The ability to bulk edit your pay-per-click accounts varies between search engines. As usual, Google has the best system. Their AdWords Editor is fast, efficient and easy-to-use. However, Yahoo and MSN AdCenter also have bulk editing options, but theirs aren’t as elegant as Google’s. I was recently using MSN’s bulk upload feature and found a few quirks in the system. I thought I’d share these quirks to save you some time and many headaches.

First, a quick run down on how to use MSN’s bulk upload feature. This feature allows you to upload numerous changes into your account, as well as import campaigns from other search engines (Google or Yahoo). Here are the basic steps to uploading information into MSN AdCenter:

  1. Download MSN’s template (in CSV format). You can acquire the template within the ‘Campaigns’ section of your account. Just click on ‘Import Campaigns’ and the template is available to download.
  2. Enter your data into the spreadsheet (keywords, bids, ad texts, etc.).
  3. Within the ‘Import Campaigns’ tab, you can upload the CSV/Excel document into your account.

And it’s just that easy! Well, almost. Actually, when you don’t have any errors within your upload, this tool works very well. Recently, I spent most of an afternoon importing information into MSN and here is a laundry list of things to watch for when you’re using this feature:

  • Make sure to use MSN’s template and that your columns are in proper order. If you have any columns out of place, or if you’ve deleted any columns, your upload won’t work.
  • Be sure to have every column populated (with one exception: the ‘keyword destination URL’ column doesn’t need to be filled).
  • Don’t try to add negative keywords through the import feature. In the ‘keyword matching’ field I marked certain keywords ‘negative’ but they were all uploaded as broad match. This happened with every file I imported. Just add your negative keywords within the AdCenter interface.
  • Use Internet Explorer to upload your CSV/Excel files, not FireFox (or any other web browser). This is huge! I had all of my columns in the proper order, and all of my cells were populated, but I still couldn’t upload the file. I called customer service to figure out what was going on and the first question the customer rep asked was if I was using FireFox (of course I was!), and she said to use IE. Once I made this switch the import feature worked like a charm!
  • The new campaigns you import will be set geographically to ‘Entire Network.’ Unless you want to target every country in the MSN AdCenter network (and there are a lot of them) you’ll want to edit this option to target the countries that are appropriate for your campaign.

All-in-all, MSN AdCenter’s import feature works well once you know the little things that can trip you up. Hopefully these tips will help you upload information faster and with fewer headaches!