Google Ads is a paid advertising service in which advertisers, like you, pay per ad click. Pay-per-click advertising is a sort of marketing channel in which you pay for results in the form of clicks. Google displays your ad to interested people in your product based on the search phrase.
Advertisers bid on search keywords for which they want their ad to appear. The winning bid is displayed at the top of the SERP or on other relevant platforms, depending on the chosen ad campaign.
Far too often I have seen company owners, after making some money, use that money for investments. And sure, investing in angel vestures, index funds, or real estate is something beneficial in itself.
But I can’t entirely agree with them. Imagine owning a company, delivering value, selling excellent products, and getting money in return, and what do they do?
They put their money on anything and everything, but NOT on their own business.
Why don’t they invest in things that benefit their business? Why don’t they find ways to sell more of their offerings?
Why don’t they focus on what they have and what is already working instead of going off dilly-dallying in a field they know virtually nothing about?
Advertise! That’s the way!
If you want to spend money on advertisements in hopes of it reaching your intended targets, then you better make sure you invest it in the right places. Being wrong with your approach to digital marketing means millions of losses for you.
There is a way of doing this but in today’s internet-driven world, Google AdWords is commonly the way to go about marketing digitally.
Google processes an average of over 40,000 queries each second, numbering to a whopping 3.5 billion a day and 1.2 trillion per year.
And as you can see here, the number steadily rose from 1999 to 2012. Expect the trend to continue as long as the internet is here.
I mean, think about this. Assume that you, as a company owner, have an extra $10,000 on hand right now that you can use for anything. Would you rather:
- Spend the money on start-up investments that may not land you any advantages,
- Try to snag a deal for a cheap building or condo unit, then sell them, not knowing if it will be bought or not, or
- Spend the money learning about AdWords or hiring a professional, and then launching a Google AdWords campaign that will surely generate returns.
If I were the owner, I would choose the third option. It is a sure opportunity to double, maybe even triple my investment, so the choice is a no brainer.
As highlighted above, there are billions of searches happening on Google daily. What if you could capture even a small part of those billions?
Imagine the number of people who are potential clients, interested in what you are selling and proposing, and are ready to purchase from you. You might be thinking that it must be so complicated to do that, and you would be better off not doing it because the difficulty offsets the benefits.
Well, as it turns out, it is not *that* hard; you only need to follow a set of steps. This Google AdWords Tutorial will outline just that.
I will show you the steps taken to create an effective Google AdWords campaign to increase visitors and sales.
About Google AdWords/Google Ads
SEO is in every content manager’s arsenal and is almost always the first place to look toward when you begin growing a new site. It is powerful, scalable, and almost always pays its dividends in the long-term.
It is the strategy that I will recommend nine times out of 10, except for one thing. When you need immediate results, then SEO is not the thing to do.
Content optimized with SEO is surely effective over the long-term. AdWords is the opposite.
You can get the AdWords set up within an hour or two, and doing it right will let you generate sales as soon as the ads are up and running. Also, Google AdWords is just as powerful as a traffic-driving tool.
Relevant: Learn about the best SEO tools here
Google AdWords vs. Google Ads
Summer 2018 saw the change of Google AdWords when Google decided to rename the platform to Google Ads. The new name implies that its tool features more than just text ad campaigns.
The whole Google Ads platform aims to help a user advertise their offering not only through text but also through other media, such as display ads and even youtube video integrations.
Many people are familiar with “Google AdWords,” but the name is effectively non-existing today. From here on out, the article will now use “Google Ads.”
What is Google Ads?
Digital marketers know that a focused paid ad campaign generates more clicks and a higher number of potential customers. Google Ads has become a popular marketing scheme because of this exact reason.
Google Ads is a paid advertising platform where the advertiser (that is you) pays per click impression on an ad. This type of marketing channel is known as pay-per-click advertising, where you pay for results in the form of clicks and not only for being seen as with traditional advertising channels.
No clicks? You do not need to pay.
It is as simple as that, and this performance-based setup has captured the interest of many, seeing as over a million businesses use paid Google Ad campaigns.
