By Richard Croney

At Periscopix we’ve been getting pretty excited for quite some time now about DoubleClick Search. From attribution based bidding to inventory management, the features afforded by DS are changing the way we run campaigns for the better. And yet for all the excitement surrounding the fabulously geeky features of DS, the clever folk at Google have ensured that the fundamental ability to manage accounts efficiently and in bulk has not been forgotten. The humble bulksheet is without doubt the unsung hero of DS, and will become increasingly invaluable for those managing DS accounts.

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What is a bulksheet?

A bulksheet is basically a spreadsheet that is uploaded directly into DS to effect changes across your accounts. Changes and additions can be made at a campaign, ad group or keyword level to pretty much anything in your account, from assigning bid strategies to RLSA bid adjustments and most things in between. You can also make changes across multiple engine accounts within the one sheet – perfect for making multiple alterations across accounts without having to trawl individually through AdWords and Bing Ads Editor. If you’re running campaigns in DS then a little bit of nous should be all you need for bulksheets to become your editing tool of choice.

How do I create a bulksheet?

You can create a bulksheet by clicking the download tab on the right hand side of the DS interface. This will give you a ready-to-use spreadsheet, complete with all the key columns and relevant identifiers to ensure that your edits and additions end up in the right place. Alternatively, there are ready made templates available from Google here.

Views & Filters

Before selecting download, be sure to use DS’s advanced filtering options to ensure you are only downloading relevant information. If you are pulling data from an account with lots of redundant ad groups for instance, you will want to ensure you filter out any removed or paused ad groups before hitting ‘download’. Ideally, you will already have the information you require tucked away in a pre-saved view, allowing you to navigate to it with ease:

An example of some campaign filters.

The Scope

Once you're happy that you're working with the correct data, there is one more filtering option to consider. Upon clicking 'download' you will be presented with the option to alter the scope of your bulksheet:

The scope allows you to select exactly what you want to edit.

Be sure to carefully select the information you require – in the screenshot above, I’ve filtered to my live campaigns and have selected ‘Campaigns’ and ‘Sitelinks’ within the scope so I can alter some landing pages within these ad extensions and apply them to different campaigns. You can further filter out rows with no impressions if you wish, and before hitting download, make sure you’ve selected ‘editable columns’ – without this, you won’t be able to upload your changes.

Bulksheet Content

Depending on what you have selected within your filters and scope, the spreadsheet you open will have anywhere between a few to a seemingly endless list of columns, containing all the current data within your view. For my campaigns and sitelinks download the columns will include all the names and IDs for campaigns, alongside columns for sitelink display text, description lines and landing pages for the sitelinks. Of course depending on what you are working with, the columns will vary, although there are columns that will remain consistent that will affect the changes you are making.

Key Columns

The ‘Row type’ describes what you are changing. This could be a campaign, ad, callout extension - pretty much anything you could want to change. The ‘status’ column will contain either active, paused or removed, depending on the current status of the row type. Probably the most important column though, is ‘action’. By default, for everything you download, the ‘action’ will be set to ‘edit’, and so long as this is the case any changes you make within the other attributes will occur when you upload your edits. However, you can also set this to ‘remove’ to completely pull the attribute altogether, or you can enter your own rows and input ‘create’, if for instance you are adding a new sitelink.

The other columns to steer clear of altering are the advertiser, account, campaign and ad group names and IDs that will appear in your download. These will ensure your changes end up in the right place, so it would be a shrewd decision not to tamper with them.

Posting Your Changes

Once your edits and additions have been made, navigate to the left hand pane in DS and select ‘Uploads’. Here you will be able to select your file to push those changes into your account via DoubleClick, alongside whether to upload immediately or at a scheduled time. As an extra gesture of goodwill from DS, should there be any problems with your upload, you will be able to download an error report that will detail any issues with your bulksheet, so you know full well what to amend to ensure all of your changes go through.

You can see error reports in the uploads tab before you submit your changes.

Give It A Try

Most search account managers will be pretty familiar with the bulk capabilities of AdWords and Bing Ads Editor, but for those running accounts through DoubleClick Search, bulksheets offer an alternative that can help save you valuable time. Given that they can be used to create and edit everything from sitelinks to dynamic search ads, assign AdWords remarketing lists and apply inventory management templates, it’s about time you removed your Editor blinkers and started thinking about your bulking strategies this autumn.

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