How to Successfully Plan a Google AdWords Campaign

by: | April 30, 2012

Website ready? Check. Search Engine Optimization in order? Check. Online storefront in place? Check. Maybe it’s time to consider a Google AdWords campaign in conjunction with your other marketing efforts.

Google AdWords is a powerful system for getting your text-based ads in front of the perfect market. And you only pay per click you receive to your website. Once the customer is on your site, it’s up to you to convert them.

Like most things in life, having a clear plan can save you a great deal of heartache and wasted time. So, let’s look at some ways to plan a successful AdWords campaign.

Target Audience

The very first thing that you want to consider when you are planning a marketing campaign of any sort is your target audience. What is the demographic that you want to reach with your website? Consider all sorts of facts such as race, gender, geographical location, age, stages of life (think students, parents, etc), or targeting interests.

This is square one and is referred to as market segmentation. If you have several ideal customer categories, then that’s okay. You can make a decision later about which ones to focus on.


Next on your to-do list is to research your demographic. Study what kinds of specific bits of information they are looking for on the Internet. This won’t mean that you change your company to suit their interests, but it will give you a better grasp as to how to implement keywords that they are likely to key into a Google search. Additionally, go to the sites that they frequent and see if there’s a common denominator or similarity between them all. What is it about those sites that attract your demographic?


Your website is doing something on the Web or else you wouldn’t want to promote it. So, what is it? What is the action that you want people to take when they get to your website? Are you a retail store, personal blog, news site, political site? Is your goal to sell or to inform? Knowing exactly what it is that you want from your target audience will help you in the next step of drafting potential AdWords.

AdWords Draft One

In this initial draft, don’t over-think your potential AdWords. Simply get two or three employees or site administrators together and brainstorm words that pertain to your company, product, and website. Try to make the list as broad as possible, but not so far as to list every feature/item on your site, nor so general that you include words like “clothes.”  Make the list long because in the next step, you will be forced to cut the vast majority of them, and you want to give yourself as many options as possible.


Now, armed with your list of words, try Googling a few of them. If you find that a lot of your words pull up some major websites, that means that when you want to purchase that AdWord, you will have to bid against these sites for the right to a top spot on the search engine. If you’re a new business or website owner, then this is not a war that you want to get yourself into. Instead, try to pick those of your words that pertain directly to your website and that are a little more uncommon.

For instance, say that you’re a website that specializes in fake mustaches. By studying the demographic of people who would be interested in fake mustaches, you would find that there is an unnatural interest in them by a college-aged group called “hipsters.” Thus, instead of using AdWords such as “beauty” or “facial hair,” consider using “hipster.” This will help you get higher ranks and reach out to your target audience more effectively.

Campaign Content

The actual content of your ad is critical to the success of your campaign and will likely have to be adjusted as you go. The goal is to both grab attention and sell yourself at the same time. This comes from a deep understanding of your customers and how you want to connect with them through the ad.

There are three parts to an AdWords campaign: heading, URL, and text ad. Try out several versions of each part and see which jumps out to you. You can also ask long-standing clients for a bit of help once you’ve narrowed it down to your favorite few versions.

Landing Page(s)

The landing page is also critical. This is the next step in converting a customer and has to be very focused. Many successful landing pages are NOT normal pages like the rest of the website. Often the navigation bar with “Home”, “About Us,” and other links is removed, so that the message on the page is the only thing for the visitor to digest.

This is another element of the campaign that you may have to adjust as you go. You can do some testing using multivariate techniques to see if variations on your landing page function better than others, and then keep improving on the fly.

AdWords campaigns are not something you want to jump into. Even though Google makes it easy to set up and launch, don’t let the ease-of-use fool you. Successful campaigns take a clear plan and careful monitoring. Do some more research and take the necessary time needed for launching a successful Google AdWords campaign that is more likely to increase your loyal customer base.Marketing Zeus

Posted in: B2C, Campaign Development, E-Commerce, Lead Generation, Optimization, Paid Search (PPC)

About the Writer:

Tara Hornor began her journey to freelance writing with an English Education degree. She taught high school English for one year before tutoring for three years. When looking for a work-from-home career, she quickly got settled writing web content mainly on marketing, advertising, branding, graphic design, web design, and desktop publishing. Currently, she and her husband own Creative Content Experts, a company that specializes in guest blogging and building backlinks. She also writes for, an online printing company that offers postcards, posters, brochure printing, business cards, booklets, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

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