Google Ads: What Are Google Ads & How Do They Work?
Every second, there are 2.3 million searches performed on Google, and the majority of search results pages include Google ads. Paid for by businesses, Google ads can be an extremely effective way of driving relevant, qualified traffic to your website exactly when people are searching for the types of products or services your business offers.
In this article, you’ll learn what Google ads are, how Google ads work, and why you should run your own Google ads.
What is Google Ads?
Google offers paid advertisements which appear in search results on google.com with the use of Google Ads or advertisements that appear on other websites through the Display Network and Google’s AdSense program.
The sponsored results, or ads, (in the red box) are denoted with a green “Ad” label. The results that appear below the ads (in the green box) are referred to as organic results.
Google also offers Display Ads, which appear on the Google Display Network. The Display Network is an extensive collection of outside, third-party websites that have partnered with Google and agreed to serve Google ads. Google ads on the Display Network can be in text, image, video, or rich media format, and can be targeted differently. This includes remarketing and banner ads.
If using AdSense, your ads would appear in the selected areas on a website:
Why Google Ads Appear
The Google Ads auction is focused around keywords – advertisers choose a list of keywords to target that are relevant to their business offerings, the words that people are most likely to use when searching for their product. They then bid on these keywords, basing each bid on how much they are willing to pay for a Google user to click on their ad. This bid, combined with a Quality Score assigned by Google based on the quality of your proposed ad, determines which Google ads appear on the SERP. When users click the ads, the advertiser pays a certain cost (the cost per click, or CPC), which is calculated according to the below formula:
This is where the term Pay-Per-Click (PPC) originates.
Check out this guide full of best practices & tips to mastering Google Ads.
The Google Ads Auction
Google Ads works on an auction system, which takes place every time a user performs a keyword search.
To “win” the Google Ads auctions and see your Google advertisement appear for relevant keywords, you’ll need to optimize your Quality Score and bid amount. The higher your Quality Score, in conjunction with your bid amount, the better your ad positioning. The following factors (among others) affect your Quality Score:
- The relevance of your Google ad to the search query
- The relevance of the Google keyword to your ad group
- The relevance of your ad to its landing page
- The historical click-through rate (CTR) of the ad and its ad group
- Overall historical account performance
There are also overall benefits to having a high quality score:
- Lower costs– Google rewards advertisers with high Quality Scores by lowering their cost per click (CPC), helping improve ROI.
- Higher exposure – When you have high Quality Scores, your ads will display more often, in better positions on the SERP—the top vs. the bottom of the page. This enables you to get more clicks and conversions without having to raise your bids.
For more information, refer to this infographic to better understand how the Google Ads auction works.
Google Ads Costs
In the US, the average cost per click for Google search ads across all industries is $2.32. In other countries, average costs for Google Ads are often much lower.
Learn how to hack Google Ads with this free guide full of actionable tips.
Advertise on Google with WordStream
Could Google ads be right for your business? Most likely, yes. In 2013, 1.5 million businesses generated $111 billion in revenue from Google’s search and advertising tools. Advertising on google can be extremely beneficial for any company with the right strategy.
Google Ad\s has a multitude of advertising options and can be complicated. Many advertisers struggle with the commitment necessary to achieve success through paid search or display advertising. That’s why WordStream’s software and free tools have proven invaluable to thousands of businesses advertising on Google.
The Google Ads Performance Grader: A Completely Free Audit of Your Google Ads Account
There you have it! Google Ads, explained.
To maximize the impact of your Google Ads ads and campaigns, you need to know which campaigns work for your business and where to make improvements–-WordStream’s Google Ads Performance Grader can help you do exactly that.
The Google Ads Performance Grader is the most comprehensive free tool of its kind. In 60 seconds or less, the Google Ads Performance Grader performs a thorough audit of your Google Ads account, identifying areas in which improvements can be made as well as highlighting successful areas of your account and how they compare to competitive benchmarks for your industry.
WordStream Advisor: The Only Online Advertising Platform You Need
Constant analysis, optimization, and attention are required to make advertising on Google as profitable as possible. However, for many small businesses and companies with limited resources, managing a paid search campaign on Google Ads can be a full-time job. That’s why we developed WordStream Advisor.
Our proprietary 20-Minute Work Week system allows you to effortlessly identify areas in which action can be taken to improve results and campaign performance immediately. WordStream Advisor allows you to manage your Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook advertising campaigns from one responsive, centralized dashboard, eliminating the need to track various campaigns through different interfaces – simply log into WordStream Advisor and take control of your online advertising efforts from one place.
WordStream Advisor customizes its recommendations based on your current campaigns, account history, and other elements individualized to your Google Ads account. You will receive action items with specific, actionable recommendations and prescriptive workflows allowing you to make changes to your account in mere minutes that will have an immediate and powerful impact on your account performance. You can track changes over time, and see improvements in your account with our intuitive visual reports.
Try WordStream Advisor today with a free, no-obligation trial and see how we can help you succeed with advertising on Google.
Our software and services help businesses and agencies take the guesswork out of pay-per-click advertising so you get more from your marketing budget.