Learning Google Adwords in 4 Days

I frequently face the question asked by my friends/clients who want to do it themselves about how they can learn Google Adwords as fast as possible. Well my normal response is to set up an account yourselves, put your credit card information in and start spending money :D. This way you will learn very fast.

Updated 14 Feb 2011, i recently published an ebook for newbie about Google Adwords called “Get going with Google Adwords“.
In this ebook, i covered most of the basics like: keyword research, how to sign up an account with Google, creating your first campaign, writing ad copies, reporting etc…

This happens to be the way i learnt Google Adwords a couple of years ago as well.
Anyway, i was going through some of the old materials written by myself before and stumbled upon this one “7 Days Adwords Crash Course”

It is what i created to serve the purpose of helping a friend to learn not only about Adwords but Display Advertising and eDM also. At that time the Google’s Content Network was not as big as it is now in Singapore ( i mean Google didn’t have a lot of impressions to serve locally or even in South East Asia region).

I realize that the materials might be out of date but i decide to share anyway.
I shorten the 7 days into 4 days only, taking Display Media and eDM out at this point.

Before moving on, i have to say most of the materials here you can find at Adwords Learning Center.

I. Day 1: Quiz day

I believe before you learn something, you need to have a clear understanding of where you are.
So i have below 40 questions to be completed in 90 minutes. These are NOT multiple choice or Yes/No questions unless said so.

  1. Explain structure of an Adwords account
  2. What is the maximum number of campaigns you can have under 1 account?
  3. How many ad groups are there in 1 campaign?
  4. How many keywords are there in 1 ad group?
  5. How to calculate Click through Rate?
  6. What factors influence ad rank?
  7. Can an advertiser change the campaign geo targeting after the campaign is set up?
  8. What are the pricing models for Google Adwords?
  9. How can you check Australian ads (ads that are seen by people in Australia) for the keyword “flower” on Google.
  10. What is Google Content Network?
  11. Name 3 websites in Singapore that participate in Google Content Network
  12. How can you check the number of competitors for a particular keyword?
  13. What is keyword max CPC? Preferred CPC?
  14. If an advertiser sets the max CPC for the keyword “florist in Singapore” @$1.0. How much does he pay if someone clicks on his ad on Google?
  15. How to generate keyword performance report?
  16. Can advertiser target people who use different languages using 1 campaign?
  17. If the total budget for 6 months is SGD $10,000.00. How much is the daily budget?
  18. If the daily budget is $10.0. How much is the maximum amount that Google can charge per day?
  19. What is the minimum CPC for Singapore?
  20. What are the keyword status?
  21. Can advertiser use broad match and phrase match for the same keyword in one ad group?
  22. Can advertiser use broad match and exact match for the same keyword in one ad group?
  23. What should you do when the keyword is inactive?
  24. Should advertiser put company’s phone number on the adtext?
  25. Does Google allow landing page with pop up, provided that the pop up includes special promotion?
  26. If advertiser makes 50% profit margin on a $1000.00 product, and one out of 100 visitors buys, how much the advertisers can spend per visitor to buy traffic and still break even.
  27. If Google ads appear 3500 times, 200 visitors click on the ads and go to the website. Each click costs $0.5.
    Four visitors buy flowers as below:
    Visitor A buys roses @ $75.0
    Visitor B buys sun flowers @ $60.0
    Visitor C buys a hand bouquet @ 30.0
    Visitor D buys a durian cake @ 80.0
    What is the amount of money the average visitor spends?
  28. Explain what do you understand about the 80/20 rule in the context of Online Advertising?
  29. Can advertiser set up a campaign targeting Google content network only ( the ads wont appear on Search network) ?
  30. If there are only 7 advertisers for the keyword “camera shop”, how much should i pay for the ads appearing at position 8?
  31. What is Google Budget Optimizer if available?
  32. Can advertiser choose to display his/her ads on Monday 7am to 10 am only?
  33. Can advertiser create mobile ad campaign in Singapore?
  34. Can advertiser track the conversions from Yahoo Ads using Google Adwords?
  35. I can’t know the cost of one conversion from Google Adwords? True/False
  36. X is a Singapore agency that means X can only use SGD to pay Google for client ads spent. True/False?
  37. How can advertiser optimize an Adwords account?
  38. How does advertiser find disapproved ads?
  39. Highlight the approach you will take when asked to set up campaigns for NTU Singapore (http://www.ntu.edu.sg) targeting SEA students.
  40. Explain the reasons why you think you create good campaigns for NTU Singapore.

After the 40 questions in strictly 90 minutes, you can tell a lot about your own level of understanding about Adwords. More importantly, if you notice closely, you will find a lot more about other skill sets like how you manage time etc…

II. Day 2 Adwords the Basics

1. Campaign, Ad Group, Keywords: How to break them down?

  • Ad group is the smallest individual unit that contains keywords and ad text.
  • Multiple ad groups can be included in one campaign.
  • One campaign should only include 1 topic
  • As a rule of thumb, within each individual ad group, your keywords need to be closely related to each other otherwise your Quality score will suffer.
  • Always name your campaigns, ad groups in a meaningful manner. So rather than name your campaign, ad groups as: Campaign 1, campaign 2, ad group 1, ad group 2 etc… You should name them: Mp3 player, headphone etc…
  • All the ad groups, keywords, ad texts in one campaign will be targeted to audience of the same location, speak the same language.
  • You can’t separate the traffic coming from Singapore or Malaysia if you only set up one campaign targeting both Singapore and Malaysia. If you want the traffic breakdown, you need to create two, three, four etc campaigns. Each campaign targets one location.
  • Ideally, each ad group should be about one theme, one sub topic and it contains only closely related keywords. By doing so, you can have different ad texts for different ad groups and hence improve your Quality Score.

