Google AdWords Guide on How to Create a Campaign

Transform your traffic and sales overnight using Google Adwords and follow the 10 steps below to create your first Adwords campaign today. Avoid the most common mistakes and save yourself hundreds of euros, time and frustration!

Benefits of Google Adwords

Here are three key benefits of online advertising and Google Adwords:

  1. Instant Results: Drive Targeted Round-The-Clock Traffic to Your Website in Minutes.
  2. Highly Targeted: Target by keywords, location, language, time of day & more!
  3. Cost Effective: You’ll only pay when someone clicks your ad. Pay per Click (PPC).

Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads

Which is more effective? What to use for higher converting traffic? Both can be highly effective but they need a different approach because the users intent is different on both websites:

People use Google to find a solution to their problem. e.g “Emergency plumber”, “wedding venue”. Therefore, AdWords is a good to target these people actively searching because you are theoretically providing that solution.People use Facebook to connect with people and share. Therefore, Facebook Ads can be good to leverage word-of-mouth as it’s already a social venue. This is perfect for problems people might have but not actively search, or problems they don’t yet know they have.

How Google Adwords Works

Ads on Google and it’s display network are sold by auction. Advertisers bid on keywords in order to serve an ad which, when clicked upon, leads the searcher to a website landing page. However, unlike traditional auctions, the highest bidder does not always win. Google takes 2 factors into consideration:

  1. Quality Score (expected clickthrough ratead relevance, and landing page experience).
  2. Bid (e.g. 1 euro)

Google multiple these two factors together to create a new measure: Ad Rank.

Ad Rank = Quality Score * Bid

The bidder with the highest Ad Rank gets the top spot and so on down to either the last ad qualifying.


Focus on consistently improving your quality score so you can reduce costs and out rank higher bidding competitors. See details about that keyword’s Quality Score by clicking the white speech bubble next to any keyword.

10 Steps to Set Up your First AdWords Campaign

1. Define Success and Set Up Tracking

Before paying for a single click, you first need to determine exactly what you want your advertising to accomplish. Always set your goals first and make decisions towards those goals. For example your goals may be to increase:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Online Sales
  • Phone Calls
  • App Dowloads
  • New Leads
  • In Store Purchases
  • Expand into a New Territory

It’s OK to change or refine your goals later on but if you don’t know exactly what you want. While Google can’t determine your goals for you, they try and make it easy for you to track your goals once you figure them out.

  1. Set up Goals in Google Analytics: AdWords may show a Keyword has a great click through rate (CTR) but when you look deeper in Google Analytics, you may see that term doesn’t convert well or has a high Bounce Rate. That kind of information can really help you effectively optimise your account.
  2. Link your Adwords Accounts to Google Analytics and Search ConsoleCreate an AdWords account and go to Google AdWords settings > linked accounts and pick the appropriate Analytics and Search Console profiles.
  3. Link Google Analytics to Adwords: Go to Google Analytics admin area > pick the correct profiles to link and you’ll have Adwords data in Analytics and visa versa.

2. Analyze your PPC Competition

The second huge mistake many people make is not doing any competitor research before they create their first campaign. This exercise gives you an instant advantage when writing your ad copy because you can improve on your competitors best strategies.

  1. Search Google: Check out the ads you’ll be up against by searching for some of your best keywords in Google.
  2. Note Down Compelling Ad Copy: What makes you want to click? Look for great offers, certain prices, deals or product benefits make the ads more compelling.
  3. Review Competitor Landing Pages: See what your competitors landing pages are like. Do they ads go to their homepage and are call to actions visible?
  4. Spy on Your Competitors: Use this free tool Spyfu to get even more insights.

3. Have a Good Landing Page

Having a landing page dedicated to your advertising campaign objective is a huge part of maximizing the return you’ll see from your ad investment.

One of the biggest mistakes that AdWords beginners make is driving paid traffic to their homepage. Your homepage is great for explaining what your business is about, but it’s never going to be as effective as a dedicated landing page at getting conversions. Especially for e-commerce businesses, they should send traffic to the appropriate product or category instead of the homepage.

Good landing pages, take customers exactly where they expect to go, and they don’t need to click to find what they were originally searching for in Google.

  • Begin with the end in mind: Remember, paid search won’t fix a bad landing page or a high-friction shopping cart experience. Before you get started, you should have a mobile optimized website or landing page that you want to send traffic.
  • Match your ad keywords with your landing page headline: Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Start with a high converting landing page template from a company like Leadpages and add your content from there.

4. Select the Right Campaign Type

When you start setting up your AdWords campaign, you’ll need to choose a campaign type and a campaign sub-type. The campaign type determines things like where your ads can show to customers on Google’s advertising networks, and what format they can be in, such as text or video.

