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Making Advanced Edits in the AdWords Editor

The Google AdWords editor makes edits based on search criteria and performance factors easy. When managing accounts, I use it fairly regularly to change display URLs, destination URLs, and bids. Occasionally I might also use cut and paste to rearrange elements of an account. Most of these changes are driven by the advanced search feature. Here are a couple examples of advanced edits in action.

Changing Ad URLs

You might need to change destination URLs across an account to add tagging. Or you might want to change URLs to be compliant with AdWords new editorial policy regarding display URLs. Let’s say I want to change display URLs in my account so that the name of the company is capitalized. I simply open my account and click on the text ads tab. I click the first ad listed, scroll down to the end of the list of ads, and shift+click the last ad. This should select all of my ads. In the lower box that says “Edit Selected Text Ads,” I then fill in www.PureVisibility.com in the display URL field. I’ll be deleting whatever is already there, most likely it says <varies>, and this will edit all of my ads.

Let’s say, I didn’t want to change the display URL for all of my ads, only the ones that had “pay-per-click” in the destination URL. Then I’d do an advanced search. Here are the steps from the start:

  1. Open my account in AdWords Editor.
  2. Select the Text Ads tab.
  3. Click the advanced search link in the upper right corner.
  4. Fill in the criteria: destination URL contains pay-per-click.
  5. Click search.
  6. Select all of the ads.
  7. Fill in the display URL in the “Edit Selected Text Ads” box.

Note that there are all kinds of fields in the advanced search box. Element names, values, status . . . even performance factors based on historical data! Also note that there is a box in the lower right corner that says “Search name.” You can name your searches and it will save them for use again later.

Changing Bids

If those last search and edits didn’t impress you, don’t worry; this section is about to blow your mind. If you’ve got an AdWords account that is meant to generate leads or sales, you probably have a target cost per conversion in mind. You might also have some other performance goals, depending on CTRs, CPCs, whatever – but the focus here is a target cost per conversion. You can quickly find and edit bids, using your target goals, using the AdWords Editor. Here’s how.

  1. Click to choose a stats interval on the top menu. Most likely you’ll choose a custom date range – maybe the last few months or so.
  2. Click on the Ad Groups tab. You might need to wait a little bit for the data fields to populate, but you should see numbers start to fill in after several seconds. For our edit, we are changing ad group level bids.
  3. Click advanced search. Search the number of conversions is greater than 30, and the cost per conversion is greater than $10. This assumes that $10 is your target cost per conversion, and 30 conversions are enough to judge performance.
  4. Select all of the resulting ad groups.
  5. Click the advanced bid changes link. Select to decrease bids by 20% (or whatever amount you’d like).

You might also use this to raise bids based on whatever your criteria are. Don’t forget to post your changes once you’re done.

AdWords Editor: The Possibilities Are Endless

The AdWords Editor is a great tool. If you haven’t done it yet, you should download it and try out some advanced edits yourself.

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About Steve Loszewski

Steve Loszewski leads the paid search team at Pure Visibility. He is individually qualified in AdWords, has the Google Analytics Individual Qualification, is an Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Associate, and is a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java Platform SE 6. Steve has been managing AdWords accounts since 2005 and also has experience in SEO. Most of his time is spent in the trenches, working with keywords, ads, bids, landing pages, placements, etc within the AdWords Interface. You can find him on Google+.

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