5+ Essential Google Ads Campaigns For Your Ad Account

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Advertising your business on Google Ads is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your website and generate leads for your company. Many companies don’t know where to start when it comes to creating campaigns, or structuring their account in general, so today I wanted to go over a few of the essential Google Ads campaigns that I see in high performing accounts. Not all of these are required and your budget may not support or warrant having all of them. Start with the low funnel campaigns described below and work your way up the funnel towards completely cold traffic in order to maximize your spend, get a better feel for the adequacy of your landing pages, and get better at leveraging Google Ads.

Essential Google Ads Campaigns – Bottom Of Funnel Campaigns

When starting out with Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) a good way to maximize your budget is to focus on developing the middle and bottom of funnel with campaigns to support your existing marketing efforts. Since more than a few businesses these days start out with social media promotion as the primary marketing channel, PPC advertising on Google Ads usually comes into the picture after the company has established itself, and has a little spare change to invest in growth.

Although there is some spare change, budgets are still pretty small and every dollar is important. It’s for this reason that I typically advise clients to start with a remarketing only approach. These first few campaigns, described below, are useful campaign types for developing business via adding additional brand touch points, that support your existing marketing efforts.

Branded Search Campaign

The first campaign type that you should establish is a branded search campaign. Branded searches represent the lowest portion of the funnel and are very affordable due to their relevance and relationship to quality scores. There are many reasons why a branded search campaign is essential, which we’ve outlined in the linked post, but they all boil down to plugging the last leaks in your conversion pipeline and giving a professional appearance.

About branded search campaigns

Display Remarketing Campaign

The next of the essential Google Ads campaigns you should look to implement is a display remarketing campaign. One of the reasons for this is that the minimum audience size for a display remarketing campaign is 100 users at the time of this writing, and most people starting out with PPC or starting out with new audiences, are going to have a lower audience size. These are going to be accessible far sooner than say a search remarketing campaign which requires 1,000 people in your audience and the sooner you can get started remarketing, the better.

Showing people display ads on Google is a great way to keep your brand top of mind at regular intervals. B2B marketers especially should be leveraging this tactic because sales cycles can be 6 months or longer and it can take multiple brand touches before a prospect contacts you. Showing them display remarketing ads over a longer time horizon keeps you in their consideration set during the shopping process. Google can optimize your frequency caps to make sure your prospects aren’t being saturated with ads or you can control this setting yourself.

display remarketing essential google ads campaigns
Sample Display Remarketing Ad For an IT Company On A Mobile Device

Search Remarketing Campaign

One thing I always recommend to new PPC clients is to pick a particular area of their business to focus on generating leads with. Picking an angle to work to maximize your budget when going after cold traffic generates better results with smaller budgets. Most companies start out with smaller budgets and grow them as they develop their PPC program.

“But we sell X Y and Z and they are all important” is a frequent response to that suggestion and search remarketing is where you sell X, Y, and yes even Z. Since you know that someone has already visited your website and hence qualified themselves to some extent, you can significantly widen the base of keywords you want to go after with a search remarketing campaign.

For instance when selling marketing services I might only bid on keywords like “marketing company” or “marketing agency”. Once someone has clicked on that ad, joined the remarketing audience, and already been exposed to the brand at least once, it then makes sense to widen the net and start bidding on additional terms related to PPC, blogging, SEO, etc.

For the sake of another example an IT company might want to go after the term “managed service provider” for cold traffic and then remarket with terms like “office 365 support”, “networking support”, server support” and the like. It’s important to remember that remarketing will show ads to people who have found your website through social media, SEO, or other means as well.

Pro Tip: Dynamic search ads are a great way to cast a wide net with minimal complexity and maintenance overhead. They are not a complete substitute for manually selected keywords and ads, but they can be a great start.

Essential Google Ads Campaigns – Top Of Funnel Campaigns

If you’ve started out with a remarketing only approach using the campaigns described above, found some success, and gotten more familiar with Google Ads, then it’s time to move on to going after the coveted cold traffic. Cold traffic is much more difficult to acquire through PPC. Comparison shopping is frequent and this will be your first touch with this prospect.

Things are different in an e-commerce context but in a B2B context you should view cold campaigns as a way to fill your top of funnel rather than generate ready to convert leads on your first touch. With B2B having longer sales cycles the goal is to get into the prospects consideration set, and get them into your remarketing audiences so you can tell them more about your brand later.

For a first touch interaction try to get prospects to make a softer conversion than direct contact by offering a resource in exchange for an email address or asking them to follow you on social media.

The following top of funnel PPC campaigns are essential Google Ads campaign types for a high performing PPC account.

Competitors Campaign

Bidding on competitor campaigns can have a high cost per click due to the way the Google Ads auction system works, but there’s no question that appearing on the SERP (search engine results page) of your competitors can be an effective way to acquire new customers. If you consider the fact that a prospect has already moved down the funnel and reached the stage of searching directly for your competitors brand when they click on your ad, the cost of bidding on competitor terms makes a lot more sense. This person is far closer to buying than other cold traffic.

Upstream Suppliers Campaign

One effective cold traffic tactic can be to bid on keywords of people searching for your upstream suppliers. For instance since we sell managed Google Ads services, so it makes a lot of sense to bid on terms relating to Google Ads. An IT company might want to bid on people searching for Office 365 or Cisco products. A cloud services provider would want to bid on terms relating to AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. If you’ve got a SaaS company built off the API of a popular upstream supplier you can bid on terms related to that suppliers API, like “salesforce API integration” or “shopify API integration”. Get creative!

Manually Selected Keywords

Ol’ reliable, and what will wind up comprising the bulk of your account as you scale are good old fashioned manually selected keywords. There’s a lot that goes into what makes a good keyword selection, but striking a balance between maintainability of the account and granularity of focus is the name of the game as you scale. We’ll cover keyword selection more in depth in a future post (so be sure to subcribe!) but good ideas for manually selected keywords are

  • Local searches (“jacksonville home Builder”)
  • Type of company (“IT company”, “real estate attorney”)
  • High Level Business Categories (“dropshipping Software”, “general contractor”, “home re-modeler”)

You can also look at your dynamic search ads for keyword ideas. The google keyword planner is a great resource for selecting keywords and doing keyword research. You can also purchase a subscription to more advanced research tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, or SpyFu for more help.


There are a lot of factors that go into building a successful Google Ads account: landing pages, ad copy, display creative, etc, but it’s helpful to have an understanding of the essential Google Ads campaigns that a high performing account might have. There are plenty of ways to scale up a google ads account and segment your campaigns, but for entry level to medium spend accounts this is an infrastructure that can yield significant results when advertising your company.

Start at the bottom of your sales funnel and move upwards to cold traffic with your advertising dollars and you’ll be sure to maximize your spend and ensure you’re not wasting your ad budget (which can be very easy to do as a Google Ads newbie).

Questions? Reach out to us, or check out some of our other resources on our blog.

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Hunter Nelson

Hunter is the founder and president of Tortoise and Hare Software, a digital marketing agency for B2B technology companies. Hunter has more than 10 years’ experience building web applications and crafting digital strategies for companies ranging from scrappy startups to Fortune 50 household names. When not on the clock, you'll find him spending time with his family and pups, relaxing on the beach, or playing competitive online video games. See LinkedIn for more.

1 Comment

  1. Deb D Reviews on September 24, 2021 at 4:10 am

    Thanks for sharing such a useful information it really helps!

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