Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

Setup An Awesome Adwords Campaign In 6 Steps

Many of our blog posts can get very advanced, but today we wanted to take it back to the basics of best Google Adwords practices.

When push comes to shove, the best functioning Adwords campaigns are not built on great ad copy, stellar keyword choices or obnoxious keyword bidding, they’re built on a great setup. Before you setup your first Adwords campaigns, take serious note of where, who and when your customers want your business. Additionally, consider when, who and how you want your customers to come to your website.

Even if you’ve been doing Adwords for years, it’s always good to double check your settings against best practices to make sure you’re utilizing everything Google offers on their ad platform. If you don’t check often enough, you might be surprised to see a lot of updates on a month-to-month basis in the settings tab.

After creating a new Adwords account, the next step is setting up your campaign. The most prominent features in campaign creation are deciding what kind of campaign should be made, location targeting, budget and bidding strategy.

1. Search vs. Display vs. PLA vs. Combination

The easiest decision might be the decision between search, display, product listing ads (PLA) or a combination of search and display. Generally speaking, you’ll want to choose one or the other. In fact, we rarely recommend creating a “Search & Display” campaign. Choosing one specific function for each campaign will allow you to better focus and, thus, better optimize your campaigns based on searcher trend.

Search Network:

For text ads on Google’s search network. You can chose between “standard” search or “all features.” Standard only offers a few targeting methods while “all features” will expand your settings to specifications like ad rotation, ad scheduling and more. When in doubt, chose “all features.”

You can also choose PLAs from the search campaign menu. For a PLA campaign, you will need to have a csv or xml of your products ready to upload. For more information on how to prepare for a PLA campaign, view Google’s information:

Lastly, you can choose to add dynamic search ads to your campaigns. If you choose this option, you can also create regular search ads to split test with dynamic search ads. Dynamic search ads are recommended if you have a lot of products on your site with various landing pages. Essentially, you write a generic text ad for your products and Google uses its super powers to match the searcher’s keyword with the most appropriate landing page or product page on your domain. We haven’t found significant results from these ads, so we would recommend PLAs if you want to advertise by a product’s view page.

Display Network:

Primarily for image ads on Google’s display network. Here you can make distinctions between “all features,” mobile-only, retargeting or engagement displays. If this is your first display campaign, we recommend choosing all features. If you are creating a retargeting campaign, though, be sure to distinguish this here.

2. Location

Location targeting isn’t just for choosing where you want your product advertised. You can also use it to geographically target different places with different ads, increasing the relevance of your ads and potentially increasing click-through rates (CTR).

3. Budget & Bidding Strategy

The last important feature here is deciding how big your budget is, and choosing a bidding strategy. Picking a budget should be the simple part, but deciding how much to bid will vary depending on what you’re trying to advertise and the amount of competition there is for your keywords.

Your bid can also be changed individually for each keyword, so you can bid more or less depending on each keyword’s performance, you aren’t locked to only setting the bids at the campaign level.

4. Devices

Devices – desktops/laptops, tablets, and mobile devices – used to be a part of the campaign setup until Google realized it was important enough to edit more closely. These settings have been moved to the ad group level settings since enhanced campaigns were introduced. Now, instead of having to create separate campaigns for mobile and desktop ads, they are all tracked separately for you in the same campaign. When you create new ads, you can choose if you want your ad to be focused on “mobile,” or “standard,” which will give it preference on desktops/laptops and tablets. You can also segment your budget by percentage between desktop, tablet and mobile in this view.

5. Ad Group

Once you have your campaign set up, ad groups are the next step. They allow you to keep keyword groups and ads separate within the same campaign settings. The key to having effective ad groups, and overall an effective account, is keeping the keywords in an ad group focused on a particular phrase or subject. Typically, it’s more effective to have multiple ad groups, each with their own focus and keywords, than it is to lump all of the keywords and ads into the same ad group.

Making sure your ads are focused and condensed into only the most relevant keywords will have a positive effect on quality score. Quality scores are measured by Google based on how relevant your ads, keywords and landing pages are to the terms that searchers use to find your ads. Quality score is one of the factors that determines how much you actually pay for clicks. A higher quality score will allow you to show in a higher position for lower costs. Since quality score is calculated based on not only your keywords, but also the contents of your ad and landing page, it’s important to make sure all three of these are closely related. Lastly, if you decide to use a phone number or sitelink ad extension, Google just announced these affect quality scores too now.

6. Ad Copy

As far as ad text goes, it is usually a good bet to have the main keywords once in the headline, once in the body, and once in the Display URL. The nice thing about the Display URLs is, as long as the main domain name is the same as your destination URL, you can add the keywords in after the URL for extra keyword relevance (see below screenshot for a search ad example of this). Display URLs work the exact same way but have a character limit of 35, so including the main keywords after our domain isn’t always possible.

Another small tip for improving your ad text: Capitalize the first letter of each word in the ad, this is more likely to catch the eye of someone skimming the page. Below is an example of ad copy Vuurr might write for keywords like, “digital marketing,” “data driven marketing,” and “site development marketing.”


