How To Set Up Your First Google AdWords Search Campaign

Are you wondering how to get started with setting up Google AdWords? Do you have a product or service that you want to advertise with PPC Advertising? You have come to the right blog article and video. We are going to go over exactly how to start using your Google AdWords account. You can watch the YouTube video below or go through the steps of the article (or both) in order to learn more about Google AdWords. If you are a beginner, this is a great place to start.

In the video below, we go over how to set-up your first Google AdWords campaign. You can view the video here or click through to YouTube. After you create your account and set-up billing, we show you the step-by-step process of setting up your Google AdWords PPC Advertising.

AdWords Campaign and Conversion Tracking – You want to link your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts so they can communicate with each other. You also want to create Goals in Google Analytics so you can import them into Google AdWords. One of the best features of Google as an advertising channel is that you can actually bid for your Key Performance Indicators. Google AdWords is one way to drive traffic but you really want to drive leads or sales that turn into revenue.

Bonus Tips – Throughout the video I give you plenty of tips as far as advertising networks, bids, budgets, bidding strategies, keyword match types, ad creation, conversion tracking, and more. It might seem like a long video but you will learn a lot within 20 minutes that will help you learn how to use Google AdWords. I also gave plenty throughout the article, which should help you avoid mistakes early in the process.

Surfside PPC is a Google AdWords Agency – If you’d prefer to let a professional manage your Google AdWords campaigns for a small price, we can do that for you at Surfside PPC. We want to help you learn but we can also do the heavy lifting for you. Your campaigns will be actively managed every single day if you choose us.

Google AdWords Video Tutorial


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Google AdWords Campaign Set-up

We are going to go through all of the different steps for setting up your first Google AdWords campaign.

  • Step 1 – Create Your Account and Set-Up Billing
    The first thing you need to get started with is setting up your Google account and setting up your Google AdWords account. You’ll need to link a credit card or a bank account to your account before any of your ads will run. The main screen helps you understand a little more about the different features and sections of Google AdWords.

    From this screen, you want to click the ‘Create your first campaign’ button at the top and it will guide you through the process. You can click on some of the frequently asked questions for quick answers to your questions.

    Bonus Tip

    You can click on the tools to understand a little more about the Keyword Planner and Display planner.

    step 1 set up your adwords account and billing


  • Step 2 – Create Search Network Only Campaign
    First you want to name your campaign something descriptive. I name my Search and Display campaigns separately so they are easier to filter and I just come up with a name that will help me know the goal and theme of the campaign.

    After that, you want to select the network you are targeting. You can choose from Search Network with Display Select, Search Network, Display Network, Shopping, Video, and Universal app campaign. When you are targeting keywords with search ads, you always want to select Search Network Only.

    Bonus Tip

    I would recommend that you NEVER use Search Network with Display Select. There’s no reason to use this option in my opinion as Search ads and Display ads perform differently and are targeted much differently. I once took over an account and by just changing a Search Network with Display Select campaign into Search Network Only campaign, I was able to deliver thousands of more conversions at a lower cost.

    step 2 name your campaign and choose search network only


  • Step 3 – Select Location and Language Targeting
    You can choose from a variety of locations like countries, states, counties, cities, congressional districts, Nielsen designated marketing areas (DMA), and more. You can also select specific radius areas in case you want to target around an airport or a specific location.

    Along with location targeting, you also want to target the languages that make the most sense for your business. Since the campaigns I target are usually English only, that’s the language I choose. I have ran campaigns with English and Spanish but ultimately you need to pick what’s right for your campaign.

    Bonus Tip

    If you aren’t sure which locations are the most valuable for your business, you can run in larger geographic areas and optimize after you get enough data.


    step 3 choose your location targeting


  • Step 4 – Set-Up Bid Strategies, Bids, and Budgets
    There are so many different bid strategies to choose from. Some of them are geared towards maximizing clicks and overall traffic while others are useful for bidding for conversions. I recommend starting with Manual CPC and then switching to Conversion Optimizer or Target CPA bidding once you have enough data.

    As far as bids, that is how much you are willing to pay for a single click to your website. You can use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner for suggested bids but I’d set them low to begin and increase them over time. You want your bids to be at a level where your ROI is the most optimal.

    Budgets are self-explanatory for the most part but basically what AdWords does is use your daily budget as a monthly budget. For example, if your budget is $10/day then AdWords will think you plan on spending about $300 over a 30-day period. You might spend $12 one day and $8 the next to account for overall traffic volume and performance.

    Bonus Tip

    In order to reach your Key Performance Indicators goal through Google AdWords, your ultimate goal is to drive at least 15 conversions over a 30-day period. Then you can switch to Target CPA bidding, where you are effectively bidding for the most optimal conversions.


    step 4 set up adwords bid strategies bids and budgets


  • Step 5 – Set-Up AdWords Ad Extensions
    You should set-up every single AdWords Ad Extension that is applicable for your campaigns. I always start with Callout and Sitelink Extensions. From there, you want to add call extensions if you take phone calls and location extensions if you have a physical location. You want to use app extensions if you have an app and price extensions if you have fixed prices. All in all, you should add as many as possible and you can find our ad extensions overview here.

    Bonus Tip

    You can use the same URL for all 4 of your Sitelink extensions. If you only have one landing page, you can still expand the size of your text ads with sitelinks while funneling traffic to your most important page.

    step 5 create adwords ad extensions


  • Step 6 – Set-Up Ad Groups
    Ad groups help you keep your campaign organized. For example, if you had a campaign selling basketball sneakers you would want each brand and color in a separate ad group. The more ad groups you can use the better your campaign usually performs because it is more organized. I’ve built campaigns with thousands of keywords and hundreds of ad groups, which is when AdWords Editor comes in handy.

