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Excel Tips for Managing PPC Accounts

May 14th, 2009 No comments

I spend more waking hours on a weekday with Excel than I do my husband. Seriously. Eight or nine hours a day, compared to five-ish. I’ve had dreams about Excel. Which is all just to say, I use Excel a lot. Excel is a super useful tool to help manage paid search accounts, so I thought I’d share my favorite Excel ppc tips.

Math. This is basic, but you can do math in Excel. You should never have Excel and a calculator program open at the same time. You can straight up just type formulas into the cell (ie, 4*5) or refer to cells (A1*B2).
VLOOKUP. A super handy Excel formula. Let’s say you have a list of keywords you can add to your account, but you don’t want to add ones you already have. If you download your account keywords into Excel you can VLOOKUP keywords to add in your account keywords list to see if they are there and if they are (for the formula, return a value of the keyword if its in the list), you can skip them. Also good for marrying up separate reports with a shared element. For example, you might have a report of adgroups with clicks and costs and another report of adgroups with revenue and transactions. Since they both have adgroups, you can VLOOKUP the adgroup name and return the values for revenue and transactions in the click/cost report, making one nice report.
CONCATENATE. Another handy formula. Let’s say you have a list of keywords and you want to add the word “discount” to all of them to add to your account. CONCATENATE “discount” + a space + the cell of the keyword and magically you get “discount keyword”. Just drag the formula down and the list is created. Or likewise if you have brand names + product types permutations you can work through all those quickly with concatenate.
Filtering. Sometimes you have a huge list of keywords that you want to prioritize, maybe adding ones about cruises are higher value for you. Using the filters in Excel you can filter a list of keywords to show any that “contain” cruise. Also handy for answering questions like, how many keywords about Sony do we have?

I know its hard to grasp how to use these formulas by just reading this, definitely check out Excel help for more information! Also practice really helps. These tips and more are covered in SEMcast #7, now available on geekcast.fm.