Online Marketing 101: The Basics of Google Ads

The purpose of this article is to provide a non-technical overview of what is entailed in setting up and running a successful Google Ad campaign. In addition to simplifying the process for new users, this article will also serve as a primer for experienced marketers who are looking to beef up their knowledge on the subject.

Setting Up Your Ad Account

As the name implies, Google Ads is a service offered by Google that allows businesses to advertise on the platform. To get started, you will need to create an account with Google Ads. Once you have created an account, you can begin to set up your first ad. For help with this, visit the Google Ads Help Center or contact customer support.

You will be prompted to fill in the name of your business, your URL or website, and whether or not you wish to allow text, video, or voice search ads on your account.

Choosing The Right Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that customers use to find your product or service on the internet. One of the first things you will need to do after creating your account is to enter key words for your ads. To best determine the best keywords for your business, you can either enter search terms into the Keyword Planner tool or use an Excel spreadsheet to enter keywords by hand. The first step is to brainstorm a list of the most popular, and at the same time, the most relevant keywords for your product or service.

After you have your keyword list, you will want to take into account the volume of searches for each term as well as whether or not those searches are competitive. The goal is to choose keywords that are both popular and relevant to your business.

Choosing The Right Location

Simply put, where you choose to place your ads will depend on your target audience and the type of content you wish to promote. If you are targeting people in London, England, you will want to have your ads appear next to London-based searches so that your ad can be seen when someone is looking for London services or goods. When choosing a location, make sure that your selected city, state, or country is where your customers are searching for the products and services you offer. In many cases, selecting the wrong location can result in lost revenue and a poor user experience for your customers.

Choosing The Right Time

Although there is not a specified “best time” for your ads to appear, you should aim to have your ads appear when customers are most likely to be searching for your product or service. If you have a specific product or service that you wish to promote, you should research the best times for that product or service based on Google Analytics.

Determining The Budget

Budgets are important because they dictate how much you will spend on each type of ad. You should set a budget for each campaign you create based on how much you are willing to spend. Setting a budget does not necessarily mean you have to be cheap, it simply means you are not willing to spend more than you have budgeted for. Remember, you can always opt to spend more if you wish but you will be penalized for using up additional funds from a previous campaign.

Determining The Schedule

Once you have chosen the keywords, locations, and times for your ads, you can set up the schedule. Simply pick the days and times you will run your ads and set how long you will have them on display. If you set a daily budget of $5, for example, you can run up to five ads per day for up to 30 days in a single campaign. You will have to set the start and end dates for your campaign in advance so that Google Ads knows when to deliver your ads to prospective customers.

Deciding On The Measurement And Metrics

You have chosen your keywords, locations, and times, now it’s up to you to choose the measurement and metrics that will determine the success of your ad campaign. You will want to measure your success using metrics that are both accurate and easy to track. To start, you can use the AdWords Express tool to keep track of your daily spend and performance. Alternatively, you can use Google Analytics to track the traffic originating from your ad campaigns.

You can also use conversion tracking to track the actions that led up to a purchase or a lead.

Creating Your First Ad

Once you have filled in the basic information about your business and products, you can begin to create your first ad. Your ad will consist of text, images, and videos and can include call-to-action buttons.

The first step in creating your first ad is to choose the type of ad you would like to run. You have three options:

  • Display Ad: This is the default ad type and is exactly what it sounds like. You will see this type of ad when a user clicks on an organic search result or a paid advertisement. A display ad will appear on the right side of the screen, above the search results.
  • News Feed Ad: Similar to a display ad, a news feed ad will also appear on the right side of the screen above the organic search results. However, a news feed ad will contain links to articles and blogs published by reputable news websites.
  • Video Ad: Similar to a display ad and a news feed ad, a video ad will appear on the right side of the screen above the organic search results. However, a video ad will also contain an embedded video player that allows users to watch videos hosted on YouTube or an individual’s channel.

For help with creating your first ad, visit the Google Ads Help Center or contact customer support.

Getting Started With The Right Metrics

Once you have chosen your keywords, locations, and times, it’s time to begin tracking the results of your ad campaign. You have four options for the measurement and metrics of your ad campaign:

  • Daily Average Cost Per Click: This shows you how much you are spending on your ads on a daily basis and can be found in the Dashboard under Campaigns.
  • Cost Per Conversion: This shows you how much you are spending on your ads and how they are performing based on specific actions taken by a user, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading a map app. This can be found in the Overview section of your ad campaigns.
  • Average Position: This shows you the average position (i.e., the number of positions a user has to scroll down before arriving at the top of the page) of your ads in search results on Google and YouTube. This can be found in the Overview section of your ad campaigns.
  • New Keyword Opportunities: This tab shows you keywords that are newly available for use along with their estimated search volumes based on current data.

Remember, not all of these options are available for every type of ad campaign. The default cost-per-conversion and new keyword opportunities options are available for all types of ads, but you will not be able to use the daily average cost per click and average position metrics for video ads.

Using The Right Tools

Although you can always track the performance of your ads manually, there are several tools that can make the process much easier. One of the most popular tools is Hootsuite. With Hootsuite, you can schedule your tweets, set pins on social media platforms to highlight specific content, and analyze the impact of your social media presence using customized dashboards.

If you have a blog, you can use Google’s Content Analyzer to determine the words and phrases your blog’s content is ranking for. You can use this information to determine which keywords you should be targeting and whether or not you should include those keywords in your content. For instructions on how to use Content Analyzer, visit the Google Blogs Help Center.

Wondering Who Your Customers Are?

If you are wondering who your customers are, you can use the Analytics dashboard to find this information. Looking at the demographics section of your reports can give you a good idea of what audiences are using your product or service. In some cases, you can also find this information in the Acquisition section of your reports.

For example, if you are an e-commerce store that sells products to people all over the world, you can use the country of residence of your customers to determine where you should consider sourcing your next product. You can use the same information to find the countries you should avoid selling to due to high import taxes or restrictions on foreign trade.