5 Hands-On Tips to Improve Your Google Ads Workflow

April 24, 2019

If you use the Google Ads UI and Editor frequently, you’ve probably noticed several changes over the last year that have rendered some features obsolete while seemingly hiding others.  

Entire overhauls to the UI have made it difficult to locate some commonly-used tools. However, as Google keeps testing new features, layouts and designs, and introduces or sunsets certain products, the interface continues to evolve – and so, too, should your knowledge of it.

Here are five features of the new Google Ads UI that will help you save time and better optimize your accounts:

1. Use the “Change ads” tool to easily switch between letter cases

This feature allows you to quickly make changes from title case to sentence case, without the messy Microsoft Excel formulas you’d typically have to use to accomplish this. In the Google Ads UI, under the “Ads & extensions” tab, select the ads you want to make changes to, then click “Edit” and choose “Change ads.” You’ll be able to select the applicable fields with the option to duplicate ads:

2. Make bid adjustments to “Top Content”

What is “Top Content” in display campaigns? 

According to Google, top content is “measured by our system to be more popular, tends to have a greater number of impressions per day, and gets a higher level of traffic and viewer engagement.” Although Google won’t tell you which sites are included in the “Top Content” category, you do have the ability to increase bids on this premium inventory. 

In the same tab (named “Advanced bid adj.”) in the Google Ads UI where you can make bid adjustments to calls, you can also make bid adjustments to top content for display campaigns.   

The bid adjustments are set at the ad group level and can only be increased from 0 percent to 500 percent. You won’t be able to decrease the bids on top content, but it makes more sense since they’re supposed to have better engagement with users. It doesn’t hurt to pull historical performance first, before you decide on the percentage numbers you want to increase the bids to. 

3. Remove ad extension associations

Sometimes we need to pause an ad extension, but there’s no “pause” function in the ad extensions. You need to either completely remove the extensions (which may make it difficult to pull future reporting) or set an end date to the extensions when you want to shut them off. However, there is a better way to pause the extensions, which is to remove their associations at the campaign levels or ad group levels, depending on how they were set up. 

In Google Ads Editor, go to the campaigns or the ad groups where these extensions are set, then right click and select “Remove” to remove the associations of the extensions. In the shared library, you’ll still be able to see these extensions and pull the historical performance, but they’ll no longer be showing in the campaigns or ad groups that you remove the associations from. 

4. Copy-and-paste in placement exclusions or use a placement exclusion list

You’ve probably used the copy-and-paste function in the Google Ads UI for duplicating ad copy, keywords and a few other things, but did you know that you can also copy-and-paste the placements exclusion for display and YouTube campaigns? Not only can you copy-and-paste the placements exclusion to another campaign, but you can also apply the exclusion at the account level by creating a placement exclusion list, similarly to the negative keywords list for search campaigns. 

If you only want to copy-and-paste a few placement exclusions from one campaign to another, follow these steps: 

  1. Select the placements from the exclusions.

2. Click “Edit” and select “Copy.” 

  1. Choose the campaign or ad group you want to copy the exclusions over to.
  2. In the “Placements” tab, you’ll be able to “Paste” the exclusions through the “MORE” feature in the upper-right corner.

If you want to apply the placement exclusions at the account level or to multiple campaigns at once, then creating a placement exclusion list is a better option. Follow these steps to create a placement exclusion list: 

  1. Click on the “Go to” bar in the upper right corner in the Google Ads UI.
  2. Type in “placement exclusion list” to search for the page.
  3. Find the placements you want to exclude from the list as shown in the screenshot.

Once you save the list, make sure to apply it to your campaigns. 

5. Use the new “Ad Variations” feature for ad copy tests

Instead of creating different ad copy variations in an Excel sheet, this new feature in Google Ads UI makes it easier to create variations of new ads and test it across multiple campaigns. 

In the UI, click on the “Drafts & experiments” tab. Then select “Ad Variations” next to “Campaign Experiments.” 

The best part about this new feature is that you can “find-and-replace” in existing ads, and test a variation that only differs from the original by a few words. 

As Google continues to roll out new features to Google Ads and related products, digital marketers need to keep up and continuously expand their skills to provide the best services to their clients. Don’t worry: We’ll continue to provide our insights on any new changes and keep you up-to-date! Check out our other blog posts to learn more, and be sure to share your thoughts on the new Google Ads UI in a comment below. 

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