How to Build the Best Google Adwords Campaign

Building your AdWords (now called Google Ads) campaign structure following specific guidelines is proven to yield the best results. Below, we detail step by step all it takes to create a winning campaign, with its ad groups, keywords and ad copy.

What to advertise to gain?

Before we delve into the campaign structre, though, it's key to determine what products/services make a good fit for this structure due to their likelyhood to yield a great ROI.


Perfect - now that we know what products are advertisable, let's continue with the best structure to apply to the campaigns.

Google AdWords takes many account structures, many ways to do the same - in another page, we go over how AdWords works in a more general way. When it comes to building your AdWords account resouces, you can create one campaign or one thousand. And the same goes for the ad group, keyword and ad copy levels. You can create one of each, or you can create one thousand. You can split them into specific categories, or you cannot. You can structure your AdWords account however you want, you choose. However:

Not all structures will lead to the same degree of success. A proper structure has been proven to lead to a greater return on investment.

Below you will find a best in class guide to structure your campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ad copies. Let’s start!

It’s worth highlighting that leveraging the free tool Google AdWords Editor comes in handy when it comes to applying the structure we recommend and suggest.

How to to structure AdWords campaigns?

In two words - location and device. These two dimensions will govern the way we build our AdWords account. The reason why we want to structure campaigns by location and device is because these two dimensions can only be adjusted at the campaign level.

Say our business sells shoes online and ships all over the USA. We would want to create one campaign per state and additionally, split each of them into two campaigns - one for computer/tablet devices and another for mobile devices.

We want to make sure we have full control over each dimension - namely, location and device. We will have then 100 campaigns.
You may ask yourself whether creating 100 campaigns is a bit too much - after analyzing thousands of AdWords accounts, we have come to the conclusion that this campaign structure is the one that yields the best results - by far.

The reason being is that you can create ad copy targeting that location, and that location only. Since we have one campaign per state, we can create one ad copy mentioning the name of each and every one of them, increasing click through rate, which increases overtime the quality score, which lowers the cost per click.

Spending five, six hours creating the proper AdWords campaign structure pays off big time.
You can easily create 100 campaigns through the AdWords Editor tool or via the AdWords web interface. The former is quicker, but you can certainly do the same as well with the latter.

Since we are creating one campaign per state per device group, one for computer/tablet and another one for mobile, it’s important to make the necessary adjustments so the campaign targeting mobile does not appear when users search for our keywords in computer/tablets devices and vice versa. Luckily, this is a very easy change - albeit, somewhat hidden.

For the campaigns targeting mobile devices, we will decrease both computer and tablet bids by 100%. For the campaigns targeting computer and tablets, we will do the same for mobile devices. This will ensure our ad groups and ads structure run only for the intended devices.

The end result for couple states would be the following:

Of course, you might wonder how to adjust daily bids for 100 campaigns when your budget allows for a daily spend of only $20. Dividing 20 by 100, leaves us with 2 cents which will obviously not allow any campaign to run if we were to allocate just this amount to each of them.

Fortunately, we have what’s called the account shared budget, which does exactly what it sounds - it is an account budget, not a campaign-specific budget, so campaigns targeting larger state populations like California will spend more from that shared budget than states with less population like Oregon, its northern neighbor.

Below, how to create an account shared budget.

First, we go to the very left panel in our AdWords web interface account and select Shared library.

Inside, we will find Budgets

The Budget tab houses the functionality to create a shared budget for all our 100 campaigns. What we need to do now is create the shared budget, naming it as we deem fit and assigning to it the total daily amount we wish to invest across our AdWords account campaigns.

The last step would be to add all campaigns to this newly created shared budget - in our case, we want to add all campaigns. Should we want to add just a handful of them, we can certainly do so as well.

Awesome, now that our campaigns are all set, let’s go create their ad groups.

How to structure the AdWords campaign’s ad groups?

If campaigns were associated to location and device, ad groups are associated to the business products and/or services offered.

Let’s go back to our example business - the shoe online retailer servicing the USA. This business sells shoes of all kinds and sorts, it has a very wide selection. When we are talking about creating one adgroup per product we are not talking about creating one single ad group with the product shoes, because after all, that is the product this business is selling right? Wrong - we will need to create one ad group per specific product, and that means creating as many ad groups as different shoes there are in stock.

