Creating AdWords Campaigns

How To Create Campaigns in Google Adwords

Creating campaigns in Google Adwords is very simple. In just a few steps you can select your campaign settings and build your first ad group and ad. However, you can improve performance significantly by paying attention to a few details, rather than applying the default settings every time you create a new campaign.

In the “Campaigns” tab of Google Adwords, you’ll find a “+ New Campaign” button above the list of your current campaigns. (If this is the first campaign you’re creating, you’ll see a “Create your first campaign” button when you sign into Adwords.) Click the button to start building your new campaign.

Next, you need to adjust your campaign settings. There are only two pieces of information that you must enter in this step: a name for your campaign, and a maximum daily budget.

Be sure to give your campaign a name that applies to the specific products and services you’ll be promoting. Account management will be much simpler if you can quickly identify your campaigns, rather than working with a list that includes “Campaign 1,” “Campaign 2,” “Campaign 3,” and so on.

Also, remember that the budget you set is for a single day – not a month. If you want to manage monthly budgets instead, simply divide it by 30 before entering the value into Google Adwords. This is the maximum amount that your campaign will spend in a single day; actual spending may be lower.

At this point, you can save your settings and move on to creating your first ad group. But, as we mentioned above, you should also be aware of Google’s default campaign settings. There are a number you may want to adjust.

Selecting Locations and Language

Perhaps the most important setting on this page are your location, or “geo,” targets. By default, your ads will be displayed to users in the United States and Canada. If you run a national campaign, with international services limited to Canada, this will work for your campaign. However, many advertisers – especially local businesses – display their ads to users who could not become customers. This can only result in expensive clicks that will never lead to conversions, so you should only display ads to customers in areas where you do business. (We discuss best practices for location targeting in a separate post.)

Though location targeting is the far more popular option, language preferences are another potentially-valuable way to filter users before they conduct a search. If you plan on running foreign language campaigns, you can set your campaign to appear only to users who set the appropriate language preference. However, your ads will not be translated automatically: they will only appear as you write them.

Choosing Networks and Devices

By default, your ads will appear on all Google sites and affiliates, and all devices with full Web browsers (such as iPhones and Blackberrys). Displaying your ads on all devices is an effective way to expand the reach of your campaigns, though we suggest that you choose a specific network to display your ads on.

To set your Network preferences, select the radio button for “Let me choose…” in the “Networks and devices” section. Then, either select “Google search” or “Display Network.” (By default, both networks will be selected.) Because performance varies considerably between Google search results pages and the Display Network, we suggest that you manage search and display campaigns separately. (We’ll discuss best practices for display networks in a separate post.)

Bidding and Budget

Besides the daily budget we discussed above, there are a number of settings you can adjust in this section. We suggest that you accept the default settings: show your ads in any position, evenly over time, and manually bid for clicks. (You’ll set individual bids in the next step.)

Advanced Settings

Don’t be intimidated by the word “advanced.” There is one very simple setting in this section that you should adjust. In the “Ad delivery” section, there are two “Ad rotation” options: “Optimize” and “Rotate.” “Optimize,” the default option, serves ads on the basis of performance, where ads with higher Click-Though Rates (CTRs) and Quality Scores are prioritized. “Rotate” serves ads within a campaign evenly, regardless of CTR.

We suggest that you set your ads to “Rotate,” so that you can optimize them for conversion rates rather than clicks. This will allow you to focus on revenues―rather than maximizing pay-per-click expenditures.

Once you have saved your campaign settings, you’ll be taken to the next screen. Here, you can build your first ad group and ad; select initial keywords or placements; set default bids. We explore best practices for all of these elements in separate posts.