With Google Ads, a company can boost the traffic of its site, receive more phone contacts, and increase physical store visitors.
How does Google Ads Work?
Google Ads is somewhere you can pay to have your site ranked at the top of a SERP, based on keywords.
You can think of the Google Ads system kind of like an auction with modifications. First, you would choose search terms where you would like the ad to appear on, and set a maximum bid price of how much you are willing to pay when someone clicks on the site.
The amount of the bid, when compared to other bidders in the same term, is a factor in how high up the Google SERP your ad appears.
Google has a bias to well-known brands, and unless you are that, then it will be quite tough to outrank the big players in the rankings. In a way, Google Ads lets you circumvent that.
In this “pizza delivery” SERP, ‘Grubhub’ was able to take the top spot over the well-known brand Domino’s. Even ‘Racca’s Pizzeria,’ who I honestly have not heard anything about, was able to trail close behind Domino.
Even smaller players in the niche can compete with big brands with Google Ads, and all it took were minutes or hours of setting up, as opposed to months or even years with SEO + content.
In many auctions, though, the highest bidder wins, and everyone else loses and moves on to the next item. In Google Ads, however, ad bidding is discreet, and the highest bidder is not always the highest-ranked.
Google combines the money you bid with the quality you give. They do this to create the best overall experience for the user.
Your quality score given by Google is a mix of how well the landing page of your site matches the search term and keywords and how well you can deliver on what the user needs. The more relevant the ad and landing page is to the search criteria, the higher your quality score.
In some cases, if your quality score is high enough for a specific search term, then Google may not even charge you the full bid, and you will be able to pay less per click.
So the equation is: Solid bid + quality page and ad = high-ranking ads.
So to sum it up, Google shows your ad to the customers who are interested in your offering, as indicated by the search term. Advertisers bid on search terms they want the ad to be associated with, and the bid who wins are placed on the top of the SERP, or other relevant platforms such as Youtube videos, depending on the ad campaign type selected.
Google Ads Terms to Know
These common terms related to Google Ads will help you start and manage an ad campaign. Some are specific to Google Ads, while some are related to PPC as a whole, but you need to familiarize yourself with these terms because you may commonly encounter them in your ad campaign.
The Ad Rank is a value computed by Google, which is used to determine the placement of your ad. The higher the value, the higher your ad will rank.
Google uses many different factors in assessing your Ad Rank, but two of the main ones include your maximum bid, and the Quality Score based on their findings.
Google Ads works on a bidding system where an advertiser sets a maximum amount they are willing to pay per click on your ad. There are three bidding options: CPC, CPM, or CPE.
- CPC, or cost per click, is the amount you pay for each click on the ad.
- CPM, or cost per mille, is the amount you pay when your ad is shown to a thousand people.
- CPE, or cost per engagement, is the amount you pay when someone takes action, usually predetermined, through your ad.
A paid campaign on Google Ads lets you select between five types.
- A search network ad is displayed at the top of the results page of a search query.
- A display ad is normally image-based and is shown on Google Display Network pages.
- A shopping campaign ad aims to promote online and local inventory. In contrast to a text ad, they contain other information such as the name of the product, its photo, store name, reviews, and more.
- A video campaign ad is shown on YouTube and is anywhere between six to fifteen seconds long.
- An app campaign ad will let Google use your app’s assets to design ads across several networks and formats to promote your app.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Your site’s CTR is the number of clicks your ad placement gets in relation to the number of views it generates. A high CTR figure indicates a quality ad that targets critical keywords and matches with user search intent.
Conversion Rate (CVR)
The CVR is a metric that shows the proportion of form submissions to the total visits to your website’s landing page. A high CVR figure means that the landing page matches the ad and its promise and that the site matches with the user’s intent.
Google ads can be displayed within a web page included in the Google Display Network (GDN). The GDN is a collection of websites that allow spaces on their pages for Google ads, such as pictured above.
They can either be text- or image-based, displayed with relevant content from the keywords you entered, and are most often used for shopping and app ads.
