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How to get started with an old Google Ads account

April 19, 2021 0 comments

Starting with an old Google Ads account can be overwhelming. However, by analysing and reviewing a few things, you can get up to speed. 

Here are 6 things that you should review when you are starting with an old Google Ads account.

1. Review user access and billing settings

When you get a new Google Ads account, you often want to jump straight into the action. But it is highly recommended to take a breather and first review the billing settings and all the users who have access to this account.

  • Make sure that no unauthorised people (previous agency, ex-employees, etc.) still have access to the Google Ads account.
  • Make sure that all the billing settings are in order and that you are not going to get into problems when you kick off things.

2. Account structure and campaigns

The next thing to jump into would be the account and campaign structure.

When it comes to Google Ads, the structure of your account plays an extremely crucial part. A poor account structure can not only make management difficult, but incorrect grouping of campaigns and ad groups can even affect your CPC and ROI.

In this section, you should review the following things:

  • Naming conventions.  Before you expand your Google Ads account, it is very important to develop and stick with a naming convention that makes sense. For example, Brand | Product A | UK tells you three things right away. Naming conventions of campaigns are still used for filtering.
  • Number of campaigns and ad groups.  Review how many campaigns and ad groups your new account has in total. It is good to take inventory and review if you need to make changes.
  • Number of keywords per ad group.  While you may not need to make changes right away, it is a good idea to get a sense of how many keywords are there, on average, in each ad group. Each account and industry vary, but having 5-20 keywords per ad group is standard practice.

3. Review conversion goals and tracking

Before you jump into the more nitty-gritty details, it is also recommended to review that all conversion goals are properly set up and being tracked and recorded.

We recommend using Google Tag Manager for easier management of conversion goals, pixels, and tracking.

You can also use the Tag Assistant Google Chrome extension to check if all your tags are firing properly.

4. Quality scores

Next, you should review and take note of all the keyword quality scores.

This is one of the things that you can measure on a regular basis and monitor to see if you are making any progress. Quality scores are quick wins that can have a direct impact on your ROI later down the road.

Until more long-term changes bear fruit, you can present improvements in quality scores to your client as a way to inform them how you have successfully reduced the cost-per-click.

Take note of all the keyword quality scores you have in the account, identify keywords with scores 7 or less, and start making improvements.

5. Review keyword match types

While you are reviewing quality scores, you should also look deeper into keyword match types. 

You will be surprised to see how many people just use broad keyword match and exact keyword match type. This strategy can never unlock the full potential of a Google Ads account.

Depending on the available search data, there should generally be a healthy mix of all keyword match types. 

If you are not sure, stick with the phrase match type as much as possible. Use a few exact match keywords based on search terms data. For exploring different opportunities, use broad match modified, instead of broad match type.

6. Search terms and negative keyword lists

As we just mentioned, you should be able to find most of the information you need about keyword match types in the search terms report.

Make sure to spend ample time there.

Secondly, do not forget to review the negative keyword lists. They can make or break any account — and you do not yet know how the previous account manager was leveraging negative keywords.

It is recommended to first review the keyword match types and search terms to have a better understanding of targeted and potential keywords. This information will equip you to better manage negative keywords.


Reviewing these 6 areas will help ensure a smooth transition. This strategy will also help you develop a list of quick wins, what was lacking in the account, and what you fixed in the Google Ads account for your clients or senior managers.