The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Google Ads

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Google Ads

One of the most effective ways to advertise online is through Google Ads.

In each second, there are over 63,000 Google searches. That is about 5.4 billion searches a day! With over 80% of market share in the search engine market, Google is, without a doubt, the most popular search engine. This means that each search provides an opportunity for you to get your brand in front of more users.

Google Ads has become progressively more popular between businesses across all industries. It was previously known as Google Adwords since its launch date in October 2000. By 2018, Google rebranded the service as Google Ads.

Through the use of Google Ads and with the support of this guide, it can help you create stronger and more focused paid campaigns that will result in more clicks being generated and that will lead to a greater chance of reaching new customers.

Let’s dive deeper into Google Ads to learn more about how it works and how you can use it to grow your business.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is an online paid advertising platform offered by Google where you can create online ads to reach more ideal customers, help sell and promote products or services, raise awareness, and increase traffic to your website. It can also increase your in-store visits and receive more phone calls. 

The online ads that you have created will pop up at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) at a time when your ideal customers are searching for your products and services with intent using a certain keyword.

For example, these are the results that include a paid advertisement that targets the keyword “fitness coach.”

Results for when the keyword "fitness coach" is searched.

As you can see from the image, all of the advertisements are at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). These advertisements are different from organic search results because it is placed at the top of the SERP and it has the bolded word “Ad” beside the headline. Google Ads is a marketplace where companies pay for their website to be ranked at the top of SERP based on keywords. 

Essentially, Google Ads accelerates results as it has the potential to boost leads and sales. It is great for your business as it allows you to “cheat” rather than waiting around to outrank big brands, you can jump straight to #1 on the page. However, purchasing advertising doesn’t necessarily secure the top spot as you will have other competitors who will be competing for the same keyword on Google Ads.

To understand how your business can secure the top spot of the SERP using a certain keyword, let’s take a look on how Google Ads work.

How does Google Ads work?

The marketing channel that Google Ads falls under is the pay-per-click model.  When a user sees the ad and clicks on it, the marketer pays the small fee for that click. 

As mentioned before, Google Ads is a marketplace – it works as an auction where advertisers set a fixed budget and bid money on a specific keyword that they want their ads to be searched by. For example, if your maximum bid is $2, Google will show your ad to people assuming that the others did not bid higher than you did.

These are the three options that Marketers have for their bid:

  1. Cost-per-click (CPC): the amount you pay for when a user clicks on your ad.
  2. Cost-per-mille (CPM): the amount you pay for 1000 ad impressions, that is when your ad is shown to 1000 people.
  3. Cost-per-engagement (CPE): the amount you pay for when a user performs a specific action in your ad.

However, the highest bid doesn’t always win.

Quality Score and AdRank

In order for your ad to be shown at the top of the SERP, your Quality Score is one of the two factors (along with the bid amount) that determines your AdRank – the position your ad will appear on on the SERP.

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 from 1 – 10 with 10/10 being the best score. The image below is an example of how a Quality Score is displayed along with the three factors that affects the score.

How the Quality Score, CTR, Ad relevance and Landing Page experience is displayed.

There are three factors that determines your Quality Score:

  1. Expected Click-Through Rate
  2. Ad Relevance
  3. Landing Page Experience

Expected Click-Through Rate

The first factor is the expected click-through rate. If you divide clicks by impressions, you will get the click-through rate (CTR), which is the percentage of users that clicked on your ad and landed on your advertised page. Google measures the expected click-through rate by how likely your ad will be clicked when a user searches for the keyword you placed a bid on. 

In addition, Google takes into account your previous ad performance, if applicable, on the SERP. By auction time, Google will be able to calculate a more accurate expected click through rate based on the type of advice, search terms and other auction-time factors.

Ad Relevance

The second factor is the Ad relevance. It is the measure of how closely related your ad is to your keyword. For example, if a user searches for “skin care products,” which keyphrase do you think will have a high ‘relevance’ score? 

  1. Best Selling Skin Care
  2. Hair care products

It’s pretty obvious right? They are related, though, one is a much better choice. Ideally, you want to be as specific as possible when choosing a keyword.

Landing Page Experience

The last factor is the landing page experience. Google wants to provide the best possible user experience to searchers. Google will measure your landing page by estimating how relevant and useful your advertising page will be to people who clicked on your ad. 

Ideally, with a higher Quality Score and if you have optimized your ad campaign, you can rank at the top while also paying the least out of your competition. 

Paid ads are not everyone’s cup of tea but here are the top three reasons why you should be advertising on Google. 

Reasons to Advertise on Google

Advertising on Google is not free and some may feel hesitant because of this reason but I can assure you that Google Ads is worth your time and money.

Without a doubt, like mentioned earlier, Google is the most popular search engine. It would be almost impossible if you haven’t heard anyone that said “Google it.” Rarely, no one ever says “Bing it” or “Yahoo it.” 

Since it’s the most widely used search engine, Google is the platform where you will reach even the most segmented and specific audience. 

In addition to that, Google produces a high average return on investment (ROI). According to Google’s Economic Impact report, for every $1 that you spend on your ad, you will receive $8 in profit through Google Search and Ads.

2. Google Ads have Diverse Ad Options That Fits Any Business Type

There are different types of ad campaigns that you can choose from that fits best with your business. These are options:

Search Campaign 

An ad that appears as a text ad in the results page for the keyword. The image below is an example of how the ad will appear when you search for “Bluetooth speakers.”

