What are Campaigns and Keywords?

Now that you want to start advertising your business in the world of search engine marketing you will need to understand some fundamental things about how keywords work and how it fits into an Adwords campaign.


An easy way to think of an Adwords campaign is like it is a folder on your computer. At the highest level of your Adwords account you can create campaigns. A campaign is essentially a folder which contains what Google calls ad groups. An ad group is where you keep the keywords that you want your ads to appear against and it is also where you keep the ads that you want to show when someone types those keywords.



A campaign is more than just a folder where you keep everything else. It is also where you choose all the settings in Adwords that will dictate where your ads will be shown. Under the settings you can choose which country and language to target. You can set what time of day your ads are to run and you can say how much money you are willing to spend each day on the ads in the campaign. We can go into this in more detail in a later post.

As a way to keep your account in an ordered fashion you can use a campaign to also indicate which category the keywords and ads within it fall under so for example in the case of a clothing store they could have a campaign for running shoes and a different campaign for jackets. The ads and keywords would be specific to those two categories.

Ad Groups

These sit within a campaign and are a lot simpler with fewer settings. Here you can set your default max CPC (Cost per Click) bids or Google Display Bids. You can also choose how you want to bid on Mobile Ads.

You can have a lot of ad groups within a campaign and here is where you should try to split your keywords into different themes in order to provide relevancy to the ads. To stay with the clothes shop example if the campaign is for running shoes then you could have an ad group for black running shoes and red running shoes, basically anything that you see the need to split the keyword into different ad groups for.


A keyword is what you put into your Adwords campaign to trigger your ads when somebody searches for you. The keyword can be anything that is typed into Google and when somebody types it your ad will appear. For example you have a keyword in your ad group called “bright red running shoes” along with an ad of yours for those red running shoes and when somebody types that into Google your ad will appear. If the person clicks on your ad then you will be charged the cost of the click which is how Google charges for using paid search ads.



The Ad sits in the same Ad Group as the keywords that you want to trigger it and it should talk about the product or service that you are promoting to be relevant to the keywords that you are using. This is done so that you will get a decent number of clicks from users who are searching those terms. Ads are simple text with limits on how long they can be but they perform a lot better if they reference the search term in a way that makes sense for what you are trying to promote. In the image below the search term is “red running shoes” and as you can see the ads all talk about running shoes.



In a nutshell these are the basics of how an Adwords Campaign structure works. Next time I will talk about how keyword match types work. In order to understand how to pick the best keywords to use in your campaign as this is really important to get right.

Cheers for now!

1 : An Introduction to Paid Search Traffic and Adwords