How to Get Started with Google Ads: A Comprehensive Guide

Hannes Parman
April 6, 2023
5 min read

Google Ads is a powerful advertising platform that helps businesses of all sizes reach their target audience, drive website traffic, and increase sales. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of Google Ads, show you how to create engaging ad copy, and provide real-life examples of successful campaigns. Let's dive in!

Understanding Google Ads

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is an online advertising platform that allows businesses to display their ads on Google search results pages, YouTube, and other websites within the Google Display Network. There are several types of Google Ads, including Search Ads, Display Ads, Video Ads, Shopping Ads, and App Ads.

Search Ads

Search Ads, or google search ads, appear when users search for specific keywords related to your products or services. These ads are displayed at the top or bottom of the search results page and are marked with the "Ad" label. To get started with search ads, you'll need to create an account on adsgoogle.com and choose a google ads plan.

Display Ads

Display Ads, or google display ads, are visual ads that appear on websites within the Google Display Network. These ads can include images, videos, and rich media content. Display Ads are an excellent way to build brand awareness and reach a broader audience. Some google display ad examples can be found on websites with a lot of ads, like news sites and blogs.

Video Ads

Video Ads are short advertisements that play before, during, or after videos on YouTube and other websites within the Google Display Network. These ads are perfect for businesses that want to showcase their products or services in a more engaging format. Some examples of video ads can be found on YouTube, marked with the "Ad" label.

Shopping Ads

Shopping Ads, or google product ads, appear on Google search results pages when users search for specific products. These ads display product images, prices, and merchant information, making them an excellent choice for e-commerce businesses. To create Shopping Ads, you'll need a Google Merchant Center account and a product data feed.

App Ads

App Ads are designed to drive app installs and engagement on mobile devices. These ads can appear on Google search results pages, Google Play, YouTube, and other websites within the Google Display Network. To get started with App Ads, you'll need to link your Google Ads account to your app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Creating an Effective Google Ad Campaign

Now that you're familiar with the different types of Google Ads, it's time to create your ad campaign. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Sign up for Google Ads:

Visit ads google and create a new account. You'll need a Google account to sign up.

2. Define your campaign goals

Before you start creating your ads, it's essential to define your campaign goals. Do you want to increase website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Your campaign goals will help guide your strategy and determine which ad types are best suited for your needs.

3. Choose your target audience

Next, you'll need to select your target audience based on factors like location, age, gender, interests, and behaviors. This step is crucial, as it will help you reach the right people with your ads.

4. Select your keywords

For search ads, you'll need to choose the keywords you want your ads to appear for. Use google keyword ads and the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool to find relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. Be sure to include these keywords in your ad copy and headers.

5. Set your budget and bids

Determine how much you're willing to spend on your ad campaign and how much you're willing to pay per click (CPC) or per thousand impressions (CPM). Google Ads uses an auction system, so setting competitive bids is essential for getting your ads shown to your target audience.

6. Create your ad copy

Writing engaging and persuasive ad copy is critical for the success of your campaign. Use the keywords you've selected and incorporate them naturally into your headlines and descriptions. Be sure to include a strong call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to click on your ad. To see some excellent examples, search for ad copy examples or ad headlines online.

7. Design your ad visuals

For display, video, and shopping ads, you'll need to create visually appealing ad creatives. Use high-quality images or videos, and ensure your designs align with your brand identity. You can also use google ads templates to help you get started.

8. Configure ad extensions

Ad extensions are additional pieces of information that can be added to your search ads, such as phone numbers, location, sitelinks, or ratings. These extensions can improve your ad's performance by providing users with more reasons to click on your ad.

10. Optimize your landing pages

When users click on your ad, they should be taken to a relevant and engaging landing page. Ensure your landing pages are optimized for conversions by having a clear headline, concise copy, and a prominent CTA.

11. Monitor and analyze your campaign performance

Regularly review your Google Ads performance data to identify areas for improvement. Adjust your bids, keywords, targeting options, and ad creatives as needed to optimize your campaign and achieve your goals.