A Search Campaign Ad for the keyword "Bluetooth Speakers."

Display Campaign

Google’s Display Network allows you to showcase your ad on third-party websites from all over the internet.

With this campaign, there are various options that your ad can appear. It can appear through blogs, YouTube videos, Gmail or Apps.

Display Ads on the Display Network.

Shopping Campaign

This type of campaign is best suited for businesses that offer products as they display the ad in a more visual way. These are the results when you search for “Bluetooth speakers.” 

Shopping Campaign for the keyword "Bluetooth Speakers"

Video Campaign

Google’s Video Campaigns are for marketers who want to display their ad specifically on Video Ads only, rather than advertising it broadly on the Display Network. 

This type of campaign ads come in different forms such as videos that are skippable/unskippable on YouTube or discovery ads that can be found on YouTube’s search results page.

Video Ad for shown on YouTube.

App Campaign

Similar to video campaigns, App campaigns are also a part of the Display Network. If you want to specifically create an ad and display it through an app, Google offers that option for you.

With this type of ad, you won’t need to design each individual ad app. Google will take your text and assets to furnish an ad for you. Below is an example of how an App Campaign would look like.

Wendy's Ad App Campaign shown on an App.

3. Google Ads Produces Fast Sales with Less Work

Using a SEO and content strategy can be powerful but it takes months to come to fruition. Generating social media engagement can also take months to build up and is brutally difficult. With Google Ads, you can start generating new sales by the end of the hour. 

Therefore, Google Ads is the best form of search engine marketing out there, it produces quick results and is also quite profitable.

How to Create an Account and Use Google Ads

By this point, hopefully you’re convinced to try out Google Ads but you’re probably wondering – where do I start?

Create a list of Keywords

The first step is generating a list of keywords that is relevant to your ad. You’re going to want to think about what keywords your customers would most likely use or think about what their biggest pain points are. 

Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to use that will help choose the keywords your business should target. The crucial point with keywords is to analyze the intent behind the search.

Create a Google Ads Campaign

Once you’ve decided which keywords are best optimized for your goals, the next step is to create a Google Ads campaign. This is where a Google ads consultancy could be beneficial to skip the technical stuff.

1. Setting Up Your Google Ads Account

If you haven’t yet, the first step is to create a Google Ads account. Once you set up your account, go to your dashboard then click on + New Campaign. 

2. Selecting Your Main Ad Goal

The next step is to select your main advertisement goal whether it’s to get more calls, get more website sales or sign ups, or get more visits to your physical location. By selecting a goal, it will let Google know which type of audience you’ll want to target and also how they’ll get your bid money.

3. Create a Business Name and Select Your Keywords

After you have created your new campaign, you will need to choose your business name and your keywords. Then add the URL that you want your users to go to after they clicked on your ad. 

4. Selecting a Targeted Location

Once that is completed click Next,  you will be directed to a page where you’ll be choosing a target audience. To do this, select the region that you want to target your ad, this can be near a specific address such as a physical store or location, or it can be broader regions, cities or zip codes.

After you have chosen your targeted location, click Next

5. Create the Ad

The next step is to create the ad. This is the part where you create the ad’s headline and the description as well. An important thing to note when writing the ad’s copy is to be precise and know your audience. Adding a call to action and using power words to give it a boost is very important too as it guides people to click on your ad.

The last step is pretty straightforward which is to set up your billing. After that, click Submit.

There you go! You just created your first Google Ad!

After creating your first Google Ad, the process changes a little. Rather than selecting from the three options advertisement goals, Google provides more options for goals and lets you choose which campaign type is best suited for business.

Your website will likely have a Google Analytics account to track traffic, conversions, goals and any unique metrics. 

To make tracking, analyzing and reporting between channels and campaigns, linking your Google Analytics account with your Google Ads account will make it easier. 

By tracking and analyzing your data, you’ll learn what improvements you need to make in order for your ad to be successful.

Google Ads Best Practices

You have now created your first ad, here are some tips that will help optimize your ad campaign.

1. Avoid Broad Key Terms

If you have keywords that are too broad, Google may place your ads in front of the wrong audience which would mean fewer clicks and higher ad spend. To avoid this, do your keyword research, review what’s working and adjust it to best match your ads to the relevant target audience.

2. Don’t run irrelevant ads

Just like having broad key terms, if your ad is irrelevant and doesn’t match the searchers intent then it will have fewer clicks or may not even be placed on the first page of SERP. The less relevant the ad is to your keyword, the lower the Quality Score will be thus, the lower the AdRank.

Nail the headline and ad copy to match with your keywords. Like mentioned before, create a headline and ad copy that will solve whatever the pain points the searchers are experiencing.

3. Optimize your landing page

The landing page is where your users will go after they click on your ad. It is one of the most important parts of your potential customer’s experience.

Your landing page should be inviting, clear and has a call to action. It should provide a great user experience to increase the chances of conversion.

Check out this article on How to Create Landing Pages that Convert to help optimize your website.


And that’s it! Once you get the hang of it, Google Ads is pretty simple. After creating your first ad, you can sit back and wait. Then create a second ad, sit back and wait. Then check back in after a day and analyze to see what you have to change. Look at your data.

After a couple of days, review your ads, turn off ads that don’t work, add more keywords and optimize further on what’s performing well.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

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