A guide to Google AdWords

Google Ads can seem like dangerous territory if you’re unfamiliar, but it’s one of the best tools that marketers can engage with. Take a look at our beginner’s guide to wrap your head around Google Ads.

5 minutes required reading time.

By Harmeen Bhasin / Digital Marketing Specialist
Google search box

Google Ads, formerly and affectionately known as Google AdWords is a pay per click (PPC) platform that offers marketers and advertisers the benefit of reaching their audiences quicker and more effectively through the Google Search Network and Google Display Network.

Basically speaking, paying Google allows you to create well-structured ads, and pops you at the top of a search results page. Google Ads is known to be the only advertising network that helps you generate quick sales results. In less than five minutes of signing up, it’s not uncommon for your ad to feature on the first page of Google search query.

This is super important, especially for small businesses. When was the last time you went past the first page of Google? We’re never betting probably. Any user looking for your product or services have a much, much better chance of finding you straight away.

Here’s a little bit of history. Google AdWords was launched in the year 2000. Since Google was handling millions of searches every day then, the introduction of AdWords has been a damn blessing for marketers and business owners alike. Its keyword bidding system is one of the most effective tools in helping the little guys (also known as small businesses) make their mark online.

There are a Few Different Types Of Ads on Google

Google Adwords
Google AdWords offers four ways by which companies can advertise their products and services, really making sure that you can reach your target audience most effectively.

Here are the four different types of Google ads. The four different types of AdWords advertising are as follows.

1. Search network ads – These ads are the most common and what you’re probably thinking of when you think about Google Ads. Search network ads appear on the main text panel and use specific search terms to filter what goes where. For example, someone requires tap shoes in Melbourne, that’s what they will search for, and a decent marketer who has done their research correctly will have included that keyword in their Google ads campaign, making all the best tap shoe websites appear right up to the top of the search results. To ensure your ad appears on the top, you need to bid higher.

2. Display ads – These ads work similarly to network search ads; however, they appear on display network websites and generally are more image-based. This type of AdWords is beneficial for companies who want to attract those who visited their site but didn’t quite convert. Seeing a familiar brand can draw consumers back in. Such ads can be seen on Google sites like YouTube and Gmail.

3. Video-based ads – It’s as simple as it sounds. These ads are in the form of videos, an engaging and quick way to reach your audience on YouTube.

4. App ads – Such ads offer you the chance to promote your business on Google network-based apps.

So, How Do I Get Started?

In general, Google Ads functions simply. However, navigating through it and using it to your fullest advantage may be tough if you’re new to it.

Here’s your go-to beginners guide to Google Ads, helping you create a ripper campaign.

i) To begin with, you need to create an account with Google Ads. Click here to get started and sign up.

ii) The next step involves deciding on the campaign type and name. You can choose from the different ad types that we’ve covered, depending on what medium or ad type will be most effective for your business or particular marketing goal. However, it’s recommended to begin with the ‘search network only’ option– you’ve got to learn to doggy paddle before you can swim a relay. Select this option, name your campaign, and continue.

iii) Next, you need to specify the geographic location of where you want your ads to show. You can choose as wide or as concentrated an area as you’d like. Whether it be a country, state, city, or local neighbourhood. Keep in mind though that generally, small businesses benefit more from targeted locations.

Google also gives you the option to select custom-designed locations. You can mention latitude-longitude coordinates or distance on kilometers around a particular address. Just hit on the ‘Let me choose’ to set the desired location for running your ad.

iv) Now it’s time to pick your bid strategy and set your budget. You can switch the default setting of ‘Bid strategy’ to ‘I’ll manually set my bids for clicks’ to have more control over your campaign and where your money goes. This option will also give you a chance to learn AdWords better. You also need to decide on your daily budget, taking into account how popular your keywords are as well as how much you’re allowing for your campaign.

The set budget will be the maximum amount Google will charge you every day. To make payments, you can choose between manual payments and automatic payments. Manual payments require you to pay the amount before your ads are shown, whereas automatic payments allow you to pay after the ads are displayed. Some businesses can enjoy the privilege of Google credit line, paying by monthly invoicing.

v) Next, you will see the ‘Ad Extensions’ section. You can skip this for now. Just click on save and continue. We’ll come back to it.

vi) Now it’s time to create your first ad group. You will have to write your ad including keywords, so more and more people click on it. Do thorough research on your keywords, use multiple sources to discover what it is your audience is searching for.

