How To Set Up A Google Ads Campaign

How to Set Up a Google Ads Campaign: A Complete Tutorial


If you’ve ever wondered how to set up a Google Ads campaign, you’re in the right place! In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the entire process step-by-step. By the end, you’ll have all the tools you need to create an effective and successful Google Ads campaign. Whether you’re a complete beginner or just need a refresher, this tutorial is for you.

Understanding Google Ads

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of setting up your Google Ads campaign, it’s essential to understand what Google Ads is and why it’s such a powerful tool for businesses. Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is an online advertising platform developed by Google. It allows businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and across the Google Display Network. This network includes a variety of websites, YouTube, and even mobile apps.

Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This makes it a cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website. The key to success with Google Ads is creating well-crafted ads and targeting the right audience. This tutorial will cover everything from setting up your account to optimizing your ads for maximum performance.

What is Google Ads?

what is google ads

Google Ads is a versatile advertising platform that offers several different types of ad formats, including text ads, display ads, video ads, and shopping ads. Each type of ad has its unique advantages and can be used to achieve different marketing goals. For example, text ads are great for driving traffic to your website, while video ads can be highly effective for brand awareness and engagement.

One of the standout features of Google Ads is its targeting options. You can target your ads based on keywords, location, demographics, interests, and even the time of day. This level of precision allows you to reach your ideal audience and get the most out of your advertising budget. In the following sections, we’ll go over how to set up each aspect of your campaign to ensure it aligns with your business goals.

Why Use Google Ads?

There are many reasons to use Google Ads as part of your digital marketing strategy. Firstly, Google is the most popular search engine in the world, handling over 3.5 billion searches per day. This means that your ads have the potential to reach a massive audience. Additionally, Google Ads provides detailed analytics and reporting tools, so you can track the performance of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

Another significant advantage of Google Ads is its scalability. Whether you’re a small business with a limited budget or a large corporation with substantial advertising funds, Google Ads can be tailored to fit your needs. You can start with a small daily budget and gradually increase it as you see positive results. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to the first step in setting up your Google Ads campaign: creating a Google Ads account.

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Setting Up Your Google Ads Account

The first step in how to set up a Google Ads campaign is to create a Google Ads account. If you already have a Google account (such as Gmail), you can use it to sign in to Google Ads. If not, you’ll need to create a new Google account. Once you’re signed in, go to the Google Ads homepage and click on the “Start now” button to begin the setup process.

Creating a Google Ads Account

Creating your Google Ads account is straightforward. Google will guide you through the process with a series of prompts. You’ll need to enter some basic information, such as your email address, website URL, and billing information. Google Ads accepts various payment methods, including credit cards and bank transfers, so you can choose the option that works best for you.

Once you’ve entered all the necessary information, you’ll be asked to set up your first campaign. Don’t worry if you’re not ready to launch your campaign just yet; you can always come back and make changes later. The initial setup is more about getting your account ready and familiarizing yourself with the platform.

Navigating the Google Ads Interface

The Google Ads interface might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but don’t worry—I’ll break it down for you. The main dashboard is where you’ll manage all of your campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords. The navigation menu on the left-hand side allows you to access different sections of your account, such as Campaigns, Ad Groups, Ads & Extensions, and Keywords.

One of the most important sections is the Campaigns tab. This is where you’ll create and manage your campaigns. You’ll also find performance data and insights here, which will help you optimize your campaigns over time. The Keywords tab is another critical area, as it allows you to manage the keywords you’re targeting with your ads. We’ll dive deeper into keyword research and selection in a later section.

Now that you have your Google Ads account set up and you’re familiar with the interface, it’s time to define your campaign goals and choose the right campaign type.


Defining Your Campaign Goals

Setting clear goals is a crucial step in how to set up a Google Ads campaign. Your goals will guide your campaign strategy and help you measure success. Common goals for Google Ads campaigns include increasing website traffic, generating leads, boosting sales, and raising brand awareness. Your specific goals will depend on your business objectives and the nature of your products or services.

Identifying Your Objectives

Start by identifying what you want to achieve with your Google Ads campaign. Are you looking to drive more visitors to your website, increase online sales, or promote a new product? Your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, instead of setting a vague goal like “increase sales,” aim to “increase online sales by 20% over the next three months.”

While increasing sales is a common goal, it’s essential to recognize that there are various objectives you can pursue.

