How To: Set up great Google AdWords campaigns

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10th November 2016

How to Set up A Great AdWords Campaign

Creating your first Adwords campaign can seem like a daunting task. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! Luckily once you’ve understood a few principles and have gotten familiar with the Adwords Interface, navigating the Google Adwords world will get easier. In the following guide we will provide you with a few essential basics that will help you to get started on your first campaign.

Now the first step is to reflect on how you want to structure your account. Don’t just jump into it without having set up a frame for how you intend to build your campaigns.

What are those essential parts of every campaign?

  1. Campaigns
  2. Ad groups
  3. Keywords
  4. Ads


It’s crucial to have those parts set up in a way that is conducive to your goals, because it will help you to focus on relevancy, which is the currency Adwords runs on. You will want to always strive for relevancy, because the more relevant your keywords and ads are, the better will your campaign perform and the higher will your quality score be. Google’s quality score measures the relevancy of your entire campaign and rewards you with lower bids. Read our quality score guide to learn everything there is to know about this important metric. So make sure to pay attention as we walk you through each component of a great Adwords campaign.

  • Campaigns

This is the top level. You can have several campaigns in one account, this ultimately depends on how large your account is intended to be. Campaigns house ad groups, keywords and eventually also the ad texts.


Typically campaigns are structured into different topic fields. If you have an ecommerce shop selling shoes you might decide to have different campaigns for different types of shoes such as sandals, boots, flats and so on. You can also structure the campaigns into brands, locations or another type of categories. If you have several locations of a brick and mortar store, you might want to have different campaigns for each of those locations. Think about what to focus on now, so you don’t have to make such big changes later on.


You can decide between different types of campaigns for example the Search Network, Display Network or Search Network with Display Select. We recommend selecting only Search Network in order to have the different types separated.

Language & Geographic Targeting

Where is your ideal customer located and what languages does he speak? Select accordingly!


You also decide on the budget amount for the campaign, as well as the bid strategy. In order to really get know your account and be autonomous, we recommend choosing the manual bid opposed to automatic bidding.

Ad groups

In each campaign there will be several ad groups, which will specify the broad topic of the campaign. In the example of the online shop for shoes, your ad groups could be structured into the different style of shoe types. So for boots you’d have various ad groups for hiking boots, rain boots, snow boots and so on. You can go as granular as you like here. You could also decide to have dedicated ad groups for desired actions such as buy hiking boots, deliver hiking boots, order hiking boots. Again ask yourself what you want to focus on and how granular you are able to structure your account.


The keywords are the element of the campaign that will trigger your ads to be shown once searchers use corresponding search terms. Use keyword tools such as the Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords for your specific offer. For the hiking boots ad group you might include the following keywords: buy hiking boots, women hiking boots, men hiking boots, purchase hiking boots, hiking boots online, hike best boots, buy best hiking boots, etc. You will always be able to add more keywords later on, especially once you can analyse your search terms report and see which ones are driving the most traffi


On the campaign level you have set up a default bid for all keywords, but you’re able to adapt the bid on the keyword level as well. This allows you to increase the bid for well performing keywords or lower it for others. Pay attention to the keyword status Below first page bid as this means that your bid is too low for the keyword to be shown on the first page of the search engine results page. Consider increasing the bid for the corresponding keywords, in order to not miss out on potential clicks.


Negative Keywords exclude certain search terms from triggering your ad. This is extremely helpful in narrowing your targeting and making your keyword portfolio more efficient. You can set up negative keywords on the account, ad group and campaign level. Maybe you want to exclude keywords such as hiking gear, since you don’t offer it. Your search terms report will we be able to hint you towards terms that are not getting you the optimal traffic. Also read our knowledge article on negative keywords to make sure you’re doing this right.

  • Ads

Ad copy

This year Google introduced extended text ads which offer a longer format than the ads before. Make use of the extended space, by tailoring your message effectively.

There are two headlines with 35 characters each and a singular description line of 80 characters! That’s lots of space to make sure you offer the viewer of your ad all the inital necessary information and turning him into a lead. You should be repeating the keyword you are targeting at least twice in both your headline and description line.

Also make sure you align the ad copy with Google’s policies. Otherwise your ad could be prohibited from showing.

Some of these guidelines are:

  1. No excessive use of special characters such as “?”, “!”, etc.
  2. Limited all capital letter words.
  3. No trademarked names, that you do not have the right to use.


The display url is just that, the url displayed for the viewer of the ad. This means that you can adapt it to your liking. You might want to put additional information into it, revealing where clicking the display url will lead the viewer. Or you can also insert a CTA into the display url for example

Select the final url based on which landing page you want to direct the click to. It might be easy to just insert the homepage link here, but think about the most important AdWords metric we’ve discussed in the beginning - relevancy! So make sure you have dedicated landing pages for every campaign or even better each ad group. If your portfolio is very granular, you can also select a final url on the keyword level.

Next Steps

If your campaign is still paused, make sure to activate it and let the clicks roll in. Now phase two is starting and you should focus on monitoring the performance of your campaign. Pay close attention to the most important metrics such as the click-through-rate and conversion rate and start optimizing your campaign in order to get the most for your investment. Continue reading our blog articles or head on over to our knowledge base to learn about metrics, optimization, keywords and more.

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