A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Google Search Ads Accounts

One of the largest parts of the Digital Marketing Professional course that I lead at RED Academy is Google Search Ads. We teach it for an entire week, as there are many parts, processes and terms to learn. One of the main parts that I think students find daunting is building Google Search Ads accounts and structure. For this reason I’ve created this step-by-step guide for them (and anybody else) to use to guide them in their professional lives! There’s also a video at the bottom if you want to watch me build a campaign in real-time

Stage 1. keyword Research

There’s two ways to approach this for Google Search Ads:

  1. If the site has a nice logical product structure already, you can use this as a basis for campaigns and ad groups, which already gives you the key to your keywords. You will likely have to add more variations of how people cans search for these though
  2. If the site doesn’t have much structure, you will need to figure out all the different ways that people can search for the brand/site and create a keyword list. This keyword multiplier tool will be useful for building keyword variations

Stage 2. Structure

Once you have your keyword list, you need to group your keywords into closely related ad groups. Keep ad groups uniform, and based around variations of one keyword ie:

  • best google search ads consultant
  • vancouver google search ads consultant
  • hire google search ads consultant
  • canada google search ads consultant

When your ad groups are split out in a granular fashion, you just need to group them into campaigns. Ideally you could do this based on site structure, but if not, group them into themes of similar ad groups. You can always move these at a later date if you see that one ad group performs very differently from the rest of the campaign

Stage 3. Match types

Personally (and on most accounts I work on) I always use Broad Match Modified keywords and Exact Match keywords for my Google Search Ads accounts. These keywords need to be split into separate ad groups to enable us to manage them effectively. I also always add the exact match keywords as negative keywords to the BMM ad groups so that I can be sure there is no cannibalisation across ad groups. To add the +’s to your broad match keyword to modify them, I like to use this BMM Tool

stage 4. bids

Now that you have your keyword list built out, you have to set a Max CPC bid. The best way to get this is using Google’s Keyword Planner tool. This will give you a good indication of roughly how much you need to bid. It will also show you how much Google thinks each keyword will spend, so allows you to see if any of your keywords are going to spend all your budget, in which case, you need to consider if you want that to happen.

Stage 5. Final URLs

Make sure you copy and paste the appropriate URLs from your site’s landing pages to the equivalent keywords

Stage 6. building ads

Take the Campaign and Ad Group columns from your keyword sheet and copy and paste into your Ads sheet. This will ensure that Campaign and Ad Group names remain constant across both uploads. Remove duplicates to have one variation per ad group and then copy and paste this list for as many adds as you want to build. I recommend at least three ads per ad group, but an absolute minimum of two so you can A/B test them. Apply a filter and sort by ad group name so that you have equivalent ad groups together.

This part is where you can let your creative juices flow. I recommend building essentially three templates (assuming you are building three ads per ad group) and then using these as a basis for all your ads. Tweak them so that they are appropriate to all ad groups/keywords.

Ad Building tips

When it come to building Google Search ads, there are some points which are very important:

  • Ensure that the keyword it will be shown against is in one of the headlines, the description, and is relevant to the display URL (path 1 and path 2)
  • Try to use all of your characters. Google is only giving you 270 characters to win your next customer, so make them count!
  • Remember that Headline 3 and Description 2 don’t always show, so don’t include important, integral parts of your ad message in these areas
  • Capitalise the first letter of every word, or key words. Technically This Is Known As Camel Case When You Write In This Fashion. It is widely accepted to cause a higher CTR than writing in normal lower-case form

Stage 7. Extensions

While extensions are not totally required for Google Search Ads, they contribute to quality score, help your ad to get noticed, improve CTR and are generally great. There is no excuse not to use them! Ensure that you include relevant

  • Sitelink extensions
  • Callout extensions
  • Call extensions (if you have a number)
  • Structure snippets (if relevant)

And the video

Yes, if you just came here for the video, here it is. It’s probably not in exactly the same order as these stages, but it will take you through how to build a campaign that I built quickly around The Hive Vancouver. I call it Adwords because that’s what it used to be called, but it’s still the same thing. Enjoy!

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