One might wonder if creating search campaigns instead of shopping campaigns is the way to go, since shopping campaigns were designed with this business case in mind, one retailer with hundreds of products. The short answer would be yes, the long answer would be no - actually no is shorter than yes. Search campaigns are favored by Google in most search queries containing retail products, and even though they might seem more time-consuming to create, they are not. All ad groups are somewhat related so the keywords can have just one word that differs, making the creation in bulk much easier.

We will have one ad group for tennis shoes, another ad group for football shoes and so on - being as specific as possible. The advertiser might even consider splitting the ‘tennis shoes’ ad group into as many as popular brands they sell for this type of shoes. If that were the case, the campaign would have ad groups such as ‘tennis shoes Adidas’, ‘tennis shoes Nike’ and so on and so forth.

For mobile-only campaigns and should the retail business welcome sales calls, we will want to create two ad groups per product so we can have one ad group for click-to-web ads, and another ad group for call-only ads. The reason we want to split them in different ad group structures is just so we can run effective A/B tests. Having 4 ads in the same adgroup will make it much harder to run and much longer to draw any conclusions.

How to structure the AdWords ad groups’ keywords?

We've summarized in this 1-minute video how to come up with keywords that help you gain more, not spend more


Contrary to popular belief and common practice and as we have seen so far, having one sole campaign per account and one sole ad group is not the way to go. It is actually, the opposite way to go. The popular belief and common practice, when it comes to keywords, advocates for thousands of keywords, the more the merrier. The best AdWords keyword structure is actually the opposite. Since our ad groups are narrowly defined, creating thousands of keywords will not be possible. We estimate the right number of keywords, on average to be one hundred tops. More than one hundred might signal the ad group product category is not narrow enough.

Keywords need to be created always in the 3 types - the reason why is that when user types:

User search query: I want to buy tennis shoes

We want our keyword to resemble the search query as much as possible to ensure greater relevancy and lower cost. If we have three keywords, one that is a broad modifier, one with the type phrase and another with the type exact, which one do you think is the most relevant and be the one selected by Google?

Broad modifier: +I +want +to +buy +tennis +shoes
Phrase: “I want to buy tennis shoes”
Exact: [I want to buy tennis shoes]

Exactly! Exact it is. It is the closest match, it is thus the most relevant, it is thus the cheapest. Having each keyword triplicated is the best strategy for a sound AdWords keyword structure and the one that yields the greatest results and cheapest cost per click.

How to structure the AdWords ad groups’ ad copies?

Since one image is worth 1000 words, we've also come up with a video to explain the importance of a great ad copy to achieve a greater percentage of clicks which leads overtime into a lower cost per click.


Following our desire to be concise, we'll continue with just one word: A/B test - well, it is actually two words. Since we’re in the Tennis theme, we can add an example that will help us understand the importance of creating A/B tests in the ad copies. In a match, we cannot declare a winner until it’s over. No matter how sure we are that the player 1 is better than the player 2, unless they play a match and the player 1 wins 2 sets, we cannot be sure that the player 1 is the best. Likewise, when it comes to AdWords and to build the best structure, in this case an ad copy structure, we need to create always 2 ad copies. We will let them play their particular match and replace the losing ad copy with another ad copy, and so on on a recurring basis because A/B tests are ongoing. This is how to set it up:

When do we know that our particular match between ad copies has ended though? Great question indeed! We will use any free A/B test tool available, like this A/B calculator.. We will be adding the number of impressions and the number of clicks that they generated which will result in a click through rate. The amount of impressions and click will determine whether there is significant data to reach a 95% confidence level which is when we know one ad copy has outperformed the other ad copy.

To sum up, an AdWords structure whose campaigns are optimized for location and device and its ad groups mimic the products or services the business offers is the perfect shell to house keywords and ad copies. The keywords need to be triplicated for each type and the ad copy need to be structured to run always two so we ensure the greatest click rate possible.

Following this structure has been proven to yield the greatest return on your investment in Google AdWords.

Let's look at an example

Sawtooth Roofing, a roofing repair business, explains how Google AdWords works and how Kolau's optimization engines are helping them gain more web traffic and more business while paying less for their campaigns.


Google AdWords is the best channel to be found when your product is searched because over 90% of your customers search for it in Google.

With Kolau Small Business gain more from Google Ads while paying less. Kolau’s optimization engines enable advertisers to remain in full control of their account while Kolau automates their Google Ads account 24/7. Gain more and spend less. Let’s go!