Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
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Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing The Most Common PPC Mistake that is Never Mentioned

The Most Common PPC Mistake that is Never Mentioned

The absolute most common PPC mistake is actually rarely talked about. It never makes the top 10 mistake lists; and it’s usually pointed out by someone else – in this case via Twitter.

A special thanks to Robert Brady & Sam Owen in reminding me to check these mistakes.

If you use one of the editors (AdWords or Bing Ads) to import keywords, mass create ads, etc – you always have a header row in Excel to remind you of the columns:


However, when you copy and paste your huge tables into the editors, most people hit ‘Cntl-A’ (select all) from Excel and then ‘Cntl-V’ (paste) into the editor.

When you upload those files, you get ads like this:


Another common mistake is in the AdWords interface itself. When you add more keywords, the default text is: Add Your Keywords Here

If you don’t remove that; your ads suddenly show up for a variety of search queries, and since its broad matched by default; some of the matches can be quite amusing.


Here’s the secret in the bulk import. Instead of copying and pasting all, in Excel do this:

  • Highlight the second row (past the header)
  • Then press & hold: Cntl – Shift – <down arrow or down>
  • Then hit Cntl-C for copy
  • Paste into the editor as usual
  • Upload

Of course, you can also just delete the header row and then copy and paste.

This is also why I’m a fan of filtering my keywords and ads by ‘keyword’ or ‘placeholder’(or whatever you use that needs to be replaced in your ads)  on occasion just to make sure I’m not spending money on irrelevant keywords & ads.


  1. Leeza
    February 4, 2016 at 5:09 pm · Reply

    Actually, Editor takes out headers automatically. Always. I have never seen this happen.

    • brad
      February 5, 2016 at 10:15 am · Reply

      Do you mean editor takes out it’s pre-written headers?
      I checked this again yesterday; and Google easily let me upload a campaign containing ‘keyword’ from my Excel header.

  2. Robert Brady
    February 5, 2016 at 7:11 am · Reply

    Thanks for the mention and this is just one of those things that you’ve got to keep an eye on.

  3. Zohar Amihud
    February 12, 2016 at 2:19 am · Reply

    Good to know.
    A little typo: there is no Cntl, there is Ctrl

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