Paid-search campaigns have the potential to deliver high-quality traffic straight to your landing page. Whether these clicks are a good value for money will depend on how well you manage your account.

The great thing about Google Ads, is the amount of options and adjustments available to the advertiser – but this also means there’s a multitude of ways to mess up.

If you’re setting up a paid-search account, there’s a lot to keep in mind.

With Google Ads, as with all advertising platforms, even the smallest oversights can lead to catastrophic wastes of money and opportunity.

So, today, we’ll be covering the Google AdWords best practices, to make sure your campaigns get the best start.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Google Adwords Best Practices 2019

1. Use relevant time-zone and currency

You’re unable to change your time zone and currency after setting the account up – so take care in setting these as differing time zones and currencies will cause a lot of confusion down the line.

2. Define target locations

Default settings may serve your ads globally – so make sure you’re only targeting relevant regions. Remember to open advanced options and select whether you want to expand your audience to people outside, but interested, in your targeted regions.

Use ‘User location reports’ to monitor how different regions are performing. Then apply bid adjustments to take advantage for areas with high conversion rates, or negative bid adjustments/exclusions for poorly converting areas.

Define target locations

3. Build small, highly targeted ad groups

Use an account build that ensures all keywords have their own highly targeted ads.

This will ensure the ad relevance component of the quality score is at maximum. Take your time when it comes to building your keyword list and use all available keyword research tools to help provide you with inspiration.

Include the exact, phrase, and broad-match-modified variations of a keyword in the same ad-group. Do not include standard broad as this has the potential to bring in a lot of irrelevant traffic and skew the performance of the ad-group.

Split these ad groups into campaigns, based on either product themes or traffic volume.

Your higher volume keywords may deserve their own campaigns, as this will provide greater flexibility for ad scheduling, targeting, and bid adjustments.

4. Take full advantage of conversion tracking

Don’t just set up a conversion goal on your thankyou page.

You’ll also want to include smaller conversions/goals that will help indicate traffic quality beyond bottom-line conversions. Like ‘30 seconds on page’ ‘clicks to contact page’ or ‘chatbot engagements’.

You’ll need to link Google Analytics with your Google Ads account to create/add these conversion goals.

5. Use audience bid adjustments

Search through available in-market and affinity audiences and apply a bid adjustment to improve your competitiveness for what should be higher quality traffic.


Google provides list of users that have shown a general interest in a given subject (affinity audiences) as well as users who are showing buying intent (in-market audiences). You can also used remarketing lists here to adjust bids for users based on how they’ve previously interacted with your site.

6. A/B test and refine ad copy

Continually test new ad copy components in order to gradually improve your ad sets’ performance.

Remember to set ad-rotation to ‘Rotate Indefinitely’ to get an even distribution of traffic between your new and old ads.

Always employ out-of-the-box thinking and look to outdo your competitors on the search engine results page.

7. Optimise landing page loading times and data size

Use tools like Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights to assess your landing-pages performance in terms of loading times and functionality across various devices and browsers.

8. A/B landing page testing

Constantly look to improve you landing pages.

Make different variations, and A/B test via Google Optimize or ad-hoc landing page software like Instapage.

landing page testing

Either judge the results by eye or use statistical analysis to determine significance. Here’s an article explaining in detail how to use statistical significance in A/B testing.

9. Use keyword tailored landing pages

Create several variations of your landing page, one for each of your higher value keyword groups – this will improve the landing-page experience/relevance component of quality score.

You can use keyword insertion tools that will insert the actual paid-search keyword into your landing page header or other prominent text position.

10. Review the search query reports

Regularly check your search query reports, not only for irrelevant traffic but for keywords themes you’ve not yet considered. See what ideas you can get form your incoming search terms to build new ad groups/campaigns.

Add new negatives to a shared negatives list, so this can then be easily applied to other campaigns. Try to use negative phrase match types rather than exact or broad, as this will give you greater control on what is and isn’t blocked.

11. Use all available Ad Extensions

Give Google a full array of extensions to choose form when serving your ads.

This can only improve your ads visibility, appeal and click-through rate.


Avoid repeating information across the various sitelinks, as this will cause the repeated info to show in your ads and/or decrease the chance of Google serving the extensions together.

Which ad would you find yourself more likely to click on?


You’ve seen the Google Ads best practices, now take a look at the worst top 13 paid—search mistakes!

What other important best practices would you say are left out from this list?


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