Google AdWords: Making it work for you

Written by Dave Collins, SoftwarePromotions Ltd.

This document is more or less a summary of the presentation that I am planning to give at the European Shareware Conference 2006. Because of the dynamic nature of the subject, and how I intend to convey this information, creating a PDF version of the session is almost impossible. This file will be vastly more useful in the hands of someone who has seen (or will see) the session.

For this I can only either apologise, or thank-you for coming to listen to me speak!

The facts, the mistakes. FACT: Many/most software companies have Google AdWords accounts.
FACT: Most have little idea of how to make full use of what is available.
FACT: Most are probably throwing away a fair amount of money.

As a Qualified Google AdWords Professional, I have worked with many different AdWords accounts, all of which have been set up by different people, with differing levels of knowledge, skill and experience from all over the world.

Despite their different backgrounds, I still see many common mistakes. The top five of which are as follows:

Poorly set-up campaigns.

Inaccurate keyword research and usage.

No/poor/overly-complex tracking.

Over-mixing of search and content.

Spending too much money.


The aim of my presentation will be to demonstrate how to gain control of an unwieldy Google AdWords account, how to write good ads, how to create simple but effective tracking, how to beat Google at their own game, and how to spend less on your ads while making more money. Nothing overly ambitious.

Dave Collins’ Golden Rules of Google AdWords. Never forget how the system works. The more you focus on what Google do and how/why they do it, the more you’ll be able to work their system to your advantage.

One size does not fit all.

Control is vital. Google give you plenty of scope for control, but you have to break out of the constraints imposed by the defaults.

Over-complexity is the enemy of success.

Balance lies at the heart of all things Google AdWords.

The Rewards Scheme Philosophy.

Quantity is good.

Experiment and purge.

AdWords defaults are for Google. Not for you.


The Basic Principles of Google AdWords. Google’s version of the 80-20 concept.

Broad matching is the default. Broad matching is not your friend.

Campaign negatives are a little hard to find.

For all the information that Google give, there’s a lot they hide.

Google AdWords system is complex by design. It will only get more complex with time.


Understanding structure. How and why to use campaigns and ad groups effectively.



Budgetary control.


Keeping it simple.

Multiple products should have their own campaigns.

Different aspects, features or users may need their own campaigns.

Campaigns vs. Ad Groups.


Understanding campaign settings. Don’t overlook the campaign settings features. In the right hands they are very flexible.

Do you want better performing ads to be displayed more often?

Different countries – different options. Example: different campaigns for different countries.

Google, search and content networks are not worth the same. Three networks. All different.


Understanding budgets. The daily budget is essentially little more than a safety net.

However without it you can seriously hurt yourself.

Use it incorrectly and it may be useless or even trip you up.

It’s useful to see what Google recommend as a daily budget.

Bids – one size does not fit all.

Some keywords are worth spending more. Some less.


Quality Score. Theory vs. Reality.

Why you need to care about quality score.

What to look for.

How to improve your quality score.


Ads. Single biggest mistake is to have only one ad.

Variety = vital.

Learn from your keywords.

Learn, emulate, nurture and propagate.

Give new ads time (and space) to work.

Good Ads vs. Bad Ads.


Landing pages. When to work with them.

Break the 95 character (25-35-35) restriction.

Remember that landing pages are now taken into account by Google.


Reports. All too-often neglected or ignored. Milk that data!

Google AdWords reporter is good, but slow & inflexible.

AdWords Reporter is better.

Why on earth don’t you have a copy?


Use it to stay on top of account.

Use it to save time.

Use it to save money.


Making it work for you. NEVER let an account run itself.

NEVER forget why Google came up with AdWords.

NEVER invest money but not time.

ALWAYS keep on top of new developments.

ALWAYS view your account with open eyes.

Written by Dave Collins, SoftwarePromotions Ltd.