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Transcript – How to ACTUALLY Stop Google Ads (AdWords) Overspending
If you guys have run Google Ads campaigns for any length of time, I’m sure by now you’re well aware that Google absolutely loves to overspend your budget. When you put your budget into a campaign at the very beginning, more often than not, Google will decide to overspend on any given day even though Google does say that within a 30-day period your budget will remain the same and they’ll spend the same amount of allocated budget in that 30-day period of time. That can sometimes fluctuate and throw off your metrics and also cause havoc for your business functions if you can’t afford to overspend. In this video, what I’m going to break down is exactly how you can closely manage your Google Ads campaign budget to ensure that you do not overspend and stay within the limit of your campaign budgets on a day to day basis. You’re going to learn all of that and more coming up.
Hey guys. Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.com here and my job is to make you a better marketer. If you’re new to the channel, my name is Darren Taylor. I’m a digital marketing trainer, consultant and speaker. I’ve been doing marketing for years with a strong focus on SEO and PPC marketing in particular. If that sounds up your street, you should consider subscribing to the channel.
In this video, we’re addressing the obvious Google Ads issue of overspend. I’m sure you guys have had campaigns that have overspent the budget on a daily basis and that can happen from time to time. We’re going to address the issue and resolve it once and for all. I’m sure by now you guys are aware that Google can overspend your budgets on a daily basis. The idea being that on a day of higher volume with more searches taking place, Google can capitalize on that additional volume and potential conversions and on days where there are less conversions, Google can reduce your budget and make sure you stay maybe below your actual set budget to make sure it can capitalize on that too. Ultimately, it sounds like a great idea, but this can cause issues with your campaigns, it can cause issues with your business because ultimately, you told Google you want to spend a set amount per day and they’ve ignored you and spent your budget anyway. But fear not, there is a solution.
The solution uses a combination of two things. Those two things are Google Ads automated rules and of course Google Ads scripts. If you don’t know what a Google Ads script is, it’s a piece of code you can put into Google Ads to do some really advanced and cool functions. As you guys are probably aware, I’m not a coder. The script I’m going to share with you is not something I’ve written myself. It was written by a UK based PPC agency called Brainlabs. These guys have created a script that will pause your campaigns when they meet their daily budget which is great because it means Google actually can’t spend your budget when your campaigns are paused. That is a fantastic thing to stop you from overspending. In addition to that, automated rules mean as soon as the clock strikes midnight and it rolls over to the next day, then your campaigns can be automatically re-enabled. Therefore, you can always turn your campaign back on even though the script has actually gone ahead and paused your campaigns that meet the budget.
There are a few caveats to throw in there because it doesn’t work as smoothly as I’ve just said because of the limitations of Google Ads scripts. Before I jump on my computer and implement this technique, you should be really aware that because it runs hourly, it means if you campaign hasn’t overspent yet, but they’re very, very close to overspending, it’s got to wait a whole hour before those script runs. Meaning that when you have that small hour window, whatever you spend within that window will continue to be spent. Then when the next hour hits and the script runs again and you have gone over budget, then the campaigns will pause. That means it’s not an ideal solution. What it means is every single hour, it will be checked to make sure that you’re within budget, but there’s a small chance you can still overspend. Compared to what Google can potentially do in terms of overspend, it’s not that big a deal. I’m about to show you exactly how to put this onto your campaigns. Before you do that, if you like what you’re hearing so far don’t forget to like the video and comment below if you have had a bad issue with Google Ads overspending your budget. Now. I’m going to jump on my computer. I’m going to show you exactly how to implement the scripts and I’ll catch up with you guys on the other side.
The first thing we need to do is create the automated rule that will enable the campaigns when a new day starts because of course if we’re pausing campaigns if they hit budgets, then the next day, of course, you want your campaigns to run again. We need to set the rule in order to make sure campaigns can resume when the new day begins. The first thing you need to do is head over tools and settings and then head over to rules. Now, you’re in rules. What you need to do is create a new rule. I’m going to do that by clicking this plus button here. Campaign rules and then it asks you to select a type of rule. The rule we’re going to do is enable campaigns because of course, we want to enable campaigns when a new day begins. Enable campaigns, you can apply it to all campaigns in your account or you can select specific campaigns for this rule to work with. For this example, I am going to allow it for all enabled campaigns.
