Paid Search (PPC)

AdWords Editor allows you to smoothly work on an account offline using a simple interface. Even though it's quick to use, there's some simple tricks to save lots of time doing repetitive tasks using a combination of AdWords Editor, spreadsheets and the browser version of AdWords.

adwords-editor-logoCopy, Paste, Replace & Amend

One of the quickest ways to create new campaigns or ad groups within AdWords editor is to take advantage of the copy and paste functionality.

Copy Shell

Often when creating new campaigns you will want them to target the same location, have the same bid adjustments, use the same audience lists and pretty much have exactly the same settings as another already existing campaign.

Viewing all campaigns at once allows you to right click on the appropriate campaign and select “Copy Shell” which saves all of that campaign’s settings:

copy-shell

Right clicking and selecting paste now places a new empty campaign down with the same settings. You will need to rename this campaign to give it a unique name and then it can be used straight away:

paste-shell

If you don’t have any campaigns to begin with then simply set one up fully within the standard browser versions of AdWords and then download it into AdWords Editor. You can even copy and paste within the browser version of AdWords now if you want to work on that platform alone.

Duplicating Ad Groups

Often two ad groups within a campaign can be very similar, especially when it comes to paid search campaigns.

For example one ad group may focus on “red sports cars” and another may focus on “yellow sports cars”, all that really changes is the name of the colour. Another example might involve synonyms such as an ad group focusing on “used sports cars” and another ad group focusing on “2nd hand sports cars”.

Copying an ad group not only copies the keywords within it but also the ads, both of which may be very similar from ad group to ad group.

To do this within AdWords editor ensure that you are within the campaign where the ad group resides and that you are viewing the account at an ad group level firstly:

ad-group-level-adwords

Then simply copy and paste with the right mouse button or if you are feeling brave then press [CTRL/CMD + C] followed by [CTRL/CMD + V] for the keyboard shortcuts. Remember to re-name the ad groups to make them unique, they cannot be uploaded until a new name is applied.

Find, Replace and Amend

Once you’ve duplicated an ad group you can speed up the process of modifying the duplicated keywords or ads by using the find and replace or amend tool.

Firstly view the ads or keywords using the views in the bottom left corner:

keywords-adwords-editor

Here’s where to find the text ads:

text-ads-adwords-editor

Now select the ads or keywords you wish to copy and paste by highlighting them. There’s no selection box on AdWords Editor so you have to hold down CTRL/CMD to select them one-by-one, SHIFT to select multiple ones in a row or [CTRL/CMD + A] to select them all.

Then use the right mouse button and select “Replace Text” which will bring up this pop-up box:

find-replace

Warning: Find and replace can accidentally work on unexpected areas if not used correctly. For example the keyword “[delivered sports cars]” has the word “red” hiding within it so consider using the right field options and options such as “Match whole words only” to eliminate these potential mistakes.

From this same pop-up, amends can be made before or after existing text within a field. For example a parameter or hash-link could be added at the end of every URL within the account at the same time:

append-text

This is handy for quickly changing exact match keywords on an account in to broad match modified keywords, for example changing or adding “[vintage sports cars]” to “+vintage +sports +cars”. All you need to do is find and replace any SPACE with a SPACE and a plus symbol [” +”] and then afterwards amend a plus symbol at the start of the keyword.

Combining Spreadsheets with AdWords Editor

Import and Export

An entire AdWords account can be exported in to a single spreadsheet. Alternatively spreadsheets can be imported in to AdWords Editor to speed up tasks such as creating new campaigns or making mass adjustments.

Go the account drop-down to see the export and import options, you can export the whole account, selected areas or just what’s currently being viewed:

export-current-view

For importing you can either import from a spreadsheet file or simply paste in spreadsheet cells directly to save time:

import-file

Before you can import ads or keywords you must have the campaign and ad group structure setup.

Multiple Changes

The multiple changes button allows you to quickly make a number of campaigns or ad groups just by simply pasting in a list of campaign or ad group names from a spreadsheet:

multiple-changes

Copy from a spreadsheet:

2016-08-04_11-02-56

Ensure the columns are assigned to the right field:

2016-08-04_11-04-03

Afterwards it’s always advisable to ensure that the multiple changes have gone in the right area before accepting the changes and uploading them back to AdWords.

Importing Multiple Columns

It’s possible to import an entire campaign’s keywords or ads all at once, even if they reside in multiple ad groups.

For example you may have taken target keywords from Google’s Keyword Planner and have organised them within a spreadsheet to pick out the best ones for your account. Instead of going through each ad group to import these one-by-one, you could do them all at once by adding the campaign name and ad group name in separate columns so AdWords editor knows where they will be placed:

2016-08-04_11-25-46

If you ever are unsure about any field names then a good trick is to export an existing view and then you can see within the export what the field names are called.

Exporting to Bing Ads

Bing Ads makes it easy to import Google AdWords account automatically through their API and also (traditionally) by file upload. Exporting an entire account from AdWords Editor is enough to get search campaigns and even shopping campaigns straight in to Bing Ads with the same format, bids and other settings (Note: not all settings pass over such as certain location targeting and negative broad match keywords so please check).

To reveal data about Bing Ads within Google Analytics reports you will need to add URL tags to pass information back to Google Analytics on the campaign URLs. This then allows you to see how different campaigns or ad groups are performing from Bing Ads instead of all data being lumped into one:

  • Traditional landing page URL: https://www.example.com/new-sports-cars
  • Landing page URL with tracking for Bing Ads: https://www.example.com/new-sports-cars?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=new-sports-cars

Conclusion

With a few AdWords Editor tricks you can whizz through creating new campaigns, doing mass amendments or exporting key elements of an account.

If you are new to these then perhaps work on an already paused campaign so no harm can be done and once you are happy with the results then make it live.

4 responses to “AdWords Editor Tricks to Save Time”

  1. Alessandro says:

    Hello.
    How do you “amend a plus symbol at the start of the keyword” for bulk changes?

    This is simple:
    All you need to do is find and replace any SPACE with a SPACE and a plus symbol [” +”]

    But I don’t get this:
    and then afterwards amend a plus symbol at the start of the keyword.

    What should I use in find and replace?

  2. Jonathan Ellins Jonathan Ellins says:

    Hi Alessandro,

    This is the change a phrase or exact match keyword in to a broad match modified keyword.
    You need to find a blank space ” ” and replace it with a blank space with a plus symbol ” +”. Then all keywords need a plus symbol amending to the start of the keyword “+”.

    I hope that makes sense, more reading here: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2010/10/27/using-broad-match-modifier

  3. plarcher says:

    Hello, I’m on Mac OS and when I copy Shell, I don’t get the location targeting unfortunately. Not sure why…

  4. Jonathan Ellins Jonathan Ellins says:

    Hi Plarcher,
    That’s odd, I’ve tested this out on Windows 10 today and it transfers over the locations as it should.
    I recommend looking if there’s any update to AdWords Editor, if not you can simply copy and paste locations within the “Locations” option within the “Keywords and targeting” section.
    Let me know how it goes,
    Many Thanks,
    Jonathan

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