You have the flexibility to select from a range of campaign objectives, including:

  • Sales: Encourage actions like subscriptions, adding items to the cart, and increasing order values.
  • Leads: Drive engagements such as newsletter signups, form submissions, and phone calls.
  • Website traffic: Generate clicks and increase page views to your website.
  • Product and brand consideration: Promote specific products to encourage consideration.
  • Brand awareness and reach: Expand your audience reach and visibility through branded keywords.
  • Local store visits and promotions: Drive offline conversions and leads by promoting local store visits and special promotions.
  • App promotion: Increase app installs, interactions, and free trial signups.
  • No specific objective: Run campaigns without a predefined goal in mind, allowing for flexibility and exploration.

campaign objective

Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives, you can tailor your campaign to meet these goals. For instance, if your goal is to increase website traffic, you’ll want to focus on high-traffic keywords and create compelling ad copy that encourages clicks. On the other hand, if you’re looking to generate leads, you might prioritize lead capture forms and landing pages designed to convert visitors into customers.

Different Types of Google Ads Campaigns

When advertisers embark on creating new campaigns in Google, they are presented with a range of nine distinct types:

Search: These ads are showcased as promoted links within Google search results.

Display: Also known as banner ads, display ads encompass image ads, brief videos, and HTML-based ads displayed on non-Google websites that have opted to feature ads.

Video: YouTube hosts various types of video ads, including skippable pre-roll ads lasting 30 seconds and unskippable bumper ads lasting six seconds, typically appearing at the start of videos.

Shopping: Product listing ads for items or services available online are featured in search results alongside text ads and within Google’s dedicated Shopping tab.

Demand Gen: An innovative campaign format introduced for experimentation, appearing across Google’s social platforms such as YouTube Shorts, Discover, and Gmail.

App: Tailored specifically for advertisers of mobile applications, these campaigns are visible across Google’s mobile properties, encompassing search, the Google Play store, and YouTube.

Local: Geared towards promoting physical locations like brick-and-mortar stores or restaurants, local ads predominantly surface on Google Maps.

Smart: This ad type grants new or smaller business advertisers the option to allow Google to autonomously distribute their ads across all Google-owned properties.

Performance Max: Serving as an automated campaign type akin to smart campaigns, Performance Max showcases ads across all channels but is designed to cater to large-scale commercial accounts.

Keyword Research and Analysis

Keyword research is the backbone of a successful Google Ads campaign. It’s all about finding the right keywords that your target audience is using to search for products or services like yours. In this section, I’ll guide you through the process of conducting keyword research and analyzing your findings to select the most effective keywords for your campaign.

Using Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for conducting keyword research. It provides data on search volume, competition, and estimated cost-per-click (CPC) for different keywords. To access Keyword Planner, go to the Tools & Settings menu in your Google Ads account and select “Keyword Planner.”

Start by entering a few seed keywords related to your business. For example, if you run a digital marketing agency, you might enter keywords like “digital marketing services,” “SEO,” and “content marketing.” Keyword Planner will generate a list of related keywords along with important metrics like average monthly searches and competition level.

keyword research

Analyzing Keyword Data

Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s time to analyze the data. Look for keywords with a high search volume and low to medium competition. These keywords are likely to drive more traffic to your site without costing a fortune. Pay attention to the estimated CPC, as this will help you budget for your campaign.

In addition to search volume and competition, consider the relevance of each keyword to your business. Choose keywords that closely align with your products or services and the intent of your target audience. For example, if your goal is to drive sales, focus on keywords with commercial intent, such as “buy running shoes online” or “best digital marketing software.”

After analyzing your keyword data and selecting the best keywords for your campaign, it’s time to create compelling ad copy and landing pages.

Creating Compelling Ad Copy

Creating compelling ad copy is crucial for capturing the attention of your target audience and encouraging them to click on your ads. Your ad copy should be clear, concise, and persuasive, highlighting the unique benefits of your products or services. In this section, I’ll share some tips on writing effective ad copy and setting up your ad extensions.

Writing Effective Ad Copy

When writing ad copy, it’s essential to include your target keywords to improve the relevance and quality score of your ads. Your ad should have a compelling headline, a clear description, and a strong call to action (CTA). The headline is the first thing users will see, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing and relevant to their search query.

For example, if you’re advertising a digital marketing agency, a headline like “Top Digital Marketing Services – Boost Your Business Today” can be effective. The description should provide more details about your services and why users should choose you. Highlight any unique selling points, such as “Certified Experts,” “Affordable Packages,” or “Proven Results.”

Your CTA should encourage users to take the next step, whether it’s visiting your website, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase. Phrases like “Learn More,” “Get a Free Quote,” or “Shop Now” can be effective CTAs. Remember to keep your ad copy within the character limits set by Google Ads.

Setting Up Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are additional pieces of information that can be added to your ads, such as phone numbers, addresses, site links, and more. They can improve the visibility and click-through rate (CTR) of your ads by providing users with more reasons to click. There are several types of ad extensions, including call extensions, location extensions, and site link extensions.

Call extensions allow users to call your business directly from the ad, which is particularly useful for mobile users. Location extensions display your business address, making it easier for users to find you. Site link extensions add extra links to your ad, directing users to specific pages on your website, such as “About Us,” “Services,” or “Contact.”