Next, we need to look at the frequency of when you want the action to run. Of course, we want it to be daily and of course, when a new day begins it is 12 AM. We’ll use data from the same day. What this will do is it will look at your budget and look at the timing of when the new day begins. Then, it will look at data from the same day. When it realizes there’s no spend, it will actually start your campaigns so you won’t be able to, I guess, miss out on any clicks by not resuming your campaigns if these script I’m about to show you pauses your campaigns. What else you can do is you can also get emails when a campaign fails in terms of the rule failing. There could be a number of reasons for the rule failing. Usually, it never happens. In fact, I pretty much never see it happen because this is a very simple rule. a very uncomplicated rule, but just in case, it should be good to actually highlight this option and make sure if there were any changes or errors, then you get an email letting you know the rule has failed because of course, it means your campaigns may remain paused and you’ll miss out on spend and of course conversions as well.
Finally, what you need to do is name the rule. I’m going to call this rule enable campaigns on new day. That’s the rule created. You’ve got all your information there and now I’m going to save the rule. There you have it. The rule has now been saved. Now we’ve enabled the rule that will resume campaigns when budget’s been met. Once the scripts I’m about to show you pauses campaigns, we need to actually upload the scripts. The scripts will allow us to pause campaigns when they hit budget and it will also send a very handy email as well to your inbox directly outlining which campaigns have been paused and which campaigns have hit budgets and a bit more information around why it’s been paused as well.
The first thing you need to do is get the script itself. The script is obviously code. I’ve handly put it onto my website. I’ll put the link in the description, but if you can’t see it on the screen now, this is the page on my site and it’s got the scripts in place. Of course, as I said, I’ll put it in the description below. Before I upload these scripts to Google Ads, I just want to talk you through some of the areas you need to add to as well. You can also set rules in this script that will pause campaigns when they hit budget based on a campaign name containing something specific. If you only want it to apply to specific campaigns, you can add the campaign names of what you’ll want the scripts to act on inside these square brackets here. You can also do the reverse, if you don’t want the campaign name to contain a particular campaign to be affected by this script, then you can also add the campaign name in here as well.
You add in your email address here as to where you want the update to be sent to. When the campaigns are paused by the script in Google Ads, then you’ll get an update just so you know your campaigns have been paused as well. In addition of course internationally, you’re going to change your currency symbol so the email you receive tells you the right currency you’re spending in and of course the separators as well. Of course, the commas to separate numbers and a decimal as well for separating pounds and pence in my case or dollars and cents or whatever it is your currency may be. There are a few other things as well to review and that is the threshold.
This multiplier will tell you when to pause campaigns. At the moment, it’s set to 1.0 meaning when the script runs, if the campaign budget has been spent exactly or over, then the campaigns will spend. If you want to pause campaigns slightly before you hit budget, you can change this percentage down to maybe 0.9 or something like that if you want to set stay at 90%, if you want to pause at that point or if you want to pause at only 50%, you could do 0.5 here. This becomes really important. This area allows you to choose when the campaigns are paused.
What we’ll also do is create a label on the campaigns that have gone over budget. When the script runs and it pauses a campaign because it’s gone over budget, then a label will be applied to your campaigns that will basically highlight that these are the campaigns you need to look at budgetwise so you can do a filter later on down the line and do some analysis and understand why your campaigns are overspending, make the necessary changes or increase budgets or whatever you need to do.
Finally, this is the part that’s really important and that is the pause threshold. If you don’t want your campaigns to be paused and you just want to receive the email telling you your campaigns are-
Darren Taylor: -overspending, then you’d leave this as false. Now if you want to actually pause campaigns, you need to set this to true, which I’ll show you how to do when we go ahead and actually upload the script and then the pause threshold as well. If you don’t want to pause, if you want to pause campaigns at a certain threshold, maybe you want to wait later on down the line, you can change this again at the moment it’s set to 1.2. This will pause when a campaign budget is at 120% however, if you want it to be exactly when a campaign is within budget, so 100% of the budget has been spent you’ll change this to 1.0 as we did above for the email notification.
