Over the past year, I have launched many new Google paid search accounts. While the basic account structure and setup process have remained relatively consistent over the years, there have been a few recent changes that are worth mentioning.
In this article, I will cover the basics of Google AdWords account setup and share some tips on recent market changes.
Here are seven key steps to creating a new Google AdWords account:
1. Establish Campaign Structure
Within one account, you can have as many as 1,000 campaigns. Decide what your goals are. Think about how you would like to organize your campaigns. Common organizational techniques include:
- By product or service group
- By geographic location or region
- By seasonality
Campaign structure is important, because budgets are set at the campaign level. Establish your campaigns based on how you want to allocate and manage your PPC investment.
2. Create Ad Groups
Once you have decided upon your campaign structure, you need to develop ad groups within each campaign. Ad groups further organize/categorize your ad program. For example, you might create an ad group for each specific product or service.
TIP: Campaigns and ad groups often mirror the way your website is organized.
3. Set Ad Targeting
A campaign can target the Search Network only, the Display Network, a combination of both, or remarketing (where you are re-targeting previous website visitors based upon an action or lack of action taken on your site).
4. Conduct Keyword Research
The key (no pun intended) to successful keyword research is to understand how your customers search.
Don’t assume you know what they type into the search bar. Use the resources available to you to help identify the best keywords for your campaign.
Here are four factors you should consider when selecting keywords:
- Search volume
- Keyword relevancy
- Paid search competition
- Market click cost
Google’s keyword planner is an excellent resource to help you identify potential keywords. You will want to include a few obvious search terms, along with your landing page URL, when using the keyword planning tool.
This will allow you to identify additional search terms to include in your campaigns that are relevant to your product or service offering. The tool will provide estimated bids and spend forecasts.
5. Add Negative Keywords
Don’t forget the importance of negative keywords. The planner can also help you identify negative search terms that you will want to implement in your campaign.
Negative keywords help save you money by preventing your ad from showing on non-relevant search queries.
6. Set Keyword Match Types
There are four different keyword match types:
- Broad match
- Phrase match
- Exact match
- Broad match modifier
Check out this explanation of how these keyword match types impact ad serving.
7. Write Ad Copy
Writing compelling and successful ad copy is not always easy. Be sure to focus on things that are compelling and unique to your company.
Always include an easy-to-understand and unique call-to-action in your ad copy. Give prospects a reason to click.
In addition to the basic checklist above, here are some additional things you may want to consider, depending on the client/account:
Utilize Ad Extensions
Don’t forget to take full advantage of Google ad extensions. There are several different types of ad extensions available, for example:
- Call extensions
- Callout extensions
- Review extensions
Utilize the extensions that best meet your specific marketing needs and goals. In general, ad extensions will increase ad impressions and will improve click-through rate. Here are a few of the ad extensions I recommend testing:
Sitelinks. Sitelinks are ad extensions that link to specific pages on your website. Sitelinks help search users get directly to what they are looking for on you site. Sitelinks can appear in ads at the top or bottom of the Google search results.
Callouts. Unlike sitelinks, callouts are not clickable. They allow you to include additional text within your search ad. Callouts allow you to provide detailed information about your business, helping searchers to make more informed decisions before clicking on your ad.
Call Extensions. These allow you to include a phone number in your standard text ad. If tracking phone leads/sales is important to your business, call extensions are a must.
Don’t Forget Mobile
Today, understanding how and where users are searching plays a key factor in the success of your overall paid search program. Be sure to pay close attention to the device usage data and make necessary adjustments.
Mobile bid adjustments allow you to show your ad more or less frequently to users searching on their preferred device. Mobile bid adjustments can be set between a wide range starting at -90 percent to +300 percent.
A negative bid adjustment will decrease the number of times your ad is shown on a mobile device, while a positive bid adjustment will increase your mobile ad presence.
Based on my recent experience launching new Google AdWords campaigns, I no longer suggest that marketers take a gradual, “crawl, walk, run” approach. Today, I recommend a more aggressive methodology.
I believe that marketers should be fairly assertive with initial keyword bids and budgets. You need to collect the ad impression and click data required to start optimizing your program. This is especially true in popular market segments with highly competitive PPC auctions.
Don’t Set It and Forget It
You can launch a successful paid search program by following the basic steps outlined above. To maximize results, make sure you capitalize on some of the newer success factors, including site links and device targeting.
Getting the most out of your Google AdWords Account requires that you take the time to review and analyze your campaign results data. Paid search is not a “set it and forget it” marketing effort.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.