PPC Chat Streamcap – All About AdWords Editor

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with a great question set titled “All About AdWords Editor.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What lesser known feature of AdWords Editor do you utilize and how?

  • I don’t know that it’s lesser known, but the ability to upload a ton of stuff at one time to multiple campaigns sure is nice. Also, append text. Lets me easily add (or change) codes/parameters on Dest URL’s. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Not necessarily lesser known but "Find and Replace" is a lifesaver. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Have been using "change text capitalisation" quite a lot recently. – Matt Hopson (@matthopson)
  • The still relatively new ad extensions feature cuts down on the time to implement extensions. – Harris Neifield (@HarrisNeifield)
    • Especially sitelinks. – Matt Umbro
  • Exporting active ads in paused campaigns. – Eloi Casali (@Eloi_Casali)
  • I don’t think AdWords Editor has any "lesser known" features. It’s too simple a program for that? – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Also, not sure if lesser known but use saved advanced searches a lot. Filter for low QS KWs etc. – Matt Hopson
  • I love the search bar functions allowing you to search for variety of items such as keyword types, destination URL’s for ads. – Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
  • Advanced bid changes helps if clients changes goals up or down x%. – Harris Neifield
  • I’ve been using the ‘find duplicate keywords’ tool to audit keywords and negatives. – Jessica Cameron Ruud (@Camruud)
    • Nice to find duplicates in both the same campaign and across selected campaigns. – Matt Umbro
      • Agreed. Also coming in handy working through negative keyword audits, and migration to campaign level or ‘lists’. – Jessica Cameron Ruud
  • Definitely making better use of the ad extensions tab. – Cleofe Betancourt (@AskPPC)
  • I frequently use "Append Text to Selected Items." – Prentice Parton (@JohnnyScoots)
  • Bid adjustments: increase or decrease by % in bulk. Find/replace also rules. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Not lesser known but REALLY efficient – using the search feature to make mass replacements in ads for regularly-changing promos. – Janine Monico (@JanineSEM)
  • Also sorting is so much easier in Editor. – Melissa Mackey
  • Another great feature, being able to gather all disapproved ads at once to correct. – Brian Gaspar
  • Not only to find and replace, but to duplicate as well. don’t want to lose that data! – Aaron Putnam (@aaronputnam)
  • CTRL+Shift+H to append text. Handy if you want to switch to broad match modifier. You can add plusses easily. – Bart Schuijt (@BartSchuijt)

Q2: Talk about how you use Excel in conjunction with AdWords Editor?

  • Download campaigns to implement into. – Matt Umbro
  • Simply pasting over 1k ads into Editor is win. The smart column header rules too. – Eloi Casali
  • AdWords editor is just an extension of excel – save as csv and upload. Editor=Excel to a large extent. – Harris Neifield
  • Excel is the pallet, Editor is the art. – John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)
  • Export to Excel, analyze & edit, import back to AdWords Editor. Saves a ton of time–amazingly efficient and convenient. Also, account backups to save current settings when I’m about to be dangerously experimental. – Theresa Zook
  • Excel is also great for creating campaigns (especially ads) and implementing to Editor. – Matt Umbro
  • Echoing Theresa Zook, Organize & analyze in Excel, upload in Editor(s), then win! – Aaron Levy
  • Sometimes to pull out adverts and stats, builds export to HTML report. – Rachel Cassidy (@RachelCassidy85)
  • Quick and dirty copy/paste jobs from editor to excel for fast filtering fun. – Aaron Putnam
  • Aside from analyzing trends I utilize Excel to create custom tags for call tracking then append to keyword level in Editor. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
  • Sometimes I use Excel to design the campaign structure. Then import the Excel into the Editor. – Bart Schuijt
    • Yes, so do I. Excel is cleaner–it’s easier to focus on what I’m creating instead of the AE interface. – Theresa Zook
  • If it involves reviewing for performance I would use AdWords, for setup or a breakdown of a particular item, I’d stick with Editor. – Brian Gaspar
  • Does anyone export campaigns from Editor into Excel and sent to clients if they want to review their account? – Matt Umbro
    • Yep, Usually use pivots to make sure the data is legible for a clients sake! – Aaron Levy
      • Same here, it looks like foreign code to clients otherwise. – Matt Umbro
    • Not yet, but I wouldn’t see a problem with it. – Cleofe Betancourt
    • That sounds like a great way to get your client to leave you alone. Send them a massive spreadsheet. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
    • When BMM came out I exported campaigns, used our BMM tool http://t.co/87pjPHgL & imported to new BMM adgroups – life saver! – Janine Monico

Q3: Can the ease & automation Editor provides act as a negative at times to account performance? Why or why not?

