De-mystifying digital marketing, one article at a time.
Creative Services
Online Services

Google Ads: 101

You’ve heard of Google. You’ve heard of ads. But what do the two have to do with each other? Pull up your chairs, because we are about to cover all you need to know about this lucrative form of advertising.

If you’ve dipped your toes into the world of internet marketing, you’ve likely heard of Google Ads. And, whether you consider yourself a novice or an expert in the field, you know there’s always more to learn. (Especially because Google has a tendency to update their products constantly.)

Keep reading for a refresher on what every business owner should know about Google Ads.

What Are Google Ads?

Google Ads has been around for almost as long as Google itself, but you may have heard it referred to as Google Adwords (the company rebranded its product in 2018.)

This marketing tool allows businesses to bid on a spot at the top of the search engine results page. There, brief advertisements in the form of service offerings, videos, or product listings are sure to catch the eye of interested Google users.

You’ve definitely seen a Google Ad before; they look like this:

But, Why Google?

The internet is a vast place. So, why invest a portion of your marketing budget at Google?

For starters, Google has long been the most popular website on the internet. It receives nearly 90 billion visits a month and takes up about 92% of the world’s search engine market share.

In other words, there’s no better place to get the word out about your business.

And if those numbers weren’t enough to sell you, consider these key selling points:

  • Google Ads allows you to target specific markets and demographics through the use of keywords.
  • You can invest in your most important keywords by raising your bid and increasing your chances of getting clicks.
  • You can also set a daily budget to ensure you don’t end up spending more than you intend to.
  • Google Ads offers much quicker results than you’ll get through SEO.
  • Google has an easy-to-use and thorough analytics platform so you can track your ad data and make changes to your keywords and bids as necessary.

These are just a few of the reasons why 7 million advertisers have invested in the Google Ads platform to date. It’s also why Google frequently tops the list of best PPC (pay-per-click) ad networks.

Speaking of PPC Marketing, What Is It?

Pay-per-click marketing refers to an arrangement in which the advertiser agrees to pay a fee to the ad platform whenever their ad is clicked on by a viewer. Ideally, an advertiser will make more than they spend on PPC.

Google Ads is a form of PPC marketing. So, you will only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad to visit your website or call your business. (The amount of money you pay per click is determined by how much you “bid” on the relevant keyword. So, to recap: the higher your bid, the more likely your ad is to be seen by Google users, but the trade-off is that you pay a higher fee each time. You can keep this in check by setting a daily budget, which Google will use to calculate your monthly budget and ensure you don’t go over.)

Keep in mind that you can rework your Google Ad campaigns at any time. So if something isn’t working out the way you hoped, you can and should go back to the drawing board to change your bid and adjust your keywords.

The average return on investment for Google Ads is 800% (or $8 for every $1 spent.) But you won’t come close to that number without a little experimentation to discover what works best for your business.

So, Where Does SEO Enter the Picture?

Because Google Ads are easy to use and provide quick results, you might be tempted to throw SEO (Search Engine Optimization) out the window.

Not so fast.

Google Ads can help you get quick results, it’s true. But those results will stop the moment you stop paying the platform. SEO, on the other hand, takes more time to make an impact . . . but your results will last longer.

Here’s how we recommend you think about the two marketing methods:

  • Google Ads are great for getting quick results and promoting time-sensitive events.
  • SEO is great for gathering a loyal audience and building your business’s authority.

Ideally, you’ll invest in both strategies to ensure that your marketing efforts are well-rounded and comprehensive.

The average return on investment for Google Ads is 800%!

How Do I Get Started with Google Ads?

Thankfully, it’s not hard to get started with Google Ads. In fact, the platform has a number of tutorials for beginners. We recommend that you take a look at this helpful checklist to discover which terms you need to know, how you can organize your account, how you can set up your budget, and more.

Once you have that how-to article under your belt, you can visit this page to get started. After you have created an ad, Google will immediately begin its review of the content you’ve written to ensure it complies with the company’s policies. Usually, this process will take 1-2 days.

From there, your ads will go live. And if you’ve synced your Google Ads account with a Google Analytics account, you can begin to monitor how people are interacting with your ads and your website.

How Can I Make My Google Ads Successful?

Of course, creating a Google Ads campaign and making your Google Ads campaign successful are two separate things. Here are a few tips for making sure your ads offer a good return on your investment:

Research Your Keywords

Google has a handy tool called Keyword Planner to help you identify keywords that are relevant to your business. This tool will also provide you with estimates on the number of searches a keyword receives as well as how much it will cost you to target that keyword.

It’s also helpful to do a Google search of the keywords you’ve come up with and take a look at the results before running an ad. Are companies similar to yours using the keywords you’ve picked? Will you have to compete against big corporations? Is there anything you can learn about the language being used in existing ads? These details will help you make more informed decisions about your campaign.

Remember, the right keywords will help you find the right Google users. (With the right Google users meaning those that are most likely to click on your ad and spend money on your products and services.)

Write Compellingly

Google Ads can be tricky to write because their headlines have a character limit of 30 and the descriptions have a character limit of 90. So, you’ll need to learn how to pack a quick-but-powerful punch!

We recommend that you err on the side of clear and concise. But if you can find ways to be charming, catchy, and descriptive, even better.

Optimize Your Website

Google Ads is great at directing internet traffic to your website. But if you want to turn those search engine users into paying customers, you’ll need to ensure that they like what they find. The good news is, we’ve written lots about how you can optimize your website and make it appealing to users.

You should also consider adding a dedicated landing page for users to come to, rather than the homepage of your website. This way, the information a user is looking for is readily available along with a clear path for getting in touch with you or buying your products.

Analyze Your Results

With Google Analytics, you can check on a bunch of different metrics to ensure your campaigns are running as they should. We recommend that you pay special attention to impressions, clicks, and click-through rates.

Impressions will tell you how often your ad is displayed to a searcher. Clicks will tell you how many people clicked on your ad. And click-through rate will tell you what percentage of impressions turned into clicks. A good CTR is around 2%. If you are below that number, it may be time to make some adjustments to your keywords or content.

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?

That pretty much covers the basics of Google Ads. But if you’re interested in learning more, please let us know. While this article provides an entry-level look at the topic, there is a lot more ground to cover when it comes to Google Ads.

As we said, Google is constantly updating its lineup of products, which includes Google Ads. You can follow big announcements here.

You can also take the following steps to become a true Google Ads wizard:

  • Become certified in Google Analytics
  • Do a deep dive into Google Ads features
  • Learn about marketing tags and Google Tag Manager

We can’t wait to see how you make Google Ads work for you!

Share this article

Did you find this article useful? Share it up!