Setting Up Your First Search Campaign in Express Mode

fast train at station

by Ash Smith

December 1, 2019

Before you start…

If you’re getting started with Google Ads for the first time, it can be daunting to know how to get your account set up properly, so we’re here to walk you through the first stage after you create your account. This article will show you exactly how to build your first campaign in express mode.

Adwords Express is a very basic Google Ads service that is designed for advertisers who prefer a very simplified and streamlined account setup and are not concerned with working with more refined data or applying more technical settings associated with a traditional Google Ads account. If you’d prefer a more robust campaign setup, we suggest checking out our article on setting up campaigns in expert mode.

Also, if you haven’t checked out our article on getting started with Google Ads, we highly recommend giving it a read before moving ahead, as it will give you a solid basis for planning out your campaigns.

Take a moment to consider a few things…

When it comes to creating your first campaign in Google Ads, take a moment to consider a few things…

Firstly, consider the business and the different products/services you offer. A great place to start is to look at your site’s navigation and see the different offerings listed under ‘products’ or ‘services’ (or whatever is relevant to your business). These products or services would very likely be a good starting place when determining your campaign structure (i.e. one campaign for every service or for every product category).

Next, consider how much you want to spend per campaign. Google Ads runs to daily budgets, so if you work to a monthly spend, divide that number by 30.4 (average number of days in a month) to get your daily budget.

Lastly, you will need to think about exactly which locations people should be in to see your ads. Using Google Ads, you’ll have the ability to target as broad as full countries, down to cities, postcodes, and even custom radius’s around a particular area. If your business serves an international market, you may want to have campaigns to individually target these locations in their own language as well. If you have a local audience, radius and postcode targeting may be a better fit for your needs.

Step 1

First up, select your business goal from the three selected. 

Step 2

Enter your business name

Step 3

and your website address

Step 4

It’ll give you a preview of your website or webpage to confirm

Step 5

Based on the details you provided in the previous steps, Google Ads will auto populate your ad copy, but we recommend reviewing this and updating it to make sure you create the best ad for your needs. You’ll notice that when you’re updating your ad copy, you’ll have 30 characters for your three headings, and 90 characters for two descriptions. We recommend trying to get as close as possible to reaching those maximum character counts, that way your ad is using up the maximum potential real estate (improving its chances of being clicked) once it appears on the search engine results page.

When it comes to writing a great ad, we recommend:

  • HL1 to be as close to the keyword as possible,
  • HL2 to promote a benefit
  • HL3 to be a call to action.  This has been proven to be the best combination.  

Step 6

Now you can choose some keywords that are relevant. Have a play here by trying different words and seeing what options Google comes up with.

Remember to keep them focussed on your service or product.

Step 7

Next choose where your ads should be shown by selecting where your customers are located.

You can type in the name of a location to target it, or setup a radius around your business (or target locations) to spread your reach further.

Step 8

Remember what we said earlier about planning your budget? Well now that you’ve built your first ad, you’re ready to add a budget to your campaign.

While Google will make daily budget recommendations based on the audience size generated from your location targeting, we recommend you add your own daily average based on the planning you did earlier. Finally, choose the currency that you’ll be billed for.

Step 9

Here you can review everything to check it’s right before you proceed

Step 10

The final step is entering your payment information and sending your ad live!

And that’s all there is to it!

If you have any question, please feel free to contact us on

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