Setting up and maintaining an effective AdWords campaign.

The Adwords platform can be a little daunting at first for many users but mastering it and getting a return from it is not hard. I am going to go into how to set up a search campaign in this blog post. There are many different ways of setting up campaign from the simple (what I am going to show you in this post) to the more complicated SKAG (single keyword ad group) formation. One thing that you must remember is that however you decide to set up your campaign there is still just one objective and that is a conversion on your website, so this is where I will start.

When setting up an ad campaign first think about what you want the objectives of the campaign are going to be. This is a very important step and should not be skipped or looked over as something that is obvious. If you don’t have a very clearly defined objective for your campaign, you won’t know if your campaign is doing well and what you can tweak to make that campaign do better. You will also want to make it something actionable on your website. For example, you may own a local boutique clothing store and winter is coming so you want to create a campaign for the new stock of jackets and scarves that you have on sale. Your goal for this campaign would be the online sale of jackets and scarves. Knowing that is not enough, you will also have to track this through Google Analytics and Adwords. You will then know how people are going through the process and tweak your campaigns and website accordingly. ( I will be going through Google Analytics and how to set up goals and report correctly in another blog post)

Now that you have that in your mind we are going to start in Adwords. Log in (assuming you have an account if you don’t you just go to and sign up. Having an account doesn’t cost you anything. It will only cost you when you have a campaign running and people are clicking on your adverts.

Now that you are logged in we can go ahead and create our very first Google Adwords campaign.

(I will be using the latest release of Adwords, not all account have the new version but accounts will start moving over soon)


Step 1

I am using an Adwords account that does not have any credit on it, this is why you are seeing the red bar at the top of the page. You can ignore that red bar. If you have credit on your account or a credit card attached to your account you wont see the red bar. When you log in this is the page you should see. This is an overview of your campaign when they are running. Once your campaign is running you will be able to keep track of how the campaign is doing from this window.


Step 2

On the left-hand menu bar, you want to click on the ‘Campaigns’ tab. Once it opens this is the screen you will see, select the button in the middle of the screen ‘NEW CAMPAIGN’.


Step 3

Now you are going to be asked what kind of campaign you want to start. In this example, we are only going to be creating a Search Network campaign only. Select ‘Search Network’.


Step 4

You are now going to be asked the outcome you want from the campaign. For this example, I am selecting Website Traffic but your outcome could be different. In another blog post, I will go into conversion tracking through Adwords and Google Analytics.


Step 5

Now that we have selected web traffic as the goal for our campaign, you will be asked to enter your web address. I am just using for this post but you would put in your web address.


Step 6

Select a descriptive name for your campaign. The name of my campaign (which I hadn’t entered when I took the above screenshot) is ‘Winter Sale’. In the Networks block, you get asked which networks you would like your advert to show on. We have selected a search campaign but you can extend your advert with Display Select. In the screenshot above I have both selected but as a rule, if I am running a search campaign I only select the search network. The reason I do this is that I will create a separate display campaign for the winter campaign I am running. This will allow me to see the effectiveness of each campaign in isolation and set budgets and bids accordingly.

You would want to leave the setting to show on all devices. Unless you have a specific reason not to show on a device, you would not want to change those settings. You can make bid adjustments once you have actionable data from your campaign.

The location is completely dependent on your business. If you have a local clothing store and don’t ship further than a certain mileage, you will want to make sure that you only select the areas that you do ship to. If you have the capacity to offer your products to a whole country, select that country. Make sure that when you are planning your campaign you define the geographical area of your customers and use real data to define this. What I do is first think of the locations of the people that I would like to be selling to and write them down. I then go through my analytics and see what locations people are coming to my site from and write them down. Lastly, and most importantly, I look at what locations are driving conversions and write them down. See where your lists meet.


Step 7

When setting your language preferences it’s important to remember that its the language that people have set in there Google interface. If your customers Google interface language is set to German but they search in English and you have set your language to English, your advert will not show up. Having your advert set to all languages is not necessarily good, if your keywords are the same in two languages, your advert could show for someone who does not speak your language. For example, if one of your keywords is ‘Garage’ and someone who only speaks German searches for it, your English advert could show. For this example, we are only going to select English.

