A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Ads (Previously Google Adwords) Part I

Using Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) may be the most profitable decision you make for your business. Learn how to use them effectively today.

Using Google Ads might be the best decision you make for your business.

This is not an exaggeration.

People use Google to search 3.5 billion times a day. Each search offers opportunities for you to get your brand in front of more users.

This means increasing leads, conversions, and sales.

That’s where Google Ads comes in.

Google Ads allow you to advertise and promote your products and services when users search relevant keywords. When done right, it has the potential to turbo-charge leads and sales.

Let’s take a look at what Google Ads are, how they work, and jump into the exact process you can use to set it up for your business today.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is a paid online advertising platform offered by Google.

Originally called Google Adwords, the search engine company rebranded the service as Google Ads in 2018.

The way it works remains essentially the same: When users search a keyword, they get the results of their query on a search engine results page (SERP). Those results can include a paid advertisement that targeted that keyword.

For example, here are the results for the term “fitness coach.”

You can see that all the advertisements are on the top of the SERP. They also look nearly identical to organic search results save for the bolded “Ad” at the top of the post.

This is good for the advertiser because the first results on Google typically get the vast majority of the traffic for search queries.

However, purchasing advertising on Google doesn’t necessarily ensure the top spot. After all, you’ll likely have a lot of other marketers competing for the same keyword through Google Ads.

To understand those rankings, let’s take a look at how Google Ads work exactly.

How Google Ads work

Google Ads operates under a pay-per-click (PPC) model. That means marketers target a specific keyword on Google and make bids on the keyword — competing with others also targeting the keyword.

The bids you make are “maximum bids” — or the maximum you’re willing to pay for an ad.

For example, if your maximum bid is $4 and Google determines that your cost per click is $2, then you get that ad placement! If they determine that it’s more than $4, you do not get the ad placement.

Alternatively, you can set a maximum daily budget for your ad. You’ll never spend more than a specific amount for that ad per day, helping you get a better sense of how much you should budget for your digital ad campaign.

Marketers have three options for their bids:

  1. Cost-per-click (CPC). How much you pay when a user clicks on your ad.

  2. Cost-per-mille (CPM). How much you pay per 1000 ad impressions.

  3. Cost-per-engagement (CPE). How much you pay when a user performs a specific action on your ad (signs up for a list, watch a video, etc).

Google then takes the bid amount and pairs it with an assessment of your ad called a Quality Score. According to Google:

“Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.”

The score number is between 1 and 10 — with 10 being the best score. The higher your score is the better you’ll rank and the less you have to spend converting.

Your Quality Score combined with your bid amount creates your Ad Rank — the position your ad will appear in the search results page.

And when a user sees the ad and clicks on it, the marketer pays a small fee for that click (thus pay-per-click).

The idea is that the more users click on a marketer’s advertisement, the more likely they will accomplish the advertisement’s goals (e.g. become a lead, make a purchase).

Now that you know how Google ads work, let’s take a look at the different types of Google ads you can use for your campaign.

Types of Google Ads

Google offers a variety of different campaign types that you can use:

  • Search campaign

  • Display campaign

  • Shopping campaign

  • Video campaign

  • App campaign

Let’s take a look at each campaign type now to see how they work—and which you should choose.

Search campaign

Search campaign ads appear as a text ad in the results page for the keyword.

For example, here are the search campaign ads for the keyword “laptops”:

These are the ads you’re probably most familiar with. They appear on the search result page with the black “Ad” symbol next to the URL.

As you can see, though, text based ads aren’t the only type of ads in the Search Network. You can also have your ads appear in Google Shopping. That brings us to…

Shopping campaign

A shopping campaign allows you to promote your products in a much more visual way.

These ads can appear as images on the search results page:

And they can appear in Google Shopping:

If you have a physical product, Google Shopping ads can get qualified leads by showcasing your product directly to customers.

Display campaign

The Display Network leverages Google’s vast website partners to showcase your ad on different websites all over the Internet.

And there are a variety of different ways they appear. First, your ad can appear on on third-party websites like so:

You can also have a video ad appear as a pre-roll before YouTube videos:

Google also allows you to advertise your ad on its email platform Gmail:

Finally, you can have your ad appear in third-party apps on Google’s app network:

Some benefits of using the Display Network is its reach. Google partners with more than two million websites and reaches more than 90% of all Internet users to help ensure your ad gets in front of the most eyes as possible.

The ads themselves are also flexible in terms of style. Your ad can be a gif, text, a video, or image.

However, they don’t come without their downsides. Your ads might end up appearing on websites you don’t want them to or in front of videos that you don’t want your brand associated with. This hasn’t been more evident than with YouTube’s various “Adpocalypses” throughout the past few years.

If you’re careful about where you’re putting your ads, though, the Display Network can be a great place to garner leads.

Video campaign

These are ads that appear in the front of YouTube videos in the form of pre-rolls.

“Wait didn’t we just cover this with the Display Network?”

We did! But Google offers the option of choosing video ads specifically, rather than more broadly advertise on the Display Network.

This is perfect if you have a great video ad idea you want to test out.

The video campaign ads come in a variety of different forms. There are skippable video ads like the one above. There are unskippable ads like this one:

There are discovery ads which you can find on the search results page of specific keywords:

And there are the various overlays and banners you can see above.

For more on this check out our article on YouTube advertising.

App campaign

Like video ads, app ads are also included in the Display Network but can be used for targeted campaigns.

For this, you don’t design each individual app ad. Instead, they’ll take your text and assets such as photos and they’ll furnish the ad for you.

The algorithm tests different asset combinations and uses the one that performs the best more often.

Now that you know the types of ads you can create with Google, let’s take a look at cost.

Google advertising cost

The average cost-per-click in the United States is typically between $1 and $2.

However, the cost of your specific Google Ad varies on a number of factors. Those factors include the quality of your website and how much you’re bidding.

As such, the cost is going to vary from ad to ad.

To understand how much Google advertising is going to cost your business, you need to first understand the Ad Auction system.

When a user searches a keyword you’re targeting, Google automatically jumps into auction mode and compares your Ad Rank with that of every other marketer targeting that keyword.

If you think a big ad budget with large maximum bid amounts to rank well, think again. Google’s Ad Auction and Ad Rank system favors websites that help users most with a high Quality Score over lower ones.

So you might see your CPC be much lower than a huge Fortune 500 company with a big ad budget just because your advertisement was of better quality.

Now that you know the cost, the types of ads you can make, and what Google Ads are, let’s take a look at how you can optimize your ads with Google Keyword Planner.

How to use Google Keyword Planner for your ads

Google Keyword Planner is Google’s free keyword tool to help you choose the ones your business should target.

The way it works is simple: Search for words and phrases related to your business in the keyword planner. It’ll then furnish insights on those keywords such as how often people search for it.

It’ll also give you suggested bids for amounts you should bid on the keyword as well as how competitive certain keywords are.

From there, you’ll be able to make better decisions regarding your Google Ads campaign.

In Next Part of The Blog we will be having a close look on how easily one can setup google adwords and boost their business easily and with freindly budgets.

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