How to plan a successful Google Ads build

Before you jump straight into Google Ads and create your new account there are a few things you need to do. In this blog, I’m going to cover these points and look at what exactly builds the foundations of a successful AdWords account.

Objectives, Goals, KPIs and Targets

To begin with, you need to outline your long-term objectives. Ask the question, “What is the reason my website exists?” It sounds a bit silly to ask yourself but when you drill down into it, this will give you the basis of all your objectives. For example, if you are running a website that generates leads to your business rather than direct revenue then generating these leads is one of your objectives. It may seem obvious but breaking it down is the first step to creating a clear and concise plan. As I’ve said, this may just be one of your many objectives – you may want to increase your brand’s awareness or if you have products to sell on your website, generate direct revenue as well.

Next, you’ll need to look at which goals align with each objective that you’ve reviewed and chosen for your AdWords account. If you’re generating leads, what do these look like? Phone calls and form completions on your website? Through Google Ads and Google Analytics you will be able to track these.

How do you measure your goals? Number of brochure downloads? How many sales you’ve generated for each product you sell? How many views your YouTube video has accrued over the last month? It’s important to be able to measure your goals with KPIs so you understand how your campaigns are doing in your account. If your goal is to increase the number of leads generated by your AdWords account then you’ll want to use conversions to measure this. If you want to increase the revenue generated, use the conversion value metric if you have eCommerce tracking set up.

Finally, you need to set yourself targets. Having clear targets allows you to reflect on the performance of your campaigns. If you don’t have targets how do you know you’re making the right decisions or whether you’re on the right track? It would be impossible to tell! For example, if you were trying to increase the number of sales through your website, you could target yourself with improving on the number of sales you had last month or give yourself a definitive number/percentage that you need to beat last month’s sales by. This is how your company will grow and thrive because delivering on your targets will have a domino effect on your goals and most importantly, long-term objectives.


Audiences are also a really important part of planning. When marketing to the general population you want to be able to provide the right message at the right time to the right person within the right context. When planning an Google Ads build you really need to take stock and consider who your target demographics are and where they are in the world. AdWords is fantastic at being able to target people in specific geographical areas, ages, device type and genders. With the help of Google Analytics you’ll also be able to look at people’s behaviours on your site which will help you in creating better audience segments for targeting. You can also use email lists through Google Ads to be able to remarket to and also create similar audiences to.

In a Post GDPR world, these email lists will be a much greater asset – although the list may be smaller, they will be made up of the most engaged users with your brand

This is great as Google will then be looking for people similar to your most engaged customers. You can also leverage Google’s new In-Market for search audiences which allows you to target people who are looking to buy certain products or services. As well as this, Google are able to tell you how much more likely these audiences are to convert in an account than the general user.

When you’ve created these focused and in-depth audience segments of the people who use your website you’ll then have a much better picture of how you can market to these people. They should then influence the ad copy you write and the offers you’ll be advertising. It should all be tailored around the target audiences so that you can offer the right message at the right time to the right audience within the right context.

Keyword Research

With a search campaign you’re going to have to do keyword research and there’s no point going in blind when you’ve got the AdWords keyword planner at your fingertips with the search volumes for every word searched on Google!

The keyword planner will also give you a better insight into how people are searching for your services or products. With the planner you can drop in your website URL and Google Ads will pick out keywords, based on the website, that it thinks are relevant to you along with search volumes, recommended CPCs and how competitive the keywords are on the platform. Now, not all of the keywords you see listed are going to be really high quality, high intent keywords that you’ll be looking for when building your first account. The art here is knowing what you’re looking for and knowing what keywords are right. It’s definitely not a case of just grabbing all the keywords you can see, throwing them in an account and keeping the best ones. All the keywords you pick, and the match types you use, need to correspond with the entire structure of the account.


When you’ve exhaustively searched for all the high quality keywords, and all the different ways in which users looking for services like yours will use them, it’s time to move onto arguably the most important aspect of an AdWords build, the account structure itself.

The structure of your account can really make or break it. You want a very intuitive structure which is easy to navigate, keeping keywords, ad groups and campaigns grouped by themes, which will be dictated by the structure of your website.

Your top level view of the account is going to be your campaigns. When looking to create your theme, use the structure of your website. This will inform the overall structure of the account and will also make your Google Ads account much easier to navigate as it will mirror your website’s structure.

You will also need to consider the type of campaign you want to set up. This will be dictated by the goals you laid out right at the beginning. You’ll need to look at these individually and decide which kind of Google Ads campaign you need for each. If you’re wanting to target people searching for your services to convert on your website, use the search network. If you’re wanting to increase brand awareness, Youtube and display will be your best bet. Selling products on your website for direct revenue? Create a shopping campaign to advertise your products on Google.

Ad groups are found within the campaigns. They will all have their own themes and will house keywords pertaining to these themes. This will also be where the ads themselves will be. When creating ad groups we would suggest having a maximum of 10 ad groups per campaign, a maximum of 20 keywords and having 3 ads at a minimum for effective testing. Having these maximums for ad groups and keywords is so that your account doesn’t become so big you can’t effectively manage and optimise campaigns, ad groups and keywords.

The keywords you found in the keyword research you did prior to building the account will then be sorted to fit into the structure you’ve laid out here. Using the 4 match types to effectively cover all of your bases is key here.

Each keyword match type works as follows:

  • Exact: Will serve keywords that are exactly like the one you have chosen but, if you use function words like in, an and on, Google will add, remove and even change them to serve very close variants too.
  • Phrase: Will take the keyword you have picked and will serve ads for search terms that have it at the start, middle or end of the term. It will also serve close variants of your keyword in a similar way to Exact Match.
  • Broad Match Modified: This match type will serve ads to search terms that include the keywords you have chosen, designated with a plus sign. These keywords can be in any order in the search term which makes it much more restrictive than Broad Match.
  • Broad Match: This will serve ads to search terms that are similar to the keyword you have chosen. Say you chose to bid on the keyword ‘red shoes’, Broad Match would then mean that your ad may serve for something like ‘blue trainers’. Very useful if you want to mine for some new keywords that you may not have thought to include at the beginning of your build.


As you can see, there’s a lot to go into the planning of an Google Ads account but it really boils down to the points below:

  • You need to have clear business objectives which can be met by your goals and measured by your KPIs against your targets.
  • Audience segments that reflect the people who use your website – Looking at age, gender, device type and location as a very minimum starting point to segment your data for targeting.
  • You need exhaustive keyword research which is then split into themes and campaigns which are dictated by your website to be used for your ad groups in your search campaigns.
  • An intuitive, robust structure based on your website, business goals and high quality keywords that you’ve researched.

By following these points you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful Google Ads build. If you’re looking for help with promoting your business on AdWords, get in touch with our PPC team who will be happy to assist.

Written by Joshua Bailey