  • Not if you look at it as a tool rather than a resource. Don’t let it change what you know is the best way to work. – Aaron Levy
  • Too tempting to work only in Editor–you miss a lot of important data segmentation that can only be seen online. – Theresa Zook
  • We get spoiled to having all this great ease & automation … and take it out on AdCenter? – Cassie Allinger (@_CassieLee_)
  • If you get lazy because of editor you’re setting yourself up for sub-part performance. – Harris Neifield
  • To me it is two separate things. Editor to make mass changes based off of performance I see on AdWords. – Brian Gaspar
  • I try not to let it. Editor is used for heavy lifting. Interface is used for optimization on a smaller scale. – Michelle Morgan
    • I make minor edits in Editor, but will have the AdWords interface on the other monitor. – Matt Umbro
  • It might evenutally cause you to change the way you attack a campaign, for better and possibly worse. Cleofe Betancourt
  • I have AdWords interface up on one monitor and Editor on the other to make changes in conjunction with each other. – Matt Umbro
    • So you do lots of minor edits in Editor based on interface. Then upload lots of changes at once? – Michelle Morgan
      • New campaigns I upload lots of changes at once – management is for minor edits. – Matt Umbro
    • Same here. I tweak in Editor based on what I’m seeing online. – Theresa Zook
      • Why is that? Changes need approval or just end up being an overall time saver for you? – Michelle Morgan
        • Even creating an ad group in AdWords interface takes significantly longer than just doing in Editor. Plus a lot easier to use hot keys in Editor. – Matt Umbro
  • In launching new stuff quickly w/find/replace use, I admittedly have activated some "bad" kws. The good usually outweighs bad. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • I’m guilty of working primarily out of the CC. – Cleofe Betancourt
  • I tend to do minor adjustments in adwords and bigger changes in editor. – John Lavin
  • Personally I ‘miss’ a lot of reporting features in the Editor (kw, campaign and account reports). – Bart Schuijt
    • Absolutely. Editor doesn’t give you the level of detail and insight you get online with filtering and segments. – Jessica Cameron Ruud
  • I often build in AE, review in HTML current view, then launch through a mgmt platform. Try to reduce number of clicks & formatting. – Lisa Sanner
  • And Editor lacks the graphs which are great for at a glance campaign perf overviews. – Melissa Mackey

Q4: What are some areas in which Editor is either too complicated or tries to do too much?

  • Why do I have to accept changes. Then accept them again. Then accept again. THEN post after accepting. – Aaron Levy
  • I’ve found a way to look at stats on Editor doing a update to the campaigns from the AdWords API. But viewing it is horrible. – Brian Gaspar
  • When I have 2 of the same keywords, but one is BMM and one is exact, it feels the need to tell me about it. – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
    • Yeah I don’t get the whole different MT message. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • "Warning" messages–shut up about duplicate kw already. – Theresa Zook
  • Seriously AE. Stop "warning" me that I have kws the same as others in an ad group. – Michelle Morgan
  • Dummy checking. "Are you sure? Proposed/review changes etc" If you don’t know what you are you doing, you shouldn’t be using it. – Lisa Sanner
  • # of times I have to accept changes! I wish there was a "trust me I know what I’m doing button." – Crystal Anderson (@CrystalA)
  • I’m not a fan of the ad scheduling feature in Editor. So much more difficult than it has to be. – Jessica Cameron Ruud
    • Agreed w/that one as well..definitely room to make that less cumbersome! – Crystal Anderson
  • A "beginner" AE mode and an "expert" AE mode would be cool. – Melissa Mackey
  • Not sure why there are 2 ways to get recent updates (Basic & Including first page bid estimates) Just give me all updates at once! – Matt Umbro
    • I like the choice–sometimes I don’t need a full data d/l. – Theresa Zook
      • I get it, but the difference is only 5 – 10 seconds – Minor pet pieve. – Matt Umbro
    • especially annoying when there is no difference in the speed to get the details! – Sarah Theodorou (@SarahTheodorou)
  • Too many "reviews". Old version was a way better process. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Not a fan of the location extension and google places integration with editor. – Aaron Putnam
  • It takes longer & provides more info but the setup of it is harder to read. I just do the basic and work from there. – Brian Gaspar

Q5: What additional features would you like to see implemented in Editor?

  • Product and call extensions need to be implemented right now. – Matt Umbro
  • Switch button that allows me to switch description line 1 and 2 with 1 click would be nice. – James Svoboda
  • Product extensions. – Harris Neifield
  • Integration w/ product extensions & PLAs, better configuration w/ Google Places for location extensions. – Andrew Baker (@AndrewBaker72)
  • Sync up the date range options with the adwords UI. – Aaron Putnam
  • Auto spell check! – Chris Kostecki
  • B4 new features, can they fix the bug where you d/l changes and it’s almost impossible to review them before clearing them? – Theresa Zook
  • I would love a "Put this ad copy in all of the ad groups in this campaign" button. Would take up a lot of space though. – Michelle Morgan
    • Not sure I’d use that feature. Wld have to manually change landing pages still. Excel is faster. – Theresa Zook
    • Should be able to just copy and paste within editor using the add/update multiple text ads feature. – Aaron Putnam
  • Mirror some features of the kw tool in AdWords in Editor, although I do like what they have in Beta. – Brian Gaspar
  • "Low Search Volume" and "Below 1st Page Bid Estimate" statuses. They are in the account, why not in Editor??? !!! – James Svoboda
  • KW research tool options. – Chris Kostecki
  • I do like that the most recent update included more campaign settings. – Matt Umbro
  • Perhaps a change history section to show when ads were last turned on and off. – Brian Gaspar
    • Or highlighting keywords, ads, campaigns, etc that were updated within the last week, 2 weeks, etc. – Matt Umbro
      • Would have saved some time during the holidays in turning on and off promotional copy. – Brian Gaspar
  • I still feel like adding keyword match types is clunky in the editor, maybe I’m lazy but seems like it could be easier. – WordWatchPPC (@WordWatchPPC)
  • Ability to annotate changes. When, what and why. – Jessica Cameron Ruud
    • You can use comments section at the bottom to make notes of when things change etc. – Matt Hopson
      • I like comments for notes specific to ad/kw/ag, but annotations like Analytics could be seen account wide. – James Svoboda
      • I’m partial to GA annotations. Ability to pinpoint dates of changes and analyze results before and after. – Jessica Cameron Ruud
    • That’s a great idea. They should a "notes" section to the client center as well. – Cleofe Betancourt
  • My most-wanted change? Ability to segregate Google data & SP data. – Theresa Zook
  • What about a visual option similar to what we see in AdWords that we can use to customize particular KPI’s we want to monitor? – Brian Gaspar

