I assume you are here because you are thinking about starting a Google AdWords Campaign. You may be skeptical of advertising in this way or unsure of where to start… but I’m sure you want to know how to create a successful campaign. Well, you’re in the right place.

Search marketing can be a great way to grow your business and enhance brand awareness. Advertising in search listings through channels such as Google AdWords can be much more effective than general ad placements on other channels or media because your adverts can be tailored to display directly to people who have already expressed interest in, or intent to purchase, products or services the same or similar to those that your business is offering. This means that your ads can be shown to potential customers who are already warm to hot prospects and further along the purchasing path than say someone who sees your advert in a magazine, flyer in the mail, even your targeted advert on social media (excluding retargeting advertisements).

If you are thinking of starting a Google AdWords campaign it pays to ensure your search marketing campaigns are setup to achieve your business goals or ROI before you start.

Below are 10 of my greatest questions to ask yourself (or that your marketing consultant should be asking you!) BEFORE you develop ad creative / copy and especially before you start a Google AdWords campaign.

Answering these questions will actually help you get really clear on the objectives of the campaign and give you an idea of what you can expect from the process. Providing the answers to these questions to your marketing consultant will allow them to form great advertising copy that is more likely to drive a click and convert than if you just jump in with what you think is a great idea, offer or wording.

So let’s jump in and go through the list I start with when reviewing and creating search marketing campaigns for clients.

Things to know BEFORE starting a Google AdWords Campaign

1. Who is the target of your campaign?

  • Who are they?
  • How old are they?
  • Where are they from?
  • What do they do?
  • What are they looking for in a product/service like what you are offering?
  • How well do they know you?
  • How and where are they searching?
  • How do they deem credibility?
  • What is their budget to purchase the offer/solution you are offering?
  • What do they want and need?
  • How can your product or service change their day/business/life?

2. What are they searching for?

Think like your customer for a moment.

  • Are they searching for what you are offering?
  • What language do they use when searching for your product or service?
  • What are they looking for when they are searching?
  • What other phrases might they use to find your product or service?
  • What might they type into Google to find your competitor’s product or service?

For example, if you have a great offer on coffee machines that you want to promote. Are your potential buyers likely to use the term “coffee machine” or “Espresso machine”. Are they searching for the brand names? Are they looking for specific features?

And most importantly… What is the intent behind their search?

Is it to buy something now? Is it to solve a problem they are having in their business, to do more research or compare pricing? Is it to buy your product with express shipping?

3. What is your offer?

  • What is the offer you are making?
  • Does your offer create or solve a problem?
  • What’s unique about your offer, or your ideal client?
  • What are the unique selling points of your offer?
  • What makes your offer irresistible?
  • How is your offer consumed?
  • What makes people buy your offer now?
  • What is the difference between your offer, and your competitors?

4. What do you want to achieve from this Google AdWords campaign?

This is an integral part of the ad campaign development process. It helps form the structure of the ad copy, the time-frame of the campaign, and is an important part of measuring the success of the campaign.

Ad campaigns will have a range of outcomes, but for each of your campaigns there needs to be an underlying focus as to why you are running the campaign in the first place.

Is it to:

  • drive more traffic to your website
  • get more traction for your articles
  • grow exposure and reach
  • increase social shares
  • generate new leads
  • increase sales
  • more foot traffic into your offline business
  • build your retargeting network
  • find out more about your customers
  • get people to do something on your site
  • sell more stock
  • let people know what you do
  • inform and educate
  • put your brand in front of or alongside your competitors

5. What do you want the customers to do?

When a potential customer sees your advert, what do you want them to do?

Do you want them to:

  • buy something
  • sign-up for something
  • complete a survey or form
  • request a demo or call back
  • contact you
  • phone you
  • come in-store
  • follow you on social media
  • read something
  • know or learn something
  • share something

The answer to this is important for ensuring the exact call to action on the landing page is clear and concise. It can also be used to draw attention to the advert.

6. How will you get them to take action?

There are a number of ways to get people to the action to click on your advert and then also take your desired action on the landing page. The exact method will be specific to your business, offer and desired outcome.

Ideas can include:

  • making the process appear quick and easy – for example “Apply Online In Less Than 2 Minutes”
  • implying scarcity through an end date, limited stock left, count down timer
  • making sure your call to action is very clear and results-orientated
  • have a special irresistible discount
  • keep your landing page short, simple and actionable

7. What are your competition doing?

  • Are your known competition advertising?
  • What are they advertising?
  • What keywords are they targeting?
  • Who is advertising on your target keywords?
  • What is being advertised on your target keywords?

Looking at your competitors adverts:

  • What are they doing well?
  • What are they not doing well?
  • What could you do better or differently to stand out?

8. What is your AdWords budget?

Budget should always be determined before starting a Google AdWords campaign. You should have a clear outline of spend and goals or outcomes for each AdWords campaign. If you campaign is proving successful the budget can always be adjusted to maximise your results.

The suggested minimum budget is $20-50 / day.

A successful campaign is said to have a 5-10% conversion rate. (conversion being your desired outcome i.e. buy product)

Your keyword competition and estimated CPC for your target keywords will also determine how much you need to spend to get the return you are looking for from your campaign.

Knowing your “cost to acquire a lead” and “cost to acquire a customer” is also helpful in determining your budget.

For example, if you already know that it costs you approximately $35 to acquire a customer, and you have set your Adwords campaign goal to ‘have 100 new customers’, but only set your ad budget to $250… your campaign is highly unlikely to achieve the desired outcome from the beginning.

9. What is your campaign time-frame?

Along with your budget, campaign time-frame needs to be determined before starting your Google Adwords campaign.

The time-frame needs to be long enough to deliver your message and get the results you are looking for.

For longer campaigns ensure you check in on your ad performance regularly to maximise your returns.

10. What are your target phrases, their expected search volume, and estimated CPC?

Now it’s time to do a bit of homework.

Using tools such as KeywordSpy, Keyword Discovery, Google AdWords, Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush etc, you can get an idea of target phrases your competitors are using, the expected monthly search volume (how many people will potentially see the ad), the ad copy your competitors are using, and the approximate cost per click (CPC) for your target keywords and phrases.

This step is important because really popular keywords and phrases will have a higher cost per click which can greatly affect the success of your campaign. If you are targeting keywords with a CPC of $8 and your daily spend budget is set to $20, your ad will automatically not be displayed once your budget is reached, and using this example, your earning potential is capped at 2 customers per day. Not ideal if your campaign goal is 100 leads in 30 days.


Now that you are clear on the campaign outline and goals, great copy options can be created and deployed. As your campaign runs you will be able to track which keywords and ad copy are working the best and you can optimise your campaign for even better results.

Happy Marketing!


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