To set up ad extensions, go to the Ads & Extensions tab in your Google Ads account and click on “Extensions.” From there, you can choose the type of extension you want to add and enter the necessary information. Ad extensions can significantly enhance your ads and improve your overall campaign performance.

  • Sitelinks: Direct links to other pages on your site.
  • Location Extensions: Display a map of your location.
  • Structured Snippets: Highlight amenities, services, brands, and more.
  • Price Extensions: Show prices for your products or services.
  • Promotion Extensions: Feature special offers and deals.
  • Image Extensions: Include images to enhance your ads.
  • Call Extensions: Enable users to call directly from mobile devices or display a phone number.
  • App Extensions: Provide a link for users to download your app.
  • Callouts: Emphasize benefits, new features, or additional information.
  • Affiliate Location Extensions: List third-party retailers where your products are available.
  • Lead Form Extensions: Allow users to submit their contact information directly.

These extensions can make your ads more informative and attractive, increasing their effectiveness. Now that you’ve created compelling ad copy and set up your ad extensions, the next step is to design effective landing pages that convert visitors into customers.

Designing Effective Landing Pages

Your landing page is where users will land after clicking on your ad, and it’s a crucial element of your Google Ads campaign. An effective landing page should be relevant to the ad, provide valuable information, and encourage users to take action. In this section, I’ll share some best practices for designing high-converting landing pages.

Elements of a High-Converting Landing Page

A high-converting landing page should have a clear and compelling headline that matches the message of your ad. This helps reassure users that they’ve landed on the right page. The headline should be followed by a concise and persuasive subheadline that provides more context and entices users to read further.

Your landing page should also include high-quality images or videos that showcase your product or service. Visual content can help grab users’ attention and make your page more engaging. Additionally, include a clear and prominent CTA that tells users exactly what you want them to do, such as “Sign Up Now,” “Get a Free Trial,” or “Buy Now.”

Other important elements include trust signals like customer testimonials, reviews, and security badges. These can help build credibility and reassure users that they are making a safe and informed decision. Make sure your landing page is mobile-friendly and loads quickly, as slow-loading pages can lead to high bounce rates and lost conversions.

A/B Testing Your Landing Pages

A/B testing, or split testing, is a method of comparing two versions of a landing page to see which one performs better. By testing different headlines, images, CTAs, and other elements, you can optimize your landing page for higher conversions. Start by creating two variations of your landing page and driving traffic to both versions.

Use tools like Google Optimize or Unbounce to set up and run your A/B tests. Monitor the performance of each version and analyze the data to determine which one is more effective. Keep testing and iterating on your landing pages to continually improve your conversion rates and achieve better results from your Google Ads campaign.

With your landing pages designed and optimized, it’s time to set your budget and bidding strategy to ensure you’re getting the most out of your advertising spend.

Setting Your Budget and Bidding Strategy

Setting the right budget and bidding strategy is crucial for the success of your Google Ads campaign. Your budget determines how much you’re willing to spend on your ads, while your bidding strategy affects how your ads are placed and how much you pay per click. In this section, I’ll guide you through the process of setting your budget and choosing the right bidding strategy.

Determining Your Budget

Your budget should be based on your overall marketing goals and the amount you’re willing to invest in achieving them. Start by considering how much you can afford to spend each day. Google Ads allows you to set a daily budget, which is the average amount you’re willing to spend per day on your campaign.

To determine your daily budget, consider factors such as the cost-per-click (CPC) of your target keywords, the number of clicks you aim to get, and your overall advertising budget. For example, if you have a monthly advertising budget of $1,000 and you want your campaign to run for 30 days, your daily budget would be around $33.

It’s also essential to monitor your campaign performance regularly and adjust your budget as needed. If you notice that your ads are performing well and generating a good return on investment (ROI), you might consider increasing your budget to drive even more traffic and conversions.


Choosing a Bidding Strategy

Google Ads offers several bidding strategies, each suited to different campaign goals. The two main types of bidding strategies are manual and automated. Manual bidding allows you to set your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for each keyword, giving you more control over your ad spend. This strategy is ideal if you have experience with Google Ads and want to fine-tune your bids.

Automated bidding strategies, on the other hand, use Google’s machine learning algorithms to optimize your bids for maximum performance. Some popular automated bidding strategies include:

  • Maximize Clicks: Automatically sets your bids to get as many clicks as possible within your budget.
  • Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): Sets bids to help you get as many conversions as possible at your target CPA.
  • Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): Sets bids to help you achieve a specific return on ad spend.
  • Maximize Conversions: Automatically sets bids to get the most conversions within your budget.

Choose the bidding strategy that aligns with your campaign goals. For example, if your goal is to drive traffic to your website, you might choose the Maximize Clicks strategy. If you’re focused on generating leads or sales, the Target CPA or Maximize Conversions strategies might be more suitable.

