Set up your first campaign

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In this step, you’ll build your first ad campaign. This is when you’ll write your first ad, decide how much you want to spend, and choose the audience you want to reach with your ad.

We’ll walk you through each of these steps and offer tips to help you start off right, so don’t worry if you’re not sure what to do.

Before you begin

You won’t be charged until you’ve finished creating your account and your ad is approved and starts getting clicks. It takes about a day to approve your ad and you’re only charged when someone clicks your ad. You can always pause your campaign and make changes once you’ve signed in to your new AdWords account.

1. Decide how much to spend

This is where you decide how much, on average, you’re willing to spend per day on this campaign.

  1. Open the “Your budget” section by clicking the pencil Edit.
  2. Choose your currency type from the drop-down menu. The currency you select can’t be changed, so choose carefully.
  3. Enter the average amount you’re willing to spend each day.
  4. Click Save.


2. Choose an audience

In this section, you’ll make decisions that determine where your ad can show and which search terms, called keywords, you want to trigger your ad to show.

Where are your customers located? That’s where you’ll want your ad to show. With AdWords, you can choose to target your ad to customers located:

  • across a particular country, multiple countries, or the entire world
  • in certain areas within a country, like states or provinces, particular cities or regions, or specific postal codes
  • in a particular neighborhood, such as within driving distance of your business

To avoid spending your budget on irrelevant ad clicks from people located outside the area your business serves, you can exclude those areas from your campaign.


Open the “Locations” section by clicking the pencil Edit.

To target a country, multiple countries, or the entire world:

  1. Select the appropriate pre-set option.
  2. Click Save.

To target certain areas within a country, like states or provinces, particular cities or regions, specific postal codes, or a country not shown in the pre-set options:

  1. Select Let me choose.
  2. Type the name of the area or postal code in the text box.
  3. Click Add to add the location.
  4. To add additional locations, follow steps 2 and 3.
  5. Click Save.

To target a particular neighborhood, such as a specific driving distance from your business, you’ll want to use radius targeting:

  1. Click Advanced search.
  2. Click Radius targeting.
  3. In the search box, enter the address of the location you’d like to use as the center of the radius. Enter the distance from this point that you’d like to target and select a unit of measurement from the drop-down menu, such as 5 miles.
  4. Click Search to locate the radius on the map.
  5. Check the map to make sure you’re targeting the correct area. When you’re ready, click Add to add the radius target.
  6. Click Done at the bottom of the window.
  7. Click Save.

To keep your ad from showing in locations that your business doesn’t serve:

  1. Select Let me choose.
  2. Type the name of the area or postal code in the text box.
  3. Click Exclude.
  4. To exclude additional locations, follow steps 2 and 3.
  5. When you’re done, click Save.

Here you’ll decide where you want your ad to appear on the Google Network, which is divided up into 2 big areas, the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network. You’ll choose whether you want to advertise on one or both of these networks.

Here’s a bit more about each network:

  • The Google Search Network shows your ads next to search results on Google search sites and non-Google search partner sites when a potential customer searches for products or services like yours. By default, your new text ad will be eligible to show on the Search Network.


    If you sell compact cameras, your ad might show next to search results when someone searches for compact cameras. Because your ad is related to what the person is searching for, they’re more likely to be interested in what you offer and click your ad.

  • Google Display Network shows your ad selectively on websites and other placements (like apps and videos) that show AdWords ads related to the content on the page.Display Network placements


    If you sell compact cameras, your ad could show on a blog about digital cameras.

    You’re automatically opted in to the Display Network. To opt out:

    1. Click the pencil Edit to open the “Networks” section.
    2. Uncheck the box next to “Display Network.”
    3. Click Save.

Keywords are the phrases you choose to determine when and where your ad can appear. Keywords are used to match your ads with terms that people are searching for (or web pages they’re viewing if you’re advertising on the Display Network).

KeywordsHere are some tips to help you choose the right keywords:

  • Be specific – Your keywords should be closely related to what you’re advertising. The more relevant and specific your keywords are to what someone might search for, the more likely your ad will catch the attention of potential customers.


    If you sell basketball shoes for children, you might choose these keywords:

    youth basketball shoes
    kids basketball shoes
    boys basketball shoes
    girls basketball shoes
    childrens basketball shoes

    When someone searches Google using the phrase kids basketball shoes or a similar term, your ad might appear next to Google search results, or on other websites related to youth basketball.

