Jan 14, 2024

Google Ads Migration.

Recently, I had to migrate an externally managed Google Ads account in-house. I haven’t done this before, but the process was quite simple, so I thought I’d document the steps I took here.

  1. Download Google Ads Editor (don’t use the browser version).

Google Ads Editor

  1. Open and add the Google Ads account you wish to export (Account - Open - Add). If not possible, request an export from the agency.

  2. Export the account (Account - Export - Export whole account). A CSV file should download to your computer.

Export account in Google Ads Editor

  1. Next, we need a fresh account for the upload. Go to ads.google.com and create a new account.

  2. Return to Google Ads Editor and add the new account.

  3. Import existing account from file (Account - Import - From file). Select the CSV you downloaded earlier.

  4. Review and mitigate any warnings or recommendations that appear at the top. The major one I encountered was an issue with the campaign Start Date. A quick search revealed that if you click on Campaigns (1) and hover over the Start Date column (2), it will normally show two values. The first value was the original start date.

Errors in Google Ads Editor

  1. Enter the date value above into the Start Date field (3).

Errors in Google Ads Editor

  1. Click the Post button (top right) to transfer the data to your new Google Ads account.

Once posted, I made sure the new account reflected the old one. To do this, I opened both accounts in a browser and reviewed each section to find inconsistencies.

The following areas transferred as expected:

  • Campaigns
  • Ad Groups
  • Ads
  • Keywords
  • Shared Budgets

A few items didn’t transfer, so I manually migrated the following:

  • Conversions - Several form conversion points didn’t transfer.
  • Assets - All assets created by the agency migrated, but the assets automatically created by Google didn’t. I had to turn on “automatic creation” in settings.
  • Bid Strategies - The main bid strategy didn’t appear, but was quick to re-create.

With those items above fixed, it was time to turn on the campaign so it could start gathering data for its learning phase.

Overall, a fairly simple process to bring your Google Ads account back in-house.