Are small errors like worldwide targeting draining your budget? This Google Ads script can help

The script emails you a customized report to flag issues with your chosen account settings, preventing potential Google Ads catastrophes.

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Human beings aren’t robots. With thousands upon thousands of keywords to keep track of and an assortment of settings to apply on multiple levels of your account, there’s always a possibility that you’ve overlooked something small… or something big.

Whether it’s pushing bids too far, being overly eager in your device modifiers, or forgetting to apply location targeting, mistakes can be pretty expensive. Worldwide targeting, for one, can quickly sap your budget as you serve ads in territories of no benefit to you.

But manually checking these settings can be incredibly time-consuming. What do we say to all things tedious? The answer is always scripts.

This one will do all the legwork for you. Plug in your upper limits and tell it where you’d like it to look, and it will email you a report detailing anything in your account that isn’t right. Perhaps you’ve not applied location targeting to a certain campaign? Or you’re bidding way above what you’d like for a selection of your keywords?

It’s great to run for general upkeep, but is especially helpful after a big campaign build or when you’ve made sweeping changes in your account and need some extra peace of mind.

What does it do?

The script checks user-specified settings in your account, making sure you’ve not pushed any settings further than you would like.

It runs three separate checks:

  1. Worldwide Targeting Checker: the script will flag any campaigns that don’t have any location targeting applied.
  2. Keyword Bid Upper Limit Checker: specify a max CPC limit, and the script will report any keywords which have bids set higher than that CPC. 
  3. Bid Modifier Upper Limit Checker: this will check for any troublesome bid modifiers for location, device, and ad scheduling to ensure you are not pushing bids too high. 

These ensure that you have a quick and easy way to root out any mistakes or oversights leading to inefficiency, over-aggressive bidding, and ultimately to budget wastage.

It can perform these checks within your entire account or specific campaigns (e.g. checking Brand campaigns only). You can also include or exclude paused campaigns and keywords as required.

Once the script has run, it will email you an HTML table report, flagging anything which violates the rules you have fed it.

How to use this script

You can paste the script directly into the Google Ads interface to be run on an ad hoc basis.

In the Google Ads account where you’d like the script to run, go to Tools & Settings > Bulk Actions > Scripts. Create a new script by pressing the blue plus button.

Once you’ve given the script authorization to read your account, copy and paste all of the code below into the input box. You will then need to modify the code by adding your specific criteria.

First, ensure you have added the email you would like the report to be sent to in the EMAIL_ADDRESS variable.

If you’re worried about excessive bids, ensure you set your max CPC by modifying the BID_UPPER_LIMIT. Keywords with a higher CPC than that figure will then be listed in the report.

You can also set your bid modifier limits. If, for example, you would like to be notified of any bid modifiers over 150%, you would set it to 1.5. This should be in the range of 0.1 (-90%) to 9.0 (+900%). These limits can be set for device, ad scheduling and location separately.

Use CAMPAIGN_NAME_DOES_NOT_CONTAIN, CAMPAIGN_NAME_CONTAIN, and IGNORE_PAUSED_CAMPAIGNS to specify which campaigns you would like to investigate. Depending on the size (and state!) of your account, you will need to be selective with the criteria you choose. If you were to request a report on all keywords with a Max CPC of more than 10p, for example, you’d probably be pulling your entire account. While the script will run in such cases, you may not be able to receive email reports for such an enormous quantity of data.

Once you have pasted the code and set your criteria, save and run the script. Note: at this point you may need to scroll to the bottom of the page and reauthorize email permissions.

And, you’re set! Your report will arrive as an HTML table via email. From there you can troubleshoot any bids, modifiers, or targeting that looks inappropriate for your account.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Daniel Gilbert
Daniel Gilbert is the CEO at Brainlabs, the best paid media agency in the world (self-declared). He has started and invested in a number of big data and technology startups since leaving Google in 2010.

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