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How to Create a Successful Ad Campaign on Google Ads

April 9, 2018 at 11:10 AM

There are several aspects that compose a successful Google Ads campaign. It's important to set up your ads properly and constantly measure and test your ads to boost your results.


For text ads, the most common ad format on Google, there are four main components for ad creation: keywords, ad copy, landing page, and targeting. For display and search ads alike, keywords, targeting, and landing page experience are vital, as well as the content of your ad, which is determined by the ad format of your choosing: plain text ads, banners, or rich media. Let's see how these elements can impact the quality of your ad:


Keywords are the words and phrases that someone types into a search engine like Google. Keywords are what drive your Google Ads campaigns. Choosing the right set of keywords is one of the hardest parts of managing paid search engine marketing on Google Ads. With the right set of keywords, you’ll be able to drive high-intent consumers straight to your website or storefront. With the wrong keywords, however, you’ll risk paying for clicks unlikely to bring in leads or sales.

Aside from the standard broad match keywords, Google Ads offers a few more options of keyword matching, aka keyword modifiers. These can be used to make sure that your ads are being served to the most relevant searches.

Let's suppose you own a workout gear store. You want to make sure you use the right set of keywords to drive traffic to your site. Using keyword modifiers, you can find a good mix to start your campaign. Here’s how they work:

  • Broad Match - the default match type for all keywords. Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches and other variations.
    • Example: workout clothes. With this keyword, your ad could appear to someone searching for working out, gym clothes or workout clothing
  • Negative Match - excludes your ads from showing on searches with this term - designated with a minus (-) sign
    • Your business sells workout clothing, but you don’t sell shoes; so you don’t want to pay for clicks on searches for shoes. You can use -shoes or -workout shoes to omit your ad on search results with the word shoes.
  • Broad Match Modifier - only shows ads in searches that include the words designated with a plus sign
    • +workout gear -  your ad would not show in a search for gear without the word workout included
  • Phrase Match - ads won't show if a word is added to the middle of a phrase or if the words are re-ordered - designated with quotation marks
    • “workout clothes” - your ad would not show in search for clothes workout or workout a stain in my clothes
  • Exact Match - ads will appear when someone searches for your keyword or close variants of your keyword (misspellings, singular or plural forms, stemming, abbreviations, accents, rearranged word order), but this won’t allow for additional keywords. Exact match keywords are designated with braces.
    • [workout clothes for women] - ads may show on searches for women workout clothes and woman workout clothes - but ads won’t show on searches for yoga workout clothes or cheap women’s workout clothes.  

Find out which keywords you should use for your business

Ad Copy

For Google, your ad copy serves one main purpose—to be relevant to the landing page you are sending people to. For that, not only should the ad copy be compelling to the user, but it should also include some of the main keywords used to build your campaign, as it should also reflect on the content you have on your landing page. All these factors affect Google’s internal ranking of how relevant your ad is to what someone is searching for, as Google likes to reward highly relevant ads with more prominent placements.

It's best practice to keep your message simple and to make sure it is related to what you are promoting. This can help improve your ad’s relevance and to determine when and where your ad appears in search results.

When creating a Google ad, try to insert keywords whenever possible, but make sure that the copy is clear and makes sense to whoever is reading it. Just scattering your keywords will not do the trick. Adding a call-to-action is also recommended.

AdWords ad copy

Can you identify the main keywords in the ads above? Which ad do you think has the most effective copy?


ads overwhelming

Landing Page

Google Ads considers several factors when displaying and ranking your ad. One factor that often goes unnoticed is the landing page, or the page that is linked to your ad when someone clicks it. Not only should the landing page be relevant to your ad, but it should also contain the keywords you are using for the ad.

If a landing page is not exactly what users expect to see when they click your ad, they'll bounce quickly, which can influence your ad relevance in a bad way.

Here's an example: Pam is looking for Nespresso coffee pods. She Googles the term and finds an ad selling coffee. Once she clicks it, she's directed to a page that displays a wide array of Keurig coffee pods. Not quite exactly what she was expecting, right? Users are known to have little patience to find the information they're looking for unless it's given to them quickly. Since Pam didn't find what she was looking for right away, she bounced off that page and looked for a different website. And that affected the relevance and score for that ad.

The content within your page can also make or break your online ad ranking. If your content does not concern what you are advertising, chances are your ad won't show on the first page of a search result—or, even, at all.

So remember to always optimize your landing page for the user, so they can find the information they're looking for at a glance. And use similar keywords to your ads, ad copy and landing page to improve your overall ad relevance.


If you're using Display Ads, you might want to use a banner or a video to promote your product or service. Since images and rich media are what usually catch the eye of online users, make sure your artwork is attractive and offers enough information to generate a click. Google offers several different options of gallery templates, responsive ads, and banner sizes to be displayed on its network of websites. Find out more here.


Last but not least, targeting is extremely important when creating an ad campaign. Other than keyword targeting, Google offers some basic demographic targeting options, including age, gender, and, for display campaigns, interests. Location targeting on Google is limited by either entire countries, cities or territories, zip codes, or a minimum of one kilometer radius around a location.

You can fine-tune that targeting with advanced location selection available at the Spatially Ads platform, which allows you to target your ads using Spatially’s Active Trade Area (ATA) technology. ATA targeting will pinpoint the areas where people interact with your business location, targeting your most probable customers by analyzing offline behaviors.

radius vs ataSame location, different targeting methods: With a 5-mile radius targeting, the circle covers a large area around the location (left); with Spatially's ATA targeting, ads are delivered to areas where people interact with the chosen location.


Spatially Ads also offers targeting through grid search, highlighting the areas that match your intended audience—you can segment your audience based on age groups, income, education level, housing type and value, and more advanced options.

Spatially Custom Audience ad targetingCustom Audiences allows advertisers to segment their audience based on different sets of social-economical and demographic attributes.


More about Google Ads:

The Basics of Google Ads: How It Works and How to Use It to Advertise Your Business

Calculating Your Advertising Budget: A First-Time Advertiser's Guide

10 Reasons Why Google Rejected Your Ad

Facebook Ads or Google Ads: Where Should You Be Advertising?

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