Creating your ad campaign

  • Help your ads reach the right people by understanding your customers, setting your budget, and organizing your campaign.
  • Choose the right campaign settings to help you achieve your advertising goals.
  • Use what you’ve learned to create your campaign.
  • Start reaching your customers by creating an ad and choosing the right keywords.
  • With AdWords, you’ll use campaigns to organize the messages and ads you want to show to your customers. Before you create your first campaign, there are a few important concepts to grasp:

    • Understanding your customers
    • Setting your budget
    • Organizing your campaign
    Understanding your customers

    Before you create your first ad campaign, take the time to build a mental profile of the customers you’re trying to reach. Considering your customers' preferences, habits, and traits can help you choose the right settings for your campaign. Here are some important areas to consider about your customers' preferences and behavior:

    • Words and phrases they use to search online: If you run a furniture store, think about the keywords that your potential customers might use to search for furniture. Would they use general search terms like “furniture” or “furniture store”? It's more likely that a customer would use more specific terms based on what they’re looking for, such as “buy sectional sofa” or “dining room chairs.”
    • Types of websites they visit: Think about the kinds of websites your customers might be interested in. Will people looking for furniture also visit home improvement websites, websites related to interior design, or websites tailored to new parents? Consider what types of web content would be a good match for your furniture ads.
    • Geographical location: Think about where your potential customers are. If you only offer furniture delivery to customers in your city, then you should limit your campaign’s targeting to your city. This helps make sure that you only pay for clicks on your ads from people who live in your delivery area and can purchase your furniture.
    • How they contact you: Consider how you want your customers to get in touch with you. If you want them to come to your store in person, you can highlight location information in your ads. Or maybe you’d like them to call you or fill out a contact form online. You can add these and other options to your ad with ad extensions, discussed in the “Understanding your campaign settings” section below.

    This customer profile gives you some insight into the campaign settings you might consider, such as:

    • Keywords that will trigger your ads to display in search results
    • Websites where you might want your ads to appear
    • Geographic locations where your ad should display
    • Additional information you might want to include in your ad, such as a phone number or link to the contact page on your website
    We'll explain these and other campaign settings below.
    Setting your budget

    Once you understand who your customers are, think about how much you want to spend to reach them with your ads, and what results you're expecting for your campaign to be a success.

    AdWords lets you set an average daily budget for each campaign based on your advertising goals and the general amount you're comfortable spending each day. Get tips on setting a campaign budget.

    Not sure what you’ll be charged for? Find out how AdWords calculates costs.

    Organizing your campaign

    It’s no secret that organization is an essential ingredient for success, and AdWords is no exception. Before you begin creating your campaigns and ads, it's important to learn how AdWords is structured to help you create effective campaigns that target the right audience.

    AdWords is organized into three layers: account, campaigns, and ad groups.

    1. Your account is associated with a unique email address, password, and billing information.
    2. Each ad campaign has its own budget and settings that determine where your ads appear.
    3. Your ad group contains a set of similar ads and the words and phrases, known as keywords, that trigger your ads to show. A collection of ad groups forms a campaign. Use ad groups to bundle related ads with related keywords to show ads that are relevant to the searches of people you’re trying to reach. Learn more about organizing campaigns and ads in your account.

    Understanding your campaign settings

    Now that you have a better picture of the customers you’re trying to reach, you’re ready to consider the campaign settings that suit your goals. The campaign settings you select will apply to all ads within the same campaign. The type of campaign you choose determines which settings are available to you.

    The settings cover three basic areas related to your ad:

    • How much you’ll pay by setting your budget and bid (you can always adjust them later)
    • What, besides text and a link, to include in your ad using ad extensions
    • Where you want your ads to appear using settings for geographic locations, languages, and placement on the web (called Networks)

    Here’s an overview of the campaign settings you’ll need to address when you set up a new AdWords campaign:

    Setting Description Learn more
    General This is where you enter a name for your campaign and pick your campaign type. Although AdWords enters a default campaign name for you, you should choose a name that clearly describes the theme of the campaign so that you can easily find it in your account. Your campaign name isn't visible to your customers.
    Type The campaign type determines which settings we'll show you as you create or edit your campaign. The type you choose tailors the campaign setup to just what's appropriate for your goals, eliminating unrelated features. We recommend new advertisers start with a "Search Network with Display Select" campaign type, which offers a wide variety of potential placements for your ads. Choosing the campaign type that's right for you
    Locations and languages Your campaign’s ads are eligible to show to customers located or interested in the location setting you choose and using Google in the language you specified. We recommend choosing the language you serve your customers in. Location and language targeting
    Networks and devices Select Networks where you want your ad to appear, such as on search results pages like Google (“Search Network”), on other sites that partner with Google to show ads (“Display Network”), or both. By default, new campaigns target all types of devices, which include desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Later, you can choose to customize ads for different devices. Network settings
    Bidding and budget Choose to manually set your bids for clicks on your ads or let AdWords do it for you. Depending on your campaign type, you may see additional bidding options to choose from.

