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Advanced Excel Tips for PPC Managers

Published: March 24, 2014

Author: Katie Walton

My first post on this site – back when they were PPC Associates – was a round-up of Excel tips for PPC managers. I love Excel (who doesn’t?) so I figured it was worth re-visiting this topic to share even more Excel Tips for PPC Managers.


Projecting PPC Account Performance in Excel by Bethany Bey
We use this spreadsheet at Boom to keep on top of client’s monthly budgets. Over the years we’ve adapted it to include more data – revenue, ROI and cost of sale where needed – but this post was where it all started.
Note: with the advent of AdWords scripts, you can project performance with one of these. First person to find (or build) a free script wins my eternal gratitude!
Ad Testing Plan for the Professional Ad-(wo)man by Jeff Allen
Surely everyone by now has heard about the power of an ad testing matrix? If not, it’s a spreadsheet that’ll help you to run ad tests for months. Jeff Allen’s post on the topic explains how to use it and includes a sample spreadsheet to download to get you started.
How To Determine Your Mobile & Geo Bid Multipliers For Enhanced Campaigns by Benjamin Vigneron
This post, and its follow-up on calculating hourly bid multipliers, talks you through how to use Excel to calculate the optimal bid multiplier to get the best results from your PPC.
Why do you hate Excel? by Russell McAthy
This is the deck of slides from Russell’s awesome talk at MeasureFest; it’s packed full of simple tips and tricks to help you use Excel.
The Top 5 Ways To Use Pivot Tables For PPC by Melissa Mackey
A round-up within a round-up, but when Mel’s done the hard work for me, why type this all out again?  She’s pulled together five great posts on how to use pivot tables to help you crush your competition.
PPC Excel Tips For Every Level: Part 2, Faster Campaign Analysis For Intermediates by John Gagnon
And another post of pivot table love, but this one includes a great tip on fixing #DIV/0 errors. It’s obvious now I’ve read it, but it never occurred to me before.
The Annie Cushing Zone
Ok, here’s where I go a little bit fangirl on you all and present a bunch of posts from one author (namely, Annie Cushing). It’s not my usual style but dammit, Annie explains complicated concepts in a way that’s so easy to understand.
Plus, when you write that much awesome about Excel, it’s inevitable that a bunch of it will turn up in a blog post.
10 Simple Tips To Make Your Excel Charts Sexier
You like sexy data? You should! These ideas are ridiculously easy to put in place and will make your reports on average 100% better*. Guaranteed**.
*Based on my totally unscientific guess-timation.
**Well, obviously I can’t really guarantee this, but they’ll be good, trust me.
How To Make Google Analytics Talk To Excel, In Plain English
Annie talks us through using the amazing free plug in, Excellent Analytics, which easily imports your Analytics data into Excel. I didn’t learn about the tool from her, but as I use it at least weekly, any post from me on Excel had to include something on this, and Annie’s was the best I could find.
21 Real-World Examples Of Concatenating Marketing Data In Excel
Concatenate is such an easy to use function in Excel that it’s easy to overlook how massively useful it can be. Here are a whole bunch of ways that you can use concatenate in PPC, SEO and social media (Including one example from me!).
How To Go Picasso On Your Data With Conditional Formatting
Conditional formatting is so flipping useful that nearly every time I use Excel, I use it in some form or another. This post tells you what it is, how to use it, and why you might want to. Even though I use it all the time, I learned something from this so it’s definitely worth a read.
A few tactics that I’ve not tried:
While researching this post, I came across these great ideas for using Excel to your advantage that I’ve not tried myself but definitely want to. Has anyone else tried them out?
Using SeoTools for Excel add-in for PPC by David Fothergill
I’ve used SeoTools for, well, SEO before, but I hadn’t considered the possible applications for PPC. The post is a couple of years old, and some of the suggestions might be more easily managed with a well formed script, but this is definitely interesting.
PPC Storytelling: How to Make an Excel Bubble Chart for PPC by Chad Summerhill
Confession: before stumbling on this post I hadn’t even heard of bubble charts, but this cool data visualisation tool could help to make some really smart decisions.
How To Use Excel Solver To Optimize Your Campaign Budgets by Sam Owen
You say I should let Excel figure out the optimal breakdown for my campaign budgets? OK! Sam’s detailed post makes this sound super easy and definitely worth a try.
Have you found any other great resources for using Excel for general PPC awesomeness? Don’t be shy; share them in the comments!

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