If you’re considering spending an amount of money on ads to reach your target audience, you’d better spend it in the right place. That is, somewhere with over 246 million unique visitors ; somewhere like Google Ads.
Google Ads launched just two years after what has become the world’s most popular website : Google.
The advertising platform entered the scene in October 2000 as Google Adwords, but after a name change, in 2018 it was renamed Google Ads. Given the reach of Google, chances are you’ve already clicked on a Google ad, and so have your potential customers.
What is Google Ads?
Google Ads is a paid advertising platform that is part of a marketing channel known as Pay Per Click (PPC), where the advertiser pays per click or impression on an ad. It’s an effective way to drive qualified traffic to your business as users search for products and services like the ones you offer.
By knowing how Google Ads works, you can increase your website traffic, receive more calls, and increase visits to your store.
It’s no secret these days that the stronger and more focused your paid campaigns are, the more clicks you’ll generate , increasing the likelihood of getting new customers. That’s why Google Ads has become increasingly popular with businesses across all industries.
Google Ads allows you to create and share timely ads with your target audience, on both mobile and desktop devices. This means that your business will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) when your ideal customers are looking for products and services like yours, through a Google search. This way, you’ll reach your target audience when it makes sense for them to find your ad.
Note : Platform ads may also span other channels, including YouTube, Blogger, Maps, and the Google Display Network.
Over time, Google Ads will also help you analyze and improve those ads to reach more people, so your business can reach all of its paid campaign goals.
Plus, no matter the size of your business or your available resources, you can tailor your ads to your budget . The Google Ads tool gives you the opportunity to stay within your monthly limit and even stop your ad spend at any time.
What is the use of using Google Ads in your campaigns?
Google is the most used search engine, receiving 3.5 billion search queries per day . Furthermore, the Google Ads platform has been around for nearly two decades, giving it some age in the paid advertising space. Google is a resource used by people all over the world to ask questions that are answered with a combination of paid ads and organic results.
According to Google, advertisers earn $8 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads . So, there are a few reasons why you should consider advertising on Google.
Do you need another reason? Your competitors are using Google Ads, while thousands of companies use it to promote their businesses. This means that even if you rank organically for a search term, your results are moving down the page, below your competitors.
Is Google Ads really effective?
It works. With a flow of leads and an optimized campaign, you will achieve a high return on investment marketing campaign. Google Ads must be part of your payment strategy if you are using PPC to advertise your products or services.
Before explaining how it works and the types of strategies you can follow with Google Ads, we have listed some definitions for you that will help you understand this topic.
- Offers or bids
- campaign type
- Clickthrough Rate CTR
- Conversion rate (CVR)
- display network
- ad extensions
- Quality level
Your AdRank determines the placement of your ad. The higher the value, the better it will rank, the more users will see your ad, and the more likely they are to click on it. AdRank is determined by your maximum bid multiplied by your Quality Score.
2. Offers or bids
Google Ads is based on a bidding system, where you as an advertiser select a maximum amount of money that you are willing to pay for a click on your ad. The higher your bid, the better your placement. You have three options to bid: CPC, CPM or CPE.
We’ll review these bidding strategies later in the steps to set up Google Ads ads.
3. Type of campaign
Before you start a paid campaign in Google Ads, you’ll select one of three campaign types: search, display, or video.
- Search ads are text ads that are displayed between search results on a Google results page.
- Display ads are generally based on images and are shown on web pages within the Google Display Network.
- Video ads appear on YouTube.
4. Click Through Rate (CTR)
CTR is the number of clicks you get on your ad as a ratio of the number of visits your ad attracts. A higher CTR indicates a quality ad that matches search intent and targets relevant keywords.
5. Conversion rate (CVR)
CVR is a measure of form submissions as a proportion of total visits to your landing page. This means that with a high CVR your landing page delivers a user experience that matches the promise of the ad .
Google ads can be shown on search results pages or on a web page within the Google Display Network – this is a network of websites that makes space on your web pages for Google ads; these can be text-based or image-based ads and are displayed alongside content relevant to your target keywords.
The most popular display ad options are Google Shopping and App campaigns. Here we explain more about what the Display Network is and how to take advantage of it.
7. Ad extensions
Ad extensions allow you to supplement your ad with additional information at no extra cost. These extensions fall into five categories: sitelink, call, location, offer, or app . We’ll look at each of these ad extensions later.
When a Google user types a query in the search field, Google returns a range of results that match the searcher’s intent. Keywords are words or phrases that align with what a searcher wants and satisfy their query.
