Have you ever run a Google AdWords campaign? If you haven’t, this blog is for you. And even if you have, it doesn’t hurt to have a refresher every now and then. You see, Google AdWords campaigns aren’t as simple as they seem. You don’t just tick some boxes and enter your bank details, then boom, you’ve got an AdWords campaign. There is a lot of work, and a lot of steps that go into creating an effective AdWords campaign, and it’s very easy to get it wrong. Today, we’re going to share some of the things you need to do to get it right, before you even hit the ‘launch’ button.


Keyword Research

The first step in any AdWords campaign is to work out which keywords you want to target. These are the one or two word phrases that you think your target customers will type into search engines when they’re looking for your services. But don’t be fooled – people don’t always use the terms you think they will, or that you think they should. The only way to really know what people are actually searching for is to do some keywords research. Google actually has an in-built tool called the Keywords Planner to help with this, and it’s a great starting point for identifying the right keywords for you. All you have to do is in some basic information about your business and your industry, and you can find out what people are putting into Google to find you. Not only that, but you can see how often they’re searching for those terms, and how competitive they are in AdWords. This is invaluable when it comes to planning your campaign. But if you really want to get the most out of it, we recommend combining that information with some other research tools. A few of our favourites include:


Once you have your list of keywords, compare their search volume and competitiveness to decide which ones you want to target, and which ones you don’t.



Campaign Planning

After you’ve created a list of keywords, you need to arrange them into ad groups. This will become important later on when you’re organising your campaign, and our best suggestion is to use a spreadsheet. Start by splitting your keywords list into related groups, with around 8-12 keywords in each group. For example, if you were an estate agent, you would probably have one keyword group all about renting properties, another about buying, another about landlords and so on. You can then use these groups to create targeted ads for each one, including highly targeted ad copy to match the searches, improving the likelihood of success. Your campaign ads should include the keyword in the headline of the ad, with copy focussed on the features and benefits of the service and how they relate to your audience. Organising your keywords like this allows you to track performance easily and make changes quickly based on results. This might seem like a lot of work up front, but trust us, it’s worth it once your campaign gets going.



Create Landing Pages

Once you’ve got people to click on your ads, you need somewhere to send them. The biggest mistake we see in AdWords is sending successful clicks to generic pages, like ‘home’ or ‘contact’. The most successful campaigns will have dedicated landing pages tailored to that specific ad. This might mean that you have dozens of different landing pages hidden throughout your website, but that’s totally OK! Each landing page should contain unique content that matches the search query leading to it, with copy and possibly even video footage aimed to convert. This means users aren’t left hunting through your site for the thing they were looking for and will drastically improve your conversion rates. Google tracks the user journey of ad clicks, and will see that your ad path is more enjoyable and reward your ad with a higher quality score.



Campaign Set Up

Now it’s time to set up your campaign! There are some simple things you will need to do, including:


Select Network Type: Make sure you select ‘search network’ as the network type for your ad. This ensures your ad will display on Google as a search result, and not appear on any other random sites that you don’t know about.


Budget: You’ll need to tell Google how much you want to spend on your campaign so that it can organise and make bids for you. Google does this on a per day basis, and your budget should largely depend on the competitiveness of your chosen keywords. Keywords with higher competition will need a higher budget to be successful, while lower competition words can get away with a smaller budget. We tend to recommend businesses start with a budget or around £100 per day.


Ad Rotation: If you created multiple variants for each of the ads in your ad groups, you can tell Google to rotate them. This gives you a good feel for which ads are working, and allows you to appeal to different audiences without a lot of extra admin overhead. You can also set Google to choose the ‘winning’ ad for you using its AI programmes.


Schedule: You also need to choose when you want your ads to be shown. Everything from the day of the week, the season and even the time of day can have an impact on success, so choose carefully. You can rotate timings and days to find out what is most successful if you aren’t sure.


Region: Google will also ask you to select a region to target your ads. This can be as narrow or as wide as you like, but we would recommend going specific where you can. This helps you turn up in local search results and dramatically increases the likelihood your campaign will be successful.



After all that, you’re ready to launch your campaign! But that’s not the end of the road. There’s still plenty of things to do as your campaign is running (and afterwards), which we’ll go into another time in a separate blog.


At Ad-Extra, we specialise in handling all of the above, and more. We work with businesses to understand their goals with AdWords, and use our years of experience to create and run successful ad campaigns for them. We even provide monitoring and reporting, so you will always be in the loop, without having to do any of the fiddly bits. So if any of the above has you confused, don’t worry! Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.