Searching Beyond the Paid

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bulk Uploads Get The Job Done

It's a busy time of year for search engine marketing, made busier for me by the fact that not only am I learning a new job, but I'm now managing SEM for several clients in an agency role instead of one in an in-house role. So, I'm crazy busy right now.

One of the PPC features that's saving my skin at the moment is the bulk upload feature on Google and Yahoo. Using bulk uploads has allowed me to quickly create or edit campaigns for clients, and get them running in short order. Trying to create campaigns manually via each search engine interface is like trying to write a blog post longhand - it takes forever and is just way too slow.

As usual, Google leads the pack with their offline Adwords Editor. You can create your new campaign in Excel, then just either upload the whole thing, or paste pieces of it into Editor. One feature I've used a lot lately is the Draft Campaign. I used this for a new client last week: we had most of the information we needed for the campaign, but we were waiting on a few pieces. I was able to set the campaign up in Editor as a draft, fill in the missing pieces as I got them, then launch the campaign on time. This way, instead of having to crank the whole thing out at the last minute, I could set it up when I had time and just fill in the blanks later.

Yahoo's bulk upload has also proved useful, not only for creating new campaigns, but for fixing existing ones. I discovered some errors in one client's campaign, and instead of having to correct each error one by one, I just downloaded the campaign into Excel, did a find-and-replace, and uploaded the corrected version back to Yahoo. It literally took about 15 minutes, versus hours of manual (and potentially data-entry-error-ridden) work. I've posted detailed instructions on the Yahoo bulk upload here .

Unfortunately, MSN's bulk upload is lacking. They have the feature, but it's hard to use. Couple that with the fact that setting up keyword-level URLs in MSN is a nightmare due to the fact that you have to use their parameters. However, Ogletree SEO has a good tutorial on setting up parameters in MSN - thanks, Dave, I'll have to give this a try.

Bottom line: use the bulk upload feature whenever possible. If you're as crazy busy as I am, it'll be a lifesaver.


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