Drop that Zero and Get with a Hero: Forget about Excel for Creating Your PPC Ad Campaigns and Switch to Keyword Machine
Search engine marketing is a bit like dating. Just as you dream about finding someone you love to live happily ever after, you also dream about the fairy tale happy ending in which your site goes viral and you start making money hand over fist through product sales or ad revenue.
You do everything that the books and blogs tell you to do to find it, creating arbitrary rules for what to do and what not to do to succeed – just like you might tell yourself not to call someone you just started dating for three days so that you can keep the person interested and improve your chances of turning it into a long-term relationship. The “rules” reassure you that if you just do what the experts say, you’ll reach your goal.
Just as you might date around to try to find “the one,” you’ll likely also try out a lot of tools that promise you big results, trying to find the one that finally leads you to that happy ending. Unfortunately, just like dating, you’ll probably go through a few a lot of “zeroes” before you finally find your hero.
You may have been using Excel for years now to manage your pay-per-click advertising campaign, thinking that it’s “the one.” While Excel might be the nice guy that you date for years thinking the relationship is going somewhere, once you try out Keyword Machine, it will be like finally meeting your soul mate and realizing what you were missing out on all that time. What once felt like hard work will now feel right. It’s love. It’s the one.
Keyword Combination CONCATENATE()
Excel has long been the tool of choice for managing large lists of keywords. However, creating multiple variations on keywords in Excel either requires manually inserting each of those keywords or using a formula that can be difficult to learn and even more difficult to master.
Consider this example:
You are building a list of keywords for an airline company or travel company. Your core keyword list might include terms like:
- Plane fare
- Plane ticket
- Airline ticket
… and so on.
However, these are rather broad terms. To better target your customers and to get more click-through rates for your ads and higher conversions, you will need to create ad campaigns with keyword variations that better match customers’ search terms. You can create these variations with data sets like location, cost, descriptors, fare class and more.
Additional data sets could include location words like:
- New York
… and so on.
Descriptors such as:
… and so on.
Fare class such as:
… and so on.
These terms can be strung together to create long-tail keyword phrases such as:
- New York flights
- Cheap airfare
- First-class flights
… and so on.
The combinations can create hundreds of thousands of variations, depending on how large your original data set is and the number of modifying terms you have. Typically, most people link these keywords together using the =CONCATENATE() formula. It can take a lot of time creating this formula and applying it to all the possible keyword modifiers. The resulting spreadsheet can be so large that Excel crashes and you’ll lose all your work. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands or even millions of cells containing formulas for Excel to calculate.
By using Keyword Machine, you can simplify the process and make hundreds of thousands of keyword variations quickly. You don’t have to learn how to build concatenation formulas – Keyword Machine does the keyword combinations for you. We even let you combine keywords in the reverse direction (Master Keyword + Stem Keyword / Stem Keyword + Master Keyword) and group keywords into tightly themed ad groups based on your column headers.
For example, with the data above, Keyword Machine would automatically sort it into lists of core keywords (also known as stem keywords), location keywords, fare class keywords and so on. You can then create ad groups based on the modifiers you choose. Making the change is as simple as choosing the modifier from a drop-down menu. For example, you choose “location,” and a list automatically populates with the location term you choose, such as “New York,” paired with your stem keywords, such as “New York flights,” “New York airfares” and “New York airline tickets.”
With Keyword Machine, you can build huge lists of keyword variations in less time and without having to learn any complicated formulas. You’ll also never have to worry about having to deal with crashing spreadsheets; your keyword list will never grow too large for the software to handle. Keyword Machine can handle millions of keywords.
=Keyword Attributes VLOOKUP() or INDEX MATCH
VLOOKUP and INDEX MATCH are both advanced Excel formulas that most users require a steep learning curve to master. The VLOOKUP formula is used during PPC campaign creations for introducing keyword attributes into account structure or ad copy. A simpler way of thinking about the VLOOKUP formula is like searching for a phone number. You look up a person’s name in the phonebook and you get the phone number. With VLOOKUP, you look up a certain keyword and you get back the corresponding values.
VLOOKUP is provides similar benefits to the INDEX MATCH formula but many find the INDEX MATCH formula easier to use. The INDEX MATCH formula can also be used to find information from right to left in your spreadsheet, while the VLOOKUP formula can only be used to look up information from left to right.
Instead of using these two complicated formulas to find the values associated with your keywords, you can simply use Keyword Machine. You will still have to create the reference table showing each keyword’s corresponding values and then import it into Keyword Machine. However, once you do so, Keyword Machine provides easy to use tokens (derived from table headings) to help you create your account structure and ad copy without any Excel knowledge required.
Step 1: Upload reference table into Keyword Machine
Step 2: Use tokens (table headings) in text ad copy template
Case Functions UPPER() LOWER() & PROPER()
You can use formulas to change the case of your keywords and ad copy text in Excel. For example, you can make your keywords all lower case by running a =LOWER() formula or all upper case by running a =UPPER() formula. You can ensure proper punctuation by running a =PROPER() formula.
Instead of doing this, you can upload your data set to Keyword Machine and create the case variations quickly through the drop-down editor, just like you did with your keyword strings.
Ad Copy Creation LEN() & IF()Keyword Machine offers a number of advantages over Excel is in creating your ad copy.
With Excel, you can set up cells for each line of your ad, then use the =LEN() formula to calculate the character count for each cell. You can use it to make sure you aren’t exceeding Google’s character limit of 25 characters for the first line and 35 characters each for the second and third lines. A =IF() formula is used to notify you if the character count is too long.
With Keyword Machine, you don’t have to worry about monitoring your character count for each field in the ad. Keyword Machine automatically keeps track of the character count for your ads. If you exceed Google’s limits, Keyword Machine can automatically swap it out with a static backup ad that adheres with the character limit. You only have to worry about writing compelling ads to attract customers, and Keyword Machine will do the rest.
Not only will Keyword Machine create dozens or hundreds of closely related ad groups around your data set, but it will also create the ads for those keywords. With every change you make, you’ll get an automatic preview of how your ad will look when it’s live on Google. You’ll be able to quickly make changes to your satisfaction based on the ad that your potential visitors will see.
When you’re satisfied with your ad campaigns in Keyword Machine, you simply upload the data to AdWords, and you’re ready to go.
While you may not be able to think about managing your PPC campaign without Excel, it is probably time for a change. Excel may have seemed like the one for a long time, but once you meet your marketing soul mate in Keyword Machine, you’ll understand what your life has been missing. Besides being able to save time and better manage your keyword data, you’ll also be able to use Keyword Machine to create more closely related ad groups, manage your ad copy, manage your bids, and more. You’ll be able to get more visibility for your ads to increase your click-through rate and conversions. At the same time, you’ll lower your overall cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion by creating stronger ad groups that increase your quality score.
It’s the answer to your happily ever after.
Try Keyword Machine now and start driving the traffic and conversions you need to take your business to the next level. Sign up in under 30 seconds, with no credit card required.