These 6 steps will get you started on a well constructed and functioning Adwords campaign. Have questions we didn’t cover? Comment below!

Infusionsoft Partnercon

We presented the slides below at Infusionsoft Partnercon. If you saw the presentation, thanks for coming out! If you didn’t, all of the slides, notes, code snippets and more are below. If you have questions or comments, please let us know by emailing [email protected] or filling out our contact form.

The Presentation

Form Abandonment Code

YouTube Play as Google Analytics Event

Track Twitter Button Clicks

Track Facebook Like/Unlike/Share Button Clicks

Call Tracking

Use Twimlbin and Twilio to create an easy call tracking solution.

Impact of Google Adwords Quality Score on Cost-Per-Click

Before Google implemented quality scores for search advertising, Google searches were overrun with irrelevant ads that linked to sites with little content.  Any marketer could bid on nearly any term and show in the paid results and placement was simple: higher CPC bids equalled higher ad rank.  This created an overall poor search experience for the user.  Google eventually improved ad quality by being the first search engine to assign quality scores, which attempt to measure ad relevance.

Instead of the highest paid search position being awarded to the highest CPC bidder, Google’s new Ad Rank (AR) is based on both CPC bid and quality score (QS):

AR = Bid x QS

The bid is set by the advertiser, however the quality score is assigned by Google. Although there are a myriad of factors that impact quality score, the four that advertisers can easily control are:

  • Relevance of the keyword to the ad copy
  • Relevance of the the keyword to the landing page copy
  • Relevance of the ad copy to the landing page copy
  • Historical click-through rate (Google assumes that if your ad is clicked frequently for a particular search query, the user sees it as relevant)

Although this means significantly more work for the online marketer, it results in a major advantage for the marketer that is willing to do the work.  Here is an example of three different advertisers bidding on the same search term:

Google Adwords Ad Rank Algorithm

As you can see, the highest bidder (Advertiser C) is going to end up in the first paid search position.  Advertiser A’s ad will show first and with a bid that is 25% lower than Advertiser C’s bid.

How much will each advertiser actually pay?  The actual cost of each click is determined by the following formula:

Actual Cost = ( Ad Rank of the Position Below / Quality Score of Your Ad ) + $0.01

Here is what each of the advertisers above will actually pay per click:

Google Adwords Ad Cost Algorithm

Although Advertiser A has the highest Cost-Per-Click to be in position #1 in this case, the really interesting observation is the relationship between Advertisers B and C.  Advertiser B shows higher in the search results that Advertiser C, yet Advertiser B will pay less than half of what Advertiser C will par per click.  This is all due to the fact that Advertiser B has a significantly higher quality score.

Let’s see what would happen if Advertiser A raised his quality score to 10:

Google Adwords - Ad Quality Score Affects Cost

If Advertiser A raised his Google Adwords quality score to 10, he would realize a reduction in cost per click of nearly 30%.  When you are dealing with budgets in the millions of dollars annually, that could make an enormous impact on the bottom line.

So now you know that higher quality scores lead to better rankings and lower advertising costs.  Here are the simple things you can do right now to improve your Google Adwords quality scores:

  • Reorganize your campaigns into small, tightly targeted ad groups for improved relevance
  • Write targeted ads that include your target keyword in the title, body, and URL (if possible)
  • Utilize multiple landing pages.  The landing page should have a significant density of your target keywords for a particular ad group.  If all of your ads point to your home page, you are probably doing it wrong.
  • Include a clear call to action in your ad copy.  This improves Click-Thru-Rate which improves quality scores over time.

Improved Relevance

= More Clicks at Lower CPC

= More Conversions at Lower CPA

= Higher ROI on Your Ad Budget.

Now get to work…

UPDATE: Thanks to Tom for pointing out a typo in the diagram; last column QS and AR should have been 4.0, not 3.0

Why You Can’t Do Adwords Like Us

The world is full of light sources, and plenty of good uses for various types. You need to search for a wanted person from the helicopter? Spotlight will work just fine. You want to illuminate a room, 100 Watts of incandescence will do you just fine. You want to find your way through the woods, use a flashlight. You want to cut steel? Get your ass a laser.

The difference between a laser and any of the other sources is focus. You get those photons into an aligned focused state and powerful things can happen. You can cut things, read data off a disc, annoy the hell out of everyone in a movie theater, you name it.

Real change, real success, only comes as a product of extreme focused attention. If you are trying to succeed at 7 or 8 different things at once, odds are you’re going to get a handful of flashlights – illuminating some of the things going on, but not really doing anything powerful. Focus everything on one project, give it your entire attention, every waking moment you can sustain. It’s not a 100% guarantee to succeed, but odds are that you’ll get a laser every once in a while that changes your world.

Do one thing, and do it 100%. If it isn’t worth everything you have, then is it worth doing?

Vuurr brings a laser like focus to the way we manage our clients’ accounts to grow their business. It’s what we do, it’s what we breathe. It’s why we say “no” to more clients than we say “yes” to, so that we can keep that focus and make sure that we are able to be focused on the right things.