The Experts Guide to PPC Chapter 8: Adwords Editor

PPC Guide: Adwords Editor

Many advertising managers handle multiple accounts, often with thousands of keywords, and making appropriate changes to those accounts in the online AdWords interface would be tedious.

Fortunately, AdWords offers a first-party offline bulk editor that makes it much easier to handle multiple accounts in a simpler, more consistent interface. Although some changes are still best performed online, the options available in AdWords editor are a free way to create manage medium and large campaign setups.

Tools and Unique Features

Tools and Unique Features of AdWrod Editors

The Bulk Offline Editor

AdWords Editor’s unique features, including the tools menu, help to streamline the campaign creation and management process.

Tools Menu:

Find duplicate keywords…: The most helping part of finding duplicates is that AdWords Editor will find duplicates even if they’re in a different match type, which is more difficult online because match types are differentiated with quotes and brackets.

Keyword Grouper: If you’re having trouble deciding how to group particular keywords, this tool does a decent job; however, always double check the groups to avoid oddly placed keywords.

Keyword Opportunities: Keyword opportunities works in a similar way to the online opportunities tab, but makes it easier to add keywords to the right ad group through clicking and dragging.

Show ads with selected images: This tool makes it easier to find particular image ad sizes – the way image ads are displayed in AdWords Editor is a little awkward, so this tool can be useful if you can’t get online.

Unique Features:

Click and drag: Clicking and dragging new ads and keywords to multiple groups streamlines the process so much that this alone makes AdWords Editor worth a download.

Revert selected changes: As long as the changes haven’t been uploaded, any changes in Editor can be undone without the usual “deleted” clutter that comes with online changes.

Comments: Specific pieces, including individual keywords, can be marked with a comment, which can be especially useful if you want to remember why you made a certain change.

Check Changes: If you missed putting ads in an ad group or made a similar mistake, this will catch it before it goes up. It doesn’t catch all ads and keywords that could be disapproved, but it does a decent job at catching common banned words like drug references.

Make Multiple Changes: Copying from a spreadsheet has never been easier with this feature, especially if you want to retain bids for certain keywords when adding them, but you don’t want to import the whole account.

Switching accounts: For MCC users, switching between accounts can be a little tedious and more cluttered with AdWords Editor. However, if you have multiple tiers or accounts that aren’t a part of the MCC, it can be more convenient to have all accounts listed together rather than at their respective level.

Campaigns Tab

Campaigns Tab in Adword Editor

The Campaigns Tab in AdWords Editor

Although AdWords Editor is useful for setting up the initial campaign, some campaign features should be adjusted once the campaign is uploaded.

Use this offline:

Mobile Bid Adjustment: This is far easier than finding it buried under campaign settings online.

Location Extensions: Here, you can enter your location immediately for the whole campaign instead of making sure it’s applied to all ad groups.

Dynamic Search Ad Extension: Like the mobile bid adjustment, this option isn’t as buried as it is in the online campaign settings.

Do this online:

Location Targeting: AdWords Editor doesn’t provide the option to pick and choose locations very easily. If you have a spreadsheet with the information, use it, but otherwise, choosing your location online is much more intuitive and flexible.

Ad Scheduling: There is no option to choose ad scheduling in AdWords Editor, with or without bid modification. There’s a notification that it exists in an already-created campaign, but no option to edit.

Extensions Tab

Extensions Tab in Adwords

The Extensions Tab

The extensions tab is probably one of the weakest parts of AdWords Editor – most extensions need to be set up online.

Use this offline:

Sitelinks and Sitelinks (Upgraded): The interface for sitelinks is much easier to handle offline, and more information is provided (such as destination url) in columns instead of being hidden behind a click.

Location Extensions: The option to add locations extensions here is identical to the one in the campaigns tab.

Do this online:

All other ad extensions: Google may have decided to forego adding most extensions offline because they’re constantly adjusting, removing, and adding extensions. You’ll miss out on useful extensions if you stick too closely to AdWords Editor for extensions.

Targeting Tab

Targeting Tab in Adwords

The Targeting Tab

Due to the constant readjustments AdWords makes to the Display Network, it’s usually easier to make changes to Display Network campaigns offline. AdWords editor retains a consistent interface for adding new targeting options, with one exception.

Use this offline:

Placements: If you have custom bids, copying from a spreadsheet you developed from online research is far easier than the online interface.

Audiences: Choosing audiences works in a similar way to online, but copying and pasting audiences makes the offline option more appealing.

Dynamic Ads: More information is displayed at once with AdWords Editor, making the ads easier to scan and change.

Locations: Like on the campaigns tab, location targeting is not as dynamic as it is online, especially if you wish to use radius targeting.

Do this online:

Remarketing: Currently, there’s no option to set up remarketing in AdWords Editor – this is possibly because the tracking code is dynamically generated online.

Ad Groups Tab

ad groups

Where I spend most of my time.

The ad groups tab benefits from the ability to select and change multiple bids at once. Although the online AdWords interface now has a bulk editor, it’s not as efficient because you’re still required to check boxes for each group you wish to change.

Use this offline:

Bid Changes: Because AdWords Editor has spreadsheet capabilities (like shift+click to select a whole list) bid changes are far easier offline.

Flexible Reach: If the ad group is part of the Display Network, you can change the reach of each target method (such as “target and bid” or “bid only”) in one place instead of select each targeting method individually to change it.

