In Google AdWords, whenever you start a new campaign, there are a myriad of options available at the campaign level ranging from networks, bidding, budgets, ad serving, dates, times, location, language, experiments, ad position and devices to name a few. But what are there options that you should tweak every time with every new campaign?

Network Settings

Don’t forget! The Display network in Google is enabled by default at the campaign level and if you don’t set a separate bid, it will pick up whatever the ad group max CPC bid is. Besides, we all know by now that it’s best practice to run search and display in separate campaigns. So if you’re running for search, start with search and search partners only and uncheck that box.

Setting Ads to Rotate

Ads are set to “optimize” by default and that definition of “optimal” might be different from what Google deems. If you’re running an A/B test (and you should be for new stuff!) you’ll need to click the radio button for “rotate” to get the even distribution you need. Especially if it’s an ecommerce/lead based goal, Google uses the CTR to define “optimal” regardless of your sales/leads numbers.

Set a Comfortable Budget

Set a budget you can live with. If it’s going to make you get up in the middle of the night or obsessively check the spend every hour, it’s not the right budget. Choose a number that is appropriate for the number of ad groups and keywords you have and be sure to do your research ahead of time. This should be a combination of the traffic estimator tool (for costs) and what you can actually afford to spend. Yeah, you have to crunch some numbers- but you in the end you’ll be glad you did.

Set the Delivery Method to Standard

Unless you’ve got money to burn, start out with the ads set to spend throughout the day otherwise known as standard. This should be enabled by default, but you always want to double check and make sure you didn’t unknowingly click it. Accelerated delivery is great for when you need volume and you need it now- or you have a campaign that rarely (if ever) hits it’s daily budget. But since it’s a brand new campaign, you can’t possibly know that yet.

Set the Bidding Option to Manual

It’s tempting to try the automatic bidding ride, but unless you’re going for just traffic, you probably aren’t going to like what you get. Stick with the default manual bidding for clicks for new campaigns with e-commerce or lead generation goals. Set the maximum CPC at the ad group level (go 5-10% higher than the suggested average CPC) and try that on for size before checking out automatic bidding.

If this kind of advice makes you smile, you might want to check out my new e-book series: PPC for Your Small Business. (Warning: shameless plug coming up.) The series is geared for small budgets ($1,000 or less per month) that either want to try PPC or have been and it’s not working out. The series is meant to be all process- so there aren’t a lot of definitions, i.e. things you could “google”. For example, if you’ve ever struggled with defining what match type a certain keyword should use, how much over the suggested CPC should you bid or what to try in ad copy, I give specific guidelines to use.

You can read more the PPC e-book series here. It’s $37 for the two book set or $23 for one. If you don’t like it, return it for a full refund.