December 23, 2016

The 8 Free Tools to Build Your Best AdWords Campaign

Published: 23 December 2016 

So you’re ready to take the first steps in building your best AdWords campaign? It’s important to remember that there’s quite a few steps to this process. Before building your campaign, you need to do some serious research, and after building, ensure that you continue to monitor your results.

Doing your research

Research for an AdWords campaign consists of three key elements: keyword, audience and competitor.

Source: Pixabay


Keyword research entails identifying keywords with high amounts of search volume per month. The purpose behind keyword research is to find keywords which give maximum traffic with minimal competition.

A complete Keyword search will allow you to find keywords to drive more niche, targeted traffic and added revenue as a result. This type of research also has the potential to help you find new keywords you might have missed.

Overall, effective keyword research has the capability of generating high volumes of traffic to your site.

Free tools for keyword research:

Google Keyword Plannerallows you to find out how many people are searching for your keywords and suggest keywords you possible hadn’t considered.

UberSuggest allows you to quickly find new words not available in Google Keyword Planner. It offers a quick and easy way of acquiring countless PPC and SEO-friendly keywords for your blog.

Google Predictive Search works by entering predictive text suggestions onto your Google search term/s. These suggestions are based on real searches and can show you which (long-form)? Keywords are trending.

This tool is quite limited however as results can vary by relevance, region, language and previous personal searches.



Audience research entails figuring out your target audience's most relevant concerns in order to focus your content. Focusing content entails deconstructing the niche you will be marketing to. You need to make yourself knowledgeable about what your audience is searching for and reading online.

You need to familiarise yourself with your target audience.


  • Age, gender, location
  • Websites of choice
  • The content they are most likely to read


Because you want to create content that is relevant to the audience - content that is actually going to be read.

Free tools for audience research:

Google Trends allows you to see which topics and keywords are trending in a particular category (e.g. arts, fitness, books) at a particular time period (2004-present) and place (country, city, etc). The tool can be used to analyse a single query or to generate an interactive graph allowing your to compare up to five search queries at one time.


Source: Flickr


In an AdWords campaign, you are competing for the top spot in Google. Competitor research provides you with knowledge about what your competition is doing and how to perform better than them. It is vital that you understand their position and what makes them unique. Familiarise yourself with their online presence, target keywords, active social networks, and their overall campaign approach. Knowing your competition gives you a better chance of “mapping the landscape” and determining how you can make yourself effectively stand out in the competitive market.

Free Tools for Competitor Research

SEMRush gives you insights into competitor strategies in display advertising, organic and paid search and link building.

The tool allows you to:

  • Uncover competitor Ad strategies and budget
  • Analyse rival Ad copies and keywords
  • Discover new competitors in AdWords and Bing Ads
  • Localise your Ad campaigns

Remember that SemRush is a FREEmium tool, meaning there is a free usage plan, but it is very limited so use it wisely and sparingly.

Building your AdWords campaign

Now that you have done your research, it’s time to build your AdWords campaign - get in touch today if you’d like our certified AdWords experts to help!

Source: Pixabay

Here are the basic steps to get you started:

Step 1: Acquire an Adwords account

Before starting anything, you need to get yourself an AdWords account first.

To do this, visit AdWordsand sign up.

nsure you have your banking credentials ready, as Google will need this information to get paid per click.
Once the account is set up, click on “Create your first campaign”.

Step 2: Decide on your campaign type

Most recommend that you start with the “Search Network Only” option first but you can change this as you gain more experience.

Secondly, you need to give your campaign a name to keep track of the results.

Step 3: Designate geographic area

Consider the target audience you are advertising to. Focusing on the exact location of the majority of your buyers will save you a lot of effort and money.

Step 4: Set your budget

In this step you need to work out the delicate balance of spending enough money to gain results, but not too much that you might “break the bank”. Manually setting the bid for clicks put you in more control and means your ads will stop once your budget runs out, saving you from surprise expenses later on.

Step 5: Write your ad

The copy that you use needs to convince potential buyers to click. Even if they don’t buy - you still pay, meaning that as well as wanting to attract a large number of people, the most important thing is wanting them to buy.

Start with a killer headline which uses search terms directed at your target niche. You only have 25 characters to catch their attention, so ensure every character is used with a purpose.

For the second and third lines, think back to your audience research. Use these lines to point to the benefits your niche wants to hear, play on their most relevant concerns. What are the main features which cater to their needs? Remember your space on these lines are also limited. You only get 35 characters to drill the message through so use the space carefully.

Lastly, remember to maintain a bit of flexibility as you might have to change certain aspects if you notice your ad is not gaining the right amount of traction.

Step 6: Add your display and destination URLs (and know the difference!)

Noticing the difference between URLs is incredibly important, as they each serve different functions in your ad.

The display URL leads to the homepage of your website, and is the one you want people to remember as this will be the one they visit without finding your through the ad first.

However you want to ensure that your ad does not lead straight to the home page. You want to set up a landing page which focuses on the products featured in the ad. This is what the destination URL leads to. Sending people to the homepage straight away means that they will have to do more work to find the products they want, meaning they’re less likely to stick around.

Source: The Blue Diamond Gallery

Source: The Blue Diamond Gallery

Step 7: Add your keywords

This is where your earlier keyword research comes in. Ensure you focus on keywords designed to reach people who are already willing to buy. For example, instead of using “formal dresses”, use the keywords “blue satin gowns” to single out those who are more likely to be looking to buy a specific product rather than those doing vague searches.

You can also utilise negative keywords, which tell AdWords which keywords you don’t want your ad to show up for, which could save you a lot of money.

Step 8: Bid on your clicks

Tell Google how much you are going to spend on clicks. Given that you are manually controlling your budget, you can spend as much as you want until the money runs out. Remember that in PPC you have to spend money to make money.

Step 9: Check everything

This might be a no-brainer, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Ensure that you check everything once, twice and even double check your double check. A misspelled keyword can mean that you miss out on a lot of keywords searches. Ensure all the settings are correct - you don’t want any nasty surprises later.

Free Tools for Building your AdWords campaign

Canva is a free image design tool offering millions of stock photos, illustrations, filters, icons, shapes and fonts. For your AdWords campaign, Canva is a great tool for designing display Ads. Google has a list of the various image sizes for ads.

Monitoring your progress

Once your campaign is built, you can begin to monitor your results.

Monitoring your results gives you an indication as to whether you are doing the right thing in your campaign. Is your ad getting the right amount of traction? Is there anything you need to change?

The best way to monitor your AdWords campaign is through the use of the free tool, Google Analytics.

Select the Analytics Profile you want to attach it to.

You will then be given a comprehensive dashboard laying out the following statics:

  • Visits & Costs


  • Conversion Rate
  • Visits by Ad Content
  • Total Invested
  • Total Visits
  • Visits by Time of Day
  • Goal Rate by City
  • Cost & Goal Completions by Keyword
  • Geographic Locations


  • Sessions & Clicks by Keyword
  • Visits by Campaign

Learn something new

There is still so much to learn about running an AdWords campaign, and the process never ends. Never be afraid to continuously change and improve your ads.

How we can help

For a better understanding of your progress, our expert AdWords team can have a look at your results and see where you are and how you’re doing compared to your competitors.

Send us your report, and we’ll give you some advice.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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