With your budget and bidding strategy set, the next step is to launch your campaign and start monitoring its performance.

Choose Locations and Languages


Where does your audience reside? Is it in bustling cities like San Francisco, California, or quaint neighbourhoods within? Pinpointing these locations is crucial for targeting your ads effectively. You can refine your targets to regions, countries, states, or cities, and even specify with ZIP codes or radii. Keep in mind, however, that broader targeting areas entail larger budgets.

Within location options, you’ll encounter choices about people’s proximity to your business: presence or search interest.

Opt for “Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations” if you aim to attract physically present individuals within your chosen areas. This option suits businesses with brick-and-mortar establishments seeking local traffic, such as someone searching for a “lawyer near me” while in San Francisco.

Alternatively, if someone searches for a “San Francisco lawyer” from outside the city, selecting “Search interest: People searching for your targeted locations” allows your ads to reach those beyond your chosen geography.

Additionally, consider the language preferences of your target audience. Even international users may search for products and services in English, despite their browser settings being in their native language.

However, there’s merit in targeting all languages to broaden your audience. For further insights on targeting specific language speakers within and beyond their home countries, delve into Search Engine Journal’s exploration of this topic.

Narrow Your Target Audiences

Audience segments comprise individuals either seeking or showing an affinity for specific interests. Here, you can pinpoint audiences aligned with your customer persona, aiding in the identification of potential customers actively seeking your offerings.


Typical audience segments encompass:

  • Specific interests
  • Demographics
  • Visitors to your website homepage
  • Existing customers

Launching Your Campaign

You’ve done all the hard work of setting up your Google Ads campaign—now it’s time to launch it and start driving traffic to your website. In this section, I’ll walk you through the process of launching your campaign and monitoring its performance to ensure you’re getting the best results.

Reviewing Your Campaign Settings

Before you hit the “Publish” button, it’s crucial to review all your campaign settings to ensure everything is set up correctly. Double-check your targeting options, ad copy, keywords, budget, and bidding strategy. Make sure your ads are linked to the appropriate landing pages and that all ad extensions are set up correctly.

It’s also a good idea to preview your ads to see how they will appear to users. Google Ads provides a preview tool that allows you to see your ads in different formats, such as desktop and mobile. This can help you spot any potential issues and make last-minute adjustments before launching your campaign.

Going Live

Once you’re confident that everything is set up correctly, it’s time to go live! Click the “Publish” button in your Google Ads account to launch your campaign. Your ads will start appearing on Google search results pages and across the Google Display Network based on your targeting settings.

Keep in mind that it might take a few hours for your ads to start showing, so be patient. Once your campaign is live, you can start monitoring its performance and making adjustments as needed.

With your campaign live, the next step is to track its performance and optimize it for better results.

Monitoring and Optimizing Your Campaign

Monitoring and optimizing your Google Ads campaign is an ongoing process that involves analyzing performance data, making adjustments, and continually improving your ads. In this section, I’ll share some tips on how to monitor your campaign’s performance and optimize it for better results.

Tracking Performance Metrics

Google Ads provides a wealth of performance data that can help you understand how your campaign is performing. Key metrics to track include impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), conversions, and conversion rate. These metrics will give you insights into how well your ads are performing and where there might be room for improvement.

You can view these metrics in the Google Ads dashboard under the Campaigns tab. Use the data to identify trends and patterns, such as which keywords are driving the most traffic and which ads are generating the most conversions. This information will help you make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaign.

Making Data-Driven Adjustments

Based on your performance data, make adjustments to your campaign to improve its effectiveness. For example, if you notice that certain keywords are driving a lot of clicks but few conversions, you might consider pausing those keywords or adjusting your ad copy to better align with user intent.

If your ads have a low CTR, experiment with different headlines and descriptions to see what resonates better with your audience. A/B testing can be particularly useful here, as it allows you to compare different versions of your ads and determine which ones perform best.

Additionally, consider adjusting your bidding strategy based on performance data. If certain keywords or ad groups are performing exceptionally well, you might increase your bids to maximize their exposure. Conversely, if some keywords are underperforming, you might lower your bids or pause them altogether.

Regularly monitoring and optimizing your campaign will help you get the most out of your Google Ads investment and achieve your marketing goals.


Setting up a Google Ads campaign might seem daunting at first, but with the right approach and a clear understanding of each step, it becomes a manageable and rewarding process. By following this complete tutorial on how to set up a Google Ads campaign, you’ll be well-equipped to create effective ads that drive traffic, generate leads, and boost sales.

Remember to start by understanding the basics of Google Ads, defining your campaign goals, and conducting thorough keyword research. Create compelling ad copy, design effective landing pages, and set your budget and bidding strategy. Once your campaign is live, monitor its performance and make data-driven adjustments to optimize your results.

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