Last Updated on February 27, 2022 by Nicholas Ho

Google Ads Setup for Performance

Google Ads Setup

his blog post is designed for the Business Owner to understand the process of setting up Google Ads process.

This advice is based on many years of managing Google Ads accounts, we have found this approach works best.

The biggest changes to Adwords in recent times is the introduction of Google Ads Machine Learning, one version is smart bidding. The Machine can target the right user, consider variable such as time of day, device used, location, etc during realtime bidding. This is great because it is almost impossible to replicate the same process whch will have to be executed in milliseconds.

BUT, It is very important, the Human Ads Manager needs to “manage the machine”, to have  processes and checkpoints to restrict the machine from causing damage to the Adwords account during the machine learning process.

Google Ads Machine Learning

Dangers of Automated Bidding

Without “training” the machine learning. One single bid can cost 10times the average bid amount.

One of my Google Partners colleagues  posted a screenshot of this recent bidding result – the machine took a $14 bid for a bid that should have been between 40 cents to $1.40 – blowing his daily budget for that campaign. The Google Machine will often conduct “experiments” to learn. It is very important to setup an environment to teach the Google machine before it starts making bids.

Opening Up A Google Ads Account

Goto – to get started.

For maximum compatibility, you should use a “single master Google account” (gmail account of Google hosted email account) to connect the systems.

When opening up the account is it very important to have these values setup properly:

  • Time zone (This cannot be changed later)
  • Currency
  • Setup a Finance Department user on the Adwords account  – to receive invoices, receive payment notifications and monitor costs (Not paying your invoice on time will impact your Google Ads performance).


Google Systems Connections To Create Synergy

To setup digital marketing performance systems properly – you will need to setup and connect several Google systems. For example: Connect Google Analytics to Search Console or Analytics to Google Ads. Each system will feed data into its connected system, the extra data creates synergy between two systems by providing additional information.

ome business owners come with the expectation that AdWords is the last stop for conversions. Myth buster – clicking on a Google Ad and then experiencing an immediate conversion is not common.

The more common experience in the buyers journey is for AdWords to be part of the conversion chain of events.

AdWords Conversion Attribution

[ Google Ads (depicted in blue) is part of the chain events to conversions. Visitors will often use other sources (organic search, social media, bookmark etc) before converting]

Conversion rates can be anywhere from 0.5% (sometimes less) to 10-20% (depending on the industry, brand, offer, service, product etc).

So if the conversion rate is 1% you will need 100 clicks to get 1 conversion. If the cost is $2.00 then you might have to spend $200 to get 1 conversion

However if the conversion rate is 5% then you will only need 20 clicks and it will only cost you $40 per conversion. What a Massive saving! 

Conversion Rates is a very important part of the equation, quite often the denominator for lead generation.

The truth is that Web traffic (Paid Advertising, Social & SEO) is only part of the lead generation formula.

You need to look at other factors such as Web Design, Landing Page Design, Call To Action, Offer, Brand, Price etc.

This area of Digital Marketing is called CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation, and is as important as Google Ads when generating conversions.

  Contact Us
For More Information about our Adwords Consulting Services Visit our Google Ads Services Page.

Building Your Google Ads Account

If your Ads account is New or has not performed well in the past, then the 1st phase for creating Google Ads should be the Discovery Phase.

This should be the expectations for the Discovery Phase

  • Let the data tell you which Keywords or Campaign types work best, a Data-Driven Approach
  • Use a Conservative Budget during the discovery phase
  • Curb your expectations at this stage, your best results will come when the account transition into the scaling phase

In the discovery phase you should discover what type of keywords, adcopy, campaign works best. After the discovery phase, you should be ready to scale and place more budget behind winning campaigns. The discovery phase can take from 4-8 weeks based factors such as conversions, click through rate etc.

  • We normally start with the Search Campaigns on the Google Search network and a Display Ad Campaign
  • We use tools such as Google Keyword planner and SEMrush to choose the best keywords in Google search to match with your business and audience profile. We also consider factors such as search volume, cost per click and keyword competitiveness. 
  • We create Adgroups centrally around “themed” keywords
  • In each Adgroup, we create a number of Ads based on the keywords
  • We look at improving quality score for each keywords –  this may entail changes your website landing page

A lot of Google Accounts do not complete a discovery phase and they allocate too much budget on losing campaigns, because they have not taken a data-driven approach to running Adwords.

During the discovery you will be running tests and place small budgets towards running a different campaign types or targeting a different audience. Google is always rolling out different campaign types you should be testing these campaign types to see if they are suitable for your account.


