google ads checklist

Short And Sweet Checklist For Google Ads Audits

Ensure there are no full broad keywords
Review match types
Check quality scores and search impression share
Add links to keywords (if applicable)
If needed, create single keyword ad groups
Create negative keyword lists
Add targeting keywords from the search terms report
Add negatives from the search terms report
Check that landing pages are functional
Spell check ad copy
Place keywords in your ad copy
Set page paths (optional, but recommended)
Redefine CPC bids (is Max CPC bigger than Avg.CPC)
Ad Groups
Group similar keywords together
Name ad groups according to their keywords
Ensure there are more than 3 ads in each ad group
Ensure there are no more than 50 keywords per ad group
Check/Set budgets
Specify location targeting -> Tagert people in your locations only, unless you really need to set this in some other way
Set campaign language targets to the language in which your website is written or all languages if the targeted area is small
Select the proper ad rotation
Choose the proper delivery method
Define ad scheduling (optional)
Set target devices (if applicable)
Ensure conversion tracking is set up
Ad Extensions (do you have them and why not?)
Make sure that AdWords and Google Analytics are linked
Make sure that your email lists are uploaded into AdWords
Make sure that the Audiences are connected to the campaigns
Double check Bid Only / Target and Bid strategy and implementation
Additional checks
Is auto-tagging on?
Are individual accounts that have access to the AdWords account safe?
Do managers have two-step verification on their accounts?

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Increase your conversion rate by using heat maps

Heat maps – if they are used correctly, you could get powerful insights into the mind and the perception of your average visitor. Using color variations, the heat maps can tell you where the action is on your website and what your users are actually doing after they land on one of your pages.

The bigger the sample, the more correct the insight you will get out of these powerful tools. The best practice shows that you should have more than 2500 page views – per page / per device in order to have relevant findings. 

Be smart. Be one of the few.

Studies have estimated that less than 13% of the websites are using heat maps in order to make their appearance more user-friendly. If nothing, you should use the privilege of knowing this information and start using heat maps (today) in order to make your website more to the customers liking.

Before you start, you should know the basics. There are several types of heat maps:

Click Heat Maps

These maps show you where your visitors are searching for answers and what are their actions if they can’t find any. You can always see the spot where they click, hoping for some more information, or trying to find some specific content.

Mouse Movement Tracking – also known as Hover maps

The most common type of heat maps that shows and highlights the areas where mouse cursors have hovered. They are used because people tend to hover with the cursor as they are focusing on that area (reading or watching intensely).

Scroll Heat Maps

Very useful tool. These maps show you how much your visitors scroll down on the specific page, and what content stays below the fold for the most of them. This is very important because one of the first rules of usability is that you need to put the most important information above the fold. Usually, above the fold represents the space that the visitor sees when he lands on the website.

Eye-tracking Heat Maps

Using modern technology, these maps show you exactly what does your visitor look at, as he browses through your website. They are very insightful and if used correctly, they can do wonders for your conversion rates.

Convert more.

Using these tools and using split tests with them, you can always try out new ideas and by applying “peel and stick” method. You should use those tools that are proven with good conversion rates and discard those that don’t convert as much.

After using heat maps you will come to the conclusion that you need to do (at least) one of the following: 

– Move your most important information above the fold and to the left.

– Make your buttons larger (especially for tablets and mobile phones).
– Change the emphasis on your CTA.
– Add a hyperlink on a specific keyword.
– Change the design of the website.

And yes, you should change one or all of these things (depending on your findings and of your website’s structure).

Just make sure that you don’t make the same mistake twice. Developers, managers, designers, and business owners tend to lose track of what is the most important thing on the website, and that is (and always will be) information.


When people come to your website, searching for some information, you should provide them with one. And if they want to buy something, you should make that process as easy as possible. In order to increase conversion rates on the website all you need to do is to listen to your visitors. Search between the lines and find out what do they need. One of the best ways to do that is by using heat maps.

Map out your website, perform split tests as much as you can, and remember that the customer is always right.  

