventory database to pause keywords related to items that are out of stock. Oh, and did I mention you can do this on an hourly recurring basis? Automatically?

Maybe inventory isn’t your thing. But bids surely are. How about creating a script that will analyze your lead conversion CPA by keyword, compare that to an outside database containing your average order value, and adjust your keyword bids to profitability? Also automatically. For free. Starting to see why this is such a big deal? Google basically just opened up functionality to completely automate your account, providing you know how to code a little Javascript and you can get creative with your data inputs. This is insane!

AdWords Scripts are enabled in all AdWords accounts as of last month. To find them, just go to Automation > Scripts in the left navigation in your AdWords account:

adwords scripts navigation

On this page, you can create a new script from scratch and basically have it do whatever you want. I won’t get into the specifics of script creation in this post because 1) it requires an intermediate background in Javascript, and 2) Google does a way better job of explaining it than I can, so I advise you to check out the developers site linked to above.

But maybe programming isn’t your thing. In that case, AdWords scripts comes with a few complete scripts that you can run as-is, or modify for your personal needs. Just click on the “Show Examples” button on the Scripts page to view some:

show example adwords scripts

Hats off to Google for introducing such a powerful tool into the advertiser toolbox. I for one am very, very excited about the possibilities for using scripts to enhance performance and automate rote tasks within my accounts.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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