A Comprehensive Guide to Google Ads: Getting Started for Beginners
A Comprehensive Guide to Google Ads: Getting Started for Beginners
Running an online business in today’s competitive landscape can be highly challenging, especially if you are competing with enterprise-level companies that have a huge budget at their disposal to fulfill their advertising needs.
If your website does not feature on the first page of Google search results, it is practically invisible. A brilliant SEO strategy (search engine optimization) can help you get your website on the first page; however, it could take months or even longer. This may not work well for your business, since time is the soul of any business – whether it’s a small business or an enterprise-level one.
Online advertising with Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is one of the best ways to reach potential customers and grow your business. Since Google processes over 8.5 billion searches per day, Google Ads have become the most preferred option among businesses that are looking to get their first online customers.
In order to maximize the return on investment (ROI) from your advertisement, you should know how to use Google Ads effectively.
What Is Google Ads? How Does It Work?
Google Ads is an advertising platform that allows you to display your ads online on Google’s SERP (search engine results page). It works on a pay-per-click model where advertisers have to pay only when a user clicks their ad. Advertisers target a particular keyword on Google and bid on it. They compete with other advertisers who target the same keyword. If they win the bid, they pay an agreed-upon fee each time a user clicks their ad.
Advertisers have three options for their bids:
- Cost-per-click determines how much advertisers need to pay when someone clicks on their ad.
- Cost-per-mille is a pricing model where advertisers are required to pay a certain amount for 1000 ad impressions.
- Cost-per-engagement determines how much advertisers need to pay when an individual performs a particular action on their ad such as watching a video, signing up for a newsletter, and so on.
Once a bidding option is chosen, Google uses the bid amount alongside a metric called quality score – a keyword-level score on a scale of 1-10 that allows advertisers to assess the quality and relevance of their keywords with respect to their ad copies, landing pages, and user experience.
This rating shows how relevant users are likely to find the ads of an advertiser compared to his or her competitors. A higher quality score indicates a lower cost per click that can lead to better ad positions.
What Are The Types Of Google Ads?
There are several types of Google Ads that advertisers can use to target users across multiple networks.
Each ad type that we will be explaining in this section has its own set of benefits and can help advertisers hit different objectives. There are several campaign types as well that allow advertisers to advertise across multiple networks at once.
#1. Search Ads
Through search ads, advertisers get the opportunity to create text ads that target keywords and phrases users search on Google. This increases their chance of appearing in search results when their potential customers have the highest intent to engage or purchase.
These ads are displayed on the search results page with the symbol “Ad” in black color next to the URL.
A paid search ad works on an auction system that allows advertisers to input the maximum amount they are willing to pay if their ad is clicked.
#2. Display Ads
This is a form of paid advertising where advertisers get the opportunity to place visual banner-style ads on websites that are part of the Google Display Network, through which advertisers can reach a vast number of potential customers.
Since Google has partnered with more than two million websites through its display network, reaching more than 90% of all internet users, advertisers can get their ads in front of as many prospects as possible.
There are several ways Display Ads can appear. You can advertise your ad on Google’s Gmail platform or have it appear in third-party apps and sites on Google’s app network.
#3. Shopping Ads
Shopping ads can appear as images, showcasing your products to customers, and letting you promote your products in a much more visual way.
Along with a picture of the product being sold, Shopping Ads also include the title and description of the product as well as the pricing details. This can lead to a higher conversion rate as customers get to see the picture of the product they want to purchase along with its pricing details. Since customers get all the necessary details they are looking for, they are more likely to go ahead and make the purchase.
#4. Video Ads
Video ads are popular, and come in several different forms such as discovery ads, skippable video ads, unskippable video ads, and more.
Since the global attention span is narrowing, video ads are one of the most effective options for advertisers, since they tend to be engaging, compelling, and can grab the attention of prospects from the word “go.”
Since YouTube has more than two billion monthly active users, it is the best place for you to start if you’re planning to use video advertising.
How to Get Started With Google Ads
There are several ways to advertise on Google. Our step-by-step guide will help you set up your first campaign on Google Ads.
#1. Define Your Goals and Objectives
You must first figure out what you are trying to achieve through your advertising campaign, whether it’s generating sales, increasing website traffic, improving brand awareness, getting your prospects to subscribe and sign a newsletter, or getting your video in front of a new audience.