Select keywords based on the queries you want to show your ad with.
For example, a search engine that types in “how to clean shoes from gum” will see results for advertisers who focused on keywords like “gum on shoes” and “clean shoes.”
Negative keywords are a list of keyword terms that you don’t want to rank for. Google will de-bid you for these keywords. These are usually somewhat related to the intended search terms, but fall outside the realm of what you offer or want to rank for.
Pay per click, or PPC, is a type of advertising where the advertiser pays per click on an ad. PPC is not specific to Google Ads, but it is the most common type of paid campaign. It’s important to understand the PPC aspects before launching your first Google Ads campaign. Check out our guide to creating a successful PPC campaign .
10. Quality level
Quality Score measures the quality of your ad based on your click-through rate (CTR), the relevance of your keywords, the quality of your landing page, and past performance on the SERP (search engine results page). It is a determining factor in your AdRank (position on the results page), discover more about the quality score and how it affects the ranking of your ads .
Now yes, let’s get down to business.
How does Google Ads work?
Google Ads shows your ad to users interested in your product or service. Advertisers bid on search terms or keywords, and the winners of that bid are positioned at the top of search results pages, in YouTube videos, or on relevant websites, depending on the type of ad campaign selected.
There are many factors that affect the effectiveness of your Google ads to be high performing:
AdRank and Quality Score
AdRank sets the placement of your ads, and Quality Score is one of two factors (the other being bid amount) that determines your position on the search engine results page. Remember, your Quality Score is based on the quality and relevance of your ad, and is measured by Google by how many people click on your ad when it’s displayed – your CTR. CTR depends on how well your ad matches searcher intent, which can be inferred from three areas:
- The relevance of your keywords
- If your ad copy and CTA offer what the user expects based on their search
- The user experience on your landing page
Quality Score is where you should focus most of your attention when you first set up your Google Ads campaign, even before you increase your bid amount . The higher your Quality Score, the lower your acquisition costs and the better placement you’ll get.
Is it easy to use Google Ads?
Creating your paid campaigns on Google is relatively easy and quick, mainly because the platform walks you through setup and provides helpful tips along the way. Once you visit the Google Ads site and click “Get Started Now,” it will guide you through a series of steps to get your ads up and running. If you have ad copy or images created, the setup will take no more than 10 minutes.
What may be less obvious are all the extra things you need to do to make sure your ads are optimally set up and easily trackable. Let’s cover this together. Here are the steps you’ll need to take once your ads are submitted for review.
How to configure your ads in Google Ads?
- Select the objective of the campaign.
- Choose one of the types of advertising in Google Ads.
- Indicates the location of the ads.
- Set the bid or the price to pay.
- Add ad extensions.
- Enter the keywords.
- Choose the match type.
- Insert the title and description.
1. Select the objective of the campaign
First enter the platform and click on “Create campaign” and then choose one of the objectives:
- Potential customers
- Website traffic
- Brand and product consideration
- Brand coverage and awareness
- App Promotion
- Store visits and local promotions
2. Choose one of the types of advertising in Google Ads
In the “Campaign Settings” section, select one of the three campaign types in Google Ads: search, display or video. Below, we’re going to cover the optimal uses for each and why you might choose one over the other.
Search ads are ads that are displayed on Google search results pages. As an example, a search for “anti-dandruff shampoo” returns sponsored results, or ads, like these:
The benefit of search ads is that they are showing your ad where most users locate information first. Google displays your ad in the same format as other results so users are used to seeing and clicking on results.
Responsive search ads
Responsive search ads allow you to enter multiple versions of headlines and ad copy (15 and 4 variations, respectively), so that Google selects the best results to show to users. With traditional ads, you create a static version of your ad, using the same title and description each time.
Responsive ads allow a dynamic ad that is automatically tested until it reaches the version that best suits your target audience, that is, and according to Google, until you get the most clicks.
Google has a network of websites in various industries and with a variety of audiences that choose to display Google Ads, known as the Google Display Network. The benefit for the website owner is that they get paid per click or impression on the ads. The benefit to advertisers is that they can get their content in front of aligned audiences. These are usually image ads that divert users’ attention from the content of the web page.
Additional options for display ads include shopping campaigns and app campaigns, which are shown on search engine results pages.
Video ads are shown before, after, and sometimes in the middle of YouTube videos. Remember that YouTube is also a search engine. The right keywords will put you in front of a video, disrupting user behavior just enough to grab their attention.