Adwords Ads can be displayed in the Search Network (Google & partners sites) and across their Display Network (YouTube, Gmail, Wall Street Journal, New York Time etc.). There are six main campaigns types you can choose from:

  1. Search Network with Display Select (can be very broad!)
  2. Search Network Only (Google Search and Search partners)
  3. Display Network Only (Google’s network of partner sites)
  4. Shopping (Best ways to create Shopping Ads)
  5. Video (Video Ads on YouTube and across the Web)
  6. Universal App Campaign (Promote app, across Search, Display and YouTube)
  • Login into Google Adwords. For your first campaign, select on “Search Network Only”. Click “all features” and untick “include search partners” to target campaign even further.
  • Budgets are set at the campaign level, so creating separate campaigns if you want to run different types of campaigns for your can manage your budget.

5. Target your Audience

The ability to target your ads is one of the the key benefits of online advertising. It allows you to control your costs and also drive more targeted (and high converting!) traffic to your website.

5 Ways to Target Your Adwords Ads:

  1. Location (city, zip code etc.)
  2. Language
  3. Time of day (ex: show ads during business hours only)
  4. Device targeting (mobile, tablet, desktop, certain operating systems, carriers etc.)
  5. Keywords (target your audience further by selecting keywords – step 9)
  • Use Available Data: To improve the accuracy of your targeting, use available data in Google Analytics and from your Facebook Page.
  • Language: If you want to target two languages, it’s best to create a separate campaign for that language so that you can control the budget separately for that campaign and include only relevant language ads.

6. Determine your Bids and Budgets

Choose the right bidding strategy for your marketing goals.

Set the Bids for your Ads in 7 Ways:

  1. Search Page Location Target: Automated bidding strategy to show your ad on the top of the page or on the first page of Google search results.
  2. CPA Target: Bidding strategy that sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) you set.
  3. ROAS Target: Automated bidding strategy across multiple campaigns, ad groups, and keywords to help achieve an average return on ad spend (ROAS) equal to the target you set.
  4. Outranking Share Target: Automated bidding strategy that help your ads outrank ads from another domain.
  5. Maximise Clicks: Automated strategy to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget.
  6. Enhanced CPC: Raises your bid for clicks that seem more likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website.
  7. Manual CPC: A bidding method that lets you set your own maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads. This differs from automated bid strategies, which set bid amounts for you.

For your first campaign, enter the info below in the 3 fields in Adwords:

  • Bid Strategy: Select “Manual CPC”
  • Default bid. Enter “1 euro”.
  • Budget: Enter “20 euros” a day

7. Write Effective Ads

Follow these 6 tips to write effective text ads:

  1. Match your ad to your landing page: People might leave your website if they don’t find what they expect.
  2. Highlight what makes you unique: Free shipping? Dazzling variety? Tell people! Showcase the products, services, or offers that make you competitive.
  3. Include prices, promotions, and exclusives: If you have a limited-time discount or stock an exclusive product, say so.
  4. Empower customers to take action: Include calls to action like purchase, call today, order, browse, sign up, or get a quote make clear what the next steps are.
  5. Include at least one of your keywords: For example, if you’ve included digital cameras as a keyword, your ad headline could be “Buy Digital Cameras.”
  6. Follow Google’s editorial guidelines: Don’t overuse CAPLOCKS, exclamation points, use GiM!M1CkY TEXT and S.P.A.C.I.NG. More info here.

Use all characters given to write your text ad: Your are paying for space. Get to zero in each line – it helps push other competing ads further down the page.

8. Choose Profitable Keywords

Start with 10-20 keywords for each ad group. Choose phrases that customers would use to search for your products and services. Be specific: avoid one-word keywords. Research Keywords by spying on competitors and also using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool.

Of of the most expensive mistake people make is not using the appropriate match types. These control when your ads appear.

  • Broad Match: Default match type. Shows ads to searches for similar phrases or searches. very broad!
  • Phrase Match: Enter keywords in Adwords using quotes marks on “keyword” for phrase match targeting.
  • Exact Match: Enter keywords in Adwords using square brackets on [keyword] for phrase match targeting.
  • Broad Match Modifier: Add plus sign on +keywords for broad modifier match.
  • Negative Match: -keyword. Ex: free, cheap, torrent, youtube.

Start with 10 keywords for each ad group: Focus on keyword that show intent to buy (not people just learning about a topic).

9. Advanced Campaign Settings

  • Negative Keywords: Add Negative keywords to the negative keywords tabs.  -keyword. e.g. free, cheap, torrent, youtube.
  • Ad Extensions: Create more reasons to click your ad and increase it’s prominence in the search results. Enhance your ad with Site Links, Call Links, Location. More info here.
  • Remarketing: Great to show ads to people who have visited your website or used your app. More info here.

10. Measure and Optimize

Don’t just set it and forget it. Running ads is a constant game of optimization. There’s always new opportunities to pursue for growth so don’t let it just sit there. If you want to get the most out of your AdWords campaigns remember to test things like ad copy, bid price, and landing pages.

  • Optimise or pause underperforming ads.
  • Reinvest budgets in ads that are working have high CTR’s and conversion rates.

Share your experiences using Google AdWords in the comments!

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

Leave a Reply