Google Ads is Google’s online advertising program, the program allows you to create online ads to reach audiences that are interested in the products and services you offer. The Google Ads platform runs on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, i.e. you have to pay every time a visitor clicks your ad.
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.
People use Google to search billions of times a day. Each search offers the opportunity for you to place your brand in front of more users.
This means increasing leads, conversions, 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.
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What is Google Ads ?
Originally called Google Adwords, the search engine company rebranded the service as Google Ads in 2018.
Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords and Google AdWords Express) is an online advertising solution that businesses use to promote their products and services on Google Search, YouTube, and other sites across the web. Google Ads also allows advertisers to choose specific goals for their ads, like driving phone calls or website visits. With a Google Ads account, advertisers can customize their budgets and targeting, and start or stop their ads at any time.
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.
Through Google Ads, you can create online ads to reach people exactly when they’re interested in the products and services that you offer.
- Google Ads is a product that you can use to promote your business, help sell products or services, raise awareness, and increase traffic to your website.
- Google Ads accounts are managed online, so you can create and change your ad campaign at any time, including your ad text, settings, and budget.
- There’s no minimum spending commitment, and you set and control your own budget. You choose where your ad appears, set a budget that’s comfortable for you, and easily measure the impact of your ad.
Google Ads Types
You can choose from 5 ad types:
- Search campaigns: These are text ads that appear at the top of a Google search results page. Usually, Google search advertising campaigns are pay-per-click (PPC), so you only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad. Your ad copy is the focus of these types of campaigns, so take special care when writing.
- Shopping campaigns: Shopping campaigns are for selling products or inventory. These ads include product details like a photo, product title, price, and your business name. These PPC ads appear either at the top or right side of a Google SERP.
You’ll need Google Merchant in addition to Ads to set up a shopping campaign and pull products from your website into the platform.
You‘ll be able to specify negative keywords with shopping campaigns. These are keywords you don’t want your ad to appear for. However, you won’t be able to specify which keywords to target — Google decides when to show your shopping ads based on algorithms.
- Display Network Campaigns: Display network campaigns, sometimes known as Google Display Network (GDN) ads, appear on other websites rather than on SERPs. They usually contain text and images, which you determine when you set up your ad.
Display ads reach 90% of internet users because they appear when users are browsing online, checking email, or using certain apps. You’ll be able to specify which demographics to target within the display network when you set up your campaign.
- Video Campaigns: Video campaigns, or video discovery ads, are short videos that are shown just before or mid-way through a YouTube post. They can help drive subscribers, traffic, or conversions for your product or service.
You’ll still need to use Google Ads to set up this ad, even though it will be seen on YouTube. The platform allows you to adjust the target audience and build a 6-15 sec video clip.
- App campaigns: App campaigns are ads intended to drive app installs or in-app purchases. They can appear on SERPs, display networks, and YouTube depending on where Google’s machine learning predicts that you will gain the most from your ad.
When setting up this ad, you’ll be able to add your ad design and budget. Google will automatically show your ad in placements where the audience is most likely to be interested in your app.
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.
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:
- Cost-per-click (CPC). How much you pay when a user clicks on your ad.
- Cost-per-mille (CPM). How much you pay per 1000 ad impressions.
- 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.
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.
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.
Why Should You Run Google Ads?
Many marketing professionals have added Google Ads to their marketing tool box, and with good reason. With a suitable budget and strategy, you can earn significant returns with a Google Ads campaign.
Benefits can include:
- Faster ROI: Once live, ads are available for clicks wherever they are shown. Popular ads can become profitable almost immediately, and good ads can see returns much faster than other marketing channels like SEO or email.
- Spend Control: Google Ads’ functionality gives you complete control of your budget and how much you spend. You can adjust your campaign’s parameters at any time, or turn it off as you need.
- Support Your Marketing Goals: Google advertising can help you drive more brand awareness as well as traffic, footfall, or conversions. No matter your marketing goal, there’s a Google ad type that can help you reach it.
- Easy Reporting: Track your ads’ clicks, spends, and more in the Ads platform or connect the platform to PPC tools you may have available. You can also plug your Adwords account straight into Google Data Studio for automated live reports.
- Targeting Control: Google Ads gives you a lot of control over who you want to show your ads to, where you want to show them, and for how long. You can specify the device, time of day, demographic, location, placement, and more. This gives you an opportunity to optimise your budget as you’ll know that you’re targeting the right people and not wasting your money on people that will never convert.
How To Advertise On Google
When getting started, there are generally 4 steps to follow:
Each stage requires a different set of tasks and processes. There are quite a few PPC tools available to help you outside of the Ads platform itself. These tools can help you set your campaigns up correctly and track their performance.
Here are some useful tools for each stage:
1. Ad Auditing Tools
The first thing you should do when starting to run a new ad is audit the ads and campaigns you already have. This means reviewing existing ads, their CTRs, landing pages, and competition levels.
Google Ads Performance Grader: This free tool by Wordstream is particularly useful if you already have some Google Ads set up. It audits your existing performance and gives you basic recommendations to improve. It focuses on quality score, impression share, CTR, ad text, and your landing page.
