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Settings Page

See Member Instructions Below

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Avoid Costly Corporate Settings

Don't let AdWords sales people set up your ads for you. They don't know your customers like you do.

  • They use standard AdWords settings designed to run big-budget corporate ads. This makes it easy for them to run ads, but it costs you a lot more money.
  • They run high-priced ads to everyone, everywhere at the top of Google Search. You end up with an expensive mess that you can't understand, improve or afford.

GamePlan Settings Precisely Target Your Best Customers

  • Lower Costs Dramatically
  • Select 8 Critical Settings in 30 Minutes
  • Don't Pay for Expensive Ads to the Wrong People

Click Buttons Below to Stay in Membership Area

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Welcome Member -- These Settings Topics show how to select 8 small business campaign settings. See step-by-step instructions and strategies. GamePlanAd GroupsTune Bids & Test Ads also have Member Topics at the bottom of their pages.

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Select 8 Critical Small Business Settings

... Avoid Costly Corporate Settings

30 minutes


Click Campaigns > Campaigns > + New Campaign > Search Network Only

Google changes the AdWords user interface constantly, so it always looks different. However, the structure stays constant, so you always see work pages for Campaigns, Settings, Ad Groups and Ads.

  • Click Campaigns at top or side of AdWords page. If Google presents Settings when you first sign up for an AdWords account, complete settings, then go back after your account is set up to double-check your campaign settings.
  • Click Campaigns folder.
  • Click + New Campaign  Then select Search Network only in drop box.

Don't select Placement campaigns. They run ads on other websites (not Google Search), so you have no way to know who saw your ads or the ad they see, so you cannot precisely target your customers.

Name Campaign

  • Click inside Campaign Name box to write Your Campaign Name. This label helps you read reports and can be changed anytime. I recommend YourBusinessName PRECISE to remind how this campaign is set up.

Select "All Features" to Replace Default "Standard" at Next to Campaign Name

Otherwise, many of the Settings choices that we need will disappear.


The correct setting is No goal selected. These goal "optimizations" let the AdWords computer change bids for you. The correct Campaign Setting for Bids is Manual CPC, so you totally control bids.

  • Only you know what keywords are worth to your business.
  • When you select Optimized Enhanced Bids, the AdWords computer pushes bids higher to dramatically increase your spend.
  • Optimizations distort the Ad Groups report that you need to Tune Bids -- the MAX CPC that you see no longer reflects your actual bid, because it doesn’t show how much the AdWords computer bid to get the Average Ad Position.

WARNING!  Check this setting after your campaign runs.

--- AdWords defaults to Optimizations in Goal folder that you must click down to see.


  • Google Search Network is already selected properly.
  • Click Edit --- Do NOT include Search Partners. Click check box to deselect. There should be no check mark in this box. We don't want to run ads just because the Website has Google search on it.
  • We only want to run ads, when someone puts words into Google search. Running Google ads on other Websites gives no control over who sees our ads or the ad they see. 
    • We would pay for clicks from non-customers.
    • Our reports would be grossly inaccurate, so we couldn't Tune Bids or Test Ads scientifically to improve profits.


See how to change Bids for Devices in Tune Bids.


When someone puts words into Google search, AdWords can determine where the computer is located 90% of the time from their Internet IP address.

  • For Local Customers, put City Names into Locations. This gives you a slightly lower ad cost, if people put those City Names into search. It's also easy to see where you're running ads.
  • Political Districts are only important for election ads.
  • Zip Codes might be important for Real Estate or fine-tuning territories.
  • It's OK to overlap Locations, such as City Names and States, for example.
  • Look at the map to make sure all Locations are selected with any shade of purple color.
  • Click Done, then Save Locations.

Location Options (advanced)

  • Target Select People in my targeted location
  • The default People in, searching for, or who show interest in my target locations is a disaster for small business budgets. You'll pay more for costly clicks from around the world, than for clicks in your target locations. This also distorts your reports.


  • Select the language you use to write your ads, ONLY.
  • It's a budget disaster to run ads to people who use Internet browsers in other languages.

Bid Strategy

  • Select Manual: Manual CPC Cost Per Click.

Click Edit, then click on box to deselect Enable Enhanced CPC

Now, there should be no check mark inside box -- this hidden selection would dramatically increase costs and massively distort our Tune Bids report.  AdWords recently changed the Manual CPC Bids setting to "Enable Enhanced CPC" for people using conversion tracking. 

Th correct Campaign Setting for Bids is Manual CPC, so you totally control bids. Why?

  • Only you know what keywords are worth to your business.
  • AdWords' computer Optimized / Enhanced bids push bids higher to dramatically increase your spend.
  • Optimizations distort the Ad Groups report that you need to Tune Bids -- the MAX CPC bid that you see no longer reflects your actual bid, because it doesn’t show how much AdWords bid to get the Ave Ad Position. 

Default Bid

  • There's no way to know what competitors bid, before you run your ads.
  • So take a guess for now -- maybe what you hope to pay.
  • You'll set bids for each Ad Group as you create them.
  • Then Tune Bids as you get actual results.


