Excel and Google sheets are every PPC account manager’s best friend. As a newbie, getting familiar with these tools and knowing their applications for everyday PPC is super important. In order to help you along, I’ve outlined some helpful tips and how to apply them to your PPC account management. Essentially, I’m helping you *excel* at your job. You’re welcome!
Disclaimer: I have a personal preference for Google sheets, so you’ll notice that’s where the screenshots in this post come from. All of these tips are still applicable for excel lovers!
Concat & Concatenate: The Greatest Function of All Time
Okay, if you don’t know about concat and concatenate, then I am about to blow. your. mind. Concatenate lets you combine a number of different strings of text, while it’s little sister, concat, let’s you combine two strings of text.
Concatenate has a plethora of applications in the PPC word. For one, using concatenate to combine different elements of ad copy is super helpful! For example, you can insert locations into your ad copy to make your ads seem more relevant to the user. (A more advanced way to do this is with geographic customizers, but this post is for newbies!).
Warning: This technique requires good campaign naming conventions, which you can learn more about here.
1. Create an excel or sheets doc with the campaign names and ad groups you’d like to create ads for. Duplicate your campaign name column and add three or more columns directly to the right of it.
2. Assuming your campaigns include location in their naming conventions, use the “split text to columns” tool under the data tab to split the rest of the campaign name from its location*. (Keep in mind that the split text tool will make a column for each grouping of data. Don’t forget to add extra columns or you’ll lose the data in your columns to the right).
3. Delete the columns with extra campaign name data that you don’t need and relabel the column with your locations.
4. You’ll notice in this example that there’s a brand campaign, so we end up with “brand” in the location column. You can use find & replace to exchange “brand” for something like “near you”. Create a filter and filter out any branded campaigns for now, since the ad copy phrasing will be slightly different between your brand and location-specific campaigns.
5. Now use the concatenate function to create your ad copy. You can either type in the text you’d like combined with your location text or you can reference other cells.
6. Repeat the last step with your branded campaigns, and there you have it! Fresh, new, ad copy that speaks directly to the user! Concatenate is especially great when you have a lot of data to work with.
Your finished product will look something like this:
*Pro Tip: If your campaigns don’t include the location in their naming convention, you can export the campaign settings along with the location column, and use a vlookup to match campaign, ad group, and location data.
Bonus Pro Tip: You can also use the concat function to combine campaign and ad group names to create a unique key for vlookups!
Creating Broad Match Modified Keywords
Broad match modified (BMM) keywords are wonderfully useful in your account, but if you need to bulk upload many at a time, it can be a pain to manually add those plus signs. Here’s a quick and easy way to add the modifiers to your broad match keywords:
1. Find and replace the spaces between any keywords/phrases with a space and a plus sign. – Read more