Online advertising with Google Ads is one of the most effective ways to reach new customers and grow your business. However, before you can get started, you’ll need to know how to use Google Ads effectively in order to maximize the return on investment from your advertising spend and avoid making mistakes.
Let us help you get started with this beginner’s guide to running ads on Google.
Google Ads is a pay-per-click advertising platform owned and operated by Google. It is also the largest and most widely used online advertising network in the world, and millions of businesses use Google Ads to reach new customers and reach their sales, marketing, and revenue goals.
Advertisers who choose to use Google Ads can target users across multiple networks.
Each ad type offers its own set of benefits and can help hit different objectives. And within these networks, there are different campaign types, placements, formats, and more. There are even campaign types that allow you to advertise across multiple networks at once.
PPC in general offers many benefits to business, but Google Ads has extra advantages.
Although both Search and Display advertising campaigns are managed via Google Ads, the term “Google Ads” typically refers to the Search Network. Digital marketers usually refer to the Display Network by its own name. In short, Google Ads works on an auction system, where costs are not determined just by bid, but also the quality and relevancy of ads.
For more on the Google Ads ad auction and how the Google Ads system works, check out this infographic.
First and foremost, make sure you have a firm grasp on your audience and your goals.
What are you using Google Ads for? Lead generation? E-commerce? Brand building? The campaign types you choose and structure of your account will hinge on this. To learn more about establishing realistic goals for your Google Ads account, check out these resources:
Developing personas is essential. What do your ideal customers do? Where do they do it? When are they actively searching? On what device? To learn more about developing customer personas and defining your audience, check out these resources:
Setting up a Google Ads account is easy and takes just a few minutes.
You have the option of creating your account using an existing Google account, or you can create a new account specifically for use with Google Ads. Then, you’ll specify some basics for your account, such as your location and time zone. Finally, you’ll set up billing details, so Google can accurately bill you every month.
OH. And don’t forget conversion tracking!
Advertisers use Google Ads by bidding on keywords that are relevant to their business so that their ads appear in relevant search results. There are many different ways to conduct PPC keyword research, and WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool is an excellent starting point.
Simply enter a search term or URL and it will generate a comprehensive list of keywords along with search volume, cost per click data, and competition level.
Once your account is created and you’ve done your keyword research, it’s time to create your campaign. To create your Google Ads campaign, you’ll need to:
You can also watch our video tutorial here:
Writing effective Google ads is a particularly challenging task, as you have limited space to craft a compelling and persuasive message.
In general, a good Google Ads headline:
Furthermore, with responsive search ads being the only standard Search campaign you can create, you have to format your headlines and descriptions to be able to work in different combinations. Use these responsive search ad best practices to guide you:
You can also use this responsive search ad template to help you out:
Like any marketing strategy, Google Ads is not a set it and forget it effort. It’s important to check in on your campaigns regularly so you can harness what’s working and toss out what’s not. Important PPC metrics to pay attention to are:
Depending on your campaign types and objectives, there may be other metrics to track as well, but those are the core ones. Not sure what constitutes “good” performance? Check out our interactive Google Ads benchmarks.
View the full report in our always-updated benchmarks page.
A perfect Google Ads campaign is never finished. The platform is always changing and so are your customers, so you should always be testing out different settings, ad copy, and offers as well as adjusting bids based on keyword performance and adding negative keywords to eliminate unqualified search queries.
Free guide >> PPC 101 has all the terms, tips, and best practices you need to get started with Google Ads.
Use these tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of the platform—and your budget.
A logical account structure can have a dramatic impact not only on how easy it is for you to use Google Ads but also your campaign performance. Ensuring your Google Ads account is structured properly has many benefits, including:
If you’re only planning to run a single campaign, your Google Ads account structure will be quite simple. But ideally, you want to have multiple campaigns running for different offers and objectives. The ideal Google Ads account is structured into individual campaigns, each of which will have its own ad groups. In turn, each ad group will have its own keywords, unique ad text, and landing pages. The figure below illustrates how an account should be set up for optimal performance:
You can also learn more in our Free Guide to Google Ads Account Structure
There are several ways you can structure a Google Ads account, depending on your needs. For example, you can structure your Google Ads account based on the structure of your website, by the types of products or services you’re advertising, or by geographic location, if your business operates in several individual markets.
Google Ads is always evolving. New features are constantly getting rolled out and you never know when Google is going to throw a curveball at us, such as with removing modified broad match or sunsetting expanded text ads.
The Google Ads blog is the place to check for these announcements, but you can also get better explanations and opinions in publications like Search Engine Land and, of course, the WordStream blog!
This is where people who have clicked your ads either convert or they don’t! Follow these guidelines for high-performing landing pages:
To learn more about designing great landing pages, check out our best landing page tips and tricks….ever.
Remarketing (or retargeting) is when you serve ads to audiences based on their previous behavior, such as on your website or with your other ads. This is essential when using Google Ads! So start building these lists early and often so you can keep prospects moving through your funnel.
Taking the time to regularly adjust and optimize your Google Ads account is one of the most important things you can do as a paid search advertiser. However, even if you’re doing everything right, it can be difficult to know just how well your campaigns are performing. That’s why WordStream created the Google Ads Performance Grader.
In 60 seconds or less, the Google Ads Performance Grader performs a comprehensive audit of your Google Ads account. It will evaluate the strength of your account based on crucial PPC metrics and generate an easy-to-read report on your
No other free tool provides as much unique, individualized insight into your Google Ads account performance as the Google Ads Performance Grader. To see how well your account is performing, and to identify areas in which you can improve, try the Google Ads Performance Grader for free today.