Scaling AdWords Phase
Scale once the account has had a number of conversions, we can start moving to predominantly smart bidding (fully automated bidding). We look areas such as bid strategy, mixing “full control” campaigns with Smart campaigns. 

One of the main reasons why we start with a cost per click model in Discovery Phase is to have full control – cost per click. We only goto smart bidding once the account has to have sufficient data so we can execute smart bidding safely.

Setting Up A Google Ads Planning Template

In this blog post, we have included generic outlines for 2 Google Ads Account setups

How we setup Ad account is determined by budget, cost per click, buyer profile and conversion rate.

Google Ads Small Budget

  • Up to $75-$100 a day
  • Search Ad (most people refer this type of Ads as AdWords)
  • Brand Name Ad (small budget $5/day)
  • 1-2 Ad groups per campaign
  • 1-3 Keyword based Ads per Adgroup
  • Display Campaign
    • Visually promote a Service or Product
    • Lot more eyeballs (impressions)

Notes: Don’t spread the budget too thin. You might need 10clicks, 20 clicks, 50cliicks or more before producing a result. If your daily budget is constant below the conversion threshold your results will be very inconsistent.

If your account does not have many conversions, we are normally using CPC (Cost Per Click) bidding.


Google Ads Medium Budget

  • $100+ a day
  • Search Ad (most people refer this type of Ads as AdWords)
  • Brand Name Ad (small budget $5/day)
  • 3-10 Ad groups
  • 1-3 Keyword based Ads in Each AdGroup
  • Inclusion of Dynamic Ads
  • Display Campaign
    • Visually promote a Service or Product
    • Lot more eyeballs (impressions)
    • Standard & Smart Display Ad
  • Video Ad
    • Have a well produced video
    • High Brand Lift
    • It can be effective when combined with other campaign types

Notes: Hopefully the account has a been actively running for while and for 3 months and has more than 30 conversions (this is a variation of old threshold technique used by Google – but we have found that this threshold is applicable even today)

Consider trying new campaign types – Discovery, Performance Max and Local campaigns depending on various factors.

Google ads Conversion Setup

The primary aim for most Adwords setup is for Conversions that belong to 2 Main categories:

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Sales (ecommerce)

A conversion is a desired action that you want from your visitor to take. The most common conversion is the humble contact form.

The contact form is the best form of conversion, Why?

  • The visitor is willing to share contact information (they are interested)
  • Easy to measure conversions
  • Easy to integrate forms to other marketing systems for followup like CRM, email lists etc
Google Ads Conversion Categories

[ Google has defined a number of conversion categories]

Setting Google Ads Conversions

This is the #1 issue where most accounts fail is because conversions have been set up incorrectly or no effort has been put into improving conversions, and as a consequence Google Machine Learning will never optimise the Ads Account.

Google uses Smart Bidding for many of its Campaign Adwords spending. Smart bidding relies on having the conversion setup properly so it can correctly measure and therefore optimise it’s campaigns.

Mistakes #1 – Simply importing goals from Analytics as Adword conversions. This is incorrect for several reasons

Conversions are measured and tracked differently between the 2 systems – there are very lengthy AdGeek articles on attribution, tracking and timing.
in short a conversion in Analytics is strictly not the same as Adwords.

Mistake #2 – Lack of Skills in setting up conversions so the information can be used properly in Adwords.

To setup conversion tracking properly requires skills in many areas.

  • AdWords
  • AdWords conversion definition
  • Google Tag Manager
  • WordPress Script Integration
  • WordPress Forms
  • Google Analytics (beyond basic mode)

For more advanced conversion tracking it requires skills in

  • Event Tracking
  • Google Tag Management (Level 2)
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • UX Design
  • Customer profiling
  • WordPress Design and Build
  • WordPress Forms (Level 2)

Mistake #3 – Not Understanding the conversion model

Running traffic to your website does not guarantee conversions. Repeat: Running traffic to your website does not guarantee conversions. There are many factors that make up the conversion process

  1. Landing Page Design
  2. Branding
  3. Your Offer
  4. Your reputation (reviews)
  5. Price
  6. Product / Service placement (within the marketplace – high-end, middle of the road, low-end))

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is needed to improve conversion rates. Each Buyer has a journey, and the marketing challenge is to provide information and answers at each stage of their journey.

Google AdWords Setup Summary

So these are the 3 most important factors to consider

  1. You need to apply a proven process to maximise Google Ads performance
  2. Understanding when to use Smart Bidding (implementing it too early can waste AdWords spend)
  3. Defining conversions properly which requires skills in several areas.