Introducing: the nested IF statement.
By using only a few excel functions you can construct hugely robust templates that will test your data and return targeted values you specify. Here’s a boring, technical example of a headline template:
=IF(LEN(“Headline Option “&A1)<26, “Headline Option “&A1,”Option 2”)
This formula will test the character count of “Headline Option ” and whatever is in cell A1. If the combined character count fits in the headline field it will go with that, if not, it will go with “Option 2”. Instead of defaulting to that, you can put another IF(LEN statement to test another line of copy.
Test progressively shorter lines of text to make sure you are using the most targeted line of copy for your variables as you can. Finally, end the formula with a default line of copy for when nothing will fit in a headline. Usually this is a brand message or a category-level statement.
You can do other things too, start your formula with IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(“Brand”,B1)) to test whether the variable in your Type column is for brand keywords. Then you can write the formula to split into two streams, one template for brand headlines and one for product-related keywords.
Play around with formulas and see what you can get them to do. You’re a search professional; that means you’re already straddling the line between genius and crazy. Use your ingenuity and start working smarter instead of harder.
Finally, never stop looking for a better way to do things.