Real-Life Examples of Successful Google Ad Campaigns

To give you an idea of what a successful Google Ad campaign looks like, let's explore some real-life examples:

  • Example 1: An e-commerce store selling eco-friendly products used Google Search Ads to target keywords related to their niche, such as "sustainable products" and "eco-friendly gifts." They created compelling ad copy that highlighted their unique selling points and included a special offer for first-time customers. As a result, they saw a significant increase in website traffic and sales.
  • Example 2: A local gym used Google Display Ads to build brand awareness and attract new members. They designed eye-catching ad creatives featuring images of their gym facilities and offered a limited-time promotion for new sign-ups. By targeting users within their local area who were interested in fitness, they were able to generate a substantial number of new memberships.
  • Example 3: A mobile app developer used Google App Ads to promote their new game. They created engaging video ads showcasing gameplay and offered exclusive in-app rewards for users who installed the app through their ads. By targeting users who were interested in similar games, they were able to achieve a high number of app installs and boost their app store rankings.

Google Ads Best Practices

Now that you have a solid understanding of how to get started with Google Ads, it's essential to be aware of some best practices to maximize your campaign performance. Let's take a look at some key recommendations:

1. Continuously refine your keyword list


Regularly review your keyword performance and remove any underperforming keywords or add new ones based on your ongoing research. This helps you maintain a high-quality and relevant keyword list that drives the best results.

2. Test different ad variations


Create multiple ad variations for each ad group to determine which headlines, descriptions, and visuals resonate most with your audience. Regularly analyze your ad performance and pause the less effective ads while promoting the high-performing ones.

3. Implement negative keywords


Negative keywords prevent your ads from showing for specific search queries that aren't relevant to your business or unlikely to drive conversions. By adding negative keywords, you can reduce wasted ad spend and improve the overall quality of your campaigns.

4. Utilize remarketing


Remarketing allows you to show ads to users who have previously visited your website or engaged with your content. This helps you stay top-of-mind and encourages users to return and convert.

5. Monitor your Quality Score


Google assigns a Quality Score to each of your keywords based on factors such as ad relevance, landing page experience, and click-through rate (CTR). A higher Quality Score can lead to better ad placements and lower costs per click. Keep an eye on your Quality Score and take steps to improve it, such as refining your ad copy, optimizing your landing pages, or adjusting your keyword targeting.

6. Implement conversion tracking


Set up conversion tracking to measure the actions users take after clicking on your ads, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or completing a contact form. This data helps you understand the effectiveness of your campaigns and informs your optimization efforts.

7. Adjust bids based on performance


Regularly review your campaign performance and adjust your bids accordingly. Increase bids for high-performing keywords, ad groups, or campaigns to gain more visibility, and decrease bids for underperforming ones to reduce wasted ad spend.

8. Optimize for mobile


Ensure your ads and landing pages are optimized for mobile devices, as more and more users are browsing and shopping on their smartphones. Create mobile-friendly ad creatives and ensure your landing pages load quickly and provide an easy-to-navigate experience for mobile users.

9. Schedule your ads


If your target audience is more active during specific days or times, consider scheduling your ads to run during those periods. This helps you reach your audience when they're most likely to engage with your ads, potentially leading to higher CTRs and conversions.

10. Stay up-to-date with Google Ads updates


Google frequently releases updates and new features to its advertising platform. Stay informed about these changes and incorporate them into your campaigns when applicable.

Utilizing Google Ads Tools

To get the most out of your Google Ads campaigns, take advantage of the various tools that Google provides to help you optimize your ads and improve performance. Some of these tools include:

1. Keyword Planner


This tool helps you find relevant keywords to target based on your products, services, and target audience. Use the Keyword Planner to generate keyword ideas, estimate search volumes, and get insights into the competition and suggested bids for your target keywords.

2. Ad Preview and Diagnosis

This tool allows you to see how your ads appear in the search results without affecting your ad metrics. You can use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool to troubleshoot issues with your ads not showing, identify opportunities for improvement, and compare your ads to competitors.

