Whether you’re new to Adwords or a seasoned veteran, one tool you can’t afford to ignore is Google’s Adwords Editor.  It is an incredibly powerful offline desktop tool which contains many features to make your campaign management much quicker and easier.  Every modification made in Editor is done offline; you don’t need to worry about making a mistake because nothing actually happens to your account until you press Post Changes.  You can always undo your changes by highlighting the error and pressing Revert Selected Changes.

In this series I will share my favourite features of the tool, starting with those that enable you to make mass changes and updates to the campaign structure.

1. Copy, Paste, Drag and Drop

Not only can you copy or cut and paste keywords and ads, you can also copy or move entire adgroups or campaigns.  This is not limited to the account you are working in; you can even copy paste to another account.  You can also copy a “shell campaign” which will retain the settings of the source campaign but without any of the elements inside it, or copy only the language settings or ad scheduling settings.  This is an excellent timesaver if you need to make such changes to multiple campaigns!

You can also drag and drop adgroups, ads or keywords into different parts of the account.  This works like a copy paste, and will delete the item from the source destination.

2. Replace and Append Text

The find and replace function is invaluable for obvious reasons.  But it also has an extra, often overlooked ability; “Duplicate matching items and replace text in duplicates”.  This does exactly what it says on the tin, and I find it is a nice little timesaver when it comes to creating new ad texts or keywords with a slight variation.  It’s also useful when it comes to A/B landing page testing as it also works on destination URLs.  You can simply highlight your ads and use this function to duplicate them and change the destination URL in one step.

The Append Text function allows you to add text either before or after the existing keyword/destination URL.  This could be used to create expansions of a keyword list, (e.g one could add “buy” to the beginning of a product list, which could then be cut and pasted into its own adgroup.” I also find it a very simple way of adding tracking parameters to my URL.

3. Submit mass exception requests

Sometimes your ads could be rejected by Google, for example because you have a trademark in your ad text, or your ad refers in some way to a pharmaceutical product.  If you believe your ad does not actually violate the editorial guidelines (your account may be authorised to use that trademark, or the automatic review process has misunderstood the context of your ad) you can submit an exception request to Google and someone will manually review the ad to see if it is compliant.  If you have many ads declined at once, you can highlight them all and submit the exception request for all at the same time.

4.  Save a snapshot of the account

Editor allows you to export a “snapshot” of your account together with all the statistics for whatever period you choose.  This allows you to share the data with colleagues, export proposed changes and share them around for approval before posting them, or simply save a backup.

In the next parts of this article I will discuss the advanced bidding options available with Adwords Editor, and share some features which are very effective when optimising your account.