Digital Marketing Measurement

Setting up a Google AdWords Campaign

Following up on my previous post on Google AdWords and contextual targeting, I would like to give overview on the main elements of a Google AdWords campaign.

The structure of a Google AdWords account is based on three main levels: account, campaign and ad group.

AdWords structure

AdWords structure is based on 3 levels: account, campaign and ad groups.

An account is identified by a unique email address and password (Gmail account used to log in) as well as by a Customer ID number. It is also associated to specific billing information.

An account can contain multiple campaigns.

Each campaign has its own budget, start and end dates, geographic and language targeting options.

An ad campaign is made up of multiple ad groups.

Each ad group contains a set of ads and a list of related keywords.

It is important that your account structure mirrors the structure of your business. Each campaign should be specific enough to identify a specific business goal (e.g. selling a product or service) so that the different ad groups can give you enough flexibility to describe its different attributes in detail. A granular structure will allow you to create ads specific enough to match the related keyword list and users’ search terms and perform well.

From a practical point of view, Google AdWords help center provides a detailed step-by-step guide to set up a campaign. I will try to sum up the main aspects involved.

The first thing you need to choose is you campaign name. It’s good practice to have descriptive names that help you identify each campaign easily, especially if you’re going to create many. Your campaign name won’t be visible to your customers. It’s for internal use only.

Then you’ll have to specify your campaign type. This will depend on the type of campaign you have planned and the type of ads you intend to show. This selection will determine which setting options – for example in terms of budget and targeting – and which features will be available in your campaign.

In terms of network settings, depending on the type of campaign you have selected, you can choose to display your ads on the Search Network only, Display Network only, or both Search & Display.

Selecting the Search Network you choose to show ads on Google search sites, including Google Search, Shopping, Maps, and Images, and other search sites that partner with Google (you have the flexibility to include Google search partners or exclude them and just limit your targeting to Google properties).

Sites in the search network will show mainly text ads, however Google Images will also show image ads.

Selecting the Display Network (GDN) you choose to show ads on Google’s network of partner websites, as well as on Google sites like Gmail, YouTube, Blogger and Google Finance. This is a good fit for a variety of ad types such as text, image, rich media, and video ads.

Selecting both Search & Display, you target your campaign to the widest audience available in AdWords.

You’ll also have to decide on your location and language settings.

For example, if the purpose of your campaign is to advertise a product you’re selling only in one country, it will make sense to limit the location setting to that country. Likewise, if your customers only speak one specific language, you should limit the language setting accordingly.

The main methods to select you location targeting are:

–       Targeting entire countries

–       Targeting specific area within a country

–       Targeting a radius around a location

The language set as target should always be the language in which your ads are written. Also, since the target language is set at campaign level, there shouldn’t be a mix of ads in different languages within the same campaign. If a business targets several languages, each language should be targeted in a separate campaign.

Another choice in terms of audience selection is device targeting: you can decide to target your ads to all available devices or specify selecting any of the following:

–       desktop and laptop computers

–       mobile devices with full browsers (such as iPhones and Android devices)

–       tablet devices with full browsers.

If you choose any of the last two, you can specify further by selecting specific operating systems, device models, carriers and Wi-Fi.

Finally, you’ll have to choose your bidding and budget.

Your budget determines the charging limit for your campaign. It’s set per day. Your actual daily spend varies and may peak at 20% above your daily budget (this is called over-delivery), but the system makes sure that over a given billing period you won’t be charged more than your monthly charging limit, which is:

your daily budget * 30.4 (average days per month).

Your bidding option refers to your pricing model. By default it is CPC (Cost Per Click), which means that you pay only when users click on your ads. This is by far the most common option. However, other options are also available.

It is possible to select CPM (Cost per Mille), but exclusively for campaigns targeting the Display Network only. If you choose this pricing model and bidding option, you’ll pay based on impressions, not clicks.

It is also possible to select CPA (Cost per Acquisition), but only for campaigns with conversion tracking set up. This is meant for conversion-based campaigns, where advertisers have set up specific goals as conversions and are paying based on the number of conversions (for instance, only if a click on the ad converts into the purchase of a product on my landing page).

Your bid amount has an impact on your ad traffic and ranking as well as on your ROI. Higher bids are likely to increase your ad exposure as well as your spending. Lower bids are likely to increase your ROI, but generate fewer clicks and conversions.

These are the main campaign settings. There are other advanced settings among which it is worth mentioning start and end date. Your campaign may be meant to run for a specific limited amount of time (e.g. a special offer promotion, a new product launch etc). You can schedule your campaign to start and end on specific dates.

Thus far I have described the main settings at campaign level. I’ll continue in my next post by talking about ad groups, ads and keywords.

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