That has all of the main areas of the scripts you will need to edit. It’s very straightforward. There’s comments here as well to talk you through what you need to do to change these. Everything else below here is the script itself and as I said, I’m not a computer programmer, so I can’t walk you through exactly what all of these functions mean. The main thing are these areas up here. What we’re going to do is copy all of this, and we’re going to put this into Google ads as a script. I’ve copied all of this in copy and I’ll head back over to Google Ads. Now I will create the script. As you can see from the rules page you were previously on, you’ll see down the left hand side, scripts is the next option so we’ll click that and we’ll click the blue plus button to create a new script.
This is the scripts page. The first thing you will notice is there’s a massive notification bar here, because obviously scripts are things that could be potentially harmful to your accounts so you need to make sure you authorize Google Ads to run scripts. The first thing you need to do is click this authorize button. It will load up your Google account details. You just click the account you’re using and then click on the allow button and that’s it. Now you are able to create scripts. The first thing I’m going to do is name this as pause when budget met. The camp script has a name now so we can actually go ahead and paste in the script. You’ll notice here, here’s the field where you’d paste this in. Let’s delete the basic thing that’s there already and then we will paste in our new script.
If we scroll to the top, this is the script and as I said the areas we need to fill in are below. I will leave as blank to include all campaigns. Normally if you wanted to include specific campaigns you’ll type the campaign name containing area in here and then you’d put that in. If you want a campaign not to contain something to run the script, you’ll type it in the square brackets here as well. As I’ve explained before, email address, you want the script to be sent. I’m going to do just a test one as well because obviously I know the email is going to be received in my inbox. That’s fine. Then next we need to look at the currency symbol. I’ll leave that as pounds because of course I’m in the UK separators are fine for me as well because we use commas to separate values in numbers and decimals to separate pounds from pence and then the threshold emails going to be sent.
I’ll leave it as one so that when the campaign hits budget, that email sent to me and the label applied to all of my campaigns that go over budget. Once the script runs, will also be left as over budget. I’ll change this to true because I want to pause campaigns when budget’s hit because that’s the whole point of this video is to stop your campaigns overspending. And the threshold of pausing, I don’t want it to be 1.2 I want it to be 100% of spend, not 120%. I want to catch the pause before I hit the budget or at least slightly after, which I’ll go into in a moment. These are all of the areas complete in the script. All of the scripts data is below, so all we need to do now is save the script. That script has been saved and now we’re going to just run the script just to test it’s all working fine. Run without a preview. It’s not necessary in this occasion. Just needs to reverify sometimes if you’re using a manager account like I am so I’ll reauthorize it again before running the script as I showed you before. Then I’ll hit run again.
That’s it. The script has finished successfully. There’s been no issues with it whatsoever. There are two statements in the log, just showing you the results of the scripts. It found one campaign in my account and no messages to send, because of course the campaign I’ve got in my account, is just a test campaign but if your campaigns were over budget, it would tell you exactly what the script would do and how many emails it would send as well so there you have it. That is how to pause campaigns if you go over budget. There’s one thing I need to tell you before I end the video and that is scripts in Google Ads can only run a maximum of once per hour, which means if you overspend between the last time the script runs and the next time it’s scheduled to run, then you will still spend that budget. However you will stop it when the script runs again.
Therefore it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s better than just leaving campaigns open-ended if you are liable to overspend regularly. It’s a good way to protect your budget, but it’s not going to be exactly perfect but that’s it. That’s a script on how to pause your campaigns and a rule on how to re-enable them when the next day begins. If you like this video, leave a like below. Let me know in the comments if you found this useful for your campaigns and if your campaigns are going over budget, more important than that. Don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll see you guys on my next video. Cheers.