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Google Ads Checklist

Are you running Google Ads?

Use our handy checklist to make sure your adverts deliver results.

Google Ads are a great way to make sure your website is found on Google for the products and services you want to promote, but it takes more than just creating the ads and hoping that they work.

It takes work, a lot of work, but luckily we have created this handy checklist to make sure you are doing everything you can to optimise your adverts to make sure they deliver results.

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Google Ads

Setting Up the Basic Tools

Before we look at the more technical side of running Google Ads, here are a few of the tools that we use to monitor and track everything.

  • Google Tag ManagerGoogle Tag Manager allows you to store everything you need to track the progress of your website in one place without having to add multiple layers of code to your website. You simply add one piece of code to the website and add all tracking to Tag Manager. This includes Google Analytics, Hotjar website tracking and any Google Ad conversions.
  • Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics is a tool that should always be set up so that you can see how users are finding your website and track their behaviours once they are on the site.

  • HotjarHotjar is a fantastic tool that allows you to track users on your website, you can see how much of your content is being seen, as well as tracking clicks and interaction and the devices that people are using to view your pages. Using this data, you can edit your landing pages accordingly to encourage conversions.

Website Checks

Check pages for content and make sure page is optimised with relevant keywords

When you are creating your adverts, you will want the ads to direct to a landing page that is relevant and optimised for the right keywords. If you are trying to sell tents for a camping website, you want the page to be about tents, not about all of the products that you sell. This is super important and it is a commonly made mistake, if a user can’t see the product they are looking for then they will search elsewhere (and you will have already paid for the click).

Make sure pages are optimised for mobile

More users than ever are searching for content and shopping on their mobile phones. You need to check how your website looks on mobile as this will have a massive impact on the success of your Google Advertising.

Keyword Research

Keyword research forms a crucial part of any Google Advertising campaign. You know the products and services that you want to promote, but what are users actually searching for that relates to your business? Google advertising is based entirely on the keywords you enter to fire your adverts, these keywords will cause your advert to appear when people enter a search on Google.

    • Creating an advert structure (1,3,9)
      When we create a campaign, we choose a main campaign, three advert groups within this campaign, and three adverts within each advert group, each of which will lead to a different landing page. This allows you to really tailor the adverts so that they are specific to the advert copy. It also allows you to test your adverts to see which is getting the most interaction and conversions and eventually adjust your budget to the adverts that are making you the most money.
    • Writing the advert headings and copy
      The advert copy is super important; you have a limited amount of text and this needs to encourage people to click through to your website. The best way to do this is to think about why people are searching for the product you are selling. Going back to our example of selling tents, why is someone buying a tent? Because they want to get away from it all, to pack up and go and get back to nature. People buy with their emotions, not with their wallets so create copy that sells the story, not the product.
    • Setting a budget
      We won’t work with a budget under £250 per month as there is so much competition out there that the advert just won’t be able to compete without this minimum budget. This works out at about £8.22 per day and you need to establish this at the start of the campaign, so you don’t end up spending more than you meant to. Generally, the more you spend, the more people will see your advert.
    • Adding extensions
      Sitelink, callout and structures snippets
      So many people out there will create Google Ads without taking advantage of the ad extensions. You are paying to take up space on Google, so take up as much space as you can on the screen! Not only will this help you to be seen, but it also encourages people to click through to your website.
    • Adding positive keywords
      And the correct category (broad match, modified broad match, exact match & phrase match)
      This is where your keyword research comes in. You want to add a list of keywords that will trigger your adverts and these will be different for each advert set. Knowing which kind of category is a little more difficult. We would recommend reading more about this to make sure you pick the right categories as it can be complex (and we could write a whole blog about this topic alone).
    • Adding negative keywords
      The negative keyword list is just as important as the positive list. When we create adverts we upload a generic list of keywords that we don’t want to trigger our adverts, this includes words from the darker parts of the web. But we would also add client/campaign specific negative keywords, to use another example, if you were advertising property extensions, you would want to exclude the keywords ‘eyelash, lash, hair’ as these are commonly typed into google with the word ‘extensions’. Adding these keywords to the negative keyword list will exclude people that are looking for a different type of extension from finding your advert.
    • Choosing your location
      This is a given for any google advertising campaign. Depending on the nature of your product or service your locations will vary massively. If you are selling tents then presumably you can do this throughout the UK, however if you are selling property extensions, you will want to sell within a reasonable distance of your business.
    • Creating Conversions
      (Contact form submission, calls from ad extension, get a quote form, calls from website).
      You will need to create conversions on Google Ads and link these to your website via Google Tag Manager. A conversion is basically when a potential customer either makes contact with you or buys from you. This could be via a contact form, calling you or buying a product.
      Setting these up will take a bit of training as you need to set up a tag to fire when a customer takes a specific action. This needs to be set up both on Google Ads and on Google Tag Manager (or your website if you haven’t installed tag manager).

    We would always recommend using Tag Manager as it keeps everything in one easy place without adding lots of complicated code to your website.

    • Checking your tags
      Once everything is set up you need to check that your tags are working. Thankfully Google Tag Manager has a preview mode that allows you view your website and check that everything is firing when it should be.

    Maintaining your adverts

    Once your adverts are up and running, you will start to collect data and in the world of advertising, data is gold. We would recommend advertising for at least six months as you will use this data to refine and adjust your adverts. If you advertise for any less than 6 months, you just aren’t using the data to its full potential.

    Making adjustments to the landing pages, the advert copy and the bidding based on the data you collect is key to running a successful campaign.

    • Checking Hotjar Stats
      And adjusting the landing pages as necessary
      Regularly checking Hotjar will allow you to see how users are interacting with your advert landing pages, where they are clicking and how much they are reading. If you see than people are reading a bit but not getting down to the contact form at the bottom of the page, you may add a CTA at the top of the page. If they aren’t clicking on the buttons, you may want to change the layout, colour and position of these buttons. Hotjar gives you the data you need to make changes that can completely transform your advert success rate.
    • Checking search terms and editing keywords

      Regularly checking your advert search terms will show you what people are typing into Google to trigger your advert. Using this data you can change the categories of your keywords to make them more refined and to eliminate unwanted traffic. You may also see keyword that you want to add to the adverts.

    • Bid adjustments (time, day and device)
      Within each industry there will be specific days and devices that people use to find your adverts. Adjusting the bidding so that you spend more on the devices and time of day that are bringing you the most conversions can help you to make the most of your advertising.
    • Checking Auction Insights for competitor research
      Checking auction insights will show you where your adverts are showing compared to your competitors. You will be able to see how often you show at the top of the page and you can also see who your main competitors are and have a little sneak peek through their advertising and landing pages.

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