Create a Search campaign

Search campaigns allow you to place ads across Google's vast network of search results. You can show ads to people actively searching online for your products and services.

A Search campaign is one campaign type available to you in Google Ads.

Benefits

  • Reach goals: Search campaigns can help you get more sales, leads, or website traffic.
  • Highly relevant targeting: Target people actively searching for your specific products and services.
  • Easy setup: Ads are easy to create and don't require special assets.

Instructions

1. Create a new Search campaign

You'll begin by creating a new campaign in your account and selecting a goal for your campaign.

CREATE IN MY ACCOUNT

Create new campaign and set a goal

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Select Campaigns.
  3. Click the plus icon to create a New campaign.
  4. Choose the goal of Sales, Leads, or Website traffic.
    • You can also select Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.
  5. Under “Select a campaign type” select Search.
  6. Under “Select the ways you’d like to reach your goal”, you can enter additional information about your business.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. On the next page, you'll enter a name for your campaign.
Note: When creating a campaign, changes are saved as a draft automatically.
Display, Shopping, and Video campaigns can also help you reach the same goals of sales, leads, and website traffic, but require additional assets like images, product feeds, and videos.

Drafts

  1. To edit your draft campaign, go to the Campaigns page.
  2. You can find the draft campaigns on top of the campaign list.
  3. Click Resume and continue.

2. Select campaign settings

You’ll now choose who to target with your ads, how you’d like to spend your budget, and how to enhance your campaign with extensions.

You may see messages that guide you to ensure certain settings aren’t preventing your ads from running. Try to fix any potential issues before publishing your campaign.

Select your targeting

As you choose your initial targeting, think about the type of people who might be ready to buy your product, sign up to learn more about your business, or visit your website.Check the box for Include Google search partners, if you’d like your ads to appear on additional search engines beyond Google.

  1. Check the box for Display Network to extend your reach beyond search results to other sites.
    • Most of your ads will likely appear on searches, but if there’s an opportunity to effectively show your ads on other sites, Google will take it. Learn more about Display Network
  2. You can choose Location options to refine your targeting by the relationship that people have with the locations you selected.
    • For example, this setting may be helpful if you’re marketing an event in Austin, Texas that’s mostly attended by people from out of town. In this case, you might select People searching for your targeted locations.
  3. Select the geographic locations where your ads will appear or places you’d like to exclude. Learn more about location targeting
    • Exclusions can be helpful if you’re targeting a larger area and want to avoid a location within it. For example, you may want to target all of the United States, except a certain state or city.
    • If your location targeting is too narrow and your predicted clicks is 0, you’ll see an alert to expand your location targeting.
    Enter the languages you’d like to target. The ads and keywords you’ll create should be in the languages you select here. Learn more about language targeting
  4. You can add audiences to your targeting based on demographics, interests, online activity, and remarketing. Learn more about audience targeting
    • Click Browse to see options that may be relevant to your goals.
Later, when you set up your ads, you’ll enhance your targeting by selecting keywords that potential customers are searching for.

Set up your budget and bidding

While targeting determines who sees your ads, your budget determines how many people see your ad and bidding determines what you want those people to do.

  1. Enter your daily budget. This amount is the average you want to spend each day.
  2. As you choose your bidding, think back to your campaign goal:
    • Want sales or leads? You might focus on Conversions. Set up conversion tracking.
    • Want website traffic? You might focus on Clicks.
    • If you’ve set up conversions and given them a specific value, you might put your money towards Conversion value. With this option you can target a specific return on ad spend.
    • To maximize how often your ad shows, select Impression Share. You can focus on ensuring your ad shows on a certain percentage of visits to relevant search result pages.
  3. If you’re more experienced with bidding you can Select a bid strategy directly. Learn more determine a bid strategy based on your goals
  4. Click Show more settings to select additional options:
    • Conversions: Select the type of conversion you want to bid for.
    • Ad schedule: Set a specific time and day you want your ads to run.
    • Ad rotation: Choose whether to show ads that perform better more often, or to show all ads evenly.
Note: When you add a campaign to a shared budget, the campaign’s budget is also added to the shared budget’s amount.
If your campaign achieves your goal, you can think about increasing your budget to scale your success. If not, you can adjust your targeting, bidding, and ads.

Enhance ads with extensions

Ad extensions provide many ways for people to interact with your ad, such as phone numbers, sitelinks, or lead forms. Extensions can also make your ads appear larger in search results.

  1. Pick extensions based on what might be helpful to potential customers:
  2. You can create new extensions or select extensions you’ve already created.
  3. By default, you’ll see sitelink, callout, and call extensions. Click Ad extension to see all available extensions.
  4. Click Save and continue to save your campaign settings and set up ad groups.

3. Set up ad groups

After selecting your campaign settings, you’ll create groups of ads. Each group should be relevant to what people interested in your products are searching for online.

Let's say you own a furniture business. You might create an ad group named “Couches" where you’d target keywords like "leather couches," "sofas," and "loveseats." You’d then create ads about couches and link to the couches section of your website.

There are two ways to create ad groups:

  1. Standard: You enter a set of keywords related to searches and create ads to match them.
  2. Dynamic: Google uses content on your site to automatically target searches and create ads.