    Bonus Tip

    Put your top performing keywords into their own ad groups and bid aggressively on them. Your ad groups should usually have less than 10 keywords in them in total so you can tailor ads and landing pages to each individual search query.

    step 6 set up your google ad groups


  • Step 7 – Add Your AdWords Keywords
    Once you have your Ad Groups set-up, you need to target keywords within each ad group. I recommend using modified broad, phrase, and exact match keywords to help make your campaign easier to manage. Just remember my tip from above that Ad Groups in general should have 10 or less keywords so you can keep your campaign extremely organized.

    Bonus Tip

    Keywords by default are Broad match, which are not as targeted as other match types. Broad match keywords can be too broad that your campaign becomes impossible to manage. For example, a broad keyword like Black Sneakers might match for ‘New Dress Shoes’ and that’s not relevant. Instead, target a modified broad match keyword like +Black +Sneakers and it will match for ‘New Black Sneakers.’

    step 7 add your adwords keywords


  • Step 8 – Create Your AdWords Text Ads
    After you create your Ad Groups and populate them with Keywords, you need to make multiple ads for each ad group. Google AdWords recently switched to Expanded Text Ads so that gives you more overall characters.

    Your AdWords ads should include text similar to your keywords along with a unique selling point. Do you offer a bonus or discount for customers? Has your company won any awards? Do you have great customer service? You want to promote your company, products, and services as best as possible so your ads stand out from the crowd.

    Bonus Tip

    You should always be running 2 ads per ad group and you should monitor the results for each ad. Every month, you can pause the worst performing ad and create a new one. Over the course of a year, your A/B ad testing will help you maximize your overall results, particularly in large accounts.

    step 8 create your adwords text ads


  • Step 9 – Create Multiple Ads Per Ad Group
    I went through why you need multiple ads in the step above, but multiple ads helps you optimize your campaigns better. If you only run one ad at a time then it becomes much more difficult to improve the results of your ads. By constantly split-testing ads against each other and optimizing, you can improve your AdWords ads.

    step 9 create multiple ads per ad group


  • Step 10 – Review Your Google AdWords Campaign
    Once you have everything set-up as far as your campaign, ad groups, keywords, ads, ad extensions, and more, you want to review everything in your campaign one more time. Go over all of your targeting and everything you selected when creating your campaign. Make sure everything looks good before you finally launch it.

    Bonus Tip

    Double-check all your keywords and make sure you have no duplicates. In addition, go through all of your ad groups and make notes on the ones where you believe you can organize them even further.

    step 10 review your adwords campaign


  • Step 11 – Publish Your Campaign and Check Campaign Tracking
    After you reviewed everything you want to click publish. You can go through your campaign again and click on all of the different tabs in AdWords. You definitely want to make sure you have conversion tracking set-up in addition to campaign tracking into Google Analytics. Tracking your campaign into Google Analytics allows you to uncover additional performance insights on your business website, which will help you improve your digital marketing efforts.

    Bonus Tip

    I mentioned it above but you absolutely want to make sure your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts are connected to each other. Then you can create Goals in Google Analytics and use them as conversions in AdWords. If you don’t know if conversion tracking is working, do a test conversion and then go to the Conversions tab in AdWords and make sure it has registered some activity.

    step 11 publish your adwords campaign


All About Google AdWords

We decided to put together a section here to go over the who, what, when, where, why, and how of Google AdWords. If you are new then this should help give you more information.

Who Should Use Google AdWords?

AdWords is perfect for any business selling products and services. Whether you run a consumer e-commerce website or a large b2b service website, AdWords can help you drive new leads or sales. In addition, it can be great for nonprofits to help raise awareness and donations. In summation, if you want to get more eyes on your website, Google AdWords is one of the few options where actively searching customers can find you.

Who Should Manage AdWords Campaigns?

If you have no clue what you’re doing with AdWords, my recommendation is to go with an AdWords Agency (Like Surfside PPC!). You should have a professional manage your AdWords account or you should train yourself because it requires active management and a level of knowledge.

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is the advertising service provided by Google where you can bid on Keywords through the Google Search Network and Search Partners that match users Search Terms in order to drive relevant and targeted traffic to your business website in addition to driving phone calls. Also, you can run display banner advertisements across the Google Display Network.

When to Use Google AdWords?

Once you have a mobile-friendly website set-up and a good landing page for traffic, you should use Google AdWords. Your best bet is to have a goal, whether it is sales or leads, so you aren’t just sending traffic to your website. Ultimately you want your Google AdWords spend to lead to positive revenue and ROI.

Where Can I Find Google AdWords?

All you need is a Google account and you can set-up your AdWords account at

Why Google AdWords?

There aren’t many places where you can reach potential customers as they actively search. If you sell basketball shoes, you can display your ad when consumers are ready to buy basketball shoes. If you sell business software, you can display your ad when people are looking for software related to yours. It’s one of the best places to reach new customers and drive sales optimally.

How Do I Use Google AdWords?

Watch the video above and go through the steps to begin. Google AdWords is truly a learning experience that will take you several weeks and months to really learn. In addition, you will learn something new every single day. My tip is to get your account started and your campaigns set-up so you can start learning as soon as possible.

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