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Campaign and Ad Groups

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Google Ads campaign

A Google Ads campaign is a collection of one or more ad groups, and each ad group can contain one or more keywords you want to advertise on. Any ad group can also have one or more ads that are shown whenever your keyword is searched for in Google. As a rule, it's wise to keep your ad groups tight, with not too many keywords per ad group. This allows you to craft targeted ads and send traffic to the best possible page on your website.

If your ad group is too broad, your ads might not be optimally relevant for all keywords, and the landing page your ad links to might not be the most relevant page on your website.

Campaign targeting

Google Ads campaigns come in all kinds of different flavors:

  • Search network (Google search and search partners)
  • Search network with display
  • Video

We’re only going to look at search network campaigns.

Google Ads allows you to target a campaign to specific devices, like desktop computers, tablets, or smartphones. Google Ads also allows you to adjust your bids and ads for different devices.

Geographic targeting

One of the most powerful features of Google Ads is its geographic targeting. You can target your campaign for specific areas, as big as continents or as small as individual postcodes. This allows you to target your ads very accurately to the best possible audience.

Language targeting

You can also target specific languages in Google Ads, for example, a French-speaking audience in Switzerland, and make sure your ads are not shown for German-speaking users in the same country.

Google Ads in SERPs

So what happens when your ad is shown in Google? Whenever someone searches for a keyword that you advertise on, and it matches your campaign and ad group’s targeting, a live auction will take place. Here, Google looks at what every advertiser is bidding to advertise on that keyword (max CPC bid), and what the advertiser's quality score is.

The quality score is basically a measure of how relevant your ad and landing page are to the keyword. Google does this to ensure it only shows relevant ads, and its users aren't bombarded with ads that have nothing to do with what they're searching for.

Each advertiser's quality score is applied to their bid, and each ad gets a resulting ad rank. Google will then show these ads in proper order, according to the ad rank, with the best ad shown at the top. 

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Barry Adams

Barry Adams is the founder of Polemic Digital, which won Best Small SEO Agency at the 2016 UK Search Awards. He has been an active practitioner since 1998 and is co-chief editor for State of Digital. His clients include national brands like EMO Oil and The Sun, multinationals and local businesses.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    Barry Adams
    Skills Expert

    This module introduces the core principles and concepts of search marketing. It demonstrates how the use of organic search can benefit marketing campaigns. It introduces the key concepts of paid search and the ways in which it can be used to improve the performance of a campaign. It also outlines how to measure the success of a search campaign and how it fits within a wider digital marketing strategy.