Google AdWords Campaign – 12 Steps to Get Started

So you’ve found an affiliate product to promote and need to set up your first Google AdWords campaign.

Here are the 12 steps to get started:

1) Keyword research

Use the Google Keyword tool to create a list of keywords related to your product. Ideally choose keywords that receive at least 1000 searches per month. Select your top 20 keywords to use for your campaign. Copy and paste your keywords into notepad so you can easily transfer them to your AdWords account.

2) Create a campaign

As summing you already created an AdWords account, create a new online campaign and name it something you can easily identify.

3) Create an ad group

An ad group contains your ads. You can set up as many ad groups as you want within your campaign. I suggest starting with one ad group then name it something related to the product of service you are marketing.

4) Create 2 ads within each ad group

Create 2 ads so you can split test them. Vary the second ad by only changing one line. Look at other ads on Google to get some idea how to write a good ad. Write a catchy headline that includes your keyword. Your ad should also include the description taken from the words at the top of your product page. For example if your keyword is “red shoes” and the headline of your product page reads “How to buy red shoes,” you should include this sentence and keyword in your ad.

5) Include the display and destination URL

The display URL should be the same as your product URL. If the product URL is your display URL should be the same. The destination URL is your affiliate link.

6) Add your keywords

Copy and paste the keywords you added to notepad into your campaign. Decide if you wish to use broad match (without brackets), “phrase match” or [exact match]. I generally use [exact match] because the words they are the exact keywords I want to us plus the clicks are more targeted.

7) Set up your budget

Set a low daily budget low (ie $5/day) so you don’t spend a lot of money immediately. Ideally you want to collect your data over a week’s period as you never know which day(s) will be the most profitable. Use the AdWords Keyword Tool to calculate the average cost per click you’ll pay for your keywords. It’s not exact so don’t place too much emphasis on it. For example it may say your keyword costs $10/click but after setting up your campaign you observe it only costs 50 cents per click.

8) Target your ads

The more targeted your ad is the better it will perform. You can target specific countries, time of day, languages, networks and devices (ie laptop, iphone, etc). I usually select English speaking countries, all times of the day, Google search and it’s partners and computer and laptop devices.

After letting your new campaign run for a while you’ll have sufficient data to begin making adjustments.

9) Rotate your ads

Under the scheduling and serving heading you’ll notice 2 options:
a) scheduling – this enables you to show your ad any time of the day
b) serving – you have 2 options
Optimize: Show better-performing ads more often (Recommended)
Rotate: Show ads more evenly
Check the rotate option because you are split testing 2 ads and want to see which one performs the best. One ad always serves as the control while you test the other one against it. Doing this exercise improves your conversion rates.

10) Track your campaign

Use a tracking tool such as Adtrackz to track all your keywords. You’ll then know which keywords generated the most sales.

11) Monitor your campaign

Observe the number of impressions, clicks, click through rate (CTR), cost per click to find which ad and what keyword performs the best then adjust them accordingly.

12) Tweak your campaign to maximize conversions

Your ultimate goal is to get conversions (make sales) otherwise you will only lose money. You need to continually optimize your campaign by testing different ads, adding new keywords, trying different match types (ie phrase, exact, broad), targeting different geographical areas and times. By continuously tweaking your campaign you’ll find a winning combination.

Don’ be discouraged if you lose money on your initial campaigns. Most people do. Only after running a number of campaigns will you find a profitable one.

Don’t give up!


  1. Adwords is a really great tool for promoting your website, forum or affiliate link. the ppc cost of adwords is even cheaper than Friendster or Facebook. before, i used to advertise on facebook but the ROI is so low. Adwords gives me a much better ROI compared to Facebook ads.

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