Setting Up a Google AdWords Campaign [Guide]

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Setting up a Google AdWords campaign sounds like a very straightforward task. The ads, after all, are very basic—they are just text—and it is based on a pay on results model where you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. But, it involves a complex process, particularly if you want to get maximum return on your investment where clicks from users turn into leads. Here is our six-step guide to setting up your Google AdWords campaign.

1. Log In

Go to and log in with your Google account (your Gmail account). If you don't have one, you will have to register an account first.

2. Search for Keywords

A key part of making your Google AdWords campaign successful is getting the right list of keywords. These are the words that people type into Google when searching. The ones you select are where your ad will appear.

You can use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool to research your keywords before setting up your campaign.

First, click on Tools and select Keyword Planner. Then select "Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category." You will now see the following screen.

Enter a keyword into the first box. Think about how your potential customers might search for your product. Also, make sure it is not too broad or too specific. For example, "bicycles" might be too broad, while "silver women's bicycles" would be too specific. In our example we use "mountain bikes."

The next two boxes are optional, so you can leave them blank. Under targeting, set the country to your target market, and the language. The other options can be left as default (when you get more experience using this tool you can go a bit deeper by tweaking some of these settings to see how you can alter the results).

Then, click Get Ideas. On the following screen, click "Keyword ideas."

You will then see a list of keywords along with the average number of monthly searches. There is also a suggested bid column. You can use both of these figures to determine your keywords—phrases with high search volumes / buying intent are best, but you have to offset this with the estimated cost.

Write down a list of keywords that you want to use in your campaign based on this research. You can now move on to creating the AdWords campaign.

3. Create the Campaign

Click Campaign in the top menu and then click on the red button titled Campaign. A drop-down menu will appear, offering different types of ad placements. This tutorial is about creating ads that appear in Google search results, so select Search Network Only.

4. Select Campaign Settings

Give your campaign as name. This name is for your internal use, so make it descriptive to make sure that you know what it refers to. The settings for Type can be left as the default settings.

For your first Google AdWords campaign, we recommend you uncheck the setting titled "Include search partners." This setting can be changed later, or you can use it on future campaigns. You can therefore test to see which yields the best result, but for now, leave it unchecked.

The next step is to target your campaign by geography. You can set this to be very broad or you can be specific. The most important thing, however, is to be realistic. If you do not ship internationally, for example, make sure the targeting is for your country only. You can also target by city, town or region. You can do this by selecting "Let me choose..."


The language setting should reflect the language you/re writing your ads in—that usually means only "English" should be checked.

Next you have to select a Bid Strategy. Your main options are to either set the bid for clicks manually, or to let Google do it automatically. For your first campaign, it is recommended that you leave it as automatic. You can always change this later when you start to see results and want to refine the campaign.

You should also set a daily budget. This controls spending on a daily basis so that you can make changes and improvements, and keep everything under control.

The final option is for Ad Extensions. This can be really helpful, but you can skip this for your first campaign. It is recommended, however, that this is the first section that you return to once you have your campaign set up and you are comfortable with it.

Click Save and Continue.

5. Create Ad Groups

The next stage is to create ad groups. This is like a folder where your ads will be stored. For example, you could create different groups for different product lines, or one for standard ad campaigns and one for sales. In this tutorial we will create one.

Enter your landing page first. This is the page that visitors see after clicking on your ad. The more relevant you can make this page, the better. For example, in our ad for mountain bikes, we would send the visitor to a specific mountain bike page on the website, rather than the homepage, which has lots of other bicycle types.

Next give your ad group a name, and enter the list of keywords that you created earlier. Finally, click Continue to Ads.

6. Create Ad

Now it is time to write your ad. You need:

·         The URL for the page that the ad will link to

·         A headline

·         How you want your URL to appear

·         Two lines of ad text

The two URLs have to be on the same domain and, as previously mentioned, you will get better results if you make them relevant.

You're going to have limited space after the headline and ad text, so your ads must be succinct. Include the main keyword in both parts, and make sure there is a clear call to action so that you give the user a reason to click.

Once this is complete, you can click save and finally review your ads before they go live.

Posted 2 November, 2015


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