8 steps to prepare your campaign for success

This article helps you get a sense of the key considerations in setting up a successful Google Ads campaign. These features work together to help you design and manage campaigns that further your specific advertising goals.

You can use this quick start guide as you prepare to set up a campaign.

Note: As Google enhances the new user onboarding process, new Google Ads users may experience an updated workflow. The content below pertains to Google Ads users who have already created, and logged into, their Google Ads account.

1. Define your objective

Each campaign begins by choosing a goal. This goal focuses your campaign on delivering a specific outcome:

Benefits of preparing for success with Google Ads campaigns

The objective you choose will inform the options you select when setting up your campaign.

For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic, you’ll likely want to select a type of bidding like Maximize clicks, in order to put your money towards getting people to click your ad.

Learn more About campaign goals in Google Ads

Note: Performance Max will show as a campaign type selection if your advertising objective is “Sales”, “Leads”, or “Local store visits and promotions”.

2. Choose a campaign type

After selecting a goal, you’ll notice a list of recommended campaign types to reach it. Your campaign type determines where your ads will show and what they’ll look like.

Note: Performance Max campaigns allow you to get the best of Google AI to drive performance, respond in real-time to consumer shifts, and find more converting customers across Google channels - YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, and more.

Learn more about Choosing the right campaign type

For example, a Video or Demand Gen campaign shows video ads on YouTube, while a Display campaign shows image ads on websites.

What are the campaign types?

Text ad example of a Google Search Network Ad


  • Where: Search results
  • Ad type: Text ads
Image ad example for Google Display Network ad


  • Where: Websites, search results, Gmail inboxes
  • Ad types: Image ads
Video ad example


  • Where: YouTube
  • Ad types: Video ads
Discovery ads | Multi-image carousel ad example

Demand Gen

  • Where: Feeds on the YouTube homepage and “What to watch next”, Gmail inboxes, and Discover
  • Ad types: Multi-image carousel ads
App ads | Auto-created multi-format ads App
  • Where: Search results on mobile devices, Google Play, YouTube, AdMob, Discover, and more than 3 million sites and apps
  • Ad types: Your auto-created ads combine text, image, video, or HTML5 assets you upload, or assets from your app's listing in the relevant application store
Shopping ads | Product listing ads


  • Where: Search results, Shopping tab on search results, websites, Gmail inboxes
  • Ad types: Product listing ads

Local ads | Text and image ads


  • Where: Google maps, websites, and YouTube
  • Ad types: Text and image ads
A representation of the multiple ad types used in Performance Max campaigns.

Performance Max

  • Where: Search results, websites, YouTube, Feeds on the YouTube homepage and “What to watch next”, Shopping tab on search results, Gmail inboxes, and Discover
  • Ad types: Text ads, image ads, video ads, multi-image carousel ads, and product listing ads

3. Set a budget

You’ll set an average daily budget to control how much you spend with your ad bidding. You can change it at any time.

Learn more About average daily budgets

4. Choose your bidding

If you’ve selected a campaign goal, when selecting a bid type, you’ll notice a recommendation for bidding focus, for example, “conversions”, based on your campaign goal.

This is to ensure that your campaign is designed to meet your specific goal. For some campaign types, if you choose not to select the recommended bidding focus, you can choose an automated bidding strategy, for example, Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) or Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Note: If the bid strategy you’d like to use doesn't appear as an option in this step, you may have to change the campaign goal or type you selected initially.

Learn more about Automated bidding strategies

5. Add assets to your ads

With Search, Video, Demand Gen, and Performance Max campaigns, you can add additional information to your ads like more website links, directions, or a phone number to call.

These assets give people more reasons to choose your business and typically increase an ad's click-through rate by several percentage points. Learn more about ad assets and assets you can select based on your business goals.

6. Create ad groups

For all campaigns, except Shopping and Performance Max, you'll group sets of related ads together around the same targeting. For example, you'd group ads that focus on dress shoes together and have them target people searching for dress shoes.

Learn more about How ad groups work

Shopping campaigns use product groups to group a set of related products around the same targeting.

7. Select your targeting

Targeting helps define how narrow or broad the audience for your ads can be. Without any targeting, your ads will have the widest possible reach. Targeting your ads lets you hone in on the specific customers who are interested in what you have to offer.

Common forms of targeting include keywords, audiences, locations, topics, devices, and remarketing. Specific targeting is only available in some campaign types (for example, in Performance Max you can’t choose to serve ads to only specific customers like women aged between 18-24, or customers already on remarketing lists. Instead you can provide these specific customers as audience signals to your Performance Max campaign to speed up Google AI).

Learn more about Targeting your ads

8. Set up conversions

Conversion tracking can help you track the actions that you want customers to take on your website. They can significantly improve your ability to assess the effectiveness of your ads, targeting, and overall campaigns.

Note: Conversion tracking is required for some campaign types.

Learn more About conversion tracking

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