As a leading Google Ads and Pay Per Click company, we’ve spent thousands of hours working inside of Google Ads campaigns. When we begin building a Google Ads campaign for a new client, we always like to build it from scratch. Building a Google Ads campaign from scratch allows us to set it up with precision, and to our standards.

In our time managing over $9.8M in Google Ads ad spend, we’ve learned a thing or two about what does and does not work when building pay per click campaigns. One small mistake – the click of the button and selection of the wrong setting – could end up costing our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In this blog post, we are going to share 11 Google Ads principles that we live by so that you can avoid making mistakes with your campaigns and ensure that you build your Google Ads and PPC campaigns the right way.

Google Ads Principle #1: Measure Twice, Cut Once

It’s important to think through all aspects of your Google Ads and PPC campaigns before you set them live. You’ll want to think through the: where, who, when and what of your campaigns.

Where are your Google Ads going to be showing up? Which geographic locations are you looking to target. Which geographic locations are you not looking to target?

Who is your ideal client and target demographic. Knowing who you will be going after is essential to seeing your pay per click and Google Ads campaigns work.

When will your potential customers be searching for? Is it during the morning and late in the evening after work? Perhaps they’ll be surfing the internet on their lunch breaks.

What keywords will your ideal clients and customers use to make searches that are relevant to the products and services that you offer.

Google Ads Principle #2: Start Simple With No Mistakes

The truth of the matter is that with any online marketing campaign, success comes from optimizing on what works. We believe it’s important to start small with your Google Ads campaign, and scale up on what works. Otherwise, you’ll open up your campaign too wide – or too loose – and end up wasting money on keywords and search terms that will never actually land you your ideal client.

Face it – the more complex that your campaigns and ad groups are, the more room for error that there is. For a first time Google Ads campaign, you want to go simple and then scale up with what works.

Whenever we bring on a new Google Ads client, we emphasize the importance of simple yet precise campaigns. Once we understand more about that individuals client base and market, we are able to make intelligent, data-backed decisions on how to optimize their campaigns for the best results.

Google Ads Principle #3: Details First, Then Creativity

At the SMB Team, I tell everyone on my team, “We get paid to not make mistakes, more than we get paid to be creative.” That’s not a no to creativity. It’s just am emphasis on the idea that the details and ensuring they are all accounted for, is way more important than some fancy landing.

Here’s the truth, mistakes kill creativity. You could have the most creative campaign in the entire world with jazzy ad copy and a glitzy landing page, but if your call tracking number has 1 wrong digit, you will have wasted hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars directing traffic to a number that doesn’t ring to your business.


The differences are in the details. If you don’t ensure that your I’s are dotted and your T’s are crossed, then you probably shouldn’t even be running a Google Ads campaign.

Google Ads Principle #4: Be Patient and Avoid Constant Changes

As a Google Ads management company, one of the hardest parts of our job isn’t building the actual campaigns. It’s conveying to our clients that they must be patient and allow the campaigns to run, so that we can learn, and eventually optimize.

Constantly changing and updating a Google Ads campaign actually hurts the performance of the campaign. And being too pushy and impatient with your Google Ads campaign will cause you to make drastic decisions that (usually) aren’t in the best interest of results.

We always preach to our clients that they need to act more like investment advisors. Would an investment advisor panic when the stock market takes a dip?

Google Ads Principle #5: Use The Human Keyword Planner

No one (not even Google’s keyword planner) knows your niche, market and clients better than you do. Right? So, then why would you waste any energy listening to what Google is telling you is the best keywords for you to use in your campaigns. Often times, they’re recommending the keywords and phrases that are going to make them the most money.

When building a Google Ads campaign, use LOGIC and tap into your wealth of knowledge that you already possess. Think about your “If I’m targeting this market, what would someone realistically type in when they are in this phase of searching for me?”

The human keyword planner (your brain) is where you’re going to find all of the opportunity that Google doesn’t show in their keyword planner. 