3. Pinpoint ad placement
Then, in the “Set up ad groups” section, you will select a geographic area where your ad will be displayed. If you have a store, the listing should be within a reasonable radius around your physical location. If you have an eCommerce store and a physical product, your location should be set to the locations where you ship. If you provide a service or product that is accessible worldwide, then you have no restrictions.
Your location settings will play an important role in localization. For example, if you have a yoga studio in Monterrey, someone in Mexico City who enters the “yoga studio” will not see your result, regardless of your AdRank (position on the search engine results page). This is because Google’s main goal is to show the most relevant results to searchers, even when you’re paying .
4. Set the bid or price to pay
Remember, your ability to rank in Google Ads depends on how much you bid. While your offer or bid amount will depend on your budget and goals, there are some strategies and bid settings to consider when launching your paid campaign. There are three types:
- CPC, or cost per click, is the amount you pay for each click on your ad.
- The CPM, or cost per thousand, is the amount you pay for a thousand ad impressions, that is, when your ad is shown to a thousand people.
- CPE, or cost per engagement, is the amount you pay when someone takes a predetermined action with your ad.
Automatic or manual bids
You have two options when bidding on your keywords: automated and manual. This is how they work:
- Automatic bidding allows the platform to adjust your bid based on your competitors. You can still set a maximum budget, and Google will work within a range to give you the best chance of winning the offer within those restrictions.
- Manual bidding allows you to set bid amounts for your ad groups and keywords, giving you the opportunity to reduce spending on underperforming ads.
Bidding on branded search terms
Branded terms are those of your company or a unique product name on them, There is a lot of debate about whether to bid on your brand terms or not. On one side of the argument, it could be seen as a waste of money to bid on terms that would likely yield organic results.
On the other hand, bidding on these terms gives you dominance over these search results pages and helps you convert prospects that are further away.
The other argument in favor of bidding on your brand terms is that competitors may bid on them if you don’t; therefore, they take results that should belong to you.
Cost per acquisition (CPA)
If the idea of spending money to convert prospects into customers makes you uncomfortable, then you can set a CPA and only pay when a user becomes a customer. While this bidding strategy might cost more, you can take comfort in knowing that you only pay when you acquire a paying customer. This strategy facilitates monitoring and justifies the advertising investment.
5. Add ad extensions
If you’re running Google Ads you should use ad extensions for two reasons: first, they’re free and give users additional information; second, to interact with your ad. Choose the one that best suits your business. These extensions fall into one of five categories:
- Sitelink extensions extend your plugin, helping you stand out, and provide additional links to your site. This gives users more compelling reasons to click.
Call extensions allow you to embed your phone number in your ad so users have an additional (and instant) way to contact you. If you have a customer service team ready to engage and convert your audience, then include your phone number.
Location extensions include your address and phone number within your ad so that Google can provide search engines with a map to easily find you. This option is ideal for businesses with physical stores and works well for the search query “near me”.
Offer extensions work if you’re running a current promotion. You can entice users to click on your ad over others if they see that your options are discounted compared to your competitors.
App extensions provide a link to download an app for mobile users. This reduces the friction of having to perform a new search to find and download the app in an AppStore.
6. Enter the keywords
Keyword research is just as important for paid ads as it is for organic search. Your keywords should match user intent as closely as possible. This is because Google matches your ad to search queries based on the keywords you’ve selected. Each ad group you create within your campaign will target a small set of keywords (one to five keywords is optimal), and Google will display your ad based on those selections.
7. Choose the match type
Match types give you a bit of wiggle room when it comes to your keyword selections: they tell Google whether you want to match exactly one search query, or whether your ad should be shown to anyone with a search query you don’t want. be semi-related. There are five match types to choose from:
- Broad match is the default setting that uses any word within your keyword phrase regardless of order. For example, “yoga with pets in CDMX” will match “yoga with pets” or “yoga CDMX”.
- Modified broad match allows you to block certain words within a keyword phrase by denoting them with a “+” sign. Matches will include at least that blocked word. For example, “yoga with pets + in CDMX” could produce “pets” or “pets and yoga”.
- Phrase match will match queries that include the keyword phrase in the exact order, but may include additional words before or after. For example, “yoga with pets” can produce “yoga with dogs” or “yoga with pet cats.”
- Exact match keeps your keyword phrase exactly as it is written in the exact order. For example, “yoga with pets” will not appear if someone types in “yoga with pets” or “yoga with pets class”.
- Negative match excludes certain terms under which you don’t want your ad to appear.
