Let’s say you’ve been handed an account, and you’re crunched for time but have five minutes to survey the scene and get your footing. Here are four quick and essential steps to set up your account for some big wins before you even get into the meat of optimization.

Set Goals

It’s always a good idea to set goals so that you know how and what to optimize in your account. Understanding and laying these goals out will help when trying to find some fast wins!

Check Settings

Your first step is to confirm your settings; budgets should be allocated per the goals you have set. Location, device, and search network are all capable of affecting performance as well so you want to confirm that they are how they should be. Search Network, for example, is definitely easy to segment at the campaign level to see how Google Search is performing vs. Search Partners, as shown below:

check settings

Set Up Filters

Filters are one of the handiest tools in AdWords. They can help you quickly see how you are pacing towards your goals, and they can make it very easy to identify, for instance, poor-performing keywords that you may want to pause or choose to bulk-decrease bids on.

Set them up like so:




Set Up Labeling

The last thing you’ll want to set up in your first pass through an account is labeling. This function is handy for identifying tests/controls in your ads and then utilizing the dimensions tab to quickly get a read on performance. This helps you easily pause lower-performing ad copy.


Of course, this is just a start when you are pinched for time or want to get a snapshot of any tests or buckets. It’s no substitute for deep, rigorous account optimization, but it’s a great use of five minutes when you first dive into an account. Good luck!



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Alyssa Bomar
Alyssa Bomar joined 3Q Digital in April 2013. Previously she held an account manager position for 2 years at SEM agency eSearchVision, where she managed several enterprise companies. She got her start in the industry at Nextag, working as an account manager from 2007-2011. She graduated from Chico State in 2007 with an Anthropology and Marketing degree. In her spare time she likes to travel and enjoy the cuisines of the world (right here in San Francisco).