AdWords Set Up Basics

To start an AdWords search campaign at, which is the simplest ad format Google offers, at a minimum you’ll need a web page to send traffic to, selected keywords, a headline, a 2-line description, and of course a debit/credit card.

It all seems so simple, just three ad components, but then you get into keyword targeting, match types, negative keywords, location targeting options, ad extensions, landing page relevance, ad relevance, bid adjustments, quality score, mobile strategies, and much more, and you’re head may start to spin.

Example Text Ad

Once your search campaign is set up, the headline is the first thing people will see in your text ad. This line is limited to 25 characters, which isn’t a whole lot to work with.

For example, if you were adverting for a heating and air conditioning (HVAC) company text ad, you would need to work within the 25 headline character limit, a two line 35-character each description, display URL (35 character limit), actual URL, which can be very lengthy but isn’t visible to the user until it’s clicked. With this in mind, you might prepare an ad that looks something this:

Air Conditioning Service
Fast, Reliable 24-Hour AC Repair.
Call Now For Same-Day Service!

Ad Quality

What’s good about the above ad? There are different approaches to copywriting but there are some things to know about how Google rates ads. They are going to look at keyword usage in ad, keyword usage on landing page, click through rates, and overall ad quality among the many factors that determines ad rank.

In this example, the ad is clear in what it advertises, has keyword usage, and a clear call to action. The ‘ac-service’ page isn’t a real URL, it’s merely a display URL that you want to show to the user. It’s generally recommended to take up as much real estate and useful information as possible. Also, the real URL may be too long to show in AdWords such as /air-conditioning-service.

AdWords Guidelines and Tips

There are other basic Google ad guidelines you need to know. Common violations that results in ads getting disapproved are:

– You can only use one special character consecutively (?!-/., etc.). Having ‘Call Now!!!!’ wouldn’t be permitted.
– You can’t use the word ‘click’ in your ads. Thus, an ad with ‘Click Here!’ wouldn’t be permitted.
– You cannot capitalize entire words such as FREE in your ad. Capitalizing the first letter of each word in your ad Is Allowed and Recommended.

A tip you should be aware of is to use a period/special character at the end of your first description line. Google will extend your ad’s headline on larger screen sizes. Using our example ad, wouldn’t you much rather have ‘Air Conditioning Service – Fast, Reliable 24-Hour AC Repair.’ as your headline rather than just ‘Air Conditioning Service’?

Build a Strong Foundation

Campaign set up is one of the most critical parts of an AdWords campaign. The more compelling your ad is and the higher your ad rank, the more likely you are to get clicks and sales from it. Whether you’re advertising in the Seattle area, Olympia, Washington state, or across the nation, avoiding some of the common pitfalls that have an ad get disapproved or low quality scores puts your AdWords campaign in a much stronger position to achieve success.

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