Thursday: Getting Acquainted with AdWords Editor

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Most of the screenshots and examples that you have seen to this point have been from the Google AdWords web interface. We use the web interface for some tasks, but most PPC experts use AdWords Editor for the majority of their day-to-day tasks.

What is AdWords Editor?

AdWords Editor is a free Google application for managing your ad campaigns. Use it to download your account, update your campaigns with powerful editing tools, then upload your changes to AdWords.

—Google AdWords Help

The web interface is live—that is, any changes you make in the web interface typically take effect in real time. You update a bid, and it is updated in your account— ditto for adding or removing keywords and campaign ,  reorganizing ad groups, and so on. Although this may seem advantageous, the web interface can be painfully slow at times.

AdWords Editor is a software application that installs on your Macintosh or Windows PC. To use it, you download your entire campaign and its performance data, and can then make campaign changes and judge performance with the speed of a local application. Changes can be made even when you’re not connected to the Internet, and uploaded later after you connect.

So, you can work even when Google is performing system maintenance, and leave tasks half done instead of risking a system logout if you wander away from your desk. But by far, the greatest advantage to using AdWords Editor is its time efficiency. Because you can batch and simplify tasks, cut and paste objects as small as a keyword or as large as a campaign, and upload image ads without taking the time to name and rename them each time, AdWords Editor can save you as much as 90 percent of your management time!

One of the many advantages of AdWords Editor is the ability to initiate—but not immediately complete—multiple offline activities. When we set up new ad groups in the AdWords web interface, we have to start with the decision to begin with keywords or placements, take the time to name our ad group, and actually complete an ad before we get to our first keyword. This might not seem like a lot of work (we do have to make each of these decisions), but a task such as writing ads can be very tedious when we want to generate dozens of ad groups. In AdWords Editor, we can specify our ad group names ahead of time in a text editor or Excel (named in  accordance with our root keywords in all likelihood) and write our ads all at once.

When you are dealing with many ad groups, the ability to bulk-edit similar elements in multiple ad groups can be a tremendous time-saver. For some of our morecomplicated content network campaigns, it would take an hour to accomplish a simple task such as editing all the bids in all the ad groups.

AdWords Editor is a wonderful time-saving tool that is next-to-required for PPC advertisers who follow the guidelines set out in this book, particularly because of our large suggested keyword lists with relatively granular ads and ad groups. We’ve included a detailed guide to using AdWords Editor in Appendix A, “Advanced AdWords Editor.”