Create standard ad groups

“Standard” is selected as the default “Ad group type.” Keep in mind, you can only use one type of ad group per campaign.

  1. Name your ad group.
  2. Enter keywords separated by a new line. Keywords determine the search results where your ads are likely to show.
    • Get ideas for keywords by entering your product or service under “Get keyword ideas.” You can also use the Keyword Planner tool for additional guidance on selecting keywords.
  3. Select keyword match types to control which searches trigger your ads. By default, your keywords will match to a broad set of related searches. To hone in on specific groups of customers, you can add the following characters to your keywords to change how they match to searches:
    • Phrase match: Add quotation marks “ ” around your keyword to match it to a phrase and its close variations.
    • Exact match: Add brackets [ ] around your keyword to more closely target exact searches.
    • Negative keywords: Add a minus sign - in front of your keyword to exclude searches.
    • Broad match modifier: Add a plus sign + in front of certain words to ensure that you match to searches that include those words or their close variations.
  4. Create additional ad groups.
    • Create as many ad groups as you need to cover all aspects of your campaign. In the next section, you’ll create ads that are relevant to the keywords in each ad group.
  5. Click Save and continue.

Create dynamic ad groups

If you’re new to Google Ads, try using standard ad groups for your campaign. Dynamic Search Ads involve advanced targeting and automation that can be helpful for larger advertising programs.

Keep in mind, you can only use one type of ad group per campaign.

  1. For “Ad group type” select Dynamic.
  2. Name your ad group.
  3. Enter the domain of your site. This can include a domain or subdomain.
  4. If available, select any categories to target. Learn more about dynamic ad group targeting
  5. Enter webpages from the domain or subdomain you entered above.
    • Choose pages that are related enough to be promoted by similar ads.
  6. You can also target pages with rules.
    • For example, if you want your ad group to focus on promoting shoes, you can create ads for pages with “shoe” in the URL, content, or title. In addition, you can create ads based on a shoe related category that’s relevant to your site.
  7. Click New ad group to add more ad groups.
  8. Click Save and continue to finish setting up your dynamic ads.

4. Create Search ads

When creating your Search ads, one of the most important things to focus on is relevance to your keywords. You’ll want to create headlines and descriptions that match the keywords in your ad group.

It’s also recommended to create at least 3 ads per ad group. Learn how to write successful text ads

Create Search ads

  1. Enter the final URL. When someone clicks on your ad, they’ll land on this page.
  2. By default, only the domain will show up on the text of your ad. So if your final URL is “www.example.com/shoes”, your ad will show “www.example.com”. To show more of your URL on your ad, you can fill out the display URL.
  3. Write 1-3 headlines. These headlines will be the blue text at the top of your ad. Learn more about text ads
  4. You can customize the URL that shows up on your ad by changing the display path. The display URL will not affect the page that people land on when clicking your ad.
  5. Write up to 2 lines of description text. You can use up to 90 characters to describe your product or service and how it’s relevant to your customers.
  6. You can add tracking parameters to your URL. These additions to the URL can help you track where your traffic is coming from, such as mobile devices.
  7. Click Done to finish this ad.
  8. Click New ad to add more ads to your ad group.
  9. Scroll between ad groups to make sure you’ve created ads for all of them.
  10. Click Save and continue.
  11. In the review page, you can see a list of issues that may limit your campaign performance.
  12. You’ll see alerts to fix issues related to your campaign. For example:
    • Billing issues
    • Missing keywords or ads
    • Invalid final URL
  13. Click on Fix it to resolve the issues.
  14. Once your campaign is ready, click the Publish button.
    • You can edit your settings, ad groups, and ads in the ‘Overview’ page.

Create Dynamic Search Ads

With Dynamic Search Ads, Google automatically generates your final URL, headline, and display URL. But you’ll still customize your ad description text.

  1. Write up to 2 lines of description text. You can use up to 90 characters to describe your product or service and how it’s relevant to your customers.
  2. You can add tracking parameters to your URL. These additions to the URL can help you track where your traffic is coming from, such as mobile devices.
  3. Click Done to finish this ad.
  4. Click New ad to add more ads to your ad group.
  5. Scroll between ad groups to make sure you’ve created ads for all of them.
  6. Click Save and continue.
  7. In the review page, you can see a list of issues that may limit your campaign performance.
  8. Click on Fix it to resolve the issues.
  9. Once your campaign is ready, click the Publish button.
    • You can edit your settings, ad groups, and ads in the ‘Overview’ page.

What's next

Once you've finished setting up your campaign, it may take a few days for your ads to start showing. Ads are typically approved within 1 business day. It may take longer for bidding to fully optimize performance.

In the journey ahead, you can use the guides provided below to help you become a successful advertiser and fix any issues you encounter along the way.

Optimize your campaign

Take the Skillshop course on the Fundamentals of Google Search Ads.

EXPLORE COURSE
  1. Learn pro tips to set up your campaign for success. Learn more
  2. Track conversions on your website to see if you’re meeting your advertising goals.Learn more
  3. Learn how to measure and optimize your campaign performance. Learn more

Fix common issues

  1. Find out why you may not see your ad
  2. Fix a disapproved ad
  3. Learn about account suspension reasons
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