Ad campaign: 4 easy steps to set one up on the Google Search Network

In the last article we examined setting up your AdWords account for the first time. This article introduces ad campaigns, how to set them up, naming, use of options and setting up ad groups according to website categories and sub-categories. In the second article of this series, we’ll take a deeper look at the Google Search Network.

Ad Campaign setup

  • Networks:  Untick search partners (the reason why we want to do this is gain a clearer understanding from campaign performance results; Google is the largest search engine and ultimately all SEO efforts focus on Google)
  • Locations: Your country e.g. Tanzania, France etc.
  • Target: People in my target location (selected by default)
  • Bid strategy: Focus on clicks, manual CPC bidding (not recommended if you have absolutely no time to manage your account; however, if you desire to have control over your campaigns, set the bidding to manual)
  • Ad rotation: Rotate indefinitely (we select indefinite rotation to optimize our text ads on factors other than click-through rate; Google will by default show the ad with the highest CTR which means more revenue for Google in terms of clicks)
  • Keyword matching options: By default variants are included by Google   IGNORE the warnings if you expect to effectively manage your campaign.

Ad Campaign naming basics

Always start with [SEA] (Any layman with even the most basic knowledge of Google AdWords should be able to tell that “SEA” means ‘Search’ upon first glance; if you’re managing campaigns for a client or as a company exec, you probably want to do this for simplicity to top level management who may occasionally look into account performance).

For the Title Case (Always great to have standard naming across the entire account for both analysis and appearance).

Ad Campaign options

Website categories (is your website divided into several primary categories? Example, a news website may have local news, international news, business news and sports news).

Competitors (do you leverage your competitors brand names for advertising on Google? They may already be using yours! Check to see who your major competitors are online and whether it makes sense for you to be doing campaigns on their brands).

Own brand name (some marketers will probably be against this and may have valid reasons. Why would I want to advertise for my own brand especially if I already show well organically? It seems like a waste on first glance; however, if you consider the level of control and influence afforded by ad text as well as the fact that competitors will probably use your brand name in their campaigns, it does not hurt to create a low budget campaign and monitor against leads, sales or other conversions generated).

Business model (is your business an online directory, a music portal, a news website? Whatever your business model, you may create a campaign for it leveraging keywords particular to that model).

Ad group naming: website category

  1. Reflective of keywords (help to avoid duplicating keywords in the account) – using your head match or primary keywords, create ad groups using those keywords. Divide ad groups into three main ad groups for each primary keyword:
    • Exact match ad groups (list 1-2 exact match keywords)
    • Phrase match ad groups (add the same 1-2 keywords above but using phrase match instead; add all exact match and longtail keywords as negatives)
    • Longtail ad groups ( add all long tail keywords that are not in your exact match ad group; exclude them from phrase match by adding them as negatives in the phrase match ad group)
  2. Visibility on match types with (phrase) and bucket ad groups with (long tail)
  3. Always start with the same keyword
  4. Always in Title Case and + separator

What about subcategories?

Some sites have lower level categories. For instance:

  • Classifieds sites – Lump Primary and subcategories together in 1 campaign
  • Deal sites – Also combine Primary and subcategories in 1 campaign
  • Content sites – Always consult with HQ for structure because rarely do content sites adopt identical layouts


You can now hopefully organize your first Google AdWords Ad campaign. In the next article, we’ll examine competitor and own brand naming as well as keyword rules.  

Marketing, Academic Posts, Learning Resources and Reviews, twice a month.
I hate spam too. Unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment