Setting Up Google Ads the Right Way (Not Using Default Settings)

Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) is still the go to channel for driving online performance for most brands and there is a lot to like within the advertiser platform.

If you ask any digital marketer which ad interface and tools they prefer to use 99% would tell you Google Ads over Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or any other self-server advertising platform.

Google Ads has a big advantage in that it launched over a decade before most of it's competitors, on October 23, 2000 to be exact. The addition of Google Ads Editor (AWE in the biz) is also an essential desktop application for power PPC managers to do more bulk edits quickly. Only Bing has a similar offering and it's pretty much a knockoff of Editor.

For all Google Ads does right it does some really important things horribly wrong as well. My feeling is that some of their default account settings are more to increase advertiser spend and give Google more control over your campaigns.

Typically when I meet a new advertiser that had a bad experience with Google Ads, they went with Google's default settings, enabled automated bidding, or worse yet - had a Google rep create the entire account for them! While Google reps can give good tips, always remember they are incentivized to increase advertiser spend so take their advice with some degree of caution.

So what are the default settings I'm griping about?

Including Display Network by default with Search Network in all new campaigns


Using Broad Match is the default keyword match type


Maximize Clicks is the default campaign bid strategy


Adwords Express is the default Adwords Account interface for new advertisers


Hiding Account Budget


Search Partners is enabled by default


Whether you're creating your first campaign or a seasoned Google Ads guru, making these standard settings changes will likely have a positive impact on your performance.  And like things like highly relevant landing pages, quality score, bid strategy, SKAG ad groups, use of ad extensions, conversion tracking, and many other optimizations are important, these setting changes can all be done in under and hour!

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