Ad extensions supplement your ad with additional information, at no cost. They fall under one of the five categories: sitelink, call, offer, location, or app.
Keywords are the words or phrases that align with the user’s intent and will answer what they are searching for. In Google Ads, you select keywords dependent on the queries you want the ad to appear alongside.
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PPC, or pay-per-click, is a concept digital marketers are well acquainted with. It is not specific to Google Ads, and it is the most common type of paid search engine marketing.
In a PPC scheme, an advertiser pays per click on an ad. You will have to be familiar with the ins and outs of this performance-based approach when launching a Google Ads campaign.
Why Go With Google?
Why advertise on Google? Simple.
In case you don’t know, Google is the most popular site in the world, with a larger than half market share in the search engine industry. That alone warrants advertising on this platform; more eyes will see your advertisement.
Also, the Google Ads platform has been operating for decades. This length of time gives them a sort of seniority and expertise in the area of paid search engine marketing.
Another reason? Well, with the prevalence of this platform, your competitors are probably using it as well.
Thousands, maybe even millions, of businesses use Google Ads. Now, even if your organic rankings for a search term are perfectly fine, you are still being pushed down the list because of competitors who use paid ads.
And in the world of SEM, a few spots of decrease may mean thousands of dollars of lost revenue.
Google Ads and PPC should be a part of your paid strategy, and more often than not, there’s just no way around it.
So now that you have at least a little knowledge on Google Ads let’s get down to the nitty-gritty bits of this post. I will now cover a bit more in-depth look at how to set up and run a Google Ad campaign.
Create an Account
To start it all off, you need to create a Google Ads account. You can register with Google Ads here.
The setting up of your account is pretty straightforward; follow the guided instructions on the screen. You will have to provide an email address, your time zone, country, and currency.
The most important of all, though, is the website where your ads will send users to. There are some more extensions and options which may require a bit of thought.
If you want and are eligible for the service, then you may take advantage of Google’s customer support.
Note that you will also need a website (a website with landing pages is preferable), keywords, ad copies, and headlines. It is better if these are prepared beforehand, so the setting up of your ad campaign will be smooth.
The next page of the account setup process is a critical part. The page is separated into four sections:
- Decide the daily budget.
- Choose a target audience.
- Set the bid.
- Write the ad.
Deciding how much to spend is pretty straightforward, but I recommend a price between $5 to $10 per day. The amount is well below the industry benchmark, but it is enough to test the waters and get yourself acquainted with the system.
Now, you choose a target audience. I recommend picking only one country since it is a customary practice to separate campaigns by nation.
Also, you want to focus only on search ads. Untick boxes not relating to search ads.
Then, add keywords related to the industry of business. A number of 15-20 keywords are enough, and if you want to add, remove, or change keywords, then you can do so later.
Just enter what comes into your mind for now, or leave the ones Google recommends.
Next is to set your bid. If you are a beginner, I suggest leaving the setting as it is, because you don’t know how to play with this setting yet.
Finally, you can now write your ad for the campaign. You can add some dummy text; you can change them later when you know and decide how to go about writing your ad.
Once everything is in order, click the “Save and Continue” button.
You will then be asked to supply your payment information.
Keywords in reference to paid ads are essentially the words or phrases people enter as search queries in Google. If all is successful, your ad would appear on the top of the results page as a suggested solution.
The keyword research phase is crucial to any Google Ads campaign, so much that Google has a dedicated tool for it, the Google Keywords Planner.
Try to come up with as many keywords related to your product as possible. After that, go to the keyword planner and add your keywords.
Leave everything as it is, then click the “Get Ideas” button. Two tabs will show, the “Ad Group Ideas” tab and the “Keyword Ideas” tab.
Now, you would want to click “Keyword Ideas”, then “Add All”, and then “Download.”
Clicking download will download the list in CSV form, or you can use the editor within the Google Ads tool.
