Search Marketing Life Hacks: Automation Tips & Tricks

Post by Brett Wagner, Senior Media Manager

Our teams concentrate on completing tasks with the highest possible efficiency. Because of client deadlines and timelines, we have developed processes that automate and streamline projects for the best possible outcome while saving as much time as possible.

Of the specific features in search platforms that can be utilized to save time, one of the simplest yet extremely valuable features is in 3rd party platforms, such as DART Search (owned by DoubleClick) and Marin, are web queries.

The following will lay out a brief overview on how to create a web query in both DART Search and Marin and then specific examples on how to use them to save time in daily tasks.

DART Search

DART Search is owned by DoubleClick, a platform that allows users access to campaign and bid management systems. With the ever-changing algorithms, this automated process can keep bidding strategies aligned to produce the most clicks.

While in DART Search, we recommend filtering by date range and interest in the tabs named “campaign”, “ad groups”, “keywords” and “ads”. It’s best to avoid using “custom” date ranges; instead, we opt for time ranges such as “last 90 days” or “this year” for web queries. This only helps us to have a better and broader gauge on what is working and what’s not working in our bidding practices.

After filtering through and finalizing the data, we create the web query and copy its given URL. Within a Microsoft Excel sheet, the data can be pulled from the web and imported into a spreadsheet. The web query will always be saved in DART Search, as all web queries created can be found under the “Downloads” tab within the platform.


Just like DART Search, Marin is an innovative platform that allows us to improve ROI by maintaining automated search processes. With Marin, it’s also important to filter tabs by date range and interest. This helps us to understand how well current bidding practices are working.

Within this platform, we create a recurring web query report (including items with zero clicks). It allows us to pick and choose how often we’d like to run the report, which depends on how often we’ll be refreshing the web query. Once the report is finalized, we are able to import the data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The original data can be found under the “Reports” and “Report Templates” tab in Marin.


With the basic information we’ve provided on creating web queries, we can now look at an example of how to use them to automate processes and save time, specifically with daily pacing checks and budget adjustments.

After creating a web query segmented by day and importing the data into Excel, add an additional column at the end of the data for “Month” using the formula “=MONTH([start date cell])”.

*Note to right click within the web query data and check the “Fill down formulas in columns adjacent to data” box. This ensures that when the web query is updated each day, the data in the “Month” column will automatically update all cells within that column.

Create a new tab that will reference the data within the web query tab. We typically create the following columns:

  • Spend
  • Budget
  • Yesterday Spend
  • Daily Run Rate
  • Differential

For each metric, we use the below Excel functions to reference the web query data tab. Each day, we refresh the web query in the data tab and the below metrics are automatically updated:

  • Spend: We use “SUMIF” and “MONTH(TODAY())” functions referencing the month to sum the spend column
  • Budget: We manually enter in the monthly budget
  • Yesterday Spend: We use “SUMIF” and “TODAY()-1” functions to reference the day, then we sum the spend column
  • Daily Run Rate: We subtract the budget column from the spend column and use the “(EOMONTH(TODAY(),0)-(TODAY()-1))” function to divide by days left in the month
  • Differential: Daily Run Rate – Yesterday’s Spend (This is how much daily budgets need to be increased or decreased by)

DART Search and Marin web queries are capable of multiple functions for bidding and campaign management; this is just one of many examples of how web queries can be utilized to automate daily account management processes. A little work up front will save a lot of time down the road if these are applied to other aspects of daily account management routines.

To learn more about bidding and campaign management, contact your Performics account team today.


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