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How to set up schedule on ad level – Google AdWords

Sometimes you will have to make a campaign that is running all of the time, but the ads will need to appear only on certain hours.
This is when we use ad level time schedule.

Step by step guide:

1) Log into your AdWords account and click on the Ad tab
2) Once there, select the ads you want to appear at certain times and click on the Automate button

schedule on ad level
3) Then click on the Pause ads when…
4) Remove the requirements
5) And then set up the frequency you want your ads to follow. Now you are just setting up when will they be paused.
6) As for the notification part, this is up to you. But you can choose No emails option.
7) Once we complete the pause automation, we need to set up the enabling automation
8) Again we remove the Requirements
9) And then set up the frequency you want your ads to follow.
10) Set up notifications and that is it.

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Google Merchant Center – How to add a new feed

If you are have just landed a new client that has Google Shopping campaigns and you’ve never managed Google Shopping campaigns or had access to Google Merchant Center, then you should most definitely read this.
The same goes for those who are interested in finding out how to set up a new feed in Google Merchant Center.
1) First, you log into your account and then go into the Feeds section and click on the + .
2) Now you need to set the type of the feed and the location that you are targeting. If you are creating a feed for Google AdWords purchases, then you need to create a Standard feed.
Test feeds only help you to identify the errors without the possibility of the suspension from AdWords.
3) Next step requires you to register your feed.
Here you have an option to manually upload the feed at least once a month or to schedule a fetch from a link.
4) At the end, you need to give a name to your feed and to set up the time and date you want your feed to be fetched (if you are going with the scheduled fetch option).
5) Once you’ve done that, you just need to wait for the feed to be processed and you can star with the creation of your new Google Shopping campaign.

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«FREE» Download – Ultimate list of negative keywords for AdWords Campaigns

I hope that you will find this much useful, as it took me 5 years to complete this list.

Please, make double check all of the keywords, so that they don’t mess up your existing campaigns. Even though some of them look a bit silly, they were all taken out of regular Google Ads accounts.

Enjoy, and feel free to message me if you have any questions or comments.

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Similar audiences – Google’s answer to Facebook’s lookalike targeting

Google’s answer to Facebook’s lookalike audiences is finally here and it is all we have been waiting for. If you are using remarketing lists in your AdWords campaigns, you are going to love this one.

If you are active in the Facebook marketing scene, then you must know all about Facebook lookalike audiences. And if you had the opportunity to use them, then you must know how ineffective and costly they really are.

SLSA Campaigns – Similar lists for search ads

Google has stepped into this game and showed us (once again) how it is done.
It has been more than two weeks that I’ve been testing these audiences (similar to Converters / Buyers) and I’m testing them on both DSA and Shopping campaigns for an eCommerce website. The beauty here is that Google does all of the hard work for you, you just need to create a campaign with the structure set for remarketing lists and instead of remarketing audiences, just put similar audiences lists (Target and Bid).

In some cases, after several weeks of testing, they are showing the same number of conversions as the Converters/Buyers remarketing lists.

My suggestion to anyone who is not afraid of a little testing is to create an SLSA campaign right now and see how lookalike audiences should have looked like on Facebook.

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Google Merchant Center (GMC) Backup

If you are in charge of at least one AdWords Shopping campaign, you are probably the person in charge of the Google Merchant Center account and feed upkeep.

Whatever the level of your involvement is, it is very wise of you to backup your feed every couple of days (if not even daily).

This is important because you might end up with an error of some sort in your Shopping campaign or you might get suspended all of the sudden and you will want to go back and see what went wrong and at what point.

How to back up your feed from your Google Merchant Center account?

First, log into your Google Merchant Center account.

Then, click on the “GO TO DIAGNOSTICS” button.


After you do that, then click on the FEED you want to backup

All that is left now is for you to click on the DOWNLOAD FILE BUTTON

In the end, find a safe place to store your regular backups and hope you will never ever need them.

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Google AdWords Location Targeting Optimization

Dear AdWords user,

Did you know that AdWords lets you bid on the postal code level when it comes to the location bidding?

