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Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 1
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I'm looking to use a script that would look at my keyword's total conversion value and divide it by my keyword cost getting a return on ad spend %. With that ROAS the script would then adjust the bid based on wether it was above, below, or at my goal ROAS. Currently I do this all by hand but I figure it is something that a smart person should be able to do with a script. I'm in the process of teaching myself Java but I'm a long way away from those computer programming classes I took back in college! Figured I'd check the old AdWords community and see if anyone had devised something similar. Thanks!
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Accepted by topic author mike_peters
September 2015

Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 2
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Hi Mike and welcome to the forum.  I'm a big fan of programming automation and it's a lot of fun to see things happening in AdWords automatically (especially when you have a large number of Keywords).

 

However, in this case I fear there's probably a couple of solutions that won't require delving down into the Scripts interface.  The first and most "simplistic" is to use the existing AdWords feature of bidding based upon a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition/Action).  This is a fully automated solution, managed by Google that will adjust bids automatically to attempt to reach your chosen CPA.

 

There's more about the Conversion Optimiser here.

 

To be honest, it's a bit dull though 'cos you don't get to see any of it working and personally I think I can do a better job Smiley Happy

 

So the second option is to use Automated Rules.  Automated Rules allow you to set up conditional changes to parts of your AdWords Account.  They're very flexible as there's pretty much nothing you can't test or apply.  For example, for Keywords you can create rules that change the Max. CPC bid under a set of conditions - average position below this, conversion rate higher than this, CTR less than that and so on.  The rules allow you to build multiple conditions so, with some planning, you can make your own "conversion optimiser".

 

They're more fun than the automatic version because you get logs of what's been changed and, more importantly, you can add your own human element to the analysis and planning.

 

More about Automated Rules here.

 

The only drawbacks with Automated Rules are that they're not guaranteed to run every time they should.  Don't know why, it's a Google mystery.  So if you set a rule to run every morning at 6am, some days it just might not run.  It's not a big deal though, in my experience they run plenty often enough.  The other disadvantage is that they're quite limited in how you apply them.  You can only apply rules to one Campaign, or All Campaigns, you can't apply a set of rules to a set of Campaigns.  This may or may not be a problem.  If you only have one Campaign or you do want them applied to all, it's not an issue.  If you do need them to apply to just, say, 2 Campaigns out of 10, you'll need to write two sets of rules and apply them individually.

 

Hope this helps!

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 3
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Ah I was overthinking! It looks like Google has added the conversion value attribute to their automated rules! When I had initially looked into rules several months ago you couldn't make changes based on conversion value.

 

Thanks for the input!

 

Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 4
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Likewise, I was surprised to see how much is covered there now.  It's quite a lot of fun actually, although you do need to sit down with a pad and work out all the rules you need to make sure you keep things balanced.  In most cases you'll want one rule that sends "things" in one direction, e.g. an increase in Max.CPC under Condition A and another rule that goes the other way, e.g. a decrease in Max. CPC under Condition B.

 

For example if you want your Ads to hover around the #2 position (my favourite) you need one rule to increase the Max.CPC when the Av.Position slips below, say, 2.5 and another to decrease the Max.CPC when it goes above 1.5.  Typically my rules tend to use 3 or 4 conditions each and it can get quite complex but it's nice to look at several hundred Keywords and see all the figures match what you want them to be.

 

Don't forget also to think about the period of the test.  The default is "Previous day" which I doubt is really useful - especially where conversions are sparse.  I tend to use "Last seven days" as this seems long enough to be a decent data sample but no so long that it doesn't react quickly to changes.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 5
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Got it all set up this morning. Much easier than teaching myself javascript!

 

Now I've got a rule running every Monday looking at the past week's worth of data increasing bids 5% on any keyword who's return is greater than 4x the cost (our company's goal return) and average positioning is worst than 1.5 (don't want to bid up when you're already in the top position most of the time!) and another rule running decreasing bids 5% on anything whose return is less than 4x cost. Basically I've eliminated about an hours worth of work every week with automation. Who needs to pay for Marin when you can do this Smiley Happy

Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 6
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Good stuff Mike, nice to see a happy customer once in a while Smiley Happy

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 7
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I hope you're talking about the county in California, Mike Smiley Happy.

 

Joking aside, AdWords has come a long way in providing features which, not so long ago, were only available in bid management applications.

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

[ Edited ]
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# 8
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Hi there-

 

I don't mean to hijack the thread, just thought it was relavant.. Please let me know if I should move this.

 

I'm looking for a similar script as Mike, except I would like a way to manage GDN campaigns to ROAS on the placement and/or keyword level. To clarify, ROAS, in this case would be:

 

Total Goal Value (imported from Google Analytics) / Cost = ROAS

 

The CPA Optimizer, as far as I can tell, manages to Cost Per Conversion/Acquisition/Action, the sum of conversions divided by cost, not the accumulated value of the conversions. If one has several goals each set to different values (multiple sku's anyone?) you would want to manage to R.O.I., or in this case ROAS. Managing to the Goal Values I define in Google Analytics seems to be the best way to do this for the time being. 

 

In managing to the Total Goal Value, one would be managing to a 'revenue' figure, as it were, rather than unit sales. The data seems to be available in Adwords to do this, and certainly one can do this manually. It would be spectacular if there was a way to automate at the Placement and/or Keyword level in GDN campaigns in this way. 

 

Anyone have a script that they would be willing to share that can do this?

 

Many thanks.

 

W

Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 9
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Hi Wade, welcome to the Community.


This figure for ROAS is available inside AdWords (it's not shown by default, but it's in the column list under "Conv. value/cost") and I think it's one of my favourite metrics.  Can you not use Conversions in AdWords instead of Goal values in Analytics?  If your conversion tracking was set up to handle actual commerce values this should be relatively straightforward (and, dare I say, quite a common way to work with ecommerce sites).

 

However, I suspect I may have missed something.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Using Scripts To Adjust Bids Based on ROAS

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# 10
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Hi Jon,

 

Thanks for your reply and the welcome.

 

You are correct, that metric is available in the columns options. The issue I'm running into is that if I want to set up an automated rule for GDN campaigns, I can do this on an Ad Group level, however, I cannot setup an automated rule to make bid adjustments on a keyword or placement level to manage to ROAS or Conv. value/cost. At least, that's what I think... I'm sure there's a workaround for this, I just haven't figured it out yet Smiley Happy