Q6: For those agencies who have multiple employees working on an account, what guidelines do you setup with Editor?

  • Ummmm, not as many as we should. – Melissa Mackey
  • Talk to each other. 1 person on a "campaign" at a time. – James Svoboda
  • Fully expect @RachelCassidy85 to chip in here but…. always GET RECENT CHANGES. – Matt Hopson
  • The big thing I stress is to always download most recent updates and to let fellow employees know when you have changes that haven’t been made live yet. – Matt Umbro
  • Use AES files! – Harris Neifield
  • Download recent updates is a good practice for all AE users. – Melissa Mackey
  • Now that I think about it though, our support folks usually upload all changes on pause before we eval/launch. – Aaron Levy

Q7: Do you find value in the Keyword Grouper and Keyword Opportunities tools? If so, how?

  • Sadly, no. Have tried multiple times to use them but doesn’t seem very helpful. – Melissa Mackey
  • Keyword Opportunities – Yes sometimes. Grouper – Rarely due to how specific I try and build campaigns. – James Svoboda
  • I do not use these tools as they tend to be too generic (ie: keyword groups are tightly themed enough) – Matt Umbro
  • Primarily for negatives. Search to bulk traffic bulk I want to block. – Theresa Zook
  • Um no. I’ve tried the keyword group a few times, ended up with a mess that made no sense. Missing logic to determine intent. – Jessica Cameron Ruud
  • It’s nice but unlike the KW tool on AdWords you can’t look for variations by match type on Editor. – Brian Gaspar
  • I have saved some Architecture time with KW Grouper. It’s okay, but needed to clean it up before launching. – Lisa Sanner
  • To a small degree KW opps – not necessarily exactly as they rec but sparks some ideas from time to time! – Crystal Anderson
  • As discussed earlier, the "Find Duplicate Keywords" tool seems to be the most worthwhile. – Matt Umbro
  • I’m a huge fan of AE Kw grouper. i use it all the time. re-run it multiple times until themed to my liking on huge kw groups. I don’t have intent/matching problems w/ kw grouper. maybe it’s how i use it? i’m certainly not using it on small accounts. – James Zolman (@jameszol)
    • I agree. It’s designed to handle large campaigns, that need grouping mechanism. – Lisa Sanner
  • KW Grouper can be helpful for KCT GDN ad groups. – Lisa Sanner

Q8: With AdWords consistently adding features & making updates to the UI how often should a new Editor version come out?

  • I like the current pacing of AE releases. Would hate to see a release every other day. – Melissa Mackey
  • No more than once or twice a year. They don’t offer 80% of those features in Editor even if they update. – Theresa Zook
  • Probably quarterly. – Harris Neifield
  • I’d say once a quarter. – Matt Umbro
  • If they plan AdWords updates right… every quarter to 6 months would be okay. – James Svoboda
  • Kind of a mixed bag. Not all the time but not only a few times a year. Quarterly is good. – Brian Gaspar
  • Every 6 months or so. – Cleofe Betancourt
  • I’ll agree with most of you on quarterly updates. – Cassie Allinger
  • It’s a PITA to stop & export backups for all accts so I don’t lose my comments. Don’t want to do that every month. – Theresa Zook
  • I fear updating anything (windows, excel, etc). so unless there’s going to be new, worthwhile features added, i won’t upgrade. – Janine Monico
  • I’d be happy w/ major UI update every 6 months & minor tweaks set as an automated (background) d/l w/ notification. – Andrew Baker
  • Current pace seems sufficient. Need to include features once they are "baked", tested and utilized by enough of their users. – Lisa Sanner


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About the Streamcap Hunter & Gatherer

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe, the 2nd; Search Engine Marketing Manager at WebRanking in Minneapolis, MN, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, Search Blogger … when there’s something worth bloggin, Tweets Live from @PaulKragthorpe, and Google+’ing from PaulKragthorpe.

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