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How to Use Excel to Create Google AdWords Campaigns

Claudio Dominguez

12 years ago



Excel is a great tool that can be used to help create campaigns faster. You can use it at many levels in the campaign’s creation from simply organizing your keywords to putting the whole campaign together and uploading it directly to your AdWords account.

It is true that you can basically do the same you do in Excel by using the AdWords Editor Tool but if you are like me and have worked with Excel your entire life, then you simply move faster with Excel.

Through this article, I will cover the formulas you need to know in order to use Excel with AdWords. Also, you’ll learn how to create your own little template for campaign creations and how to quickly upload your Excel-made campaign to AdWords.

How to Create a Google Ads Campaign with Excel and Google Ads Editor

Formulas & Commands that you need to know:

=LOWER(): This formula will allow you to convert all the text in the selected cells to lowercase.

This enables you to make sure that all your keywords are kept in lowercase. The formula is especially helpful when you copy terms, city names or adjectives from other sources and combine them with your keywords.

If you for instance have scrapped a list of cities from the internet, then you will most likely have the city names with the first letter in uppercase.

The =LOWER() formula will quickly change your words to all lowercase. Only using lowercase for keywords has long been a PPC professional strategy to obtain a better visual overview.

=CONCATENATE(): This formula will allow you to join several text strings into one.

With =CONCATENATE(), you will be able to create new keywords based on the main terms that you already have by combining them with other adjectives or terms applicable to the main ones.

For example, you are advertising for replacement windows and you have that as a keyword in a tightly-themed main ad group but you also would like to advertise this keyword in long-tail formats such as:

  • affordable replacement windows
  • local replacement windows
  • replacement windows company
  • replacement windows contractors

To be able to do this effectively, you will only need to have your main keyword in one cell and the term in another. You will then select the order of terms by creating the formula; this will help you to quickly create keywords that will expand on your main ones. In this example, my main keyword was replacement windows and I concatenated it with the terms affordable, local, company & contractors: This is what I refer to when I talk about expanding your main keywords.

=LEN(): This formula will allow you to count how many characters you have in a cell.

This is an easy way for you to make sure you comply with the ads’ characters limits (25 characters for the headline, 35 for description line 1, description line 2, and for the display URL).

The =LEN() formula allows you to simply write your ads in Excel and make sure they comply with the character spacing limit you have to work within.

=COUNTA(): This formula counts the numbers of cells in a determined selection without counting any blank cells.

You can select a whole column for the count and customize your ad groups, keywords, or any other element you’d like to count to know the exact amount for.

It’s not important information, but it’s always nice to know how big your campaign is at any given time.

Replace (CTRL + H): This command will allow you to find and replace text in one or several cells.

I use it to:

  • Modify keywords
  • Change keywords from singular to plural
  • Generate common misspellings
  • For any other tasks that would otherwise be performed manually on similar keywords

 Download our improved template and cut down the time required to create a campaign!

Creating your own AdWords Development Excel Template:

For this task, you can create a simple template or you can have a very detailed and extensive version, as well. The extensiveness of your template will depend on the size of the campaigns you create.

I will recommend you keep it simple in the beginning though unless you’re an advanced Excel practitioner.

The first step would be to open an Excel workbook and save it on your computer.

Now, we need to make the Excel template more organized by using 5 tabs to divide the main elements that you will need for your campaign – You should follow this structure:

AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Once you have your Excel sheet ready, you just need to start plugging in the information.

Personally, I develop my campaigns faster and more successfully by:

    1. Creating my ad groups
    2. Selecting the keywords that will go in each group
    3. Create ads for each ad group (if you would like to repeat the message in the ads, then you can simply copy and paste description lines or headlines and make small adjustments to them to fit the various ads).
    4. Expand on my initial ad groups and keywords if necessary (as I explained in the section on the “concatenate” formula).
    5. Finally, complete the campaign with other elements such as Ad Sitelinks, negative keywords, etc.

Now just to show you a little example of how you can list the information in the tabs, please note the following screenshots:

Ad Groups

AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog


AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Negative Keywords

AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog


AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Ad Sitelinks

AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Using AdWords Editor to Quickly Upload New AdWords Campaign from Excel

Now, all that is left for you to do is to copy and paste the information that you have in your Excel file.

    1. Open the account in AdWords Editor
    2. Create a new campaign with the relevant settings
    3. Start pasting the cells from Excel

By staying on the campaign level, we now start to copy the information. First, you will paste the ad groups. After doing this and giving them a default bid, you can start pasting the keywords and the ads. You carry this out ad group by ad group, then add the complements such as the negative keywords and extensions to the campaign. This will allow you to easily upload the campaign while keeping a back-up for everything.

Let me give you a series of screenshots that will best help me illustrate the easy process of creating a campaign by just copying and pasting from Excel to Editor:

First, you copy the ad groups in the Excel file, from campaign level and with the ad groups tab selected click on Add/update multiple ad groups, paste your ad groups and give them a bid:

AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Now start copying the keywords (ad group by ad group) and add them while being at the ad group in question on the Keywords tab by clicking Make Multiple Changes then Add/Update Multiple Keywords (repeat the process for each ad group):

AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Now in the same tab, you can click on Negatives to start adding your negative keywords. By clicking on Make Multiple Changes, you can add negative keywords to the campaign or to each ad group. From there, just copy and paste them from your Excel file:

AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Now we move to the ads. I will recommend you paste your ads by going ad group by ad group and copy each line of the ads individually.

Just go to your ad group and while you are in the Ads tab, click on Add Text Ad, then copy the headline, descriptions 1 & 2, display URL and destination URL (repeat process as needed for every ad and every ad group):

AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Last but not least, you can add some Sitelinks. Go to the Sitelinks tab in Extensions and similar to how we added the ads previously, you can ad the Sitelinks one by one to avoid making mistakes. Just click on Add Sitelinks to initiate the process:

 AdWords Development Excel Template - White Shark Media Blog

Know Your Excel & Editor Shortcuts

A lot of the speed you pick up comes from learning the keyboard shortcuts for various Excel & AdWords Editor commands. Typing keyboard shortcuts is faster than clicking around with the mouse, so by practicing this more and more, you should be able to become very efficient and fast on Excel and AdWords Editor.

Please read through these following links to know more about these shortcuts. One is the “Help Guidelines”  provided by Microsoft, and the second is an article posted by Account Executive Fabiola Sanches, which refers to AdWords Editor Shortcuts.


By using a simple template, as in the previous example, I have managed to create campaigns twice as fast as opposed to just plainly using Editor, or even more time-consuming, via the regular AdWords interface.

So please give these tips a shot and make your life a little easier now!

I have posted the particular template I use along with this article. Just erase the info from the example and start adding yours (please note that once you add the ad groups on the Ad Groups tab that they will be showing on the other tabs as well).

AdWords Excel Template

You can download the excel sheet mentioned in this blog post here:

 Download our improved template and cut down the time required to create a campaign!