The Google Ads Editor is a powerful tool offered by Google, and I am very appreciative of it. It enables advertisers to create campaigns in a completely different interface from the normal web version. Sure, there’s a learning curve – just like any digital marketing tool. But for Google Ads professionals who create and modify campaigns every day, the Google Ads Editor is a godsend.

The Editor is an on-device software program instead of a web interface. It can be used without internet access, in fact. Internet access is required to download the data in an account being worked on and to upload the changes and additions made in the Editor, but normal work in the Editor happens on-device and doesn’t require a connection.

Why I use it

Although various features offered by the Editor offer more convenience than the web interface of Google Ads, the main advantage to using it is speed. While the future might bring a faster browser-web experience, there is still too much delay in going from one web page to another (aka “latency”). When a program runs on-device only, latency is not a problem. After some time and practice, one can work extremely fast in the Editor.

Using the Editor to scale a campaign quickly is one of its best uses. You can copy, paste, and drag between ad groups, campaigns, and even accounts. Yes, you can actually drag a campaign from one account to another! And, of course, it’s lightning fast. Sure, you can copy and paste in the web interface, but there is always a delay in each action. If you don’t use the Editor for anything else, use it to scale a campaign or an account.

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Other features & benefits

I would recommend using the Google Ads Editor to anyone who wants to become more skilled with Google Ads because it can help instruct about the database nature of Google Ads and how things work under the hood. The system is very complicated, and using it from a different interface gives insight. You’ll notice features, options, and settings that you don’t normally notice in the web version. It gives a different perspective on how the various parts of a campaign fit together.

Here are some other benefits to using the GAE:

It’s free! Simply download it from Google.

You can move faster between Google Ads accounts. You can also have more than one account open in the same window or have several accounts open in different windows.

You can use the search and replace function to quickly make a modification in many places at once, such as changing a URL or text in an ad.

A built-in error-checking function finds issues and brings them to your attention.

Multiple users can work on campaigns at the same time.

How to get started

To start using the Google Ads Editor, you’ll first need to download it to your computer.

When it’s downloaded and open on your computer, you’ll need to log in to the Google Account you use for Google Ads. It usually offers two options for login: in-app or browser. Once you’re logged in, you can download the Google Ads accounts of your choice into the Editor. You’ll be asked whether you want to download all campaigns or just particular campaigns.

After you’ve downloaded an account into the Editor, you’ll be able to begin making changes or additions to the account. Here’s a brief description of the Google Ads Editor layout and workspace:

Menu — At the very top, you’ll see a typical application menu with options for Account, Edit, Tools, Data, and Help.

Toolbar — Under the menu is the toolbar, which has buttons for Accounts, Get recent changes, Check changes, Notifcations, Statistics, and Post.

Tree view—In the tree view, you select the part of a specific account that you want to work on, such as a specific campaign, a specific ad group, or a group of campaigns and ad groups.

Type list — The type list is where you select what shows in the data view. For example, if you choose a particular campaign in the tree view, you use the type list to choose the item in that campaign to look at, such as ad groups, keywords, ads, and more.

Data view — The data view shows items based on your selections from the tree view and type list.

Edit panel — When you’ve chosen the specific part you want to work on in the tree view, the type of item in the type list, and a specific item in the data view, the edit panel will appear on the right side. That’s where you can make changes in the Editor, such as changes to a keyword, ad text, ad group settings, or campaign settings.

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In closing

As I mentioned in the introduction, the Google Ads Editor is a godsend for people like me who work in Google Ads every day. Its convenient structure and on-device functionality allow for a much faster pace of work. Is the Editor right for you? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on how often you need to make changes in Google Ads. If you only spend a couple of hours a week making changes in Google Ads, it’s probably best to just use the web interface. Why? Because using the Editor is a skill that requires practice and maintenance. It’s not worth the time to keep up the skill if it costs you more time than it gains you. The two best reasons to use the Google Ads Editor are:


  1. Saving time by being able to work faster. (You’ll lose time, however, if your Editor skills aren’t sharp.)
  2. Better understanding of the database nature of Google Ads and how the system works.