Location targeting

Let us say that you want to target the United Kingdom in your AdWords campaign. You can achieve that fairly easily by entering “United Kingdom” in the location targeting settings in the AdWords platform. This is how 80% of AdWords users set up AdWords targeting.

Now, let us say that you want to be more aggressive in some region of the country, in one city or in the radius of your store or even in the postal code where your customers live.

You can achieve all of that by adding more narrow locations in the Settings tab of your campaign. Once you are in the Settings tab, click on the Locations tab and make sure that you go into the Advanced search settings.

AdWords Location Targeting Optimization

Here you have an option to add or exclude radios targets, cities, neighborhoods or even postal codes of your wanted locations.

If you want to bulk add the postal code numbers for your selected country, there are two suggested ways to do that:

Google/Wikipedia: (for the UK example that we have)


Google AdWords API location list:

Either way, you need to find the locations you want to enter in bulk and copy them here:

*You can only add 999 at a time. 

And once you do that, click on the Search button. And then click on the button titled Add all matched locations.

You have to find the proper list since Google AdWords has a specific way it depicts these locations in bulk.

Once you add all of the desired locations, all that is left to do is to Save the settings and possibly bid on them or wait for more data before doing so.

That would be it, dear advanced AdWords user. 🙂

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Step by step guide to creating your first Google AdWords Shopping campaign

Google AdWords Shopping ads are a must have for any serious webshop owner. If you have a webshop and are not running at least one Shopping campaign then you need to get your priorities straight.

Once you decide to start using this amazing digital advertising tool, you should follow these steps:

1. First, you need to log into your AdWords account. 

2. If you have an MCC – My Client Center account, then go into the account within which you want to create the campaign.

3. Once you are in the account (on the Campaign level), click on the button titled +CAMPAIGN.

4. Select Shopping.

5. Next step is to enter the Campaign name.

6. Your Google Merchant Center account should already be connected to the AdWords account, if not make sure that you do that first. Here is the guide for that:

7. Now, you must enter the country of sale. It must be the same country that is selected in your Google Merchant Center feed that you will be using for this campaign.

8. Make sure that you go into Shopping settings (advanced) and select the campaign priority.
If you are not sure what to do here, just bare in mind that this option lets you choose the priority of the campaign within the AdWords account. Meaning that if you have 3 shopping campaigns, this is the way you can give them a priority.

9. You should use the inventory filter only if you are creating separate campaigns for your product groups (based on some custom label, brand, etc.), otherwise, skip the inventory filter and create a campaign for the entire feed.

10. Targeting and exclusion strategy should be determined by the scale and phase of growth your business is in at the point you are creating this campaign.

11. Bid strategy should always be Manual CPC at first (until you break the 5 conversions/day benchmark, then change to Enhanced CPC).

12. I suggest that you use the individual budget for your setup unless you have a specific budget-related strategy in mind.

13. You can use Standard delivery strategy if you want to start the campaign and your Google Shopping appearance at a normal rate, but you can also use the Accelerated strategy if you want to be more aggressive while you are entering the new market.

14. If you have a need to schedule your ads and just let them be visible for a certain amount of time, then you should create a Schedule by which your ads will be shown. If not, you can add all days of the week so that you can bid on them later, when you have more data.

15. At the end of the page, if you have any custom URL tracking that you use for your marketing campaigns overall, you should adjust the settings in the Campaign URL Options section.

16. Save and continue.

17. The only thing that remains is the creation of AdGroups. Your products are already grouped in the product groups, you just need to branch them the way you feel will benefit you the most.
Give your ad group a name and if you are creating multiple ad groups, you should select the option – Start with one product group with a single bid for all products, or if you are creating just one ad group, then you should consider selecting option number two – Create one ad group and generate multiple product groups based on the product attribute you choose.

18. Now that your ad group has been created, you need to branch your product groups.

Dependant on your feed’s structure, you can do it by Brand, Custom label, or some other categorization that makes sense to you.

19. After you’ve done that, you can branch even more if needed.

20. At the end, you should place the bids. It is your choice if you want to do it at the ad group, product group or a product level.

Well done, you’ve created your first Google AdWords Shopping campaign.

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