effective google ads search campaign
Google Ads

How to Set up an Effective Google Ads Search Campaign?

If you are wondering where all your ad budgets are going?

It’s going into Google’s pockets. Yeah, if you don’t have a tight and effective google ads search campaign.

Did you know?

“Small and medium businesses spend about 9000 to 10000 USD on average on google ads campaigns”. Said webFX

“And, we can expect around an 8:1 ratio of return on investment (ROI) from Google ads, if our ads are highly effective”. sourced from Google’s economic impact

According to search engine journals, more than 80% of advertisers use or plan to use responsive search ads for their business. 

And this is the reason why I choose search ad campaigns for this blog post. The primary purpose of this blog post is to save your ad budget from Google. And help you to get good quality leads and sales conversions. 

Google Ads Search Campaign

Google ads search campaign is the most famous and most effective ad campaign type, which will place your ads at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) above the organic results. 

example of ads on the google

Remember this, whatever google recommends inside google ads, it can be interpreted in two ways, one way is to help us and the other is that google trying to churn our ad budget. So, whenever google recommends something like headlines, descriptions, budget recommendations and others in the later part of the section, just think twice before you apply those recommendations.

Google is not a non-profit organization which will help us for free, they are also doing business, and trying to make more money like everyone else. Most of the revenue for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is from google ads only. 

I have written a separate article on the same, “Don’t follow google ads recommendations”, click the link to read that post, I have summarized everything about how google is trying to churn all our ads budget. 

Ok, now let’s dive into the action steps on how to set up an effective google ads search campaign. 

General Settings 

Step 1 – Create a new google ads account. 

Don’t just start filling in all the details, instead click “Switch to expert mode“. 

expert mode for an effective google ads

If you are not switching to the expert mode, you will use google smart campaign. Where all the settings will be easy for you to set up, but you don’t have full control of each keyword, budget, spending and more. 

With a smart campaign, google will take over the most control over your ads. As I mentioned previously, this is where google churns all our ads budget. 

So, Say big NO! NO! To Google’s smart campaign. 

Even if you don’t know anything about the google ads campaign and if this is the first time you are setting up google ads, it’s ok, we are here to help you. You just proceed with expert mode and follow the other steps. 

Step 2 – Choose your Objective

Even though Google has 8 different objectives, for an effective google ads search campaign choose either “leads” or “create a campaign without a goals guidance”. 

Objective on the google ads search campaigns

After selecting anyone, click continue. 

Step 3 – Choose search while selecting a campaign type

As we discussed earlier, for now, our primary focus is to set up an effective google ads search campaign only. 

Choosing search ads

Select the search campaign and click continue. 

Step 4 – Select the ways you like to reach your goal. 

Here choose website visits and phone calls as the conversions. 

Conversion actions on the google search ads

And enter the phone number and your website URL—Double-check where you have entered the valid URL and phone number. 

No need to choose any others, these two conversions are more than enough to track an effective google ads search campaign. 

Step 5 – Creating a conversion action. 

Creating a conversation action is the most important step you shouldn’t skip because only this can track how well your google ads are performing, how much traffic you are getting and measure all the conversions.

I have written a separate blog post on how to create an effective conversion action in detail – check out that blog post here. 

Step 6 – Naming a Search Campaign 

After creating the conversion action, give a name to your campaign. Remember, give a relevant name to your campaign that would be easy for you to understand when you have more campaigns in your ads account. 

naming convention for the google ads campaigns

If you are running an ecommerce business, you might have to create multiple campaigns and ad groups. It might confuse you, then. 

There is a separate naming convention for google ads campaigns. Check this blog post. 

I’m just keeping the name as leads search 1. And then click continue. 

Budget and Bidding 

This is the main setting for your ad campaigns, where it will bring leads, and traffic based on your budget settings. If you have reached the campaign settings before budget settings, don’t worry which is also covered in this blog post. 

Especially, in this phase of setting an effective google ads search campaign, you have to be more conscious of whatever google recommends. Because here’s where google can easily churn you money. 

Step 7 – Choose an average daily budget for your campaign.

Here choose the currency, with which you are going to pay google ads and enter the average daily budget for your google ads. 

budgets and bidding section of the google ads

Note: this is not just a daily budget, this is the average daily budget for your campaign.

Say, for example, if you are setting 100 AED as the daily budget for a month (30 days), google can spend up to 200 AED on some days, it will compensate the same by spending only 50 AED on some other days. But, at month end you will pay 3000 (30 days *100) AED only, not more than that. So don’t get panicked if google spends more than your daily budget on certain days. Nothing we can do about it. 

For now, I have just entered 10 AED as the daily budget. For a month, google won’t spend more than 300 AED. If I am just choosing 7 days as an advertising duration, Google won’t spend more than 70 AED for those 7 days. 

Step 8 – Choosing the bidding strategy

Out of various strategies, I would recommend you to choose clicks as the bidding strategy, which means for a specific keyword you are bidding, you can get the top position on the google search engine results page (SERP) if your bids are higher than others. 

