Google Ads is Google’s online advertising service. Google Ads consists of two different ad networks: the Search Network and the Display Network.

You can create a free Google Ads account by going to Google Ads and signing up. Enter your email and website to get started.

Search Network

The search network includes Google Search, Google Shopping, and Google Maps. The search network also includes a large group of “partner websites” that display Google text ads on their sites.

Display Network

The Display Networks is for image and video ads displayed on YouTube, Gmail and thousands of “partner sites”.

Ad Position

Google ads appear in different positions on the search results page. Ads can appear at the very top of the page, alongside the search results, or at the bottom of the page. Ad position refers to the specific position your ad appears in. The top position is number 1, then the position below the first ad is position #2, etc.

Ad Rank

What position your ad appears on the search results page is determined by your Ad Rank. Ad Rank is made up of several different factors including the amount of your bid, your Quality Score, and the expected impact of the extensions you are using.

Quality Score

Your Quality Score is based on the expected clickthrough rate for your ad, the relevance of your ad, and the quality of your landing page experience.

Expected clickthrough rate: Based on how well this specific keyword has performed for you in past ads. Your expected clickthrough rate will be one of three possible statuses: “average”, “above average”, or “below average”. Those ads with a “below average” rating will often tell you that the target keywords are not relevant enough to perform well.

Ad relevance: How relevant is the wording of your ad to the specific target keyword? Does the wording of your ad make sense?

Landing page experience: is the content on your landing page consistent with the content and wording in your ad? Does it feature the same offer? Does it feature the same specific keyword you are targeting? If not, expect a lower than average quality score.

To improve your Ad Rank to reach the top ad positions:

1. Make the wording in your ads more relevant to your keywords and what your target audience is searching for.

2. Make the info in your landing page more relevant to your keywords and what your target audience is searching for.

3. Create ads with ad extensions

4. Increase your bid amount to outbid your competitors

The quality of your ads and your overall Ad Rank are important. If your ad doesn’t meet a certain level of quality it may not be displayed at all. In addition, the higher the quality of your ad usually means the lower overall cost-per-click. You pay less when you are using high quality, relevant ads.
Your Ad Rank will also determine if you are eligible to display ad extensions and other ad formats.

In a nutshell, high quality, relevant ads with quality, relevant landing pages will lower your costs, improve your ad positions, and improve the overall success of your ad campaign.

Keyword Research

Google text ads on the Search Network are based on keywords. You target and bid on specific keywords. The idea is to target keywords that are relevant or that match the common searches that real people conduct when looking to buy your product or service.

The best approach is to start off by using Google’s own keyword tool, the Keyword Planner. This tool is a great way to get ideas for the best keywords to target. All you have to do is enter some specific topics and/or phrases that are relevant to your product or service and Google will then suggest several specific keywords. Simply enter a one to three word phrase that summarizes your business. Google will then return a list of potential keywords for your next ad campaign.

There are two columns on the right side that are titled Top of the page bid low and Top of the page bid high These columns will give you a good idea on the cost for each keyword. It shows you the specific amount you will need to bid to be eligible for the top position or the bottom position of the first page.

Negative Keywords

You also want to create a negative keyword list. Negative keywords help increase the success of your ads by further defining which specific search terms are relevant and which are not. You can add up to 10,000 negative keywords for each list. Always use Negative Keywords for each and every ad campaign. It will help you avoid spending money on ads that are displayed to the wrong audience.

You can setup negative keyword lists at the Campaign level to apply to the entire Campaign or at the Ad Group level to only apply to a specific ad group.

Creating Your First Ad Campaign

To setup your first campaign, start off by entering a small starting budget amount (i.e.-$10/day). Enter some basic targeting parameters to start defining your target audience.

Specify which network you want to advertise on: search or display. Then, define the specific geographical region you want to target. This will set up your ads to be displayed only to people searching in a particular city, region, or country. Add the main keyword for your ad campaign. For the ad, just add some placement text for now and click “save and continue.”

Ad Groups

Each ad campaign will contain several Ad Groups. Each Ad Group will focus on a different specific area of your business. Within each ad group is a set of keywords. I recommend you limit the number of keywords in each Ad Group. This will ensure that the ads you create will be relevant to the specific keywords being used.

If you add too many keywords to an Ad Group, you will have 2-3 ads trying to match 10-20 different keywords. This makes it more likely that your ads will not be relevant to many of your keywords.

Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs)

Single Keyword Ad Groups are ad groups that focus on a single keyword phrase. This makes it much easier for you to create an ad and a landing page that are both completely relevant to the search terms being used. Because you are only targeting a single search term, you know that the ads in that Ad Group will be relevant to their search term used.

The idea is to used Single Keyword Ad Groups to ensure that the chosen keyword is relevant to the search term. It also ensures that the keyword is relevant to the specific ads, and it ensures that the landing page is relevant to the ads. Your landing page headline should match the call-to-action/ad title that the user clicked to arrive on your landing page.

To setup a Single Keyword Ad Group:

Step 1: Name the Ad Group with the main target keyword phrase i.e.- “Ecommerce Website Design”

Step 2: Set your default bid to the amount displayed for the target keyword for “Top of page bid (high)?” on the keyword planner.

Step 3: Enter your keyword phrase using 1-3 of the different match types.

Writing Ads

I recommend you always create at least 3-4 ads for each ad group. Then, once you start the ad campaign Google will automatically rotate the ads while tracking each ads performance. The one or two ads that perform the best are then displayed more often while the ads the get little response are no longer displayed.

Each Google Ad consists of the following:

• Headline (Your Ad Title or Call-to-action)
• Display path: the specific URL you are going to display with the ad
• Description: the ad text (up to 80 characters max.)
• Final URL: the web address for the ad’s landing page

You will want to try and include your target keyword in the Ad title and possibly even the display path by adding the target keyword to the Display path and URL for the landing page.

I try to include two elements in the Ad description: Benefits and a Call-to-action. I usually open the description with the benefit and end it with the call-to-action.

Appeal to your target audience motivating them to click on your ad by enticing them with the benefit.  A call-to-action should guide your audience towards whatever you want them to do. i.e.- download an app, buy a product, etc.

For example:

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Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are a way for you to add additional information to an add such as your contact number, some links from your website, and your business address / location. Once you complete your ad, you can select specific ad extensions and then configure them to be displayed with your ad.

There are several Ad Extensions available:

• Location
• Callout
• Sitelink
• Call Extensions
• Structured Snippets
• Message Extensions
• Price Extensions
• App Extensions
• Promotion

Ad Schedules

You can setup an ad schedule so that your ads only run during certain times of the day and/or certain days of the week.

Tracking Tools / Analytics

Google also provides analytics to track the results of your Ad campaigns. Performance reports show you which ads get the most clicks.