Smart bidding is among the hottest topics in PPC and AdWords these days, with Google pushing for us to take advantage of its machine learning algorithms more and more.

And while the jury’s out when it comes to implementing full smart bidding across all campaigns (sometimes, there’s nothing like a human touch), there are some types of automation that we really can’t do without when mastering bidding strategies; scripts.

If you'd prefer to listen to Sian talk about scripts, don't miss out on episode 3 of our podcast >

What are Scripts?

AdWords scripts are a way to automate individual elements of your AdWords accounts using simple JavaScript, input directly into your account. Scripts can be used to automate time-consuming procedures, analyse complex data and interact with external data.

Essentially, any action you can take to change your AdWords account can be performed quickly by a script. Combine this with the reporting capabilities of scripts and the logic you can apply with JavaScript and you get something quite powerful, and incredibly time-efficient.

3 Must-Have AdWords Scripts for Smarter Bidding

As with many of life’s secret pleasures, the best way of explaining how a script works and what it can accomplish is better done with real-world examples.

So, without further ado, here are 3 of our favourite, must-have AdWords scripts that you can get up and running in your account today (or ask us to help you with).

Out of Stock Checker

This is an exceptionally powerful script that ecommerce businesses of any size should consider implementing. All you need is individual ad groups or campaigns set up for specific products (camera parts, plant seeds, hardware).

This script, crafted by script legend Russell Savage, goes through your account and extracts each specific landing page from each product ad. It then scrapes the HTML of each landing page to check for an ‘out of stock indicator’.

If an indicator is found, bidding for that ad group is paused so no spend is wasted and your customers don’t have a negative brand experience. Just think how long that would take to do manually!

It’s worth noting that because every site is slightly different, a small amount of JavaScript editing is required to get this script working properly.

You can download the script here >

Bid to Position

Many of Google’s advances in automation focus on bidding. This script is no different. The ‘bid to position’ script does what it says on the tin - it reviews recent performance of campaigns and ad groups and tweaks bid prices with the aim of achieving your desired position on Google’s results page.

For instance, if you tell it that you want your campaign to have an average position of 2 it will collect together all ad groups below 2.1 and increase their bids by 5%. Similarly, any ad groups above 1.8 will have their bid decreased by 5%. It will do this every day.

This is a super simple script to use and customise. It can be run of specific campaigns, be less or more aggressive with bid changes (bid adjustment coefficient), be pickier with how close you want to get to your target position (tolerance), and either comply or not comply with ad group bid limits.

You can find a similar script here - we’ve adapted our own to achieve the above >

404 Page Checker

This is a type of warning/alert script, which form a large subsection of Google’s AdWords scripts. These are particularly useful for avoiding wasted spend.

This script checks the landing pages of your ads and returns its http response code. If it comes back as either 400 or 404(or any other error code for that matter), the script will send you an email alert.

This can easily be configured further to apply labels to the affected ads, making them easier to find, pause them altogether or send you a text message alert.

You can download the script here >

A Final Word

At the moment, automation works best when combined with business insight and experienced analytical thinking. That’s certainly the case in our experience at least.

Machines can’t do everything on their own. Yet. But using scripts in AdWords is an extremely effective way of ensuring your account runs smoothly and freeing up time to introduce improvements where machines aren’t able to. Yet.

If you'd prefer to listen to Sian talk about scripts, don't miss out on episode 3 of our podcast >