Once you have defined your goals and objectives, it becomes easier for you to determine which ad platform is best suited to achieve your desired goal. For example, YouTube is your go-to option if your goal is to get your video in front of a new audience.
Open the “Google Ads homepage”, select the “Start Now” button, click the “+ New Campaign” option, and choose the goal for your campaign. A strong, well-defined goal can help you generate leads through your Google Ads campaign; however, if your goal is not well-defined, you will end up wasting your hard-earned money and precious time.
#2. Choose an Appropriate Business Name and Relevant Keywords
Once you have chosen your business goal, you will be required to choose a name for your business. After choosing a business name, you will have to include your website’s URL. When users click your ad, they will be taken to your website.
You should choose keywords on the next page that are relevant to your ad and the product or service that you sell.
You can use Google Ads by bidding on keywords that are relevant to your business so that your ads appear in relevant search results. You can use WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool to conduct keyword research. You can enter a search term or URL and it will generate a list of keywords along with search volume, cost-per-click data, and competition level.
#3. Select Your Target Audience
This step is crucial as you have to specify the location where you aim to target your ad – the geographical location of your target audience. You can either specify an address (residential address or workplace) or you can mention a zip code.
This feature ensures that your ad is shown only to the users who are present in the geographical location specified by you. Depending upon the product or service you offer (the nature of your business), you have the option of either targeting the entire country, or only a specific city or region if you are selling something locally.
#4. Set Your Bid
As mentioned earlier in this post, Google Ads works on a bidding model. A bid is the amount of money advertisers are willing to pay for every click they receive on their ad.
If your competitors are also bidding for the same keyword, then you will have to pay more per click to ensure that your ad shows up higher than theirs.
You can choose either manual bidding or automatic bidding to set your bids. Many advertisers start with automatic bids until they get familiar with the Google Ads system. However, automatic bidding can lead to overspending and affect your return on investment as it targets an overly broad audience.
Manual bidding is a more cost-effective option at the price of being more labor-intensive. It helps advertisers gain complete control over ad bidding and the frequency of their ads. It also allows advertisers to set different ad bids on different days or at different times of the day, thereby providing great flexibility.
The manual bidding system lets advertisers set notifications via email if one of their keywords goes above a certain threshold.
#5. Create Your Ad
Writing effective Google Ads is the most crucial and challenging part of the entire process. You need to ensure that your ad conveys value and contains the keywords you’re targeting.
Your ad should be informative and engaging. It should convey your message in such a way that prospects become convinced to take a desired action, such as clicking on your ad, visiting your website, or making a purchase.
Here are a few important points that you need to keep in mind while crafting an ad.
- Keep your text short since there isn’t a lot of space and ensure that your message is to the point.
- The headline should be attention-grabbing as it is the first thing users notice when they enter your website. Keep in mind that the headline space is just 30 characters. Try to include at least one of your chosen keywords in your headline.
- The description space allows you to use only 90 characters. You need to convey your message clearly in this section and, if possible, include any offers or discounts to ensure users click on your ad.
- Include a clear, relevant, and actionable call-to-action that tells users what you want them to do and tempts them to click it.
Once you have crafted your ad, you can review your ad campaign. If everything looks good, you can click the “Publish” button.
#6. Regularly Track and Measure the Performance
You should measure the performance of your ad campaigns regularly to find out if they are performing as expected. If they are not, you can tweak your ads to ensure that they get back on track.
Here are some important, frequently used metrics that will help you analyze and measure your ad campaigns effectively.
- Click-Through Rate
- Quality Score
- Cost Per Acquisition
- Conversion Rate
- Revenue on Ad Spend
Google Ads should be a part of your marketing strategy, as it is a powerful tool that can help you drive clicks and convert prospects into paying customers. However, if it is not used properly, you will not be able to generate the sorts of ROI you’re looking for.
If you keep track of your advertising campaign and put in the effort, the strategies and information provided in this post will help you acquire new customers and grow your business.;
Andy Beohar is the Managing Partner of SevenAtoms, a Google and HubSpot-certified agency in San Francisco. Andy develops and manages ROI-positive inbound and paid marketing campaigns for B2B & Tech companies. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn or Twitter.