If this is the first campaign you are creating with your ads account, then it will show only a few bidding strategies like clicks, impression share, conversions and conversion value.

If you already have created a campaign before, it will show a few other options like manual CPC, target ROAS, target CPA and more. 

For now, I recommend choosing manual CPC or clicks (Maximise Clicks). 

If you are choosing the manual CPC, you will get complete control over bidding for your keywords. If you are choosing, Maximise clicks, then you are giving some controls to google. Google will try to bring in the maximum number of clicks for your daily budget. 

But here’s the catch, the term maximise clicks may look tempting to choose and want to get more clicks for your budget, but we can’t assure the quality of clicks we are getting from maximising clicks.

So better go with manual CPC, if you feel like you don’t have enough knowledge and time for the Manual CPC, better hire a google ads expert or PPC agency to optimize and monitor your ads campaign rather than letting Google churn your ad budgets. 

And don’t forget to uncheck the enhanced CPC option. 

Step 9 – Optimize the ads rotation

By default, it will be in optimise: prefer best performing ads mode. This means inside each ad group you can have multiple ads. Google will automatically find out the best performing ads and it will prefer that ad to show to more people. 

optimize the ads rotation option on the google

If you want to run A/B tests on your ads, then choose Rotate evenly or don’t optimize mode. By this google will show all the ads evenly. So with this, you can find out which ad text is performing well and bringing in more traffic. 

Then click next. 

Campaign level settings 

Step 10 – Unchecking the search and display network

Please uncheck these two search and display networks, even if you want to get traffic from this site, choose the search network alone, and don’t ever check the display network. 

uncheck the search and display network

You might wonder, why I wanted to uncheck these two, it’s better to get more traffic, right? 

No, it’s not when you are getting irrelevant traffic, you can get good traffic, but poor quality traffic. Quality traffic comes only from the search engine page. 

If you check these two options, google will give you more traffic, but not quality traffic, at last, you will be left with poor conversion rates. 

However, some people check these two networks, to get more traffic out of them. For just the traffic purpose. 

Step 11 – Choose your location

Choosing your location is up to you, I would recommend not to go with a wider range, keep it short and choose the location where your ideal audience is present.

location setting on the google ads

For our business, I would choose only Dubai, and Sharjah city, not the whole UAE. 

However, you have to be careful when choosing the target. I would always recommend people to choose the second option, which is Presence. Not the presence and search interest or search interest alone.

For example, I have targeted a Dubai location, if I choose the presence or interest option (1st option) then my ads will appear to the people who showed interest in Dubai, but staying in Pakistan or India. People staying outside my target location are not our target audience. so there is no use of an interest option here. They will click our ads, and our ad budget will get wasted. 

From this also, google can churn your money by making non-relevant audiences click our ads. 

So always choose the presence alone option on the location settings

Step 12 – Choosing the language

If your business serves in different languages, you can choose all the languages that are relevant to your business. 

Step 13 – Choosing the audience segments

You can see that google would have already chosen observation as the Recommended option. 

audience demographics on the google ads

Please choose the targeting option and target the audience based on your business. For example, if you are selling a product or service related to school students, you can target the parents who are having kids in a specific age group.

I would recommend you to spend a good amount of time on audience research and choose all the categories that are applicable for your business to make an effective google ads campaign

Step 14 – Leave the dynamic ads settings

In dynamic search ads, google will automatically write your ad texts by analysing your landing page or your website home page. 

We have been advising people to not even follow google ads recommendations, how come we can let google write our ads on its own? 

So, leave it as such. 

Step 15 – Additional campaign settings

Don’t miss out on the additional campaign settings. 

Here you can set timing and dates for your ads campaign. 

ad scheduling option on the goods agds search campaign

If you are running ads for any time-constrained offers on your business, select the last date of the offer as the end date, and this can prevent your budget when you forget to turn off your ads on a specific date. 

There is one more important setting, that is Ads schedule. We would recommend businesses adjust their ad schedule to their business hours. So that, you won’t miss any important inquiries after your business hours. Moreover, this setting is highly recommended for service-based businesses.

Then clicks next to continue to keywords and ad level settings (Also known as ad group and ad level settings) 

Keywords for an effective google ads search campaign

Step 16 – keywords settings

Choose the standard ad group itself, don’t go with the smart ad group (which is related to the smart campaigns) 

This is the heart piece of your effective google ads search campaign. The right, long tail and relevant set of keywords can make your ads campaign more effective and leads and sales will start pouring into your business. But on the other hand, keywords with loose ends can break your campaign and all your ad budget will be wasted. 

keywords setting

For example, for our business, “digital marketing agency in Dubai” is the right keyword, long tail and relevant keyword, right? So this should perform well and bring in more relevant traffic, right? 

But, no. 

This keyword has some loose ends. All we got is job resumes and collaboration enquiries from the same industry. Only 30% of the inquiries are from our targeted audience. That’s why I insist you spend some quality time on keyword research and choose only the right, long-tail, relevant and tight keywords without any loose ends. 

Since this is the heart piece of an effective google ads search campaign, here you should be more conscious of following Google’s recommendations. 