If you’re just starting out and don’t know exactly how they’ll search for you, move from a broad match to a narrower approach so you can test which queries produce the best results. However, since your ad will rank for many queries (some unrelated), you should keep a close eye on your ads and tweak them as you may gain new insights.
8. Insert title and description
In the “Create ads” section we go with the title and description. Your ad copy can be the difference between a click on your ad and a click on your competitor’s ad. It’s important that your ad text matches searcher intent, aligns with their target keywords, and addresses people’s pain point with a clear solution.
To illustrate what we mean, let’s review an example.
A search for “online yoga classes” returned this result. Copy is concise and uses limited space wisely to get your message across and connect with your target audience.
Gaia knew how to put the keyword in her headline, so we know right away that this ad matches what we’re looking for. The description tells us why this is the best option for online yoga classes, as it addresses the concerns of your potential clients who are looking for an online class in Spanish to practice from home.
Use words like “all levels”, “beginners” and “practice at home” to answer all our questions and show that they have everything we want for an online class.
This type of ad copy will get you clicks, but conversions will result from bringing this level of fitness to your landing page copy.
After finishing filling out this last section, click “Save and continue”; will take you to the “Review” section where it will tell you if the campaign can be published because the configuration has been completed, and then choose “Publish”.
How to get the most out of Google Ads?
Link to Google Analytics
You likely have Google Analytics set up on your website so you can track traffic, conversions, goals, and any metrics. You must also link your Analytics account to Google Ads . Linking these accounts will make tracking, analytics, and reporting across channels and campaigns much easier, because you can see these events in one place.
Add UTM codes
Google uses Tracking Module (UTM) codes to track any activity associated with a specific link. You’ve probably seen them before: it’s the part of a URL that follows a question mark (“?”). UTM codes will tell you which offer or ad led to a conversion so you can track the most effective parts of your campaign . UTM codes make it easy to optimize your Google ads, since you know exactly what works.
The trick is to add your UTM codes at the campaign level when you set up your Google ads, so you don’t have to do it manually for each ad URL. Otherwise, you can add them manually with Google’s UTM builder .
Set up conversion tracking
Conversion tracking tells you exactly how many customers or leads you have acquired thanks to your advertising campaigns. It is not mandatory to configure it, but without it you will not know exactly the return on investment of your ads. Conversion tracking allows you to track sales (or other activity) on your website, app installs, or calls from your ads.
Integrate your Google Ads with your CRM
There’s something to be said for keeping all your data in one place where you can track, analyze, and report on it. If you already use your CRM to track contact data and lead flows, integrating Google Ads with your CRM gives you the ability to track which ad campaigns are working for your audience so you can continue to advertise them with offers that are relevant.
Use Google ad remarketing
Remarketing in Google Ads is a way to advertise to users who have previously interacted with you online, but have not yet converted. Tracking cookies will follow users around the web and target these users with your ads. Remarketing is effective, as leads must see your marketing at least seven times before they become a customer.
Reasons why your Google ads are not working
If you have tried unsuccessfully to advertise on Google, don’t give up. There are many reasons why your Google ads may be underperforming. Below, we will cover some of the most common.
1. General keyword terms . You really need to identify your keywords, so testing and tweaking should be part of your strategy. If your keywords are too broad, Google will place your ad in front of the wrong audience, which means fewer clicks and higher ad spend. Review what’s working, i.e. which keywords are generating clicks, and adjust them to best match your target audience’s ads. You may not get the right combination the first time, but you should keep adding, removing, and tweaking keywords until you do.
How to fix it: Review your keyword strategies.
2. Irrelevant Ads . If your ad doesn’t match the searcher’s intent, you won’t get enough clicks to justify your ad spend. The headline and ad copy should match the keywords you’re bidding on. You have the option to create multiple ads per campaign – use this feature to split up and test which ads perform best, or use Google’s Responsive Search Ads feature .
3. Low level of quality . Quality Score is how Google determines how your ad should rank. If your Quality Score is low, then you will have fewer eyes on your ad and less chance of conversion. Google will tell you your quality score, but improving it is up to you.
4. A bad landing page . The user experience after a click is important. What does your user see once they click on your ad? Is your landing page optimized for conversions, meaning it uses the same keywords? Does the landing page solve your user’s problem or answer their question? Your user should experience a seamless transition on conversion.
Given your reach and authority, Google Ads should be part of your payment strategy. There isn’t a Google Ads campaign that doesn’t work, there are just a few that need a little more work. Using the strategy and information provided above, you have everything you need to create a successful Google Ads campaign that drives clicks and converts leads.