Do you know that there are some settings that you need to edit before running an AdWords campaign?
Google AdWords is the go-to online advertising network if you’re interested in marketing your products or services on Google Search, Gmail or YouTube. And don’t forget their Display Network where your ad can show up across 2 million websites and 650,000 mobile apps.
This pay-per-click (PPC) channel helps you reach your target audience across all stages of the purchase funnel.
To reach those higher up in the funnel, you can create a Google Display or YouTube campaign where you expose your brand to your target audience.
On the other hand, Google Search campaigns are best in reaching those lower down the funnel. People who have the intent to purchase your products or services.
I won’t go into detail on how to create the different types of campaigns. But I’ll walk you through the basic and yet important things that you need to set up.
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1. Sign Up For Google AdWords
You just need a Google account to start using AdWords. It can even be the basic Gmail one.
Then, Google will ask you for some basic details like your website URL. You will also have to set up your first campaign and billing details.
Just double-check the country, time zone and currency for your AdWords account.
Note: If Google offers you the option to choose AdWords Express or AdWords…
- AdWords Express: Google manages your ads for you
- AdWords: You manage your own ads
I highly recommend that you choose AdWords so that you have full control over your campaigns.
2. Link AdWords & Google Analytics
Next, you’ll have to link AdWords and Google Analytics if you want AdWords data to appear in Google Analytics.
2a. Before Linking: Have Access To Both Accounts & Use The Same Currency
You will need to have access to both the AdWords and Google Analytics accounts.
Bear in mind that if your AdWords and Analytics use a different currency, Google Analytics will automatically convert the AdWords cost and CPC figures to the currency that you are using in your Google Analytics account.
Hence, it’s best to use the same currency for both AdWords and Google Analytics.
2b. Linking AdWords & Google Analytics
Log into Google Analytics and click on the Admin gear icon on the left menu. Then, click on AdWords Linking under the Property column.
Click on + New Link Group and select the AdWords account you just created. You can copy the AdWords ID and search it here if you have numerous AdWords accounts.
After you click Continue, you can name this link group and choose which views you want AdWords data to appear on.
If you have a few AdWords accounts, you can choose to include the AdWords ID in the link group name so you know which AdWords account you’re linking.
It’s recommended that you turn on all views so you can see AdWords data across all Google Analytics views.
Google will also remind you that creating this link enables auto-tagging. Upon clicking on Advanced settings, you can choose to enable auto-tagging or leave auto-tagging settings as they are.
I highly recommend that you enable auto-tagging because it
- saves you the work of manually tagging every ad
- imports conversion data from Google Analytics into AdWords
- imports campaign and cost data from AdWords into Google Analytics
Then, click Link accounts and you’re done!
2c. After Linking: Check That Auto-Tagging Is Enabled
Now, log into AdWords.
Click on the gear icon in the top-right corner and click Account settings.
You should land on Preferences. If you don’t, just click on it at the left menu. Check that auto-tagging is turned on.
Click on Settings at the left menu then click on Account Settings tab at the top of the page. Check that auto-tagging is turned on.
3. Import Google Analytics Goals Into AdWords
Most business owners run Google Ads to increase sales. There are also other goals like app downloads, newsletter signups and more. Google regards these valuable actions as conversions.
You can set up conversion tracking so Google knows what actions are valuable to your business and thus, optimize your ads for these conversions. (Check out how to maximize conversions with Google Ads/AdWords optimization tips~)
To populate the conversion columns in AdWords, you can import Google Analytics goals into AdWords.
Click on Tools at the top menu the click Conversions.
Click on Google Analytics at the left menu and you’ll see a list of goals from the various Google Analytics properties and views.
Click on the tool icon at the top-right corner and click Conversions under the Measurement column.
Then, click on the + button.
Choose to Import conversions from another system.
Select Google Analytics.
Select the goal you want to import. Choose a category, value, conversion window, count, whether you want to include in the Conversion columns and the attribution model.
I usually choose 90-day conversion window (the maximum), count every conversion and the data-driven, time decay or position-based attribution model.
3a. Add Conversion Metrics
You can return to the Campaigns, Ad groups or Ads tab. Then, modify the columns by adding conversion metrics like conversions, cost / conv., conv. rate and more. Or you can simply click on Conversions to add conversion metrics in 1 click!
Click on Campaigns, Ad groups or Ads & extensions on the left menu. Then, modify the columns by adding conversion metrics like conversions, cost / conv., conv. rate and more. Or you can simply click on Conversions to add conversion metrics in 1 click!
Note that these conversion columns will sum up conversions across all your goals.
If you want to see conversion for a specific goal, click on Segment then select Conversions and Conversion name. You’ll see a breakdown of conversions for each specific goal.
4. Check Campaign Settings
4a. Bid Strategy
After importing your goals, AdWords is able to optimize your ads for conversions.
Click on one of your campaigns then click on the Settings tab (note that only some campaigns will have these settings available). Then, choose a suitable Bid Strategy.
