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Walkthrough – Setting up a PPC campaign for the first time

There’s no doubt that marketing your business is more of a challenge right now than it’s ever been – and that includes driving leads to your website. Paid search (PPC) has always been one of the most effective ways to attract targeted traffic to the areas of your site most likely to lead to conversions. If you’re considering spending more of your budget on PPC, here’s a basic guide to getting started with the most popular paid search platform: Google Ads

Setting up your Google Ads account

In order to create a Google Ads account, you’ll need an email address and website for your business. For those businesses or individuals who already use a product from the Google suite of tools, such as Gmail, then you can just use your Gmail address to populate this.


  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. From the page menu on the left, click Campaigns.
  3. Click the plus button, then select New campaign.

Set campaign goals

Select one or more goals for your campaign. The three main types are:


Drive sales online, in app, by phone or in store. The sales goal recommends settings and features to help you reach customers who are ready to act

  • Shape how people engage with your business with extensions
  • Get clicks that are more likely to lead to a sale
  • Reach customers as they browse sites, videos and apps that partner with Google


Get leads and other conversions by encouraging customers to take action. The leads goal recommends settings and features to help you attract people to your business

  • Increase your potential customer base with audience targeting
  • Shape how people engage with your business with extensions
  • Expand your reach by showing ads to people as they browse sites, videos and apps that partner with Google

Website traffic

Get the right people to visit your website. The website traffic goal recommends settings and features to help you drive relevant customers to your website

  • Increase visits to your site with a bidding strategy customised to your campaign
  • Reach new customers with relevant, dynamically generated ad headlines
  • Shape how people engage with your business with extensions

Select a campaign type

Your campaign type is where you want your ads to be seen. Google has:

  • “Search Network only” (which means Google search only).
  • “Display Network only” (which means your ad shows up in Google’s Display network of websites, videos, YouTube, Blogger and more. This is also known as AdSense).
  • “Search Network with Display Select” (which is a combo of search and display). We would recommend keeping these campaign types separate; this way you can design your ad specifically for each different campaign type.  It also makes performance analysis easier.


Choose whether to target all types of devices, including desktops, tablets and mobile devices. Later, you can choose to customise ads for different devices.

Language and location

With location settings, you can target the geographic areas where your ads can appear. Language settings allow you to put your ads on Google products and third-party websites in the languages that your customers speak.

Daily budget and bid strategy

You can control how much you spend using two different settings: your daily budget and your bids.

Daily budget

Your daily budget is what you’re willing to spend per day per ad.  Your daily cost is based on a daily average per month, so don’t be alarmed if your spend varies from day to day.


Your bid strategy controls how you pay for users to interact with your ads. Your bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on a keyword if someone searches for that term and then clicks your ad. At first, it can be a good idea to spread your overall budget evenly across your campaigns, then monitor performance to help you identify which work best for your business. Eventually, you should adjust different campaign budgets and bid amounts based on your business goals.

Read more about bidding strategies in this cheat sheet.


The goal when picking keywords is to choose terms that you think people will search for when they’re looking online for what you offer. In addition, you want your keywords to be as relevant as possible to the ad they trigger and to the landing page people will arrive at if they click that ad. You can use Google Keyword Planner to generate relevant keywords, see their search volume and help you decide how much you want to bid on each one. It’s good to have a solid base of keywords when you first start but when your campaigns start receiving traffic, you should review the search terms and can then add in additional keywords.

Find out more about choosing keywords here.

Keyword match types

“Keyword match type” is a setting in Google Ads that lets you further refine when your ad will show up on Google. The following is how Google lists the five options:

Broad Match:

The “broad match” setting shows your ad for searches that contain your keywords in any order, and for related terms. This option shows your ad in the broadest variety of searches, and is the default setting for all campaigns.

Broad Match Modifier:

This setting allows you to specify that certain words in your broad-match keyword must show up in a user’s search to trigger your ad. So, if your keyword is “high fibre wool yarn” and you wanted to make sure “wool” and “yarn” were always present in a search, you could ensure that by adding a plus sign (+) before those words. So, your broad match modifier keyword would be: high fibre +wool +yarn.

Phrase Match:

This option shows your ad for searches that contain your exact keyword, or for searches that contain your exact keyword plus words before or after it. (Ie if your keyword is “wool yarn” you might also show up for “fine wool yarn” or “wool yarn for sale near me.”) To choose this option, you should add quotation marks around any keywords, ie “wool yarn”.

Exact Match:

When you choose exact match, your ad will only show if someone searches for the exact word or phrase you choose. For this option, put brackets around your keyword, eg: [wool yarn].

Negative Match:

This match option allows you to exclude undesirable words or phrases from triggering your ad, weeding out irrelevant traffic. For instance, if you only sell high-end yarn, you might want to exclude words like “bargain” or “cheap.” You can do so by putting a minus sign in front of the words you don’t want to show up for, eg: -cheap, -bargain.

Close Match Variants:

This allows keywords to match to searches that are similar, but not identical, to the targeted keyword, for example, misspellings, abbreviations, singular/plural forms and stmmings (floor/flooring, etc).All keyword match types are all eligible to match to close variants.

Campaign structure

Each paid search campaign should be built around your business goals, split by category or business area.

Ad groups

Each campaign is made up of ad groups, which are sets of keywords, budgets and targeting methods for a particular objective, within the same campaign. For example, if you are running an ad campaign for a shoe sale, you could set up ad groups to target for online sales, women’s shoes and men’s shoes. This makes it simpler to create ads that link directly to a relevant area on your site. You can have multiple ads in each ad group.

campaign structure

Examples of how campaigns and ad groups could be set up:

Campaign 1: Painting

  • Ad Group 1: Paint
  • Ad Group 2: Paintbrushes
  • Ad Group 3: Easels

Campaign 2: Snooker

  • Ad Group 1: Cues
  • Ad Group 2: Chalk
  • Ad Group 3: Snooker Balls

Aim to create campaigns and ad groups relating to specific products or services, and which also mirror your website’s structure will help you gain a higher Quality Score (a 1 to 10 metric used by Google to measure the quality of your ads and the landing pages they trigger). A well-organised campaign structure will also help you to achieve a lower relative cost-per-click (CPC): this is the actual amount you pay when someone clicks on your ad, up to your maximum bid.

Create your ad

Highlight the products and services you offer, and what makes your business unique. Google recommends that you create at least three ads that closely relate to the theme of your keywords. Follow the template here and fill in the destination URL: your landing page. Your landing page is where potential customers arrive after clicking on your ad. Choose wisely the pages you where want to send your traffic and make sure that it is relevant to the ad.

google ads - create your ad

You ad copy and the quality of the landing page that users are taken to are crucial to the success of your campaigns. This blog gives you further advice on creating them. For more in-depth guidance, download our eBook Secrets of Successful PPC Landing Pages.

Get analytical

Connect your account to Google Analytics. This gives you insights into how people interact with your ads and website. It can also highlight any problems, if people arrive at your site but then immediately click away for example, your ad might not be reaching the right people or you might be taking them to the wrong area of your site.

Keep testing

Remember to check back in frequently to keep an eye on which ads and keywords are bringing you the most clicks and conversions. Over time, you should start to see which strategies are helping you meet your goals. Testing is key and is a good way to build your future strategy.

Speak to an expert at Click Consult to find out more about our PPC services (including in-house support). Call us on 0845 205 0292, email hello@click.co.uk or use our contact form.

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