2. How Google rewards you for relevancy?

  • If your keywords and ad texts are not relevant to what people are searching for, your CTR is low. As a result your quality score is poor and hence your minimum bid price increases.
  • Ad position = Quality Score x Bid price
  • What the above formula means is that with the same keyword bid price, your position will be higher than your competitor’s if your quality score is higher.
    For example: to be at position 2, your competitor pays avg CPC of $1.0 and he has Quality Score of 1
    With Quality Score of 2, it only costs you avg CPC of $0.5 to be at position 2.
  • The higher your Quality score is, the lesser you have to pay and the higher your ad position will be.
    So even you are at position 1 or on the left hand side, you may pay less than your competitors.
  • Using negative keywords, you limit the number of impressions. Which means that your CTR is automatically increased.
    For example, if your impressions is 1000.
    Total clicks = 15
    CTR = 15/1000 = 1.5%
    With the use of negative keywords:
    Your new impressions = 800 (20% off)
    Total clicks remains the same at 15
    CTR = 15/800 = 1.875% (25% increase from 1.5%)
    You will pay 25% less to have the same ad position.

3. How to write good Ad text?

  • The worst you can do when it comes to advertisement is being boring.
  • The next worst thing is creating outrageous, shocking, untruth ads
  • Steps to write good ad copy (simplified version):
    • Visit the client’s website, check out their USP (unique selling points), slogan, company’s value, corporate identity guideline.
    • Ask the client for their offline (TVC/Print Ad etc…) copy
    • Ask the client for their target audience (if you don’t already Know)
    • Check out competitors’ ads in the same market, in other markets
    • Use Keyword Dynamic Insertion when applicable
    • Do ad rotation

4. Keyword matching options, ad scheduling, reporting: please refer to the learning center
It would be too long for me to copy everything here. You can email me at chandlerblog@gmail.com to

III. Day 3 Return on Investment

Before going into the details of Day 3 materials, please spend 7 minutes, going through “Understand ROI” from Adwords Learning Center

  • Answer the following questions:

Is Adwords an investment? How can you justify if it is an investment?
What is ROAS? Please state the formula
Please give one example where your ROAS is 200%

  • Advertiser needs to understand that depending on their marketing objectives, they should have different way to evaluate the performance of a marketing campaign, online campaign. The more specific the objectives are, the better it is. For more information on setting campaign objectives, please refer to “Online Marketing for Managers

1. Conversion tracking

  • The purpose of conversion tracking is to track conversions and cost per conversion.
  • A conversion can be a sales, a lead, or any other action.
  • How to put in conversion tracking: follow the guideline in your Adwords account
  • Make sure to test the conversion tracking after putting it on the advertiser’s site

2. Web Traffic Conversion

The following parameters can be used to analyze web traffic

  • Traffic generation: number of impressions, number of visitors, cost per click, click through rate
  • Traffic conversion: who take actions, number of actions (sales), action rate (number of action / number of visitors)
  • Sales or leads: Number of sales or leads, conversion rate, total sales volume, Cost per sales (or cost per conversion), Return on Investment (gross), Return on Ad Spent.
  • Generate conversion report from Adwords

3. Google Analytics

Please refer to Online resources Google analytics

4. Strategic number:

Visitor value: it’s the amount of money the average web visitor spends with you. It’s your sales revenue divides by the number of clicks.
It helps to answer the question: How much can you afford to pay for a visitor and still make a profit?

5. 80/20 rule, multiple user journey, interaction between online and off line activities

I mentioned these points in my previous posts.

IV. Day 4 Google content network optimization

Google Content Network can be a good source of targeted traffic if you know what you are doing.
One fundamental rule is that you need to separate the traffic from Search and Content by creating different campaigns.
For Google Content network, the ad is displayed based on the theme of all the keywords in one ad group so when you do optimization, think at the ad group level, not keyword level.

  • Ad format available:
    • Google.com and Google Search Network: text ad only
    • Google Content Partners: More Ad Formats are available: text ads, image ads, video ads etc…
    • Image formats and guidelines:
    • http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=12399&topic=7052
  • Pricing model: CPC and CPM. For more information, you can set up keyword targeted campaign using content network, or placement targeted campaigns to know more.
  • Note: Traffic coming from Google Content Network can vary widely.
  • As a general rule of thumb, since traffic from Content Network tends to be less targeted compared to Search Network, setting a lower CPC for Content Network is preferred.
  • Click through rate for Content Network tends to be much lower than Search Network so don’t be nervous when you see the CTR of 0.05% or lower.
  • If you decide to use image ad or video ad on Google content network in Singapore, please be reminded that the ad needs to be manually approved by Google Client Service person (CS). This process can take a lot of time and you need to activate your campaign first and wait for approval. If you campaign is paused or pending, priority will be given to advertisers with active campaign.
  • List down 10 most prominent websites under Google content network in Singapore.

Ok, there are lots that can be written about optimization for Content Network. However, i realize that this post is already very long.
I will come back to this topic another time then.


V. Conclusion

The above is what i think you should at least know to be able to run an effective Google Adwords account.
If you are handling multiple clients then MCC (my client center) is a must.
Again, Google has built a very good Learning Center so I strongly recommend you go through it.
Any feedback about my materials presented, please email Chandler: chandlerblog@gmail.com


One comment

  1. It was great help for me , as I am preparing for google adword fundamental test.
    Any other advise would be great for me.


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