Once you open the CSV file in Excel, you will see columns of monthly search volume and suggested bid amounts. The search volume column represents the demand for a keyword, and the suggested bid column shows how much other companies are paying per click.
Just as with all things, you want moderation.
Choose keywords with not too low or too high a demand and CPC, and ideally, you would want at least 15 to 50 keywords, as too small a number can make the marketing effort too narrow, just as too many keywords can make it too complicated.
Define Your Budget
Now that your account is set up and the keywords have been outlined, it is now time to know how much to spend per keyword. The “maximum CPC” metric will tell you this.
You need to know two things to get your maximum CPC: the conversion rate, and the gross profit you want.
For the sake of a sample formula, let us assume that we are aiming for a $50 net profit, a 1% conversion rate, and a 30% commission you will pay for Google. Multiply all of these figures to get a ballpark figure for your maximum CPC amount.
Maximum CPC = $50 x 1% x 30% = $0.15
This means that you can spend up to $0.15 per click on Google Ads. Now, you can scale the CPC up to know your daily budget.
If you get 50 clicks per day, that is $7.50 a day, and $75 for a 10-day campaign.
Write the Ad
Getting the campaign set up is fine, keyword research is proper, and defining your budget is good, but your ads are what will genuinely lure people into your store. If your ad will not elicit in people the enthusiasm to click your store, then the campaign is useless.
A successful Google Ads campaign is enticing and relevant. Once you can grab their attention and they see that the ad is related to their search, then they will most likely click on your store.
- The headline allows 25 characters to grab the attention of a reader. Make them count.
The headline must be clear, relevant, and, most of all, grabs attention. The objective should be to make them read the next line or the whole thing
Keep in your mind actual search scenarios, and create headlines from there. It may be easier to use a catch-all umbrella term, but searchers rarely use generic terms.
- The display URL must be relevant to the keyword, as this is where the users who click on your ad will be directed to. The display URL does not have to be the company’s landing page.
It is a good practice to match the domains of the actual destination page and the display URL.
- The Ad Text allows for only up to 70 characters, or two lines of 35 each. Within this limited number, aim to show the most unique value proposition.
- The body of the ad is your one opportunity to make the reader understand what you offer. Anything deceptive or unclear will only cost you money because of high bounce rate visitors.
Upon the setting up of your account, be ready with different variations of your ad copy, since readers may have different intents in mind.
Choose or Create the Landing Page
Of course, people who click on your ads have to see what you have to offer. If the page is irrelevant, confusing, or does not give value, then chances are they will not convert.
You do not want that to happen.
Here are some standard rules of thumb to follow when you want a landing page to convert your visitors.
- Do not take them to your home page; take them directly to the product page.
- Display your call to action prominently. For example, the “Add to Cart” or “Checkout” button should be distinguishable and recognizable.
- A landing page should have a single, unified purpose and message. Design and fix your product pages so that it is already optimized for possible conversions of visitors.
Fix Some More Things
If you followed these steps, then the majority of the work has been done. There needs to be a few finishing touches.
First off, you need to pick the correct match type for your chosen keywords. There are four types of these.
- Broad match is the default option and is the best one for those who are just starting. As implied by the name, a broad match keyword type has the lowest CPC and the most extensive reach, but also tends to make ads quite irrelevant for lack of targeting.
- A modified broad match lies in between the phrase and broad match. It affords the reach of a broad match but gives better control over who sees your ad by “locking” words in a phrase with a “+” sign parameter.
- A phrase match is a fantastic option for category keywords as it affords better control with the restrictions in its variations.
- An exact match has the highest CPC and narrowest reach out of the types. If a keyword has a high intent of purchase, then this option is a great way to promote your products.
Another is not to put too many keywords for each ad group so that it won’t be too complex. Form ad groups with ten to twenty keywords each, and if you have, say, 50 keywords in your ad campaign, then try to separate them.
Furthermore, put a maximum CPC for each keyword. Go to the Ad Groups section and click on each ad group.
There you will see a list of keywords in that ad group. Find the column named “Max. CPC” and enter the amount you generated from your computations earlier.
