I wish I could say otherwise, but running a successful PPC campaign, let alone an account, is not as easy as it might look, and definitely not for the faint of heart.

Too many businesses turn on Google Ads because they’ve been told “they have to” without fully understanding what’s required for the channel to work, and the result is, shock and surprise, money lost and a disgruntled board.

If you are the one in charge of the account and you’re scouring the internet looking for someone who can fix all your problems in a single blog... sorry, that’s not me.

Not because I can’t, mind you. More like because I don’t know your account or your client, and I can’t give you a cookie cutter solution that I can guarantee is going to work.

What I can do though is help you not to give up hope and turn off PPC just yet.

I’ve summarised for you a few areas I would look into, and what specifically I would focus on, so that you can skim through the list, find what’s applicable in your case, and test the hell out of them until your boss will turn off the tap and force you to shut everything down.

(Really hope it’s never going to get to that!)

1. Crafting irresistible ads

Your ad creatives are the first point of contact between your business and potential customers. Here's how you can ensure your ads are in top shape:

Multiple ads

Aim for a minimum of two ads per ad group (one pinned, one unpinned) and consider rotating the pinned periodically by looking at the best combinations from the unpinned ad. Ensure they are complete, including headlines, descriptions, and extensions.

Relevant keywords

Incorporate relevant keywords into your headlines and mix features, benefits, and problem-solving elements to engage your audience effectively.

Features and benefits

Highlight the physical or tangible aspects of your product or service, along with the positive outcomes and solutions it offers.


If you’re not eligible for a seller rating extension, include your TrustPilot or Feefo rating in the ad copy, or at least the number of 5-star reviews you have to build trust among potential customers.


Use specific language to prevent the wrong target audience from clicking on your ad and wasting valuable budget (i.e. “contractor mortgages” instead of “mortgages” should significantly reduce clicks from anyone who doesn’t fit in that category)


Showcase impressive statistics to reinforce your product's value (as long as they’re true of course, misleading advertising can lead to account suspension!)

2. Strategically choosing keywords

Not all keywords are created equal. You have to know how each match type works and what effect it will have on your campaign.

I’ve seen too many businesses complaining about how they’re “burning money at an alarming rate”, only to audit the account and find out in the first two minutes that all keywords were set to broad.

Keyword matching needs to be used strategically based on account goals:

  • Exact match keywords work well for small budgets and specific terms.
  • Phrase match depends on your budget and specific requirements.
  • Broad match is suitable for isolated experiments and can potentially work well with automated bidding.

3. Managing negative keywords effectively

Negative keywords are just as important as keywords, so ignore them at your peril. It’s not uncommon to find thousands of pounds in wasted spend just because nobody had the time or the skill to put negative keywords in place.

  • Use account-level negatives for keywords that apply to the entire account.
  • Utilise negative lists to apply exclusions across multiple campaigns.
  • Employ broad, phrase, or exact match negative keywords as needed, to isolate specific situations or cover a broader range of terms with one hit.

4. Leveraging all relevant assets

Ensure that all relevant assets, including sitelinks, callouts, snippets, and phone assets, are enabled in your ads.

Consider turning off automatically created assets if you don’t trust the quality or relevance of what Google will create for you.

Here in the PPC team at Adido, the automatically created assets option is off by default. We have yet to see an instance where Google did a better job than us, and even worse, unless the option is disabled, new assets keep being created every time you delete or pause them.

5. Choosing the right bid strategy

Not every bid strategy is right for every situation. It might even be that the same campaign needs a different bid strategy depending on the stage of maturity or on shifting goals.

As a starting point:

  • Manual bidding works well for small budgets, new accounts, or when conversion rates are unpredictable.
  • Enhanced CPC adjusts manual bids based on the likelihood of conversion but may not be ideal for small budgets.
  • Max clicks with a bid cap is basically just a manual campaign with a tiny bit of automation.
  • Max conversions (target CPA) automates bidding based on your desired cost-per-acquisition, but you need to make absolutely sure it’s realistic, or you will tank your campaign.
  • Max conversion value (with or without target ROAS) is suited for ecommerce businesses and requires capturing purchase values in Google Ads.

6. Tracking conversions accurately

It should go without saying that if you’re spending money without any visibility on ROI, you can expect, at best, a rather uncomfortable conversation with your boss, or at worst, a swift request to collect your desk plants and leave.

There’s a couple of ways in which you can track your activity, and neither is wrong per se. It all depends on the skills in the team, how much time you have, and the budget you’ve got.

The recommended option is to import hard conversions (phone calls, contact forms, and sales) from GA4.

If hard conversions are scarce, you can consider setting up and importing soft conversions like time spent on page, scroll percentage, video interaction, and more.

Should you not have capability to set up GA4 (in which case we at Adido will happily support you), consider using Google Ads tracking as an alternative method.

Yes, it will only track Google Ads and leave the rest of business in the dark about every other source of traffic, but to use a flight attendant analogy, put your oxygen mask on first, and then worry about helping everyone else around you.

7. Fine-tuning demographics and devices

Optimise your campaign by excluding age brackets or devices that don't align with your target audience, or specifically target key audiences only.

Adjust bids by device when possible or create separate campaigns for specific devices.

8. Experimenting for success

Conduct A/B tests to refine your campaign:

  • Split-test different ad copy, URLs or keyword variations.
  • Run experiments for a minimum of one month to gather meaningful data.

9. Optimising ad schedules

Consider scheduling ad delivery during hours that align with your audience's availability and response time expectations.

10. Explore different Google Ads campaign types

Just like different keywords apply to different scenarios and requirements, so do campaign types.

You’ve probably seen in the news for a few years now that Google is slowly but surely pushing towards more automation as opposed to us retaining manual control, which can be roughly translated as “don’t worry your pretty little head, give us your audience, an indication of keywords, images and videos and let us do what we think is best based on our algorithm”.

The shiniest example of this is Performance Max, the most recent campaign type after the newborn Demand Gen, which was hailed as every PPC manager’s dream come true, but is still more often than not resembling a nightmare (at least for B2B customers).

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Performance Max... let’s say I’m in a complicated relationship with it.

Automation has its perks, as there are instances where it can work really well – but those instances usually coincide with an already established account, lots of traffic (aka money spent), as well as accurate conversion and sales data being imported back into the platform.

If any of these are missing, automation can and most likely will optimise for the wrong thing and get you more of what you don’t want – for example spam (in the case of bad first party data) or softer conversions (in the case of an account that is counting every interaction as a primary conversion, when in reality only one action is valuable to them – think about lots of newsletter signups when you only care about phone calls).

In summary

There’s no one solution or silver bullet to fix an account that’s not performing to expectations. As long as said expectation are realistic and achievable, there are actions you can take and optimisation you can make before admitting defeat and pulling the plug.

Not all options will apply to you. Which ones to go for depend on the specific situation of your account, budget, goals, and industry you’re in.

And if all else fails but you’re still convinced there must be something you haven’t considered, Adido will be more than happy to run a PPC account audit for you.

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Meet the author ...

Silvia Coletto

Senior PPC Manager

Silvia Coletto has been geeking out on paid advertising since 2015, and managed a few million in advertising spend across small, medium and big clients across multiple ...