Ensure Your Success When Porting Campaigns from Google AdWords to Microsoft adCenter

Import Campaign from Google to adCenter

As Microsoft adCenter fights for more of the limited PPC market share, this also means that more advertisers are beginning to learn the ropes with adCenter. An important part of that learning curve is adapting to and using the adCenter Desktop Tool.

Another reality to consider is that many (if not all) of these advertisers are coming to adCenter after using Google AdWords – so the natural progression is to copy their AdWords’ campaigns and upload into adCenter.

The AdWords and adCenter interfaces are very different with unique feature sets, rules, etc., so this isn’t a perfect process. Granted, adCenter has done a great job of mapping the AdWords file export, but there are some idiosyncrasies. Finding and fixing these minor errors when porting your campaigns will save you time and money in the long run.


AdWords offers a myriad of bidding options. On the flip side, adCenter does not. This is one area you need to flag as a potential concern when porting your campaigns.

  • If your ad groups and/or keywords have a Max CPC bid set, don’t worry, this will be carried over to adCenter.
  • If you’re using Conversion Optimizer w/ CPA bids, you will be surprised to find that all of your ad groups and keywords are set to a minimum CPC bid of $0.05 in adCenter. And you won’t get very many clicks at that bid!

Keyword Status

Hopefully you utilize all of the available match types for your PPC. At any given time you may have all matches for a single keyword, though some may be paused. This is another red flag.

  • If you the broad match version of your keyword is paused in AdWords, all variations of that keyword (broad, exact, phrase) will be paused in adCenter.
  • There’s no easy solution to this, so either review your AdWords export and change the status before porting to adCenter, or edit the keyword status after you have completed the upload.

Modified Broad Match

Modified broad match is one of the more interesting new features at Google AdWords. As my friends at #PPCchat will tell you, it’s a great way to fine tune your keyword lists. Does adCenter have an equivalent feature? Nope.

  • If you use modified broad match in AdWords and don’t modify your campaign export, these keywords will be ported to adCenter as-is. Yes, adCenter accepts keywords with the plus sign (+).
  • This means you will have keywords with plus signs (+) active in adCenter. I haven’t tested to find out how many people are searching for my targeted keywords including the plus sign, but my gut instinct is that it is very few! These errant keywords will become dead weight in your adCenter campaign.
  • Easiest fix is to open your AdWords export in Excel (before porting to adCenter), filter by the plus sign and delete those rows.

Tracking Tags

Data is king when managing PPC. And how do we get our data? Tracking tags!

Every tracking system, be that Google Analytics, Omniture, Acquisio, or some custom system you made, requires some sort of tag on the destination URL to work. And those tags are likely change based on what search engine they are for.

  • If you have your AdWords campaigns tagged for tracking, you must change the tags before launching those campaigns in adCenter.
  • The easiest fix is to edit your campaigns in Excel before porting them to adCenter. The find/replace functions in Excel are much easier to use than those found in the adCenter Desktop Tool.

These are the biggest areas of concern when porting campaigns from AdWords to adCenter. It is by no means the definitive list, but it will save you a lot of headaches if you watch for these items.

What have you found to be an issue when porting your campaigns to adCenter? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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