5 Excel Time Savers For PPC Ad Writing

By , Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing


For the next edition of our Excel for PPC series, I’d like to show you some cool tricks I use for Excel when writing ads.

1. Use Ad Groups as Ad Titles

For this to work, you need to structure your ad group to describe perfectly what you’re selling or advertising.  Like, if I’m selling coffee mugs, and I decide to make an ad group for every color. So, my ad group will be “Purple Coffee Mugs”.

For the Headline, I can either just do the formula =B2, which is my ad group, or I can use the formula I’m talking about in tip # 2 to add some text in. Because Purple Coffee Mug is sort of long, I’ll just leave it at that for this example.

2. Use the ad group title and the formula to insert text for one of your description lines to make your ad targeted for good quality scores and high click-through rates!

For desc. line 1, I’m going to use a call to action of “Buy Now!” and an adjective of “Pretty”. Yeah, I know these aren’t the best ads. But, they’re examples!

The formula reads like this: =”Pretty “&B2&”. Buy Now!” So, you do the equal sign, quotes around whatever you want to be in front of the ad group title, like an adjective. Don’t forget the space! Then you need to put the & symbol, click the cell of the ad group, the & symbol again, and then quotes around your last bit of text. I put a period after “Pretty Purple Coffee Mugs”, so I put the period and the space in the second quotes. It looks like this with that exact formula I use above:

3. Pick two benefits, features, or call to actions to test against each other in desc. 2 and fill them in for each ad group.

For Desc. line 2, I like to have two ads testing in each ad group. So, I can set up a test against two different benefits. In this case I’ll test 30% orders $50+ against “Free Upgrade to 2nd Day Ship Today.”.

So, now we’ve got this:

4. Use ctrl+f and replace for the rest of your ad groups and ads!

So, what I do next is fill out the rest of the ad group and keyword information. I’ll have an ad group for yellow, orange, and polka dot.

A quick way to do this is to copy and paste what you just did for purple and do a clt+f for purple and replace with the new color.

So, I just keep plugging away at this until I’ve built everything out.

5. Start with templating adjectives, products, services, etc. if you need a more complex system.

If you have a diverse product that isn’t as easy as changing the colors around, just do some prep work for that by templating. So, if you have 10 products with 25 different adjectives each, go “product 1 adjective 1, product 1 adjective 2, etc” for the ad groups, and you can ctrl+f and replace with what they should read. Just prep a list before hand that corresponds a number to each product/service and adjective. Obviously character limits will likely cause you to have to go in and do some custom changes, but over all this should save you a load of time!!

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6 thoughts on “5 Excel Time Savers For PPC Ad Writing

  1. PPC Campaign Generator

    Using the Ad Group names as the headlines is something I’ve done for years. It’s a great tactic to use for generating ad copy.

    If you have a bunch of ad groups with varying lengths, this formula is a modification of your #2 above. First count the characters in your ad template without any ad group inserted. For example, =”Pretty “&B2&”. Buy Now!” has 17 characters. Since you only get 35 characters in line 1 or 2, 35 – 17 leaves you with 18 characters to roam.

    Take that 18 and put it into this formula:=”Pretty “&IF(LEN(A1)<=18,PROPER(A1),"Coffee Mugs")&". Buy Now!"

    Good post! Glad to see others use some of the same methods as me.

  2. AdWords Connoisseur

    These are some very helpful ideas! Thank you for the tips.

    I have found that another way to ensure your ads do not surpass the character limit is to use data validation on those columns. If you go to the “Data” tab at the top, and then click on “Data Validation,” change “Allow” to “Text Length,” the “Minimum” to 0, and the “Maximum” to either 25 or 35, depending on if it’s the headline or the text line. This will set a rule that won’t allow any text that is longer than 25/35 characters. A nice accountability tool. I tested it, and this also works when using the formula below.

  3. Amanda West-Bookwalter

    I for sure have a whole other process for when I’m doing an ad review, but this is just for creating new stuff. But thanks for the input!

  4. Matt Murdoch

    Sorry this is probably a stupid question but how do I download my ad groups so they are in the correct format for stage 1 (with ad title etc)


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