How to Set up a Basic Google Ads Campaign

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Last Updated on: 15th February 2024, 05:09 pm

If you need qualified leads for your business and you need them now, Google Ads is the best option. The platform is quite robust, but this article will help you get off the ground quickly and show you how to set up a basic Google Ads search campaign.

Let’s take a look!

Step 1. Create Your Google Ads Account in Expert Mode

First, I want you to scroll down the ‘Campaign goals’ page and select to switch to Expert Mode.

Switching to Google Ads expert mode

Why Do I Need Expert Mode?

If you don’t use Expert Mode, Google Ads won’t let you target specific keywords, so a seasoned Google Ads expert will always recommend switching to Expert Mode.

Without Expert Mode, you’ll get keyword themes; Google Ads will match your ad to all queries it believes are relevant.

For example, if you own an eco-beauty brand, you’ll see keyword themes such as eco-friendly makeup. Suppose you sell eco-friendly lipstick. Google Ads might match you with something you don’t even sell (e.g., eco-friendly mascara).

With Expert Mode, you can select specific keywords to make every penny in your budget go further.

For example, you might be a dentist advertising on Google Ads, and you want to advertise specifically for “zirconia veneers [near me].”

Select Your Campaign Goal

  • Select ‘Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance’
  • Select Campaign Type -> Search
  • Select your goal (website visits, phone calls, app downloads)
  • Add your website/app link or phone number
  • Click ‘Next’

Step 2. Target Profitable Locations

Un-tick the box next to ‘Display Network’ for the clearest results.  

Google Ads setup - display only on search network

Areas & Languages

Focus on:

  • Areas that deliver the highest-value customers (e.g. specific city or country based on your existing customers), or
  • Your area (if you’re a local business) 

Step 3. Budget for a Basic Google Ads Campaign

Set your Google Ads budget and bidding

Use SpyFu to see how much your competitors pay for ads targeting your keywords.

Then, calculate how much you’re prepared to pay per day (your monthly budget divided by the number of days).

I write about Google Ads budgeting and bidding extensively in my Google Ads book. But if you’re wondering how to set up a basic Google Ads campaign, these are the rules of thumb:

Step 4. How to Set up a Basic Google Ads Campaign with Ad Extensions

Google Ads ad extensions

Click ‘Show more settings.’ You’ll see three extension options:

  • Google Ads sitelink extensions – Link to other pages on your website (if relevant, e.g., pricing, case studies, etc.)
  • Callout extensions – Highlight perks or benefits (e.g., free shipping, 24/7 customer service)
  • Call extensions – Allow searchers to call you

All three extensions give your ad more space in the results pages. They can increase your conversion rate quickly. However, callout extensions are a must for quick and easy improvement, especially if you offer something that competing ads don’t.

Step 5. Set up Ad Groups and Keywords

I’m a big proponent of the keyword journey:

  • Which keywords does your audience use at different stages of their buyer’s journey?
  • What do they search for when they want more information?
  • Which keywords alert to their readiness to purchase?

(P. S. This is something I’ve helped 1000+ business owners with. If you want to make sure you get maximum profits from your ad campaign, get in touch with me. I’d love to help!)

Adding keywords to a basic Google Ads campaign

Review Google’s suggestions and then scrap all those that don’t fit.

For example, it tells me I should target “create Google Ads account,” which makes very little sense.

Use Spyfu or a different keyword research tool to find the most profitable keywords your competitors use. If you have a good understanding of your audience, you may also find low-competition keywords to reduce your Cost Per Click.

Daily Estimates

You’ll see Google’s predictions for your daily results on the right-hand side. If you didn’t set a maximum click bid, you could use these Average CPC predictions as a gauge.

Keep in mind: daily estimates aren’t set in stone. You may pay more or less. In my fifteen years of experience as a Google Ads specialist, I’ve found one thing to be true: if your landing page is relevant to your target keywords, you will lower your CPC (Cost per Click) and increase your ad Quality Score.

Step 6. How to Set up a Basic Google AdWords Campaign with Great Ad Copy

 Amazing Google Ads copy helps you stand out against competitors:

  • Every headline offers a benefit
  • Your offer is 100% clear (and differentiates from that of your competitors)
  • The ad copy matches the keyword search intent

You should have 15 headings and 4 descriptions. 

Google will experiment with different combinations to find the highest converting option.

As you include keyword and copy suggestions, your Quality Score will rise. The higher the QS, the lower the CPC, so take the time to set everything up correctly at this stage.

Bonus: Landing Page Checklist for Basic Google Ads Campaigns

Whenever a searcher clicks on your ad, they’ll be taken to a specific page on your website. We call this the landing page.

Before you launch your campaign, check the following:

  • Does your landing page reference the keyword(s)?
  • Is your landing page specific to the ad? (e.g., Advertising shoes? -> Landing page offers shoes)
  • Do you have a singular Call to Action? (e.g., Ad wants the searcher to ‘Book now’? -> Landing page contains the ‘Book now’ CTA)
  • Do you have testimonials?
  • Do you have clear contact options?
  • Is your page speed optimal? Check with PageSpeed Insights
  • Is your landing page mobile-friendly? Check with the Mobile-Friendly Test

If your landing page is relevant to the ad copy, you’ll see higher conversions and pay less for each click on your ad.

Are You Ready to Set up Your First Google Ads Campaign?

Google Ads may look overwhelming, but it’s the best way to reach highly-qualified leads.

Take the time to set up ad copy and landing pages properly. Soon enough, your Quality Score will make advertising on Google even more profitable. If you need more help, achieve rapid Google Ads success in 7 easy steps with your copy of my best-selling Google Ads book!

If you want to generate even more revenue through Google Ads, get in touch with me. I’ve been helping business owners generate millions of pounds since 2007.

And today, I’d love to help your business grow!

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