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7 simple steps to launch your first Google Ads campaign...

Step 1: Skip the simplified ad

When you try to launch your first Google ad, new users are led through a simplified (and less effective/customizable) ad creation process just to make sure they get their ads up and running fast. The problem is, because this initial campaign is so simplified, Google doesn’t give you the same control as you’ll have after that first campaign is live.

In other words, your second campaign has more options than your first. Jack wanted to show us the better campaign creation process.

So, he quickly created a dummy campaign just to zoom past the Google Ads onboarding steps. That’s what you’ll have to do as well if you want to get the best possible campaign set up.

To use the following tutorial, first click through the step-by-step campaign Google walks you through. Then pause* that first campaign, so that you can start using Google Ads to its maximum capacity

Okay — let’s dive in.

*Pause and delete your dummy campaign immediately after you create it, so you don’t waste your £££.

Step 2: Create a campaign goal

The key here is specificity. You want to make your campaign precise, not generic. If you offer a B2B service like us, it’s best to start with a low-barrier offer. You don’t want to try to convert a cold lead on a four-figure purchase. You want to just get a simple first step into your sales funnel.

Just as with Facebook advertising, you want your success to be measurable. That begins by defining clear metrics for measuring success — which starts with defining a successful campaign.

What would you like your conversion metric to be?

Once you’ve answered that, you’re ready to build a campaign.

Step 3: Create a landing page and Thank You page

Optional: In this section we recommend hard-coding Pixel to your landing and Thank You pages, just like we did in the Facebook Ads article. But to more easily set up a conversion goal, you can also skip this method by connecting your Google Ad account with your Google Analytics Account. This allows you to import data and goals to your Google Ads, letting you automatically record your conversions, use audiences from Google Analytics, and look at metrics like bounce rate and time on site. If you use Google Analytics, skip to Step 3.

Just like with Facebook Ads, you’ll use Pixels to track success. You’ll include a pixel on your landing page as well as your Thank You page.

When someone arrives on your Thank You page, that will alert Google that there’s been a successful conversion.

Click the blue Plus (+) sign.

Click “Website.”

Note: Even though we are “booking a call,” we still want to use the website conversion option. Using the “phone calls” option places a Google Voice number in the ad that people can call.

Under the Category section, select “Book Appointment.”

Select “Don’t use a value for this conversion action.”

Count it “Once.”

Keep the 30 day click-through conversion window and one-day view through window (this is the most common combination across ad networks).

Under Attribution Model, click the dropdown and change it to “Position based.”

Click “Create and Continue.”

Now you have options: Install the Pixel yourself, email it to your developer, or use Google Tag Manager.

We decided to code it ourselves. When you click “Website,” you’ll see this screen. Simply copy the code and add it to the top of your Thank You page.

By adding the Pixel to the Thank You page, you’re telling Google that when someone arrives on this page, there’s been a successful conversion. All of this has to be done before you start designing a campaign.

Note: The pixel conversion option allows you to track “view through” conversion, while the Google Analytics connection option does not.

But now that it’s out of the way, we can start creating your first Google Ad!

Step 4: Create a campaign

From the Campaign screen, click the blue Plus (+) sign. Select “New Campaign.”


Click “Leads.”

Click “Search.”

Check “Website visits.”

Drop in the URL to your landing page.

Hit “Continue.”

Step 5: Name the campaign

On the next screen, you’ll be asked to name your campaign.

This deserves its own point because this step is more important than it sounds.

Think of the name as a description of the campaign that lets you easily distinguish it from future campaigns. In our case, we called it “Search / nonbranded / UX copywriting.”

Campaigns vs. Ad Groups – What’s the difference? It’s helpful to think of campaigns as buckets filled with many similar ad groups. Your campaign is the broader category. Individual ad groups are the range of variations within that category. When you’re naming a campaign, use a specific keyword phrase (in our case, “UX copywriting”). It’ll serve as the bucket for all future ad sets containing that keyword phrase, with the goal of addressing every question or pain point someone might have.


Select the countries, states, or regions you’d like to target.

Select languages and insert your daily budget. Under Audiences, select “Observational.”

Under Bidding, focus on Clicks to start with. Then swap over to Conversions later on once you have some data.

Under Sitelink Extensions, check all the pages you’d like to feature.

Should you use sitelink extensions? Yes! Sitelink extensions increase the amount of information you can give someone within a single ad placement. The price you pay Google doesn’t change, but you get to feature more content and information about you, your services, and business.

You can add callout extensions like “free consultation” or “money-back guarantee” — any short message you might like to add.

Click “Save and continue.”

Step 6: Set up ad groups

Jack likes to think of ad groups as the variations along a certain keyword phrase. Select a certain keyword.

That keyword has to be in every keyword phrase and every ad within that ad group. Otherwise, you’re using too broad of a search term, which can result in a lot more unqualified leads and lower relevancy scores. As soon as you can’t fit the keyphrase into the ad group, you create a new one.

At the end, you’ll have a pyramid. You’ll have the main core buckets (under Campaigns: your services and the benefits you provide); beneath that, you’ll have ad groups (all the keywords you’ll be targeting); and further below, an extensive variety of phrases containing the target keyword.

You can find these keywords using Google Keyword Planner.

Helpful note: As you type keywords into the box, put quotations around them to signify that you’re going for “Phrase match.” Start with the phrase match, then use broad match or exact match as you see positive or negative results.

Once you’ve added your keywords, click Save and Continue.

Step 7: Create and publish your ad

Now the part you’ve been waiting for: creating search ads.

Remember that Google works on a relevancy score. The more relevant your ad is to the end-user, the more powerful it will be (and the better it will perform in the ad auction).

Google takes several things into consideration: the keyword you’re targeting, your overall relevancy score, your account history, and your bid.

Google wants to find the best balance between showing the most accurate/relevant result for the end user, while still getting the most money from advertisers.

Tips for writing relevant ads:

  • Use the keyword phrase you’re targeting in the ad and landing page
  • Offer a clear call-to-action
  • Name the benefit(s) of using your services

Once you’ve inserted your ad copy, click “Save and continue.”

Click “Publish.”

And your ad is live!

If you feel like this is out of your league, or you feel like your ads just aren’t performing… remember to always e-mail us for some free advice. Click here and we’ll answer any queries you may have!

Originally written by Jack Paxton for Sumo.