Google Ads Principle #6: Eliminate Waste By Using Negative Keywords

A great negative keyword strategy can save you thousands of dollars on unwanted clicks from individuals who are never going to become one of your clients. Negative keywords will ensure that you do not show up for clicks from searches that you would never want to spend time, money or effort on.

One of the biggest mistakes that we see when auditing previously built Google Ads campaigns is that they a) had zero negative keywords in their campaigns or b) they had the wrong negative keywords in their campaigns that were preventing them from even showing up for relevant searches. 

Google Ads Principle #7: Don’t Lose Money

Warren Buffet’s number one rule of investing is: don’t lost money. His second rule? Is to refer back to rule number one. The same can be said for your Google Ads and PPC campaigns. The biggest complaint that we hear from individuals who have either wasted tons of money on Google Ads, or they have been burned by a previous agency is that they wasted a ton of money.

Well, if we’re following the advice from one of the greatest investors of all time… Don’t lose money! To do this, you need to ensure that your campaigns are set up the right way. Make sure that you’re using tight match types and not opening up your campaign to serve to just anyone. You also want to make sure that the geographic areas that you are targeting are relevant to the areas in which you can actually serve. Lastly, you want to ensure that you have a good negative keyword strategy.

Google Ads Principle #8: Fill Up Your Ad Copy Real Estate

You want to make sure that you’re taking up as much space on the first page of Google in your ad as you possibly can. Fill up the text section and make the most of the character count. You want to be able to stand out to potential customers when they’re searching for you. If your ad shows up above or below someone who has one or two sentences in their ad copy, you’re going to automatically stand out. 

One way to do this is to use creative punctuation in the ads. Characters such as: – , | , ~ , * , etc can help you stand out and more clearly communicate to individuals searching. It’s also important to think about the punctuation of your ads. I mean, which ad with this headline would you click on?

1) Louisiana’s Best Divorce Lawyer | On Your Side 


2) New orleans divorce attorney, call now

Secondly, you want to make sure that you’re using every tool that Google is giving you. Ad extensions are a huge differentiator and can also help potential customers decide whether to contact you or not. It’s always best practice to include your address, phone number or hours of operation as ad extensions.

Google Ads Principle #9: Do What Works, Then Be Different From Everyone Else

I’ll tell you a story – and we can use myself for this case study. As a company, we spend over $15,000 a month on Google Ads. As you can imagine, we’re always split testing different copy to see what works and what sinks. 

One month, I decided it would be a good idea to put “Call To Speak To CEO Bill Hauser” in the H2 of the ad copy. That ad was our worst performing ad to date. As business owners and entrepreneurs, we have this creative side that begs for us to be different from the every one else. But, it’s important to not stray away from tried and true methods that you know work.

The same goes for your Google Ads campaigns (specifically, your ad copy and the copy on your landing pages). While it’s important to always be testing what ad copy sticks and what ones do not resonate with your customer base, you can not lose sight of the basic fundamentals and principles that got you there. 

Google Ads Principle #10: Control Your Bidding

While this is (seemingly) changing day by day, at the time of this blog post writing you’re still able to bid on specific components of your Google Ads campaign. For example, if you only want to show your ads during specific times of day, you’re able to do so. If you want to adjust your keyword bids on mobile devices because you’ve found that most clients call in from a mobile device, you can do so.

This is where the creativity really residesYou don’t want to put your bidding into the hands of Google. Mostly because they’re going to optimize your campaign for what makes them the most money. They’ll adjust your campaign for what gets the most clicks and how frequently it does so. 

Google Ads Principle #11: Find Arbitrage Opportunities 

One of the bread and butter specialities of my company who has managed close to $10M in Google Ad spend is our ability to find arbitrage opportunities for our pay per click clients. What does this mean?

Most Google Ads and PPC Management Companies don’t think outside of the box. They aren’t able to deeply understand the geographies, and niches that they are targeting. Therefore, they’re not thinking in creative ways for how and when individuals will be searching.

Some of our most successful campaigns on Google Ads are when we DO NOT use the most relevant or suggested keywords from Google. It’s when we think outside of the box, and put ourselves into the shoes of our clients clients.