3. Google Analytics

Integrating Google Analytics with your Google Ads account can provide valuable insights into user behavior after clicking your ads. Use the data from Google Analytics to track user engagement, identify areas for improvement on your website, and inform your optimization efforts.

4. Google Tag Manager

This tool simplifies the process of adding and managing various tracking codes, such as conversion tracking and remarketing tags, on your website. Use Google Tag Manager to easily implement and manage tags without having to edit your website's code directly.

5. Google Ads Editor

This desktop application allows you to make bulk changes to your Google Ads campaigns offline, then upload the changes to your account. Use Google Ads Editor to quickly and efficiently manage your campaigns, especially if you have multiple campaigns or large accounts.

6. Google Ads Scripts

These are pieces of code that you can add to your Google Ads account to automate tasks, create custom reports, and perform advanced analysis. Use Google Ads Scripts to save time and gain deeper insights into your campaign performance.

7. Responsive Search Ads

This ad format automatically combines multiple headlines and descriptions to create various ad combinations. Google Ads then tests these combinations to determine which perform best for your target audience. Use Responsive Search Ads to test different ad copy variations and improve ad performance.

8. Smart Bidding Strategies

Google Ads offers several automated bidding strategies that use machine learning to optimize your bids for specific goals, such as maximizing clicks, conversions, or return on ad spend. Use Smart Bidding strategies to improve your campaign performance while reducing manual bid management.

9. Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are additional pieces of information that you can add to your search ads, such as sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets. Use ad extensions to provide more information about your business and enhance your ads' visibility and performance.

10. Google Ads API

The Google Ads API enables developers to build custom applications that interact with the Google Ads platform. Use the API to automate tasks, create custom reports, and integrate Google Ads data with other tools and systems.

Ad Performance Tracking and Optimization

One of the most important aspects of running a successful Google Ads campaign is monitoring performance and making data-driven decisions to optimize your ads. Regularly review key metrics and reports to identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Key Performance Metrics

Some of the key metrics to track in your Google Ads campaigns include:

1. Click-through rate (CTR)

This metric shows the percentage of users who click on your ad after seeing it. A higher CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and engaging to your target audience.

2. Cost per click (CPC)

This metric represents the average cost you pay for each click on your ad. Keep an eye on your CPC to ensure that you are not overspending on clicks and that your ads are cost-effective.

3. Conversion rate

This metric measures the percentage of users who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form, after clicking on your ad. A higher conversion rate suggests that your ad is effectively driving users to take the desired action.

4. Return on ad spend (ROAS)

This metric calculates the revenue generated from your ads compared to the amount you've spent on advertising. A higher ROAS indicates a more profitable campaign.

Regularly Review and Optimize Your Campaigns

Periodically review your campaign performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Use the data from your key metrics and tools like Google Analytics to inform your optimization efforts. Some areas to focus on include:

1. Keyword optimization


Regularly review the performance of your target keywords and make adjustments as needed. Remove low-performing keywords, add new relevant keywords, and adjust bids for high-performing keywords to maximize your budget.

2. Ad copy optimization


Test different ad copy variations using Responsive Search Ads or by creating multiple ad variations within an ad group. Analyze the performance of your ads and optimize the ad copy to improve CTR and conversion rate.

3. Landing page optimization


Ensure that your landing pages are relevant to your ads and provide a seamless user experience. Use Google Analytics data to identify areas for improvement on your landing pages, such as improving page load time, enhancing mobile responsiveness, and optimizing calls-to-action.

4. Bid and budget management


Regularly review your bids and budgets to ensure that your campaigns are cost-effective and meeting your marketing objectives. Consider using Smart Bidding strategies to automate your bidding and improve performance.

5. Ad scheduling and targeting


Analyze the performance of your ads by time of day, day of the week, and device type to identify trends and optimize your ad scheduling and targeting accordingly. You may find that certain times or devices perform better, and adjusting your targeting can help improve overall campaign performance.

