How To Setup Your First Google Ads Account

Get the Flash Player to see this Google Ads tutorial about building your keyword list.

Follow these steps to successfully set up your Google Ads account and start running your very first ad campaign.

Google Ads is very flexible and can be highly adapted to your needs. However, preparation is the key to a successful first advertising campaign. Before you even sign up and open an Google Ads account  you should read our article “How To Prepare For Using Google Ads“.

Once you have your advertising goals worked out you will be able to follow the steps to setting up your first campaign. This is important because when you first sign up to Google Ads you will be brought through the entire process of setting up a campaign. This will not be an overwhelming experience if you are highly prepared and already know what product you would like to start advertising and who you want to advertise to.

The basic steps to setting up Google Ads and your first ad campaign:

  1. Choose which languages and locations you want to target.
  2. Build a small list of keywords and create your first ads (together known as an ad group).
  3. Set your pricing. Specify your currency and daily budget.
  4. Activate your Google Ads account by entering your billing information.
  5. Your ad campaign will start running.

Targeting Languages and Locations

Google Ads allows you to target people who speak 38 different languages and live in 250 countries all over the world. However, you probably don’t need all of them to see your ad.

Choose the language both you and your customers speak. For instance if your website is only available in English you should only target English speakers. You must also select the language in which you want your ads to display. Google will not translate your ads for you, but will show your ads to users whose Google interface language matches the language that your campaign targets.

If you are selling your product worldwide you’ll likely want to target your ads to all countries and territories. In this case if you have chosen English as the language preference than any person using Google in English all over the world will be targeted by your ads. However, if you only ship to certain countries you should only target these specific areas.

Remember, every click to your ad will cost you money, so when you direct a user to your website that is unable to follow through with a purchase then you are wasting part of your advertising budget. By taking advantage of language preferences and location settings you can increase the power of your ads to convert visitors into customers, and you will also be improving the relevance of your ads.

The language and geographical target options can be changed at any time, and you can also run different campaigns into different countries or for different language settings.

Create Your First Ad Group – Keywords and Ads

Although Google Ads allows you to setup many different ad groups (a list of keywords and corresponding ads) that all fall under the same campaign settings (such as language and location targeting), since this is your very first Google Ads campaign you will start with just one ad group and one text ad. Only create more ad groups when you are ready to move on to our next article “How To Build Your Basic Keywords List“.

Create an ad

The most important thing to remember when creating your ad is that there is a limit for the amount of text you can write, so you have to make sure make every word counts.

Text ads can contain, including spaces, 25 characters for the title, 70 characters for the ad text, and 35 characters for a display URL. This is displayed on four lines: a headline, two lines of descriptive ad text, and a URL line.

sample adwords ad

  • Headline – Try to make this something catchy.
  • Description – Give a brief description of your product, and try to include any special offers.
  • URL – You can display a shortened version of the actual URL you’re sending prospective customers to.


Don’t forget that the text in your ad is the first trigger for potential customers.

You can change all the fields in your ad at a later date, or create new ads until you find the perfect one.

Select your keywords

We suggest starting out with a small well thought out list of keywords that you want to trigger your ad. These keywords must relate to your ad and the product you are selling.

At this point the Google Ads Keyword Tool should be able to help you find any additional keywords which you may have not have considered. However, it is best to start with just a few keywords to test what works and what doesn’t.

You can create additional keyword lists or edit this one later.

Set Your Pricing

Choose your currency

As a note of caution, you can not change your currency settings at a later date. These settings will apply to your entire Google Ads account. Make sure the currency you choose favors you the most. The currency applies to both billing and payments.

Choose maximum cost per click (CPC)

The maximum cost per click is the sum you can afford to pay for a click. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll actually pay it as Google Ads automatically optimizes your costs for you, so you may end up paying slightly less for every click to your ad.

Based on the keywords you entered, the Google Ads system will calculate a suggested maximum CPC and show you the clicks and costs per day that would result. You can accept that CPC or enter one of your own.

You should enter a low number to begin with and click the “Get Estimate” button to find out if your ads will display at that price and where your ad will show in comparison to similar ads. You may have to raise your price for better positioning.

You can try more CPCs for each keyword in the ad group and calculate estimates to see which CPC suits your budget.

Set Your Daily Budget

Using the estimates you can figure out how much you can afford to spend each month. It is best to set a maximum daily budget in order to have a balanced campaign.

Activate your Account

The last step in the Adwords account setup process is entering your personal details. If you already have a Google account your details will be already in the system. Once you have received your activation email from Google Ads you must login to your account and input your billing information.

Your ads will not run until you have entered your billing details.

Remember, this and all our Google Ads Tutorials can now be viewed on Youtube.

Further Reading: We recommend reading How To Build Your Basic Keywords List next, or select from one of the many tutorials below.


    January 29th, 2016
    Looking for a secret weapon to kick your ecommerce reporting into overdrive and improve the conversion rates of your sales funnel? Google Analytics has ... + more

    April 22nd, 2015
    Not all conversions and not all websites are created equally. Sometimes, your website or what you class as a conversion doesn’t fit neatly into ... + more

    November 20th, 2014
    Have you done a Google search lately? If you work on Google Ads, probably not. We tend to work on the UI or in Editor ... + more

    September 12th, 2014
    Earlier this month, Google released a much needed tracking feature in Google Ads. Website Call Conversions. We’ve been playing with it in beta for ... + more

    August 18th, 2014
    You’re Product Listing Ads are getting upgraded to Google Shopping whether you like it or not. This really is not a bad thing. In ... + more

    RedFly Ltd. Internet Marketing has met Google's requirements to attain recognition as a Qualified Google Advertising Company.