Google AdWords For Beginners

Google AdWords For Beginners

In Episode 14 of the Niche Site Tools Podcast, I provide some inspirational/motivational nuggets that I came across this week and also give you a beginners guide to setting up a paid advertising campaign, using Google AdWords.

One of the items that inspired and motivated me this week was this post by my buddy Jeff, over at

Beginners Guide to Google AdWords

After getting some inspiration this week, I decided to try out something new, paid advertising.  My main affiliate site lost some rankings/traffic recently and after I cleaned up some duplicate content, I decided to give a pay per click advertising campaign a shot.

My thought process is that the content on my site is good and when I was getting more traffic and rankings I was making sales, so why not try for some inexpensive, targeted traffic and see how it goes.

If you are new to AdWords and paid advertising in general, it’s really not all that hard to setup a new ad campaign.  You can have a simple ad campaign created in less than an hour.

And the cool part is that for new customers, you can get a Google Coupon Code that will give you $100 in free advertising when you spend $25.  Here is the link from Google that will give you a code to enable that offer.

It is easy to setup a new campaign, but I came across 3 main gotchas to be aware of when you get started with AdWords:

1.) Proper formatting of your keyword phrases – If you are not careful, your target keywords will be far too broad and you can burn through your advertising budget very quickly.

Google AdWords Match Types Explained

[exact match] – Show your ad only when the person types in this exact phrase.  So if you list [product name review] as your keyword phrase, your ad will be displayed only if that exact phrase is typed in by the customer and nothing else.

“phrase match” – This will display your ad if the customer types in your exact phrase and any additional words before or after.

+broad +with +modifier – This will display your ad if the customer types in any of the words in your phrase plus words at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of those words.

broad – If you just type in keywords with no brackets, quotes or +/- symbols, it will be a broad match.  This can include your keywords, but Google will also substitute in what it determines to be similar words and the searches may have little or nothing to do with your targeted phrase.  (Not recommended)

-negative match – This will exclude your ad from showing if this particular word is part of  the search.  For instance, if you sell winter hats, but not baseball hats, you may want to utilize -baseball.


You will most likely want to start with more focused, targeted terms, by utilizing delimiters such as square brackets, double quotes or a combination of +’s and -‘s.  Your results will vary greatly depending on how you format your desired keyword phrases.

References: AdWords Keyword Match Types, Keyword Matching Options – Google

2.) Being sure to un-check the display network – By default, Google enables your campaign for search and also for their display network.  That means that your ad will show up in the middle of posts on potentially unrelated sites or parked domains, which really isn’t what you want for your first campaign.

3.) If your site or the vendor sales page is not mobile friendly, be sure to disable mobile ads – This is important, especially if your site or the main vendor sales page isn’t mobile friendly, or the product you are promoting does not lend itself to being searched for on a mobile device.

Specifics of My Campign For Reference

  • I disabled the display network, so my ads are only appearing in search results.
  • I set my target location to the United States and the United Kingdom, since that it where most of my prior sales came from.
  • I am targeting 5 keyword phrases, all in square brackets initially.
  • My bid rate is 25 cents per click and my maximum budget is $4 per day.
  • I excluded mobile devices, since my site and the vendor sales page are not 100% mobile friendly


By taking the above gotchas into consideration, you will avoid many of the newbie mistakes when setting up your first AdWords Campaign.  You can always modify things after the fact, so it is best to start narrow and then broaden things out as needed, once your results start to appear in your AdWords dashboard.

One thing I’ve already noticed after 24 hours with my campaign live, is that my initial bid of 25 cents per click is probably too low.  In your AdWords dashboard, they will show you a suggested bid next to each phrase you are targeting.

The suggested range is 35 cents to 85 cents, depending on the phrase.  I’m not too far off, but I may have to bump up my bid to give my ad priority over any other ads that I may be competing with.

So far I have a total of 31 impressions and 0 clicks.  The ad has only been active for 24 hours and much of that time was Father’s Day, so those numbers are probably a bit low for that reason.

I will be sure to give it several days or a full week before I either increase the bid price or broaden out my search terms a bit.

All things considered, setting up your first campaign is a very simple process. The hard part I think will be to strike a balance between narrow/broad terms and settling on an optimal bid price.

I’m looking forward to the process, as much as the results and will be sure to share everything with you here along the way!

Do any of you have experience with paid advertising campaigns on Google AdWords?  Do you have any specific tips/suggestions or other gotchas to share?  Please leave a comment below and let us know! 

10 thoughts on “Google AdWords For Beginners”

  1. Chris
    I’m interested in seeing what happens. I have been thinking about getting into ad words or Facebook ads to see what happens . SEO is great but sometimes like they say you gotta spend money to make money..

  2. Hey Duane,

    Thanks for the comment! I will definitely keep you in the loop on the results and will provide a full update in the next Podcast/post. Here are my results as of right now:

    I have 209 impressions and 3 ad clicks for a total spend of 55 cents. Click through rate of 1.44%, but no sales just yet.

    I’ve been tweaking the search terms to make them a bit more broad and I just upped my bid amount for two of the main terms I was targeting that haven’t had any impressions yet.
    Chris recently posted..NST013: Building an Email List – For Free!My Profile

  3. Thanks for the shout-out!

    Nice podcast, learned a lot about google adwords. I also need to explore the keyword planner.

    Oh, and cat boarding sounds like something they do in Gitmo.

  4. Interesting…I hadn’t considered trying this, but am struggling to get traffic to my site, so why not? I’ll be eager to see the results and what you plan to do from here.
    Randy recently posted..Zero Drop Running ShoesMy Profile

  5. Hey Randy, thanks for the comment. Check out episode 15 (linked to below this reply) for some further details and I have still been tweaking things since then as well.

    I will do a full update in next week’s Podcast. I received notification yesterday that I was hitting my max spend of $4 per day and I upped it to $5 and I’m hitting that now as well, so I’m getting more traffic and clicks, but so far no sales.
    Chris recently posted..NST 015: AdWords Update and Cool Free ToolsMy Profile


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