With over 3.5 billion daily searches, Google is the most dominant search engine worldwide. For businesses looking to drive website traffic, leads, and sales, advertising on Google through search and display networks has become imperative. Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, provides an intuitive platform for marketers to promote their products and services via targeted text, image, and video ads. However, executing effective Google Ads campaigns requires in-depth knowledge of how the auction-based platform works and how to optimize for results. This article will provide an overview of the core components and strategies needed to succeed with Google Ads, including keywords, ad copy, bidding, targeting, analytics, and campaign structure. Whether new to paid search or looking to improve existing efforts, understanding these Google Ads fundamentals is the key to maximizing your return on ad spend and achieving your business growth objectives through paid search.
Lesson 1 – Get familiar with your account metrics
Here’s What To Track
Your dashboard is the window into your campaign’s performance. Here are the metrics you’ll use to track how well your campaign is doing.
This is the number of people who viewed your ad.
This is the number of people who visited your website by clicking on your ad.
3. Clickthrough rate (CTR)
This is the percentage of people who click your ad after seeing it. CTRs can vary by business type, but keeping yours above 1% for Search campaigns is a good starting point.
Customers take valuable actions after clicking your ad, like purchases, calls, leads, or app downloads.
In the early stages of your campaign, it’s essential to focus on CTR and website engagement to make sure you’re attracting the right customers to your website. You can also connect your goals to data and track sales and conversions to monitor essential actions.
Lesson 2 – The basics of understanding your customers
Get to know – and reach – the right people.
Now that you’re using Google, it’s time to figure out your ideal customers.
Here are a few ways to understand who the right people are so you can position your ad for that target audience.
1. Understand their behaviors
Use Think With Google to understand fresh customer insights.
2. Reach the right customers
Consider your customers’ preferences, habits, and traits to help you choose the correct settings for your campaign.
Lesson 3 – Positioning your business
Use Google to help get your message out and gain attention.
Now that you’ve identified your audience, it’s time to highlight what your business offers.
Share what makes you unique.
Include your unique offerings in all your marketing communications. For example, if you offer free shipping, make sure to say so in your ads and on your landing pages.
Lesson 4 – The basics of strong landing pages
Create landing pages that resonate.
Your Landing page experience is Google Ads‘ measure of how well your website gives people what they’re looking for when they click your ad. Take a look at the tips below to help you improve your site.
Direct your ads to a page relevant to your ad text and keywords. For general search terms, you could lead users to your homepage. If your ad is specific to a product or service, it should lead somewhere clear.
You can follow plenty of best practices to improve your landing page experience. Displaying reviews and removing pop-ups are just a few ways to build user trust.
Make it easy
Get straight to the point with bullets or lists, clear calls to action, and oversized buttons. Also, it helps customers quickly find what they’re looking for by prioritizing the content above the fold.
Give your users a uniform experience across platforms. Ensure that you either use a mobile site version of your landing page for mobile ads or that your website has a responsive design.
Lesson 5 – Understanding your account structure
The anatomy of your account.
Finding the best way to organize your account will help you save time and target the right customers. Below are some tips for structuring ad groups.
1. Let your website be your guide
How your website is structured is a good place to start for many businesses. Ensure the text of your ads and your landing page is highly relevant to the keywords in each ad group.
2. Pick a theme
Organize your ad groups by a common theme, product, or goal, and create smaller lists (20–30 terms long) of tightly themed keywords. Specificity and detail will help your ads be more relevant, and relevance leads to higher-quality ads.
3. More groups
Check out your top three ad groups. We recommend having at least three ads per ad group. This helps you learn what message resonates best with your audience.
Lesson 6 – Intro to keywords and targeting
Choose the right keywords.
Selecting high-quality keywords can help you connect with the right people at the right time. Below are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Keep your keywords relevant
Include phrases that people would use to describe your products or services. Make sure they relate directly to the theme of your ad and the landing page you’re linking to. Here are a few more best practices to consider when creating your keyword list.
2. Reach the right people at the right time
The Keyword Planner can help you pick keywords that make it easier for people to find you when they’re searching by product, service, or location.
3. Add negative keywords
Adding negative keywords can help reduce costs and prevent your ad from being shown to the wrong people. For example, adding “used car” as a negative keyword will help ensure that your ad for a toy car doesn’t appear on any search containing “used car.”
Lesson 7 – The basics of creating high-quality ads
Create ads that resonate.
Now that you’ve created a high-quality keyword list, you can start writing engaging text ads that resonate with your target audience. Below are a few tips.
1. Include at least one of your keywords
Integrating words from your keyword list is a great way to ensure your ads are relevant to what people are searching for. For example, if “designer quilts” is one of your keywords, your ad headline could be “handmade designer quilts.”
2. Make your ads actionable
Giving people a clear indicator of what they should do next will make your ads more engaging. Examples include “Call now for a free quote” and “Learn more today.”
3. Make sure your ad matches your landing page
Showcasing a promotion or product in your ad? Double-check that the page you’re linking to matches the content in your ad. People might leave your website if they don’t immediately find what they expected.
Lesson 8 – Using Ad Extensions
Improve your presence with ad extensions.
Extensions can showcase what’s unique about your business and allow people to take action directly from your ad.
Here’s how you can use extensions to make your ads more engaging and helpful:
1. Align your extensions with your goals
You can do this by selecting ad extensions that match the action you want people to take. For instance, you can get more people to call you by adding a call button or encouraging them to download your app with app extensions.
2. Get your message out there
When your extensions show, your ad is easier to see.
Lesson 9 – Understand and improve your Quality Score
Introducing your Quality Score.
To help create a better ad experience for everyone, the Google Ads auction system is set up to identify and reward quality ads. See how you can improve your ads with the following tips.
1. Know your Quality Score
Your Quality Score gives you a general idea of how well a specific keyword has performed in past ad auctions. The higher your score, the more likely your ad will be shown for that keyword.
2. Know where to improve
Your Quality Score is based on factors such as how likely your ad will be clicked on and how easily people can navigate your ad‘s landing page. Understanding your score can help you identify changes you need to make to improve your ads.
3. Climb the rankings
High-quality ads can give you a higher Ad Rank, leading to lower cost-per-click and better ad positions.
Lesson 10 – The basics of bidding
Learn the best way to bid.
In addition to your Quality Score, your bids help determine if your ads are shown when people search and in what order they appear. A good bidding strategy and high Ad Rank are key to getting your ads shown. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Use the right tools to improve
The Keyword Planner helps you find the best-starting bid for each keyword and gathers useful bidding data to help you improve your Ad Rank.
2. Bid smarter
Once your account gathers enough data from manual bidding, you can apply Smart Bidding strategies that automatically adjust your bids and save you time.
3. Meet your goals
Choose the best bidding strategy for your campaign type and advertising goals. Whether you’re more focused on getting people to visit your website or increasing brand awareness, there’s a strategy for you.