Conversion-Based Bid Strategies
- Enable Enhanced CPC (for Manual CPC): AdWords will automatically adjust your bids to maximize conversions
- Target CPA: Get the most conversions while maintaining your target cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
- Target ROAS: Get the most conversion value while maintaining your target return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Maximize conversions: Get the most conversions within your budget
- Enhanced CPC (Automated): Adjusts your bids to increase conversions
Some of these bid strategies will require a conversion value which you have defined earlier when importing Google Analytics goals into AdWords.
Other Bid Strategies
- Target search page location: AdWords will automatically set your bids to make your ad appear at the top of the page or on the first page of search results
- Target outranking share: AdWords will automatically set your bids to outrank another domain’s ads
- Maximize clicks: Get the most clicks within your budget
4b. Advanced Location Options
Besides checking that you’re targeting the right country, do remember to expand the Advanced Location Options.
For Target, I recommend that you choose People in or regularly in your targeted locations. This way, you’ll target people whose physical location is currently in the target country at the time of searching. The other 2 options will allow ads to show to people who search for your target country (but not necessarily living in the target country).
5. Link AdWords & Google Search Console
When you link AdWords and Google Search Console, the Paid and Organic report becomes available to you. You can view this report either by
- clicking on Reports in the top menu, clicking on Pre-defined reports, hovering over Basic and selecting Paid and organic
- clicking on the Dimensions tab and choosing Paid & organic
Check out how you can use the paid and organic report.
Click on the gear icon in the top-right corner and click Linked accounts.
Click on View details under Search Console.
Then, enter the URL for the website you want to link.
Click on the tool icon at the top-right corner and click Linked accounts under the Setup column.
Click on Details under Search Console. Then, follow the instructions.
6. Link AdWords & YouTube
One advantage of linking AdWords and YouTube is that you can add call-to-action (CTA) overlays. This CTA overlay will appear as soon the video begins to play and when viewers click on it, they’ll be redirected to the page that you have specified as the URL.
Click on the gear icon in the top-right corner and click Linked accounts. Click on View details under YouTube then click on the + Channel button.
Click on the tool icon at the top-right corner and click Linked accounts under the Setup column. Click on Details under YouTube then click on the plus button.
Whether new or old interface, you’ll have to search for the YouTube channel or enter its URL.
If the YouTube channel belongs to you, select I own this channel and click Go to YouTube where you’ll have to sign in.
If the YouTube channel does not belong to you, select Someone else owns this channel, enter the channel owner’s email address then send link request. Once the owner approves your request, the YouTube channel will be linked to your AdWords account.
You can also link AdWords with Google Merchant Center, Google Play and more. Just follow the instructions and they can be linked easily.
7. Link AdWords & Google My Business (for Location Extension)
When you link AdWords and Google My Business, your business locations will appear as location extensions in your AdWords ads. This will be useful if you have physical brick-and-mortar stores.
Click on the Ad extensions tab, select Location extensions then click + Extension.
Click on the Ads & extensions on the left menu then click on the Extensions tab. Click on the plus button and choose Location extension.
You will then be offered the option to either Select a Google My Business account (if you’ve already linked them) or Request to link a Google My Business account (enter the email address associated with your Google My Business account).
8. Check Automated Extensions
While you’re still on the Ad extensions tab, you can move on and select Automated extensions report. Click on the Automated extension options (advanced).
The default is that AdWords will use all automated extensions.
However, you can choose to not use specific automated extensions.
For example, if you have an ongoing campaign where you want to drive traffic to a specific landing page, you may choose to not show dynamic sitelinks which will bring users to your corporate website.
Do take your time to look through and see whether you will need to disable any of the automated extensions.
9. Add Placement Exclusions
Click on the Shared library on the left menu and you’ll see Campaign placement exclusions and Account placement exclusions.
Click on the tool icon in the top-right corner and click Placement exclusion lists under the Shared Library column.
This is where you can upload a list of placements you would like to exclude when advertising on the Google Display Network.
I would recommend that you choose Campaign placement exclusions because you might exclude certain placements for one campaign but you might include them in another campaign.
Account placement exclusions means that these placements will be excluded from your entire account. You can add placements here if you never ever want your ads to appear on certain sites.
10. Add Automated Rules
Automated rules let you make changes automatically, based on settings and conditions you choose. For instance, you can pause your ads or keywords or change your budget, bids, and more.
Click on the Bulk operations on the left menu then click on Automated rules.
Or another method is to choose any campaign, ad group, keyword or ad then click on Automate.
Click on the tool icon in the top-right corner and click Rules under the Bulk Actions column.
Another way to create automated rules is by choosing any campaign, ad group, keyword or ad then clicking on Edit and choosing to Create an automated rule.
You can create automated rules for
- Ad group
Now It’s Your Turn
What other settings did you change when setting up Google AdWords?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.
Besides Google ads, there are other ways to drive traffic to your website. Attend online business classes and marketing and sales classes for more business growth tips. Or watch streaming broadcasts of free online classes at CreativeLive! You can also join online courses at Udemy~