Did you just do a double take on the title of this post?
Sure, I write a lot about scripts but did I just say “Bing Ads Scripts”?
Yes, I did!
Bing has simplified PPC by making one of the most beloved automation features of Google Ads available for Bing Ads.
If you’ve been following my posts, you’re likely very familiar with PPC scripts but if you’ve been standing on the sidelines until now and were waiting for scripts that could help you with a Bing Ads account, let me give a quick primer on what Ads Scripts are.
I’m also including an updated version of a favorite Google Ads Script so that you can copy-and-paste it into your Bing Ads account to get started with their scripts right away.
A Brief History of Ads Scripts
AdWords Scripts (as they were known at the time) could do custom automations inside of an ads account.
Think of them as the equivalent of VB macros in Excel; a way to automate repetitive data analysis tasks.
But with the added benefit of turning the resulting insights into automated optimizations for your PPC account.
Why was this such a breakthrough for advertisers?
Some advertisers had tried to automate Google Ads by using software to record what they clicked on and then scheduling the software to automatically repeat these steps in the future.
This proved clunky because Google Ads was changing its interface frequently so the automations broke when they clicked on the wrong things.
Another issue was that every automation needed the entire HTML of the page to load, causing a lot of unnecessary load on the ads system, leading Google to block access and breaking the automation.
Before a world of Ads Scripts, Google said that automations should be built on their API.
That’s a fair requirement, except that your average marketer doesn’t have the time, money, or skills to work with the API.
An API is great for building robust, scalable solutions but it’s lousy for doing the sort of work that marketers love doing in spreadsheets.
Ads Scripts changed all of that. They made powerful automation accessible to anyone with an ads account.
Copy-and-Paste Best Practice Scripts
Ads scripts are great because you can get started with them very easily.
It’s literally as easy as copy-and-pasting some prebuilt code like the one at the end of this post.
Prebuilt scripts usually address some of the most frequent pain points marketers see and they usually aren’t getting into any of the proprietary secret sauce of account management.
For example, we’ve all heard that Quality Score (QS) is an important factor in how much of a discount (or penalty) we pay for clicks.
But monitoring thousands of keyword quality scores can be tedious and it doesn’t tell us anything about the bigger picture of how much the engines like the way we’re: choosing keywords, structuring them in ad groups, and writing relevant ads.
That’s why rolled-up QS, like an account-level QS, can be so useful. It’s a directional barometer on the health of an account.
So account QS is not a secret, nor is it very difficult to calculate (it’s an impression-weighted average); it’s just that the steps involved get tedious.
And for agencies or large enterprises that have to monitor multiple accounts, it’s even more of a slog.
But thanks to a script, you can get a daily email with your account-level QS with just the effort of installing it in your account once.
Scripts Are Easy to Customize By Marketers
Where scripts really shine in my opinion is that they fit somewhere between doing things manually (where you’d waste a lot of time) and doing things with a big API project where you’d probably also waste a lot of time by over-engineering things!
Scripts can be adjusted to do custom things with minimal changes to the code. Most scripts you will find have a section for settings (near the top), and another for logic (the rest).
Settings tend to be a handful of lines of code where all you need to do is enter your own email address, enter a few values for the different thresholds, and perhaps add a date range selection.
The logic could be hundreds of lines of code but you don’t really need to touch this to make it work.
But if you wanted to get into the logic and customize it, you could, because the code is all there for you to see and edit. A big benefit, in this case, is that you don’t need to write all the code from scratch but get to build on what others have already started.
Benefits of Using Scripts
Besides being easy to get started with and enabling custom automation, scripts are great for a couple more reasons.
The Ad Engine Pays for the Servers
One of my personal frustrations with building automations for PPC is that historically there were a lot of barriers standing between the idea and the execution.
Even if I knew how to write the code, or if I had a developer ready to write it for me, I’d have to figure out where to host the code. That has become a lot easier over the years thanks to Amazon Web Services.
But in the case of Bing Ads Scripts, like Google Ads Scripts, I can open up a browser, log into my ads account, and start writing the code in their integrated development environment (IDE).
It’s literally as easy as composing an email in my Gmail account.
That means that when I get an idea, I can be writing the code to test it in a matter of seconds.
The engine also handles the scheduling of the automation.
Setting up a cron job (which is a scheduled job on your own server) isn’t particularly daunting, but keeping the server up-and-running and ensuring that the automations stay on schedule can actually consume a lot of time and resources, even if only in purchasing monitoring tools.
This is also handled by the engines who give us a simple interface for scheduling things.
The Ad Engine Handles Security & Permissions
Another complexity of writing code-based automations is that there are usually many steps involved in establishing a secure connection to the ads data: another hurdle that stands between the idea and the execution.
When using Scripts from Bing Ads or Google Ads, the authorization is as simple as a click on a button before previewing a script.
This one-click authorization even establishes a secure connection with other systems like those that send email, connect with Google Sheets, etc.
While Bing Ads Scripts are newer and don’t yet support spreadsheet integrations, it’s just a matter of time before they will.
The Ad Engine Exposes Entities from the Ad System
Writing code that works with PPC is made easy because the IDE from the engines knows the various ads-related entities and suggests what you might want to type next.
So when I want to select keywords, all I have to do is type a few characters and then pick the suggested text from a dropdown.
You still need to know a little about programming but it’s dramatically simplified.
Getting Started with Bing Ads Scripts
Try scripts in your Bing Ads account today.
If you don’t find it under “Bulk Operations”, it should be there in a few more days after Bing has finished their global beta launch.
They support a subset of what Google Ads Scripts support but the syntax is largely the same so in some cases, you may be able to copy a Google script into a Bing account and get it to work with no changes.
Bing even automatically replaces AdWordsApp with BingAdsApp in any code you import via copy-and-paste.
Calculate Bing Ads Account Quality Score
This script is based on a Google Ads script I wrote a long time ago to calculate account-level quality score.
Because Bing Ads Scripts are still a bit more limited, I rewrote the code and simplified it quite a bit.
But it does the trick and will show your account QS in the logs.
Schedule this daily if you want to be able to see how your QS is progressing over time.
- PPC 101: A Complete Guide to Pay-Per-Click Marketing Basics
- 5 Things You Could Be Automating with Google Ads Scripts
- 5 Ways to Automate More of Your PPC This Year
All screenshots taken by author, November 2018