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10 Tips To Work Smarter Not Harder With The New AdWords Editor

White Shark Media

9 years ago



Newer is almost always better. Such is the case of Google’s latest iteration of AdWords Editor, version 11.0.

The AdWords Editor is:

  • Free of charge
  • Very easy to use
  • Usable offline (perhaps Google thought people would be more excited to use AdWords while on the beach, sipping on a margarita?)
  • Has speedy upload times for large amounts of data (hundreds of keywords & multiple match types in seconds)
  • More convenient than editing a campaign in the regular AdWords interface (no waiting for the interface to load)

AdWords Editor 11 is The First Fundamental Redesign of The AdWords Editor Ever

The latest version of AdWords Editor (10.6) was revolutionary to the AdWords community, but it had various areas in which it could improve. After all, up until Dec. 10, 2014, the platform remained virtually unchanged since its first release ever.

It was also limited to viewing one account at a time, therefore making account comparisons or moving elements from one account to another tedious.


Prior to AdWords Editor 11.0, viewing errors at an account level implied having to open each one up to find out what was going on.

Bulk editing was possible, but a bit confusing to the average user. In order to replicate ads or keywords in multiple campaigns/ad groups, you had to do so one at a time. Yes, there were workarounds, but there wasn’t a native method of replicating ads.The search function was very limited and extremely disorganized as well. Speaking of limited, where did the shared library option go, Google? It’s available online, but not in your Editor?

The absolute worst part was the undo/redo function in Editor. Seriously, visit the PPC floor here at White Shark Media and say “Ctrl + Z in AdWords Editor” and everyone will groan. Google thought the best thing they could do was bulk undo and remove not only the keyword you wanted to remove, but the ad group it was in, and perhaps even the campaign.


How to Not Lose Everything Before Upgrading

In order to not permanently lose all of your previous account/campaign data in AdWords Editor, be sure to backup your data. You have 3 options:

1) Backup then update: back up all changes and comments in the form of a backup file. If there are any issues, you may simply import the backup file to recover anything that could have been lost.

2) Don’t update: Self explanatory. You are stuck with Editor 10.6. Boo.

3) Update without backup: Ignore Sam’s warnings and go for it. Don’t backup your files/comments. Because everything goes right on the first try, no?

The New AdWords Editor 11.0

1. New Sidebar to Replace the Horizontal Navigation
One of the biggest changes you’ll find in AdWords Editor 11 is that the horizontal tabs have been replaced by another expandable list in the left-hand corner:


After you open your account, look at the bottom left of your Editor screen. You will notice a more intuitively organized sidebar, telling you right off the bat how many of each item you have (campaigns, ad groups, keywords). Personally, I have enjoyed the new way of splitting up the dashboard. It took a while to get used to, but after a couple of weeks, I must admit that I’m enjoying the sidebar much more that the horizontal tabs.

2. Pop-out Windows

Easily view different parts of your accounts, campaigns or ad groups at the same time.For example, if you’re writing ads for your ad groups it can be a good exercise to break them out, so you have the ads in one window. In your native window you will then be able to see the keywords that you’re writing the ads for.

For me, this is one of the biggest flaws in the current AdWords web interface. You can go to the keyword level and see an example of the ad you’re running, but you can’t go to the ad level and see examples of the keywords you’re running. Big mistake, which forces you to jump back and forth from the different levels to write optimal ads.To open a new window with the specific ads or keywords you want to see, then just click the small square with an arrow in it:


Just note that you will only see the square with arrow for the specific type (keywords, negative keywords, locations, etc.) that you have selected. This is also why you will only see the “new window” button for the keywords in the example above.

The very cool thing is that the window keeps moving as you change ad group. This means that as you move from ad group to ad group you don’t have to open a new window for every ad group. The additional window will simply just change as you move around.

3. A more powerful Account Manager

An amazing improvement has been made to the way that accounts are downloaded and managed.You can quickly and seamlessly download multiple accounts or full MCCs (for handling multiple accounts under one “umbrella account”) and view any errors or warnings quickly.

The Account Manager will be the first thing you see when you open the Editor. This makes it easy to review multiple accounts and little time to allocate to each one of them.


4. The Ability to Open Multiple Accounts at Once
This means you can finally copy your own brilliant ads/ad groups/keywords from one account to another without risking to lose the data in an endless whole, which constitutes the clipboard.

When you first open Editor, you may add multiple accounts to open at the same time by ticking the check boxes in the “Accounts Manager” accordingly.

