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Generating ideas for Campaigns & Ads

Generating Ideas for Campaigns: Website & Competition | Ads: Landing Pages & Competition

Tools: Excel Spreadsheet & Blank Text File


  • Build out all Campaigns in excel 1st
  • Use text file for all account notes


Look at the website in question to start getting ideas. Scrub each page for important keywords. Look at the site structure (Site Map) to get a clear idea of the layout and landing page options.

  • Analytics (Look at history if it’s available.)
  • Webmaster tools (Look at history if it’s available, just to get more ideas.)


Define USP: What separates them from the competition?

Example: Made in the USA


What market are you targeting?


Who is the ideal customer? Create personas

  • Demographics (Age, Gender & Income)
  • Lifestyle (Personality Type & Preferences)
  • Behavior (Hobbies, Interests & Likes)

Who is the competition? Google search can help you with this, look for products and services you offer and see what others are bidding on, if you see a high saturation on a certain products or services, look at going a step further, the secret is to find the sweet spot that is not being targeted as heavily as the other possibilities, at least to get the ball rolling. 


What is your competition spending on Advertising? Spyfu & SEM Rush both offer free options to get basics on your competitions online efforts.  

Example: Spyfu (No Affiliation)


Define Budget: If you only have for example $100 dollars a day, you should put the focus on the primary products or services. 

  • Start Small: 1 Campaign 3 Adgroups 12 Ads
  • Make It Tight: 2 Mobile & 2 Search Ads to start testing
  • Less Is More: The more focused you are at the beginning the more time you will save.
  • Don’t Build Too Fast: If done right you can easily create new and select the prior settings.
  • 80/20 Rule: (80% of your budget will go to 20% of your ads) The 80/20 rule applies to just about everything: Campaigns, Ads, KY, Locations, Time, Hours, Products, and Services to name a few.

Choose an Ad Format:
Text, Image, App, Video, Shopping, Call-only. 

Create Keyword Plan:
Pull main keywords from site, use the keyword planner to get more ideas.

KY planner.png

Look over “What makes a text ad”.



Consider including Keywords

Display URL: Direct users to a landing page on our site
Pay attention how your ads appear on mobile

Length Limits: Use keywords in the headline and descriptive text if possible and test often.  


character limit.png

Ad Extensions:
Make sure and take full advantage off all the available options, this will give you more real estate and better quality. Use the extensions to extend your ads and give more details about your business such as links to your site, store address, or phone numbers all of these can appear on the search network, Call & Location appear on the display network.

Negative keywords:
Start with areas around the businesses products or services (Free or Cheap, Jobs, Education, Travel, Manufacturing, Law, DIY, Games and Software, First Names, Car Brands, Website terms) Creating a negative firewall will save you hundreds.

Tip: I recommend adding negatives at the campaign level so you can quickly catch and fix issues.

What steps do you take when generating ideas for campaigns and ads? Have any other tips? Please share below.


about Spencer Wade

I'm Spencer Wade - strategist, designer, manager of people and ideas. Platinum Top Contributor for Google Search, G+ & AdWords - TC Mentor too. I’m the founder of Lift Conversions, a Google Partner agency, located in Chicago. I’ve completed Google’s tests - Search, Display, Video, Analytics, & Mobile, and enjoy being a part of the forums. My agency is also an Official City Partner in the Get Your Business Online effort with Instant Verifier access to help immediately verify business listings.

Dave_Davis Top Contributor
May 2016

This is awesome! Excellent stuff Spencer! 


Trevor_Stewart Top Contributor
May 2016

Let's get started 123! Great jumpstart for any agency's SEM strategy. Nice work Mr. Wade

Spencer_Wade Top Contributor
May 2016 - last edited May 2016

Busy day, just getting back around. Thanks guys, for jumping in, just trying to do my part, thanks for the feedback...

Diane E
July 2016

Good job!  Thank you for giving us some much needed advice on writing ads.

Spencer_Wade Top Contributor
July 2016

Thanks @Diane E for dropping by, glad it could help!

Have a great weekend!