  • Enter the most you will pay per day.
  • Change this amount anytime. Takes effect immediately. Reports require two days for accuracy.
  • How many clicks will this pay for each day?
    • Divide Daily Budget by your Default Bid to estimate. This gives how many people will be sent to your Website. How many people who visit your Website will buy?
    • Some days are better sales days than others. You don't want to run out of budget on a busy day, when people are clicking and buying. After you get your campaign tuned, you may want to set the Daily Budget higher than the average cost per day.
  • If you have cash flow problems, you can Pause this campaign anytime with no penalty.
  • If you want to lower daily spend, it's better to lower your Ad Group bids, so your ads keep running lower on the Search Results page.

Delivery Method (Advanced)

  • Select Accelerated. You only run ads to a small number of PRECISE Keywords. You need to run these ads everytime you can.
  • The default Standard: Optimize delivery of ad, spending budget evenly over time means that Google may not run ads during the day and you won't know it. Your reports are also inaccurate.
  • Monitor how much you actually spend each day for this campaign. See Tune Bids > Is Google Running Your Ads Every Time? 
    • If your actual spend equals your Daily Budget, you're running out of budget sometime during the day and your ads stop running.
    • Increase your Daily Budget or lower your Ad Group bids. See Tune Bids.

WARNING!  Check this setting after your campaign runs.

--- AdWords doesn't always show this option when you first set up your campaign.

Skip Ad Extensions

  • Your time is better spent building your campaign properly.
  • Extensions are confusing, change constantly and work for expensive ads at the top of Search Results page.

However, you may want to select 2 campaign-level Callout extensions after ad tests confirm which short word snippets work -- but they do not always appear in your ads. 

  • Go to Campaigns > MyCampaign > Ads and extensions.
  • Click EXTENSIONS at top of page.


  • Usually best to run 24 hours 7 days a week. Your cheapest ads run during non-business hours, when you have fewer competitors running ads.
  • If you set an End Date, you'll wonder later why your ads aren't running and it will take an hour to figure out why :) 

Ad Delivery: Ad Rotation

  • Select Rotate indefinitely - will deliver your ads more evenly for an indefinite amount of time. When you test two ads inside an Ad Group, you want to run both ads at least 200 times for statistical accuracy.


--- AdWords recently changed your "Rotate Evenly" setting to "Optimize for Clicks"

--- This setting total distorts your reports and increases your Cost Per Click.

  • If you don't change the default setting Optimize for clicks, AdWords stops running one of the ads before both ads had run 200 times. So AdWords could stop running the better ad before the test is complete.
  • Statistical Accuracy  You could toss a coin with heads five times in a row and think the coin has two heads. At 200 tosses, you'd see 100 heads and 100 tails approximately. Sometimes you see very high or low Click-thru-Rates before ads run 200 times.

Click Save and Continue

Congratulations! You selected proper Campaign Settings.

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Why Optimizations Do NOT Work for Small Business

... Don't Pay for Expensive Clicks from the Wrong People 


Google works hard to provide AdWords tools to help advertisers run more profitable ads. Every day you see new features designed for a wide variety of advertisers. Most of the $50+ billion annual AdWords revenue comes from large corporations who hire full-time ad agencies to run their ads at the top of Google search results pages to everyone everywhere. They want to run ads higher on the Search Results page than their corporate competitors and have thousands of products -- some have 100,000+ products.

You are NOT a Big-Budget Corporate Advertiser

Most optimizations, recommendations, defaults, warnings, etc. are talking to ad agencies that run big-budget campaigns for large corporations.

  •  You don't have 100,000+ keywords and products. You can easily run PRECISE Ad Groups for your limited number of products in order to double or triple your bid value. And you don't waste precious budget on costly clicks from non-buyers.
  • AdWords is a statistical game. Corporations run 10,000+ ads each day. You don't run enough ads for optimizations to work properly.
  • You see recommendations like "Below first page bid estimate of $5.35"  This tells the ad agency to increase bid to get top page ad positions. You can't afford top page positions (in most cases), and you know from your PRECISE Ad Group report that you're ACTUALLY getting Ad Position 5 with your ACTUAL Bid of $1.76.
  • Some bid optimizations might improve one dimension of your campaign, but grossly distort the two simple GamePlan reports that you need to improve overall results. Data is only good if it's accurate, you know what it means, and you know what to do about it.
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No AdWords Account?  How to Sign Up.

... How to Use AdWords Telephone Support

30 minutes


Put "AdWords Sign In" Into Google Search

Sign up for AdWords, NOT AdWords Express ! 

AdWords Express is for businesses who do NOT have a website. It's costly, because you have little control over bids and who sees your ads.

Follow directions. Keep it simple. AdWords wants to know if you have basic computer skills, a functional Website landing page and a credit card or bank account that pays out $5. They limit their risk and yours to a low credit limit to start, then increase it when you show a good payment history.

Write a simple ad. Make sure your Website Destination URL sends people who click on your ad to the landing page you want. Go to your Website and copy the Web address you see in the browser into the Destination URL box.

Don't worry about Campaign Settings -- you'll build a new campaign from scratch after you sign up.

Call AdWords Telephone Support, If You Need Help

Google has excellent phone support to help you sign up and explain policies, when your ads are disapproved.

Do NOT Let Google People Change Your GamePlan Set Up

GamePlan works as an integrated system to lower costs and keep your reports accurate. Selecting other "optimizations" wastes money and distorts reports that you need to improve results.