Do this online:

Minor bid changes: Sometimes, the process of uploading small changes is more time-consuming than just making the change online (especially if you want recent data – downloading that can take a while).

Analysis: Like with minor bid changes, taking a quick glance at recent stats is difficult in AdWords Editor because of the time it takes to download all performance stats.

Ads Tab

Ads Tab in Adwords

Tracking strings almost require Editor’s tools.

Because A/B testing is such a big part of ads, having the ability to create and copy multiple ads at once is a definite bonus of AdWords Editor over the online interface.

Use this offline:

Appending and replacing text: If you’re changing ad text just to reflect the ad group, replacing or adding text is very easy. A warning will appear if your text replacement makes your ad too long.

Text Capitalization: Forgot to inter-capitalize? Change it here automatically instead of going through the very tedious process of changing it manually.

Advanced URL changes: If you have unique tracking codes, make changes using this tool to avoid accidentally overwriting the unique tag.

Ad Creation: Since AdWords Editor doesn’t auto-delete characters when you go over the limit, it makes ad experimentation and development less exasperating. Instead, it merely warns you that you’re over the limit.

Do this online:

Requesting exceptions: Asking for an exception online allows you to provide a reason – if you have a borderline product (such as a drug rehab or alcohol bottle company), it’s easier to get a faster exception when you can explain why your ad doesn’t violate Google’s policies.

Checking for errors: Although AdWords Editor tries to catch policy and other violations that could get your ads disapproved, it’s not perfect. Check to make sure all your pages work online by test clicking different ads online (in the interface, not through Google Search).

Keywords Tab

Keywords Tab in Adwords

Bulk editing at its finest.

AdWords Editor provides the easiest keyword generator by far – although the online keyword tool is useful for ideas, having the ability to append and replace text is irreplaceable when you’re dealing with very specific ad groups.

Use this offline:

Replace and append text: The easiest way to grow a keyword list with long-tail variations is through appending and replacing text in the keywords you already have.

Advanced bid changes: Like the ad group level bid changes, having the ability to use keyboard shortcuts makes bid changes far easier.

Advanced url changes: This tool is more useful in the ads tab – if you have a significant amount of keyword-level destination urls, dynamic ad insertion (seen under the campaigns tab) will be more useful.

Do this online:

Negative keywords: Unless you download your search terms report, adding directly from it is easier than trying to copy and paste into AdWords Editor.

Rules: Setting up rules is not possible in AdWords Editor, so if you have context-specific bid rules, set them up online.

Importing and Exporting

Importing and Exporting in Adwords

Always make backups.

While changes in AdWords are final, AdWords provides the ability to make backups and revert to those as needed. Even though the undo is visible online (through deleted ads and keywords), the option to revert is a necessity when making bulk changes.

Exporting backups: Make a backup whenever you make significant changes in AdWords Editor – this will save you a lot of trouble with reverting when something goes wrong, especially since changes cannot be reverted once you upload them online.

Importing spreadsheets: When importing a spreadsheet, make sure your columns are labeled and are lining up correctly. This isn’t a problem if you’re importing an older backup, but if you’re importing changes you made yourself in a spreadsheet, double check everything.

Account Level Filtering

Importing and Exporting in Adwords

Items with warnings may come up often.

AdWords Editor’s filtering contains additional information that you can use to remove inconsistencies and prevent disapprovals before your ads and keywords are uploaded. Below are the filters that are the most beneficial:

All unposted local changes: Make sure you didn’t make changes where you didn’t want to – campaigns will become bolded after you change something about them, but mistakes are easier to find with this filter.

Items with Errors: AdWords Editor will not upload any changes with errors, so they need to be corrected before you move them online. Most of the time, they’ll be technical errors like a missing headline, but AdWords Editor will also catch some policy errors like drug references.

Items with Warnings: You can still upload changes with warnings, but your campaign or ad group may not function properly with the problem. Common warnings include: Ad group has no keywords or ads, or there are duplicate keywords in different match types.

Custom View: This is by far one of the most beneficial filters and features of AdWords Editor – not only can you filter with as much detail as you can online, but you can easily save and name your filters.

Bing Ads Editor: Differences and Importing

Bing Ads Editor

Importing from AdWords is much easier through the editor.

If you use Bing Ads, there is a similar editor available, but if you’re importing from Google AdWords, keep these differences in mind:

Importing with unique tracking: Value Track works in a similar way in Bing, but may require slightly different tagging. Adjust accordingly.

Adding Google Analytics tracking: If you use auto-tagging in AdWords, Bing will need tags for Google Analytics in order to track the same data.

Adjusting ad text: Because Bing uses one line with 71 characters instead of two lines of 35 characters, some ads could be adjusted to sound better or be reworded.

Adjusting keywords: Because Bing does not have modified broad match, you may have to run a “replace text” action and remove all of the “+” signs.

Adjusting ad scheduling: Bing Ads follows block scheduling (morning, evening, night) rather than hourly, so be sure to adjust your ad scheduling before running your campaigns.

Back to Introduction

Table of Content

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Chapter 1:

Effective Keywords

Chapter 4:

Adwords Advanced Settings

Chapter 7:

Analyzing Your PPC Data


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Chapter 2:

Standout Ads

Chapter 5:

Bing and other PPC Avenues

Chapter 8:

Adwords Editor


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Chapter 3:

Actionable Landing Pages

Chapter 6:

The Display Network