Ad Extensions to Enhance Your Ads

Ad extensions are a powerful tool to enhance your Google Ads by providing additional information and increasing the overall visibility of your ads. These extensions can improve your ad's click-through rate and overall performance. Here are some ad extensions you should consider incorporating into your campaigns:

1. Sitelink extensions

These extensions allow you to add additional links to your ad, leading users to specific pages on your website. Sitelinks can help showcase your top products or services and make it easier for users to find what they're looking for.

2. Call extensions


Adding a phone number to your ad using call extensions enables users to call your business directly from the search results. This can be particularly useful for businesses that rely on phone calls for leads or sales.

3. Location extensions


These extensions display your business address and can even show a map with directions to your location. Location extensions are ideal for businesses with a physical location that want to drive foot traffic.

4. Callout extensions


Callout extensions allow you to add short, descriptive text to your ad to highlight unique selling points, promotions, or special offers. Use these extensions to showcase the key benefits of your products or services.

4. Structured snippet extensions


These extensions display a list of specific aspects of your products or services, such as brands, types, or styles. Structured snippets can help users quickly understand what your business offers and encourage them to click on your ad.

5. Price extensions


By displaying a range of prices for your products or services, price extensions can help users make an informed decision and increase the likelihood of them clicking on your ad.

6. App extensions


If your business has a mobile app, you can use app extensions to encourage users to download the app directly from your ad. This can help drive app installs and increase user engagement.

When using ad extensions, ensure that they are relevant to your ads and provide valuable information to users. Regularly review the performance of your extensions and make adjustments as needed to improve their effectiveness.

Test and Learn with Google Ads Experiments

One of the best ways to optimize your Google Ads campaigns is to test different strategies and tactics using Google Ads Experiments. Experiments allow you to test changes to your campaigns, such as new keywords, bid adjustments, or ad variations, without affecting your existing campaign performance.

To set up an experiment, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the "Drafts & Experiments" tab in your Google Ads account.
  2. Create a new draft of your campaign, making the changes you want to test.
  3. Convert the draft into an experiment, setting a start and end date and specifying how much of your campaign budget you want to allocate to the experiment.
  4. Monitor the performance of your experiment compared to your original campaign to determine which version is more effective.

By continuously testing and learning from your experiments, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns and achieve better results.

Stay Up-to-Date with Google Ads Trends and Features

To make the most of your Google Ads campaigns, it's essential to stay informed about new features, trends, and best practices in the world of online advertising. Subscribe to industry blogs, newsletters, and join online forums to learn from other advertisers and industry experts.

Regularly review Google Ads Help Center articles and attend webinars or training sessions to stay up-to-date on the latest Google Ads features and updates. By continuously learning and staying informed, you can ensure that your Google Ads campaigns are always optimized and delivering the best possible results.

Optimize Your Google Ads Budget and Bidding Strategies

Effectively managing your Google Ads budget and bidding strategies is crucial for achieving the best return on investment. By optimizing your budget allocation and bidding strategies, you can ensure that you're maximizing the performance of your campaigns while minimizing costs. Consider the following tips:

1. Set a daily budget

Determine how much you're willing to spend on your Google Ads campaigns each day, and set a daily budget accordingly. This can help you control your overall ad spend and ensure that you're not overspending on low-performing campaigns.

2. Choose the right bidding strategy

Google Ads offers several automated bidding strategies, such as Target CPA, Target ROAS, and Maximize Conversions. These strategies use machine learning algorithms to optimize your bids based on your campaign goals. Choose a bidding strategy that aligns with your specific objectives, and monitor its performance regularly to make adjustments as needed.

3. Adjust bids based on performance

Review the performance of your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords regularly, and adjust your bids accordingly. Increase bids for high-performing keywords and ad groups, and decrease bids for those that are underperforming. This can help you allocate your budget more effectively and improve the overall performance of your campaigns.