In the bidding block, I have selected Manual CPC and selected Enable Enhanced CPC. This means that Google will adjust your bid slightly to try and maximise conversions on your campaign.

Your daily budget is what you are willing to spend each day. for the duration of the campaign. For this example, I am only setting mine to R10, but you would want to have a realistic daily budget.

IF you have an end date you can select the End Date block. I have not set anything when I took the screenshot, but for a winter campaign, I may only want to run the campaign for 2 months before I change it to a spring campaign.

We are going to add the extensions in a step further down.


Step 8

We are now going to set up our ad groups. Each ad group that we set up is going to contain a set of keywords and a set of adverts. The ad group that I have set up above is for winter jackets and contains keywords that represent winter jackets. You would want to create more that one ad group. For example, I could have another ad group for winter socks, and another one for winter gloves. Each of those would contain keywords related to the ad group. You can get ideas of keywords by adding your landing page to the block on the right-hand side. Google will have a look at your landing page and suggest keywords.

Google has different match types that you can have. The match types are broad match, +broad +match +modified, “phrase match”, [exact match], and -negative keyword matches. I have added a guide below to what each of these match types means. You can use these in your keywords to make sure that people see exactly what you want them to see.

Broad match

Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned. Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations.

  • Example keyword: women’s hats
  • Example search: buy ladies hats

Broad match modifier

Ads may show on searches that contain the modified term (or close variations, but not synonyms), in any order.

  • Symbol+keyword
  • Example keyword+women’s +hats
  • Example search: hats for women

Phrase match

Ads may show on searches that match a phrase or are close variations of that phrase, with additional words before or after. Ads won’t show, however, if a word is added to the middle of the phrase, or if words in the phrase are reordered in any way.

  • Symbol: keyword
  • Example keywordwomen’s hats
  • Example search: buy women’s hats

Exact match

Ads may show on searches that match the exact term or are close variations of that exact term. Close variations here may also include a reordering of words if it doesn’t change the meaning, and the addition or removal of function words (prepositions, conjunctions, articles, and other words that don’t impact the intent of a search).

  • Symbol[keyword]
  • Example keyword[women’s hats]
  • Example search: hats for women

Negative match

Ads may show on searches without the term.

  • Symbolkeyword
  • Example keywordwomen
  • Example search: baseball hats

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Step 9

We are almost done setting up the campaign. We are now going to setup adverts for the ad group Winter Coats. If you have more that one ad group (which you should) you will need to add a set of adverts for each group.


Step 10

The advert text should be selected carefully to represent the keywords you have put in your ad group. The landing page should also be representative of the keywords and ad copy that you have written. If someone searches ”warm winter jackets” and you have selected the keyword ”warm winter jackets” your ad copy should say something about warm winter jackets (like my example above) and when the person clicks on your advert they should be taken to a page containing warm winter jackets. Don’t just add your home page as your final URL.

Your ad copy should be enticing and encourage people to click on your ad.


Step 11

We are now going to add the extensions. These are important and should not be skipped. These extensions give you an opportunity to link to other pages in your site that people may be interested in. You are going to want to add 4 sitelink extensions.


Step 12

Callout extensions give you the opportunity to add facts about your business that may assist people in making the decision on what service to go for. The example that I have added below is 24-hour support. Your customers will know that they can find exactly what they are looking for (winter jackets) and if they need to call you at 03h00 because of a freak petrol fight accident that left them without a jacket, they know that they are able to.


Step 13

You are going to want to add 3 callout extensions that are specifically related to your business.

Step 14

A call extension is the number of your business. This will allow people to see your number in there search on there desktop. If they are searching on their mobile device, they will be able to call you by clicking on the call button next to your advert.


Step 15

Once you have clicked ‘save and continue’ you are done and your advert is live. You must now keep monitoring your advert to make sure that people are finding your advert correctly and your ad copy is optimised and your customer are converting.


Lime Green offers full campaign management, so if this process is a bit daunting and you would like the professionals to take over this process for you, visit our contact page and send us an email. If you would just like some advice on a campaign you are currently running we would be more than happy to offer some free advice.