Google AdWords Bulk Edit Facility: 4 Key Use Cases

Google has made their new bulk edit facility directly in the AdWords interface for all advertisers globally. This is a positive move that replicates some of the best features of AdWords Editor directly in the interface.

Below are some of the key use cases for this new tool and why it's going to be so helpful for your campaigns.

1. Select All

The AdWords interface has a row limit of 500 entries per table. You aren't going to be able to see all your keywords in one view, and on many accounts you won't be able to see all your ads either.

In the old system, checking the "select all" box only selected the items visible in that table (i.e., the first 500 results). Now if your table is larger than that you will get a true "select all" link:

adwords-select-all-rows

This is a fantastic and well needed step forward, that reduces the largest single benefit of AdWords Editor.

2. Query Strings

If you use Google Analytics, then AdWords is adding your required query parameters automatically. If you use any other tracking that needs query strings, you'll need to do them manually. Mass editing destination URLs used to be the preserve of AdWords Editor, but now you can append text onto your landing page URLs easily.

In the ads tab, select all the ads you want to add query parameters to. Click Edit -> Change text ads. Set the action to "Append text" and add your desired query strings into that box, making sure you add them only to destination URLs.

adwords-query-strings-change-text-ads

3. Promotions

Changing promotional text for large retail campaigns can be a pain. If a client phones you up and says "We've just gone from a 20 percent off sale to a 25 percent off sale," it can be a pretty awful task to make sure those are updated on exactly the right ad groups.

Now you can use the find and replace functionality directly in the ads tab in the interface. Find the text you need to change, and replace it with your new version. Done.

adwords-promotions-find-replace

4. Bid Adjustments

If you aren't using bid management, it can be a horrible task to go through updating bids. Combine keyword bid adjustments with filters to make the right decisions in each case.

Your key filters should be already saved in your account. The easy way to find over- and underperforming keywords from one drop-down is well established. Taking actions as a result of them is now easier:

  • Apply filter to find keywords
  • Use the true "select all" option
  • Set your mass change

keyword-bids-filter-adwords

Typical uses for this will include keywords with unusually low CPAs (but enough conversions to be sure they're reliable figures), keywords with high CPAs, keywords with high spend and no conversions, etc. Ensure you exclude your brand terms from these filters.

Why Not Just Use AdWords Editor?

This is the key question. Why am I so excited about something we can already do with the pretty decent offline editing tool?

The problem is that AdWords Editor is designed for making changes in large accounts. They're too big for the table limits, so you do it offline.

AdWords Editor is actually pretty poor at dealing with large accounts. They confuse it. Slow data imports, slow synchronizing, and slow posting of changes.

If you want to mass change 100,000+ keywords in a 1 million keyword account, be prepared to let it download for 2+ hours, take 1 hour to make the change, then take another 3 hours to upload. All the while using 80 percent or more of your CPU cycles and probably crashing before it finishes. (You might be able to detect my frustrations with this tool)

Being able to do this directly in the interface takes the load off your computer and your bandwidth, and onto Google's servers directly. You can give them the instruction and the account will change itself.

You can continue working on the account in the meantime while those changes are made. Quicker and safer.