Google Ads Keyword Planner: The Ads platform itself can help you audit your ads with tools like its Keyword Planner. Use it to help you audit competition difficulty and average bid for page 1 ads.
2. Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research is essential to identify the keywords you should bid on and those that you shouldn’t. Suitable keywords could be based on brand reasons, competitiveness, budget, and search volume. The step is arguably the most extensive when it comes to building your Google Ads campaigns. Selecting the right keywords to target is key to saving your time and money.
Keyword Magic Tool: The Keyword Magic tool can be just as helpful with PPC campaigns as with SEO. Enter keywords you’re considering bidding on, and the tool will generate similar keywords that could have better search volume, be less competitive, and therefore less expensive.
PPC Keyword Tool: The PPC Keyword tool is much more ad-specific. It helps you identify keywords for your ads based on:
- Long-tail matches
- Competitors’ paid or organic keywords
- Semantically related keywords
- Mixing words to get long-tail keywords
You can also group keywords into campaigns and identify negative keywords for your ads.
3. Ad Building Tools
Once you have identified your keywords and know what budget you have, it’s time to start creating your ads. Here is where you’ll need to exercise some creativity to stand out by developing relevant and engaging copy that also has a good quality score.
Our Advertising Research tool is perfect for creating your first display ad. When you enter your keyword, it will find a list of relevant ads to your keyword and show you what types of text and images are working for current popular ads. You can then pick aspects of each that you like and that embody your brand in order to create your own ad.
4. Ad Monitoring Performance Tools
Once your ad campaign is live, you’ll need to monitor it to make sure that your marketing goals are being reached and you’re still within budget. The Google Ads platform offers some great metrics and reporting features, but there are other pro tools that can track and present performance data efficiently:
Position Tracker: The Position Tracker makes tracking your ad performance against your competitors easy. It will also give you insight into where SERP features appear and alert you when new competitors start to bid on your keywords.
Supermetrics pulls all of your ad data into one place and shows you the most important metrics from across your platforms and campaigns. Although it takes a little while to set up, once it’s running it will help you to stay on top of ROI and make data-based decisions.
Should You Advertise On Google?
How Much Do I Need to Invest?
The average cost-per-click in the United States is between $1 to $2. However, the cost of your specific Google Ad is dependent on a number of factors, including the quality of your business’ website and how much you’re bidding. This is where the Ad Auction system comes into play! To put it simply, Google’s Ad Auction and Ad Rank system are not dependent on businesses with the largest ad budget. What places ads higher up on a webpage, or makes Google favor them, is whichever website helps users most. With a good website and good-quality ad, your business may see better results than those with higher budgets and CPC.
Why Should My Business Use Them?
With mobile and desktop capabilities, Google Ads is an effective way to drive good-fit traffic to your business by optimizing your products and services in Google, at the moment ideal customers are making similar searches. With the right campaign, a business can see a boost in website traffic, increased call volume, and a surge in in-store visits.
Over time, businesses can also utilize the data Google Ads provides to analyze and improve campaigns so that they are reaching more people and hitting all of their goals. No matter the size of the business or available resources, ads can be tailored to suit any budget, and spending can be paused or stopped at any time.
Not only this, but there are hundreds of companies using Google Ads to promote their business, making it imperative that businesses develop campaigns to get ahead of their competitors. Here are some added benefits of using Google Ads in your business’ digital marketing strategy:
- Increased Leads and Customers
- Google Ads is one of the best tools for lead generation. If your campaigns are set up properly, it has the potential to send extremely targeted and qualified leads to your website, opt-in form, or another online property. Google Ads also allows a business to focus on the people who are searching specifically for what they want. This means your business’ searches can be continually refined so that only people who want to buy your products or services are sent to your websites through this platform.
- Potential for a High ROI
- Unlike other marketing strategies, Google Ads makes advertisers pay only for ads people click on. Once you optimize your Google Ads campaigns, you can get a high return on investment (ROI), which you may not have seen with other strategies. However, this takes time. To get a clearer picture of what will give your business the best results, you have to continually test and track your campaigns, which Google Ads is perfect for, as it provides all data necessary to calculate ROI, as well as ads clicked, keywords entered, and cost of clicks.
- Discover More About Your Market
- Understanding your audience makes it much easier to deal with customers and find out what they want. While this is usually difficult to do and requires a lot of research, Google Ads yields information about customer habits and requirements that business owners dream about. This includes data on keywords customers use to find your website, their location, devices they use, and times and days of the week they’re searching. You can use this information to change up your products and services or refine marketing efforts so that your budget is not wasted on advertising to people who are uninterested in your business.
With its reach and authority amongst other search engines, Google Ads is one of the most powerful advertising tools a business can use. From search campaigns to shopping ads, there are so many ways to create the best campaign for your business and its audiences. By taking advantage of all of the features Google Ads has to offer, there is no question that you can develop a successful marketing campaign for your business.
Should You Advertise On Google?
We think so. Google Ads can be a very profitable marketing channel for your business. Though setting up your ads will take a bit of effort, once they’re running you can monitor them and learn what techniques work best for you.
Take advantage of specialist tools as you complete the ad building process. Your next great ad is around the corner.