    Your bid strategy controls how you pay for users to interact with your ads.Your default bid is the most you’ll pay per click for ads in an ad group. Your budget is the average amount you’re comfortable spending each day on your campaign. The budget you choose is entirely up to you, and you can adjust it at any time.
    Setting your bid and budget
    Ad extensions Include even more information with your ads, such as location information, links to pages on your website, your phone number, and your Google+ page. Enhance your ad using extensions
    Advanced settings Once you’re comfortable using AdWords’ most essential settings, consider adopting one or more of these optional features to help get your ad campaign on the same schedule as your customers:
    • Schedule: Set a campaign start and end date.
    • Ad scheduling: Choose certain days or hours of the week for your ads to show.
    • Ad delivery: By default, AdWords shows your ads when they're more likely to get clicks or conversions, but you can choose to show your ads more evenly throughout the day.
    Using custom ad scheduling


    If you've already set up a similar campaign and you want to use the same settings, you can save time by loading the settings from your existing campaign into your new campaign. You'll see this option in the "General settings" section, just under the campaign type.

    Creating a campaign

    Now that you have a customer profile in mind and an understanding of campaign settings, you’re ready to use that information to create your campaign and set your budget and bids. You'll need to make at least one campaign before you can create ads in your account.

    Create a campaign and choose your campaign settings

    Here's how to create a campaign and choose your campaign settings:

    1. Visit AdWords at
      • If you’re new to AdWords, click Get started now to create your account. During this process we’ll also walk you through creating your first campaign. Learn more about creating your AdWords account and first campaign.
      • If you've already created an AdWords account, sign in. Then, click the Campaigns tab.
    2. Click the + Campaign button on the Campaigns tab.
    3. From the drop-down menu, select the campaign type you want to use ("Search Network with Display Select" (recommended for new advertisers), "Search Network only," or "Display Network only"). Learn more about choosing your campaign type.
    4. You'll be taken to the "Select campaign settings" page. Give your campaign a name. Then, make your choices for the following settings (you can find additional information about these settings in “Understanding your campaign settings” above):
      • Devices
      • Locations
      • Languages
      • Bidding and budget
      • Ad extensions
    5. Click Save and continue. You can edit your campaign settings at any time.

    Try it now

    Create your ad and choose keywords

    After you've saved your campaign settings, you'll be taken to the "Create ad and keywords" page. This is where you’ll create the ad group within your campaign. An ad group is made up of a set of keywords, ads, and bids. Each ad campaign consists of one or more ad groups.

    Here you’ll choose your ad format, create your ad, and select the keywords you think your customers would use when searching for information related to your products or services.

    We’ll cover how to create a text ad (the ad format we recommend for newer advertisers), but you can choose from many different ad formats depending on your advertising goals. These formats include video ads, image ads, WAP mobile ads, app or digital content ads, and more. Learn about all available ad formats and how to choose what’s right for you.


    Got writer's block? Need some help deciding what your ad text should say? Explore these tips for creating successful text ads.

    Creating a text ad

    To create a text ad, follow these steps:

    1. In the "Create an ad" section, select Text ad.
    2. Type in your headline, description, display URL, and destination URL. The display URL is the web address, usually your website’s home page, that’s shown to customers with your ad, while the destination URL takes customers to a specific page within your website. Both URLs should contain the same domain name. For example, an ad with as the display URL and as the destination URL is acceptable because they share the domain name, “”
    3. Ad Text and Headline
    4. Enter your keywords in the "Keywords" section. We recommend starting with 10-20 keywords. You can always edit or add more keywords later. Learn how to choose keywords and placements when you create a campaign.
    5. Entering Keywords
    6. Click Save. If this is your first campaign, click Save and continue to billing. Your ads can't run if you haven't submitted your billing information.

    Next steps