Launch the Campaign
Now that everything has been mostly finished, then time to generate those clicks and get those conversions. And before you get worked up and start playing around with your settings, wait and get some data first, which depends on your CPC bidding and daily budget.
If you use a high daily budget, then you have to wait a short time, say a week, to check how your campaign is faring. A lower daily budget means that you may have to wait longer for data and results.
Whatever the case is, let the campaign run for a few thousand views and impressions, and until your keywords (or some of it) get at least ten clicks. After waiting for long enough, you should take a look at:
- Keywords with a high CPC relative to your maximum CPC, and generate more than ten clicks but have no conversions, and
- Ads that are seen by many (have lots of impressions), but have little to no CTR.
The first one means that the keyword is not that relevant to the search term, and the second one means that you either have an irrelevant ad, or it doesn’t answer the search query.
For the first scenario, you can test different match types or lower the CPC. For the second one,
Make your ad attractive by adjusting some text or the body by highlighting the unique value you offer.
Link To Google Analytics
Connecting your Google Ads account to Google Analytics lets you measure the performance of the ad in detail, with metrics such as pages per session and bounce rate.
With Google Analytics, you can
- Log in to both Google Analytics and Ads with the same email address you use for both.
- Go to Google Ads to enable admin-level access. Click on the Tools and Settings tab and choose Account Access, and check if you have Admin level access.
- For Google Analytics, you would need Edit permissions. Open Admin, and then Property User Management, and then you need to have read, edit, and analyze access.
- While still in Analytics, go back to the Admin tab and navigate to the Product Linking. Choose Google Ads Linking
- You will see your Google Ads account in the list. Tick the check box to link it.
- Name your account (with the Link Group Title option) and choose the data you will pull.
- Lastly, click “Link Account” to finish the process.
Linking to Google Analytics will allow you to:
- Monitor ad and site performance through the Google Ads reports in Analytics
- Import goals and ecommerce transactions into Google Ads
- Import analytics metrics such as bounce rate and average duration per session
- Receive opportunities for remarketing
- Generate multi-channel funnels reports
Extensions are the optional features such as location, contact number, or appointment schedules. Basically, these options give your ad more options for users and searchers.
You might have to pay an additional cost per click on an extension, along with the CPC for the ad. Additionally, you must meet a minimum Ad Rank before Google qualifies you for extensions.
When dayparting, you let the ad run during a particular time of the day. It could help target your customers better on the times it makes the most sense while also driving ad costs down.
You can find this in the Settings tab of Google Ads as an “ad schedule” or “custom schedule.”
A prospect enters your site and views a page on it, then leaves after. They move on to other websites, but the ad that they saw promoting a product on the previous page appears.
That is remarketing in action, as is shown by the photo above. You can set it up to appear on another site through the Display Network for display ads and the Search Network for text ads.
The text in bold is a dynamic keyword. The ad is instantly customized to match the search terms of the user.
You could apply dynamic keywords either in the ad body or headline.
Universal App Campaigns
If you are an app developer, then you will need a way to advertise across Google’s several properties, such as the search engine ang YouTube.
A Google Ads app campaign, in brief, is an automated campaign that will help drive app installation and in-app conversion actions (such as microtransactions). The app campaign will connect Google Play, Google Search, Google Display, and YouTube.
Google will ask you to submit your campaign objective, budget, and bid, and then provide some visual assets and an ad copy. Google Ads then automatically compile and prepare ads optimized for different networks, such as text, display, and video.
Google Ads automatically examines the best combinations of assets, copies, and networks, and prioritizes those in their advertising efforts.
And that is it! This post will let you create your first campaign for one of the most important and well-known e-commerce customer acquisitions.
Any beginner will surely find this post a bit technical and cumbersome. And I understand, we were all beginners at one point.
But keeping at it will let you create a campaign that will drive users to your platform. And as you go on and gather more experience, then all will become easier.
Want to learn more? Here are other digital marketing and e-commerce related articles.
What part of Google Ads did you find troublesome? Share your thoughts below.