4. Utilize bid adjustments

Bid adjustments allow you to increase or decrease your bids based on factors such as device type, location, and time of day. Use bid adjustments to target users more effectively and allocate your budget more efficiently. For example, if your ads perform better on mobile devices, you can increase your bids for mobile users to improve your visibility and chances of conversions.

5. Monitor and analyze performance data

Use Google Ads reporting tools to monitor and analyze your campaign performance data. Identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your budget allocation and bidding strategies.

Continuously Optimize Your Google Ads Campaigns

Successful Google Ads campaigns require ongoing optimization and adjustments. By continuously monitoring your campaigns, analyzing performance data, and implementing changes based on your insights, you can ensure that your campaigns are always performing at their best. Consider the following strategies for ongoing optimization:

1. Regularly review and update your keyword list

Continuously research and update your keyword list to include new, relevant keywords, and remove those that are no longer performing well or relevant to your business.

2. A/B test your ad copy and creative

Test different variations of your ad copy, headlines, descriptions, and creative elements to determine which combinations drive the best results. Implement the winning variations and continue testing to find new opportunities for improvement.

3. Refine your targeting

Review your audience targeting settings and adjust them based on your campaign performance. This may include refining your location targeting, demographic targeting, or interest-based targeting to better reach your ideal customers.

4. Optimize your landing pages

Your landing pages play a critical role in converting users who click on your ads. Ensure that your landing pages are optimized for conversions by providing a seamless user experience, clear calls to action, and relevant content that aligns with your ads.

5. Monitor your competition

Keep an eye on your competitors' Google Ads campaigns to identify new keywords, bidding strategies, and creative ideas that you can incorporate into your own campaigns.

Track and Measure Your Campaign Performance

Tracking and measuring your Google Ads campaign performance is essential for identifying areas of improvement and ensuring that you're making the most of your ad spend. Here are some key metrics and tips to help you monitor and optimize your campaigns:

1. Click-through rate (CTR)

CTR is the percentage of clicks your ad receives compared to the number of times it's shown (impressions). A high CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and engaging to users. If your CTR is low, consider revising your ad copy, keywords, or targeting settings.

2. Conversion rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of users who click on your ad and complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. A high conversion rate suggests that your landing page and ad are effectively persuading users to take action. If your conversion rate is low, review your landing page design, ad copy, and targeting settings to identify areas for improvement.

3. Cost per click (CPC)

CPC is the average amount you pay for each click on your ad. Keep an eye on your CPC to ensure that you're not overspending on clicks that don't result in conversions. If your CPC is high, consider adjusting your bidding strategy, targeting settings, or ad quality to reduce costs.

4. Return on ad spend (ROAS)

ROAS is the revenue generated from your ad campaign divided by the cost of the campaign. A high ROAS indicates that your campaign is generating a strong return on investment. If your ROAS is low, analyze your campaign performance to identify areas where you can improve your targeting, ad copy, or bidding strategy to boost results.

5. Use Google Analytics

Link your Google Ads account with Google Analytics to gain deeper insights into user behavior and campaign performance. This integration can help you identify the most effective marketing channels, track user interactions with your website, and set up conversion tracking for more accurate performance measurement.

Regularly monitoring your campaign performance and making data-driven optimizations can help you maximize the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns and achieve better results for your business.

Continuously Optimize Your Campaigns for Success

Google Ads is a powerful platform that requires ongoing optimization to ensure the best possible results. By continuously refining your targeting settings, bidding strategies, ad copy, and landing pages, you can improve your campaign performance and achieve your marketing objectives. Remember to stay informed about new features and best practices, and be prepared to adapt your strategies as the digital advertising landscape evolves.

In summary, getting started with Google Ads involves setting clear goals, conducting thorough keyword research, creating compelling ad copy, selecting the right targeting and bidding strategies, and regularly monitoring and optimizing your campaigns. By following these steps and staying committed to continuous improvement, you can make the most of your Google Ads investment and drive success for your business.

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Hannes Parman
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