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Four Ways to Use AdWords Editor for Better PPC Management

When you first start managing AdWords campaigns, you probably worked strictly in the web interface. While quite robust, you soon realized how unwieldy the web interface can be for building large scale campaigns and making bulk edits. AdWords Editor is Google’s offline solution for speeding up bulk work, serving as an indispensable tool in the PPC manager’s chest.

Even though Google has made great strides in improving access to bulk changes in the web interface, Editor still offers capabilities not matched in the browser. Let’s take a look at some handy uses for AdWords Editor.

Location Targeting
Location targeting can quickly become complex, especially for some businesses that require precision targeting to a market area. When a campaign’s target locations include a lengthy list of regions, searching for and selecting these manually in the web interface can take significant time. You can quickly insert a list of zip codes, cities, states, or whatever else your preferred method of targeting is for a campaign, as well as quickly copying locations from one campaign to the next.

Besides targeting locations where they want ads to reach, many AdWords managers find it important to exclude negative locations, preventing ads from showing up in areas not applicable to the business. With AdWords Editor, you can quickly add negative locations in bulk.

To find locations where ads have shown up, you can review the User Location report under the Dimensions tab, you can see where your ads have shown up. Exporting this report to a CSV file will allow you to then grab a list of locations where you did not want ads to show up, copy this list, and paste it in to add as negative locations.

Here’s an example showing Negative Locations in the AdWords Editor interface, where we’ve excluded countries and states not relevant to the campaign. You can use the “Make multiple changes” button to access a window that lets you paste in multiple locations to add.

Sitelink Setup
While ad group level sitelinks have increased the opportunity for relevance, they have also increased the level of complexity in setting up sitelinks. Managing sitelinks can consume a great deal of time and effort, especially by adding them one by one in the web interface. Editor lets you add sitelinks, even providing access to the Shared Library to add ones you’ve already set up. You can easily select sitelinks and apply them to multiple ad groups.

At the bottom of the left navigation bar within AdWords Editor, you’ll find “Shared sitelinks” under the “Shared library” section. Within this section, you can view all sitelinks you’ve created for the account, add new ones, and edit existing ones.

Clicked the “Associations” button while your desired sitelinks are selected will allow you to assign those sitelinks as many campaigns or ad groups as you’d like.

Powerful Copy/Paste Options
The web interface has added more advanced support for copying and pasting elements over time, but AdWords Editor offers much more robust options for selecting items to copy and pasting them into one or more other places. If you manage campaigns for multiple businesses in similar industries, you may find yourself reusing components between campaigns. While you should, of course, tailor ads to each specific business, you may want to copy campaign structure and some keywords from one account to another.

For example, if you manage campaigns for car dealerships and work with two different Ford dealers, campaigns across both accounts will likely have ad groups for vehicle models like Ford Fusion, Ford Focus, etc.

Also, if a business has locations in multiple regions, they may want to run similar campaigns in different regions, requiring a fair amount of duplication. You can select a set of keywords you’d like to use and select multiple ad groups across multiple campaigns where you’d then like to paste these.

Replace Text
The ability to replace or append text can save much time in building larger accounts. For our car dealership example, you may have some local keywords carry over when you copy a campaign from one region to another region. You can use the “Replace text” button below the search bar to change the mention of one city to another.

For example, let’s say you have the following keywords scattered throughout a campaign:

+ford +focus +atlanta
+ford +fusion +atlanta
+ford +explorer +atlanta

You copy this campaign, but you are now targeting Charlotte. You can run the “Replace text” function to then replace any mention of atlanta with charlotte. In addition, you can choose whether to change any fields, or specific fields such as keywords or ad description lines. This can be handy for reusing similar ad copy where you just want to change one word, such as the mention of a town.

As you can see, AdWords Editor offers a number of powerful features allowing you to save time, especially in working on larger accounts. If you haven’t yet delved far into using Editor, take some time to look around at features while working on your own campaigns and find ways that you can improve your process for AdWords management.

About Timothy Jensen

As Director of Digital Strategies at Overit, Tim Jensen oversees web advertising and analytics for a number of small and medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries. With a degree in Mass Media and experience ranging from freelance work to a full service agency setting, he has worked on countless campaigns that touch multiple aspects of both digital and traditional marketing strategy.