This feature is not that relevant to all users, but if you are like us at White Shark Media and manage multiple clients (or accounts) then there is definitely time to spare as you move across your various accounts.

5. Smarter Bulk Editing

Remember how bulk editing used to work? You had to add a tab between the various “columns”? To be honest, I never really understood how it worked. I was just happy I could easily copy from Excel without thinking too much about it.

Now, the interface shows the various rows and columns.This can be accessed by clicking on the “Make multiple changes” button. As long as your columns are properly labeled, the Editor will understand what you’re adding (be it keywords, ads, sitelink extensions, etc) and upload them for you quickly.

Perhaps you forgot to add “plumbers in Miami” to your Plumbers Miami ad group? No problem. You can simply double click an empty cell and add it right in. You can also insert rows or columns.



Read our training specialist’s, Aaron Torrez, blog post here. With his clever Excel format, you can take full advantage of this new Editor feature.

Also, while you’re at it, learn Excel! I’m trying to start a “Learn Excel, it saves lives” awareness campaign in White Shark Media to further the knowledge of Excel. It has a hard time catching on with everyone though.

6. The Genius Undo/Redo function

Quick question; can everyone who has tried to erase an entire campaign, ad group or other time-consuming project in AdWords Editor please raise your hand? I know I have (several times). It’s simply just so normal to hit CTRL Z trying to undo the last word or sentence you wrote, but if you would have done that in the old AdWords Editor it would mean deleting a big chunk of what you have already worked on.

With the new AdWords Editor 11 I can happily announce that you can stop worrying about deleting everything at once.First of all, you don’t delete everything at once. It’s much harder to have “accidentally” selected a campaign and thereby delete it when you hit CTRL Z. At the same time, you can click CTRL Shift Z and then redo whatever you undid. This applies to entire campaigns. This is truly a remarkable moment in AdWords history!

Furthermore, you are now able to quickly undo/redo specific actions you performed, rather than all of them at once. If you have worked with Photoshop or other design softwares you will be able to relate to this easily.This can be accessed in the top right hand corner of the main window, hitting the small down arrow.


7. The New Search Function: Better Visibility and Inline Advanced Capabilities

Not only is the search bar more visible in the new Editor, but it also has some new tricks that can be particularly useful to perform a quicker search through your campaigns.

Specify the field or value you want to search within directly in the search box. I.e. if you want to search for all keywords in broad match you can easily just write criteriontype = broad. The search box will then convert this to the specific value that you’re searching for:


Once the “search” has been locked (turns blue) you can add more parameters. Like if I wanted to see all keywords that include the brand name Seiko I would just add ‘Seiko’ to my search:


To me, this is highly effective and will make me search much more easily in the future. I’m not trying to make anyone learn all the various names of searches you can make, but it will save a vast amount of time for commonly used searches.

To me, this is a highly effective tool, when you have your most common searches nailed down, you could save a good amount of time.

Pro Tip: You are finally able to search only within pre-defined campaigns or ad groups. Let’s say you’re looking for all ads containing a certain promotion, but you only want to do it in 5 out of 10 campaigns. In the old AdWords Editor you would have to do this one-by-one. With the new AdWords Editor 11 you can just select ‘Parent fields’ and then further search the campaigns you had selected:


8. View Keyboard Shortcuts Easily

Alas, finally our mouse days will be all over. Ctrl + ? will pull up all keyboard shortcuts to speed up your account editing.

Again, very useful for quickly editing large amounts of data. “Work smart, not hard”, as one of my old professors used to say.

9. Accessing/managing the shared library
The Shared Library has finally made its way to the AdWords Editor. This constitutes an improvement due to one simple fact: It enables you to add a specific bid strategy across all your campaigns or ad groups.

In the past you could only do this one-by-one, thus the process of implementing bid strategies on larger accounts was daunting to say the least. Unfortunately, you can’t add or edit the bid strategies inside AdWords Editor. I hope Google finds a way to add this in the future.

10. AdWords Editor 11.0 is about 1000x More Modern Looking
Prettier. Seriously. I felt like I was using Windows 95 when using Editor 10.6 and earlier. About darn time they made the interface nicer looking!

To sum it all up, embrace the new change of Editor 11.0. If you hadn’t ever used AdWords Editor at all, please do so. Trust me, you will not regret it. For the purpose of creating a campaign or making changes, I can assure you the difference will be incredible. Cheers!