Are You Using AdWords Scripts to Boost Ad Performance?

22 October, 2013

Matthew Sauer takes you through a detailed example on how you can use AdWords scripts to boost your ad performance. If you find this article helpful, feel free to give Matt a nod of approval by sharing on your preferred social network. Thanks!

AdWords scripts aren’t new. In fact, Google rolled out this feature to all AdWords accounts mid last year. However, it has been during 2013 that AdWords scripts really appear to have taken off within the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) scene – which isn’t surprising given their ability to streamline account optimisation.

If you’re new to AdWords scripts, here is a brief rundown – AdWords scripts are a nifty little innovation that provides a new way to make advanced and automated changes within your AdWords account by pulling data from the AdWords API and other external sources using simple JavaScript.

Here are a couple of ways that AdWords scripts can be utilised within your PPC account:

  • Advanced and Custom Reporting
  • Automated Account Changes (e.g. campaign budgets, label generation, keyword and AdGroup level bids, device bids, pausing or duplicating AdGroups and campaigns, as well as adding, pausing or deleting keywords)
  • Ad Parameters and Automated Ad Copy
  • Pull data from external sources (e.g. Spreadsheets, emails, arbitrary URL’s and feeds)
  • Account Alerts

To use AdWords scripts, simply navigate to the left menu in AdWords, select ‘Bulk Operations’ and click ‘Scripts’. When the interface loads, select ‘Create a Script’. Here are a few resources to get you on your way:

What We Tested:

While there are a range of great scripts to take advantage of, we decided to test an ‘Ad Parameters’ script that automatically updated specific values within our ad copy. Displaying up to date and dynamic values within your ad copy can be very compelling for search users. However, as most PPCers are aware, it can also be a very time consuming task to continually update your ads on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.

Our selected client had a special offer that ran daily. If users placed their order online before a specific time, that order would be dispatched on the same day. As such, our script needed to countdown to this set time and update our ad copy values on an hourly basis.

The Experiment:

Two ad variations were split tested to determine whether dynamically updated values within our ads had a positive effect on performance. Each ad ran for the same time duration daily over a 4 week period across two campaigns. These campaigns included multiple product related keywords.

Ad Variation 1: Countdown Timer

This ad used our AdWords script, which dynamically updated the time value based on how many hours remained in which users had to place their order online to claim the same day shipping offer. For example (dummy ad):

Ad Variation 2: Order Before

This ad included the time in which a user’s order must be placed to claim the same day shipping offer. This ad did not use an AdWords script to dynamically update the time value. For example (dummy ad):

The Results:

The split test revealed the following:

  • The conversion rate of ads that dynamically updated the time value was 65.35% higher when compared to the ads that did not
  • The click through rate of ads that dynamically updated the time value was 13.41% higher than ads that did not
  • The cost per click figure of ads that dynamically updated the time value was 6.41% less than ads that did not

While there are other variables which may have impacted these results, including which keywords each ad was showing for, the results do show that utilising an AdWords script to dynamically update values within your ad copy can boost performance.

If you are not taking advantage of AdWords scripts just yet, we suggest jumping on the band wagon and having a go. If you’re already trying scripts out across your accounts, let us know about your findings. Or, if you have any other script ideas you think we should try, let us know!

Don’t forget, if you found Matt’s post useful, feel free to let him know by sharing on your preferred social network. Thanks!

Key Takeaways

  • Advanced and Custom Reporting
  • Automated Account Changes (e.g. campaign budgets, label generation, keyword and AdGroup level bids, device bids, pausing or duplicating AdGroups and campaigns, as well as adding, pausing or deleting keywords)
  • Ad Parameters and Automated Ad Copy
  • Pull data from external sources (e.g. Spreadsheets, emails, arbitrary URL’s and feeds)
  • Account Alerts

Other Recommended Articles by Matthew Sauer

About Matthew Sauer

Position: Digital Marketing Consultant

Having recently finished his Honours Dissertation examining the effects of in-game advertising on consumers attitude toward brands and behaviour, Matthew now works as a Digital Marketing Consultant at Reload Media. He specialises in all things PPC advertising, as well as digital strategy.

Find out more about Matthew Sauer on Google+.
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