  • Think like a customer – What terms and phrases might people search for to find your products or services? To help you reach additional customers, it’s a good idea to include other commonly used terms and word variations in your keyword list.We recommend picking between 5 and 20 keywords. Keywords of 2 or 3 words (a phrase) tend to work most effectively.Experienced advertisers: By default, keywords are broad matched to searches. Use keyword match types to refine which searches can trigger your ad to show.
  • Instructions

    1. Click the pencil Edit to open the “Keywords” section.
    2. You’ll see a list of keywords we’ve selected based on your website. Review the list to identify any of the suggested keywords that aren’t related to what you’re advertising. To remove those irrelevant keywords, click X.
    3. Add any additional relevant keywords in the text box, separating them with a comma.
    4. When you’re done, click Save.

    You can always edit, remove, or add keywords later once you’re signed in to your AdWords account.

3. Set your bid

With AdWords, you set the highest price you’re willing to pay when a potential customer clicks your ad. This is called your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bid.


In general, the higher your bid and the more relevant your ads and keywords, the more likely your ad will show at a higher position on the page.

You have 2 bidding options when creating your first campaign:

  • Let AdWords manage your bids automatically to bring you the most possible clicks within your budget. This is the simplest bidding strategy that’s ideal for new advertisers or anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time setting and managing their bids.
  • Use manual bidding to set your own maximum CPC bid amount. Manual bidding is great for more experienced advertisers able to invest time to regularly review their AdWords account and adjust their bids to optimize for performance.
  1. Click the pencil Edit to open the “Bid” section.
  2. Choose a bidding option:
    • For automated bidding, select Automatically set my bids to get the most clicks within my budget. (This is the option we recommend for new advertisers.)
    • For manual bidding, select I’ll set my bids manually and enter a bid.
  3. Click Save.

4. Write your ad

For your first campaign, you’ll create a text ad, the simplest version of the online ads AdWords offers.

Your ads are the voice of your products and services. The more relevant and engaging they are to your customers, the more likely they’ll get clicks.

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Make the most of your ad text by following these 5 tips:

  1. Match your ad to your keywords

    As much as possible, make sure that your ad text is closely related to your keywords. This can catch the attention of people who searched for those words, and show that your ad is related to what they want.

  2. Match your ad to your landing page

    When people click your ad and visit your website, you’ll want to send them to a page that’s most relevant to what you’re advertising, called the landing page. For example, if your ad promotes men’s shoes for $50 or less, then it should link to a landing page selling men’s shoes priced under $50. The easier you make it for customers to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

  3. Use a call-to-action

    Use a strong, clear call-to-action that tells customers what they can do on your site once they click your ad, such as Buy, Book now, Call today, Order, Sign up, or Get a quote.

  4. Include specific prices or promotions

    Highlight features or areas that make your business stand out from the competition, such as prices, special discounts, exclusive offers, or free shipping. The more you can set yourself apart from competitors, the more likely you’ll appeal to potential customers.

  5. Capitalize the first letter of every word

    Your text ad can stand out more to potential customers when you capitalize the first letter of every word in your headline and ad text.

  1. To begin, click the pencilEdit to open the “Text ad” section.
  2. Enter your landing page URL. This is where people will be taken after they click your ad. Make sure you choose a landing page that is closely related to your ad text.
  3. Enter an attention-grabbing headline. You have two headline fields to work with, each allowing up to 30 characters. These headline fields will appear next to each other, separated by a hyphen. The headline may wrap to multiple lines depending on the size of the user’s screen. Make sure your two headline fields are easily scannable and make sense when read separately from each other. Try to include at least one of your keywords in the headline so people know right away that you’re offering something related to what they’re looking for.
  4. Write a short description using the tips provided above. Make sure to include a call to action, like Buy Now or Call Today, and one or two of your keywords. Consider highlighting a specific price or promotion to set your ad apart.
  5. If you want your ad to drive phone calls to your business, check the box next to Enable phone calls from your ad and enter your phone number (currently available in select countries). Your ad will display a phone number or clickable “Call” button on mobile devices. To help you track how many calls you’re getting from your ad, Google will use a special forwarding number.
  6. When you’re done, click Save.

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