Additional tips on effective google ads search campaign

  1. Don’t ever use broad match keywords, use only phrase match or exact match keywords on your campaigns. For example
  • SEO agency – this is a broad match
  • “SEO agency” – this is a phrase match, keywords entered between the quotes.
  • [SEO agency] – this is an exact match, keywords are entered between the square brackets. 

So don’t forget to add quotes or square brackets before and after each keyword. Because with the broad match keywords, the chances of google showing our ads to irrelevant audiences are higher than the other two. And with this also google can churn all your budget. 

  1. If your business is selling different services or products, then I would suggest you create a separate ad group for each product or service. By this, things will get easy to monitor and edit. 
  2. Don’t add more than 20 keywords, it will confuse google, adding more keywords might increase the chances of loose ends. 

After you typed all your phrase match and exact match keywords, you can find the daily estimate of your campaign, like how many clicks you can expect per day according to your budget and keyword, and the avg CPC for your keywords. 

And finally don’t forget to name your ad group, name it using the same naming convention which I mentioned above. 

For more info on keyword research, check out this blog on how to do proper keyword research for google ads campaigns.

Ads level settings for an effective google ads search campaign

We have almost reached the final stage of setting up an effective google ads search campaign. 

If keywords are the heart of an effective google ads search campaign, ad texts are the face of your campaign. 

This is what people see on google SERP, this ad text represents your products or services. So whatever you say, it should attract the users to click the ad.  

Step 17: Ads settings

First, give the URL of the final page, this can be your website or your landing page URL. And then add the keywords in the display path field, this display path will appear above your ad on google SERP. By Adding relevant terms and keywords, the chances of users clicking our ads is also high. 

ads text editing phase

Then, come up with 15 headlines, each one should be below 30 characters and 4 descriptions, which should be below 90 characters each. 

Follow this strategy to write amazing headlines. 

Headline 1: write about, what you do (or) who you are. With one adjective on the front. 

For example- Award Winning PPC agency. 

Headline 2: A clear call to action. We would recommend you set a unique call to action to stand out from the competition. 

For example: Get a Free Consultation

Headline 3: Mention your unique selling point or a key feature of your company. 

For example- 4X ROI from PPC

The first 3 headlines are very important, use the above template to write the first 3 headlines. For remaining headlines also, follow the same pattern. Try to accommodate all the keywords you have entered in the ad group phase. 

For description, follow the below strategy. 

Description 1: Give an attractive call to action

Description 2: Describe the authority factor in your business, like achievements, case study results, etc. 

Do the same for the other two descriptions. Try to add all the keywords you have used before. 

And adjust your headline and descriptions to ensure your ad strength is displayed as excellent or good. Researchers said that good and excellent ad strengths have bought in relatively better performance than average and poor ad strengths. 

And then click next. 

Step 18: add extensions

Research has found that adding extensions to our ads can increase the ads space on google SERP, thereby you’ll get more chances of getting clicks. 

ads extension

So don’t forget to add all the extensions to your ads. 

Step 19: Review all the settings

Review all the settings you have done before, if you have made any error or mistake in any of the previous settings, google will ask you to correct them. 

review all your setting on the google ads

And don’t forget to double-check all the fields related to budgets, keywords and location settings. 

Step 20: Add the billing information

Provide all the information google asks for and submits your card details in the billing section. Don’t make any mistakes in this phase, if you do so, it will unnecessarily delay the ads to get published. 

billing section of the googe ads

Step 21: Publish the ad 

After you have published the ads, don’t forget to monitor, you have to monitor your ads for negative keywords, have to optimize your manual CPC for each keyword to get a better ranking on effective CPC amount and more. 

And, finally, you have published an effective google ads search campaign. 


80% of online advertisers prefer search-type Campaigns over other types. 

Google is not a non-profit organization, it’s also a private player, like other businesses Google can churn all your budget money with its recommendations. 

Steps to make an effective google ads search campaign

  1. Create a new google ads account and switch to expert mode, don’t proceed with smart campaigns. 
  2. Choose either leads or campaigns with no goal guidance
  3. Select search type of campaigns
  4. Choose website clicks and phone calls as the conversion actions
  5. Name the campaign, that will be easy to identify when you have multiple campaigns
  6. Choose your daily budget.
  7. Choose Manual CPC or maximise clicks as the bidding strategy
  8. Optimize the ads rotation when you are not A/B testing
  9. Don’t select search and display network
  10. Choose your location and target precisely, after spending some good time on research
  11. Choose the language you want. 
  12. Leave the dynamic ads settings as such
  13. Schedule the ads during your business hours only. 
  14. Add relevant, right, tight, long-end keywords in exact or phrase match
  15. Persuasively write your ad texts. And don’t forget to add all the extensions to it. 

That’s it, your search ads campaigns are more effective now. 

If you have any doubts regarding setting up a campaign in google ads or optimizing the campaigns, ping us. We are provisioning free consultation for brands and startups on setting their first google ads search campaign. 


Sasi Ram from The Creatives 360°


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