10 Excel Tools And Time Savers For PPC Ad Writing

PPC Ad Writing

Search engine gurus who manage multiple accounts, or campaigns, often times have an interesting time writing ads that are too lengthy or have not enough negative keywords attached to the campaign.  With time-saving programs like Microsoft Excel, and ingenuity, you can create preformatted sheets which have formulas embedded to handle title length of ad, total ad copy word count, keywords, desired CPC and everything you see in an AdWords campaign.

Aside from normal trickery, we’ll investigate some fine intricacies of PPC ad writing and how using spreadsheets can streamline the process, while tossing in some useful tools which can be implemented into your Microsoft Excel ad writing barrage.  We’ll go beyond the =LEN and =IF formulas for simplification of your PPC copywriting duties.  First, let’s examine the tips:

Setting Ad Titles To Ad Groups

It simplifies your ad writing when the titles of your advertisement equal the group which it belongs to.  If you label your campaign “Car Tires” and your ad group is “Michelin Tires,” you simply can =B2 the ad group to copy that over to title, as AdWords will read this the same.  Using this feature allows your advertisement copy to each have predefined titles for easier tracking altogether.

Use Of Control F

After you’ve filled out most of your keywords and ad grouping verbiage, make sure color coding is established for the various headings Google shall read.  Basically, quick color formatting is taking the last color completed and utilizing Control+F to open the formatting option, where you can then change color schema at will.  You can continue this as you develop each group.


For those PPC campaigns with slightly higher levels of complexity, you should consider templation which is like prepping your oven before baking, per se.  This works well if you have numerous products or services that need numerous adjectives to describe them.  First, to assure you won’t go over character limits, you’ll need to head towards the ‘Data’ tab and allow the data validation length parameters to be set at 0-35 or 0-25, depending on whether you’ll write numerous titles or headlines.

From there you can simply create the various product headings and assign numerical values to each and use the Control+F formatting feature to assign the correct color format to each for separation.  Once you’ve uploaded your ad copy to Google AdWords campaign, save the template for future use since the formatting, in general, will remain the same across numerous ads written.


When writing PPC ad copy, you may want to test calls to action against each other to assure you’re maximizing click revenue.  You can simply create a Description 1 and 2 heading and fill them both in.  This allows you to perfect one or the other; simply delete the row you don’t want to keep and assign Description 1 to the one you will be keeping.  Internal competition of this nature effectively weeds out potentially derogatory ad copy and allows changes to be implemented before uploading into your AdWords campaign.

Increasing Quality Score

Every PPC professional knows that raising quality score means you can spend less per click.  Taking this fact to our Excel PPC ad writing campaigns, we can add an adjective along with our description line in formula mode (something like Awesome “&C2&”) to append adjectives to prewritten description lines.  It speeds up the process and gives our ad copy the chance to increase its quality score.

Now that we went over the tricks, let’s get to the tools of the copywriting trade:


A nifty tool, which allows PPC ad writers to either conjoin two groups of text, or even allows for URL tracking, is concatenation. First, we’ll create our punchy headline in Cell A.  Next, well append the =CONCATENATE function into the B column and make it look like this:

Headline Output
Hot Wheels Cars =CONCATENATE(“New”, A2)


This will allow the output to put “New” in front of Hot Wheels Cars.  You can use Column C for =LEN value to assure that your titles aren’t amassing the allowed character count in Google.  You can also use concatenation for your broad matching keywords by adding + sign before those keywords, although it will only qualify the first token within the keyword.  Finally, using this tool also provides a helpful means to add words you may have forgotten at the beginning of your title, description or extra keyword helpers.


If you’re not always typing with proper first letter capitalization, another useful function when writing ad copy is the =PROPER function which will increase the case of the first letter in each sentence or title. Since each value will appear in the next cell to the right, you will need to copy/paste the formula into the heading containing the row which you wish to manipulate capitalization within.  It may seem tricky at first, yet can save hours of editing if you engage the formula from the beginning.  You can use the same function to capitalize words spaced apart.

Use Of Conditional Formatting Feature

Since thousands of conditional formatting features are available to PPC ad copywriters, the two more commonly used features are the greater than and less than.  Since we know headlines cannot exceed 25 characters, you can perform a quick check once you’ve completed your spreadsheet.  By highlighting the cell and selecting Conditional Formatting > Greater Than, you can set the entire column to be equal to 25 characters.

Once you click ‘ok’, any overly written titles will be highlighted red.  This feature works well with Less Than as well, since you’ll want to leverage every available character to your advantage.  The most useful conditional formatting function for those wanting unambiguous keyword usage is the Duplicate Value, which can be set to fetch repetitious wording you wish to avoid throughout your advertisement copy.

Problem Detection

Going along with some previous tools mentioned is the =IF function, which acts as problem detection for excessively lengthy ads. Appending something to adjudicate your writing as correct or problematic can simplify uploading the final document into your AdWords account and finding out later that ads were rejected.  “A” can be your description lines, “B” can act as your =LEN indicator and “C” can contain your =IF >25 or >35,”Long”,”” value which means the space will either be blank or contain a red flag.  Use this formula if you know time isn’t on your side and numerous ad copies need to be written simultaneously.

Ad Copy Alternative

If you simply want something already made up for you to write aggressive ad copy for numerous accounts, the Mass Ad Copy Creator was invented to allow you to plug in several titles, descriptions and keywords, while receiving outputs of hundreds of variations.  Sure, it does come with a price; everything quick and automated in your life does, however, and this could be an invaluable tool for those who manage several dozen accounts simultaneously.

However, for those of you wanting to save a few bucks and write the entire campaign out yourself, the tools above are already in Excel for you to use.  Simplification of repetitive tasks in writing PPC ad copy requires knowledge of specific functions available to check, append and cross-reference text written, which we’ve provided above.

About The Author: Tim Wilson works as content manager for HostPapa, a website hosting company serving over 100,000 customers around the world. Since launching in 2006, HostPapa has offered reliable, budget-friendly, easy-to-use web hosting solutions for small to medium-sized businesses.



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PPC Ad Writing

Both Larry Rivera and Jamie Pelaez work from home full-time as online entrepreneurs. While we still do some affiliate marketing in the form of product and service related recommendations, our primary focus is our membership site sharing our love of Kung Fu around the world. You can trust we will only recommend resources we personally use to enhance our life and online business. While we make money online, however we cannot guarantee you will. Only because we do not know how dedicated you will choose to be. ;)


    • says

      So true! I love seeing articles like these about all the things Excel can do, I feel like it is one of the most robust and useful programs in the world, and I only know how to use 10% of it! Very cool information.

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