Adwords Overview and Checklist

by Dozen Digital


Why should you care about Adwords?

Adwords—and search advertising in particular—is one of the lowest-funnel marketing channels available. In other words, it allows you to reach people who have a very high purchase intent. It is a large source of potential traffic and can drive traffic almost instantaneously. 

When is Adwords right for you?

Adwords may be right for you if you have an advertising budget and want immediate traffic. You may also want to use Adwords as a place to test copy ideas and validate hypotheses about your customers' needs. 

When Adwords not right for you?

Adwords may not be right for you if your potential customers are not searching for this type of product or service yet, or if you do not have an advertising budget. 

How does Adwords fit into the big picture?

Adwords is a great advertising channel for all parts of the purchase funnel, including those in the research/exploration phase. The best results will be found in the lowest part of the funnel, with keywords that demonstrate purchase intent.

What are the most important high-level Adwords concepts?

Your Ad Rank (where your ad shows up) is a function of two elements: your Quality Score and your bid price. Your Quality Score is a function of multiple factors, the most important ones being your ad click-through rate and your landing page quality/relevance. In order to achieve the best results, your keyword, ad copy and landing page should maintain consistency. This can be accomplished by having a sound Adwords infrastructure, with tightly grouped Ad Groups and Campaigns. Finally, the more real estate that your ad takes up on the search engine result page, the more likely it is to be seen and clicked. Ad extensions and a high Ad Rank can help to achieve this. 

Where are the best resources online for Adwords?

PPChero, Wordstream, SEMRush, Google Keyword Tool


  • Ensure consistency between keywords, ads and landing pages
  • Optimize for Quality Score
  • Use automated rules for bidding
  • Use “Goal” language
  • Use “You” language
  • Use countdowns
  • Start with modified broad match (not always)
  • Use negative keywords
  • Try mobile-optimized ads
  • Try retargeting for search
  • Try customer match 
  • Bid on competitor terms (where appropriate)
  • Use your allotted one exclamation point in ads
  • Try Dynamic Keyword Insertion for ads
  • Use day/time/location/device parting/modifiers
  • Speak to benefits, not features, in ad copy
  • Include your keyword at least once in your ad copy
  • Limit ad groups to a max of 30 keywords 
  • Include your price in your ad to pre-qualify traffic
  • Include your phone number if possible
  • Use a strong call to action 
  • Use Sitelink Extensions
  • Use Location Extensions
  • Use Callout Extensions
  • Use Review Extensions
  • Try YouTube Ads
  • Try Gmail Ads
  • Try Google Shopping Campaigns
  • For Display: Try a combination of Keyword/Topic/Demographics targeting
  • For Display: Try using site placement targeting
  • For Display: Try dynamic retargeting
  • For Display: Exclude certain categories of sites (spam, etc)

Need some help with Adwords?