Your ad creation includes having two descriptions, here, add in your unique selling points and make a mention of what makes your business unique. As well as mentioning attention-grabbing words and phrases, include popular keywords to your headline to ensures more click on your ads. The character count limit for the top line is 25 characters.


Google Ads is one of the few opportunities you’ll have in marketing to use abbreviations, so use it to your advantage here and say as much as you can with limited words.

The limit for the next two lines is 35 characters. You can make use of this space to describe certain important features and benefits, really sell yourself here. Think about it this way, if you were searching for something you needed, what gets mentioned in the ad description that makes you click? What sort of language stands out? What’s grabbing your attention?

Hopefully, you’ll notice that there is space for you to add the display URL. Though you will add the link after the main ad copy, it will appear right below the headline on the search results page.

vii) Now, you need to add keywords to the keyword field in your account. Do not add too many keywords in the very beginning. It is best to focus on a few, essential keywords initially.

viii) Next, it’s time to set your maximum cost-per-click known as the default bid. While fixing this, you need to keep in mind that every keyword is different in the market. This means you will have to set a bid price for each major keyword.

It is advisable to bid on low-cost keywords if you have a limited budget. This strategy will ensure more people see your ad. If you pick high-priced keywords in a limited budget, then you will be able to choose fewer keywords, and there are chances of your budget being exhausted in the first few hours of the day.

Next step is to review all that you have added so far. Check if your keywords are relevant to your ad. Verify your cost-per-click to ensure you get the position your wish for your ad. You also need to check your daily budget, so there is no loss of excess money.

What Is Ad Extensions And How Can I Use Them To My Advantage?

They are extra elements to basic ad text that provides more information to a searcher, allowing them to make a better (and more direct) decision on whether to click or not click on an ad. From the perspective of a marketer, it gives us an opportunity to provide more specific information and weed out untargeted traffic.

It also means that more traffic and engagement will be generated– all leading to an increased ROI.

Everyone likes increased ROI.

What’s The Hit To My Credit Card?

The cost you may incur to put up an ad with Google depends on your industry. If you are in a competitive market, it can be a little expensive initially. However, a well-designed Google Ads campaign is worth your money.

Campaigns that are well-targeted and optimised in the right manner offer an opportunity to show your ads to the responsive niches in your target audience. This increases the chances of a positive ROI. The more campaigns, the more chance you have of getting people to get to the right place and where they want to be.

On the other hand, campaigns that aren’t designed properly can be a mere waste of your money and efforts. Such campaigns may get you many clicks, but with little or no conversions. Your ad campaigns shouldn’t be based on guesses, and you need to spend the time and energy researching testing and trying what’s working and what’s not.

The success of your campaigns mainly depends on these three points:

Your choice of keywords

Your competition in the network

Your Bid

How to Optimise your Campaign

Once your Google AdWords campaign goes live, you need to monitor it continually. Leaving a campaign to function without checking up on it regularly would be just as detrimental as leaving a toddler alone with a text and a white wall. There are three main areas that you need to focus on to ensure optimisation of your campaign.

1. Ad Targeting
Pay-per-click-Converted-01You need to check if your ad is targeting the right audience. While setting up the campaign, you found the relevant keywords your audience may use. Unfortunately, before the ad goes live and is running long enough to gage any sort of successful result, you won’t be able to tell if your ad is hitting the right audience.

If this happened and you find that your keywords aren’t doing too well, think about factors such as location, time, and devices used for the search. Leave no stone unturned in determining what could make your ad more effective. Getting to the crux of all these points can help you analyse the ideal targeting for your campaign.

2. Ad Copy
The next thing you need to analyse is your ad copy. It should go without saying that your copywriters put in a lot of efforts in writing content for your ads. But how your audience will receive these ads is unpredictable, so it’s best to analyse how well your ad copy is doing once your ad is live. Ensure you regularly test your ad copy and make the required changes.

3. Landing Pages
Google AdWords makes your ad visible to your audience, leading them to your landing page. To convert the audience into your customer is the job of your landing page. The performance of your landing page depends on the targeting and your ad copy. A well-designed landing page can fail due to incorrect ad targeting or bad ad copy. You need to ensure your targeting is in place, your ad copy is impressive, and your landing page is congruent. Add more at the start of this point about how landing pages and ads campaign can go hand in hand.

Get in Touch with Us

If you wish to advertise your products or services with Google, and you require expert advice on the same, feel free to get in touch with us. Our PPC experts at Adaptify offer a FREE 30-minute consultation. Call us today on 1300 423 566!

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