Helpful hints for running a Google Adwords campaign (SEM)


It doesn't have to be as complex as Neils Bohr's work in physics.

Google Doodle for Niels Bohr's 127th Birthday.

Google Doodle for Niels Bohr's 127th Birthday.


The Approach

Like any advertising campaign or digital marketing campaign you should always start with a campaign brief and make sure that you have considered the following:

☑️  Background of previous campaigns

☑️  SMART objectives

☑️  Competitive set

☑️  Target audience(s)

☑️  Positioning

☑️  Key selling points

☑️  Desired response

☑️  Placement

☑️  Available collateral and materials

☑️  Campaign timeline

☑️  Budget

☑️  Measure and control

☑️  Expect ROI

However, rather than focussing on the entire briefing process, we will focus on a few key areas that are specific to developing and running a Google Adwords or more broadly a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign. 

Segment & Carefully Research Keywords

With Google Adwords your target market is in the headspace to ‘buy’ or are doing research to find out more about purchasing. The fact is, they are completing a search through their preferred search engine (in this instance Google) to get as much information as they can to help their purchase decision.

How do you segment when targeting keywords? 

It’s pretty simple, you have to understand your own product or service, understand the keywords that you are targeting and then chose the most appropriate target audiences based on which keywords work best for a selected product or service. 

Naturally you should consider your budget and the volume and competitiveness (price) of your selected keywords. Once this is complete then you move onto setting up the campaigns and messaging.

Hint: if your budget is relatively small then either target less keywords or limit the geographic region that you are targeting as this will give you more bang for your buck. 


With Google Adwords, once you have completed your keyword analysis you basically group your keywords together into what are called ‘Ad Groups’. 

Each group should be targeted to specific segments and you should carefully consider your messaging and calls to action for each ad group (or create very specific ads per ad group). 

Initially you should create multiple ads per ad group, rotate the ads pretty evenly and see which ads are converting and keep the ones that are working (and pause the rest - don't delete them as it's good to check out the results later). 

Create Landing Pages per Ad Group

Your ads grab attention and are the first point of interest, but your landing pages build on that interest so it is really important to make sure that you continue the story that you are telling and develop landing pages that are specific to the ad groups that you have created. 

Landing pages should not be information overload, but should be easy to digest and have a strong purpose. The purpose can be brand awareness, product awareness or to initiate engagement (such as attending an event).  

Understand Your Analytics   

Firstly make sure that your Google Analytics and Google Adwords accounts are linked, this allows you do things like re-marketing (i.e. serve ads to people that have engaged with your ad). 

Secondly your landing pages should always be connected to Google Analytics. This allows you to gain valuable insights such as demographic information and the interests of your target market.

This information is all based on a users search history and is a form of market research that you can use to power your marketing as a whole. 


We have only touched on a few key areas when developing a Adwords campaign. There are many hints and we simply don’t have enough space to discuss everything in one article. If you have a hint that you want to share, then get in touch with us! 


Article by Simon TokicSimon has a few passions including basketball, music and surfing, however, most of his time is spent as a self proclaimed marketing geek applying fundamental marketing principles in strategic and creative ways. Prior to running Sydney marketing agency Mind Methods, Simon worked on leading brands including Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Glad, Chux, Armor All, Clorox, Barbeques Galore, Anglicare and more.