Building Successful PPC: Understanding Campaign Settings

Chad Kearns, Vice President of Marketing Services

This post is the second in a six-part series written by Portent’s small business team outlining the fundamentals in building your first PPC account through Google Ads. Follow along in our six-part series as we will be laying down the knowledge detailing best practices for setting yourself up for PPC success.

Once your account structure is solidified, it’s time to create your first set of campaigns. The first step after creating your campaign is to assign the settings attributed to each.

Campaign settings are applied to each ad group within that campaign. That said, things like daily budget, network selection, and locations, among other settings, are uniform for the entire campaign.

Let’s dive into the standard settings within every Google Ads campaign.


Once your campaign is named, your next step is to choose the type of campaign you want. There are three campaign types to choose from: Search Network Only, Display Network Only, and Search and Display Networks (There are some other more technical options too but let’s just focus on the basics for now). This selection will determine the networks on which your ads will show.

What’s the difference between the Search Network and the Display Network?

The Search Network is a group of search engines that allows advertisers to sponsor text ads appearing after a user searches using a keyword or string of keywords.

The Display Network is a huge group of partner websites that display both text and banner ads. These ads are not triggered by users searching on, but by the targeting you set up (interest targeting, topic targeting, placements, etc).

Pro-tip: Use a descriptive campaign name that uniquely identifies your campaign. When picking where your ads will show up, stick to one network. Do not set your campaign to serve ads on the Search and Display Networks within a singular campaign.


When opting into a Search Network-only campaign, it’s time to determine your ads’ reach across Google’s Search Network.

Once within the Networks section, you have a choice to display your ads on and Google’s search partner sites. Search partners are other search engines that are affiliated with Google. Some examples are and By showing your ads on Google’s search partner websites, advertisers should see an overall increase in impressions and clicks.

Understanding Campaign Settings

Pro-tip: When launching your initial campaigns, begin with Google’s Search Network only. Once you begin working to build volume and increase daily spend, look at enabling search partners.


Within the ‘Devices’ category, advertisers can determine whether to bid more or less depending on if the user is on a mobile device.

Are you a locksmith and potential customers want to find you when they’re in a pinch and scrambling for help on their mobile device? Increasing your mobile bid adjustment could help attract customers stuck with only a phone.

Are you a B2B firm selling high-powered software to executives? You may then want to avoid spending your advertising budget on people searching from their phone.

These bidding decisions are handled in the ‘Devices’ section of your Ads account. In order to change your device preference, we must adjust our mobile bid modifiers. To eliminate mobile targeting, set your mobile bid adjustment to -100%. If creating a highly targeted campaign meant to attract mobile users as much as possible, increasing your mobile bid modification to the maximum of 300% will help spur mobile traffic.

Understanding Campaign Settings

Pro-tip: To leverage device bid adjustments, think about what devices your customers use to find you. More importantly, think about what devices they use to convert with you. Then tailor your strategy based on that.


New campaigns by default are set to serve all of the United States and Canada. This default setting is not always the most effective, depending on how your business is set up to serve your customers.

First, start by thinking about where your target market is located.

Targeting can be broken down into geographies by country, state, city, zip code, Nielsen DMA region and even congressional district. Advertisers may also set a targeted radius around any given custom location, like a store address.

Location Settings

Pro-tip: Keep in mind the capabilities and scope of what your business delivers. If you are a local business with a physical location, be conscious of how far your typical customers travel to get to your store. If you don’t ship internationally, keep your targeting within the United States.


By default, all new campaigns are set to target English language users. Unless your website or landing pages aren’t in English, we don’t recommend targeting additional languages within a singular campaign.

Bidding and Budget

The bidding and budget section in the campaign settings allows advertisers to not only set their daily budgets but also how baseline keyword bids are determined in a campaign.

Within Ads, you have two core options for making keyword bid adjustments–manual or automated. Setting your bidding method to a manual strategy puts the control in your hands. This method is ideal for advertisers with the understanding and ability to review and change their keyword bids on a regular basis.

Additionally, there are a number of automated strategies advertisers can use. Each automated strategy is designed around a different methodology–selecting the right one is up to the advertisers.

After determining which campaign bidding method to use, it’s time to set up a daily spending budget. Setting your daily budget is fairly straightforward, but when doing so, be sure to keep in mind that Ads can spend up to 20% more than what your daily budget is set at.

Bidding Settings

Pro-tip: Manually setting your keyword bids provides an advantage if you have the time and ability to do so.

After getting through these standard campaign settings, it’s time to move forward in our Google Ads campaign building. Look for our next post on building your keyword lists.

Check out the rest of the six-part series:

PRIMER: What is PPC – Pay Per Click Marketing Explained
PART 1: Structuring Your Google Ads Account
PART 2: Understanding Campaign Settings (you are here)
PART 3: Researching Keywords
PART 4: Writing Engaging Ads
PART 5: The Best Google Ads Extensions to Implement
PART 6: Tracking Success

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