Understand Google Ads

There are a lot of different types of Google ad formats, from search ads to shopping and video ads. Regardless of the ad format, there are certain steps you’ll likely take when creating any Google ad.

Steps to create a Google Ad

Steps to create Google Ads
Steps to create Google Ads designed by Lylyna Heng

1. Define your campaign goal

What do you want to achieve with the ad? Do you want to make more sales? Get more leads? Increase website traffic? Or encourage people to visit your store? The goal you choose will inform other campaign options. For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic, you would want to choose the bidding like “maximize clicks.” This will put your money, also called your ad spend, towards getting people to click on the ad.

2. Choose the campaign type

This determines where your ads will show and what they will look like. The word “campaign” has a specific meaning in Google Ads. Campaigns are ads that share a budget, location targeting, and other settings. Campaigns are often used to organize categories of the product and services you offer. Your Google Ads account can have numerous campaigns operating at one time. Depending on which campaign you choose, your ads will appear in different locations. For example, a search ad will appear in the SERPs and a video ad will appear in YouTube. A local ad can also be in Google Maps, websites, and YouTube.

3. Set a budget

You will set a daily average budget that specifies how much you want to spend each day over the course of one month. Google Ads will automatically optimize your campaign spend for the days of the month when you’re more likely to get clicks and conversions based on your bid strategy. For example, on days when search traffic is higher. This means that on some days you might not reach a daily budget, while on others you might exceed it. But, it will never exceed your monthly spending limit.

4. Choose your bidding strategy

A recommended bidding strategy will be based on your campaign goal. Google Ads allows you to choose your bidding strategy to ensure that your campaign is designed to meet your specific goal. For example, you might choose to focus your bidding on conversions. You can also select an automated bidding strategy. Many automated strategies use machine learning to improve the ad performance. The machine learning software in automated bidding strategies learn as they go to meet your performance goals.

5. Select your targeting

Targeting helps define how narrow or broad your audience targeting will be, which is deciding who you would like to see your ads. Narrowing the targeting of your ads lets you reach the specific customers who are interested in what you have to offer. Common forms of targeting in Google Ads include keywords, audiences, locations, topics, and devices. While you can use the Google Ads tool to get ideas for targeting, typically, you’ll plan and determine these options before creating an ad.

6. Create your ad

The primary text ad format is responsive search ads, and they’re composed of several headlines, descriptions, and a landing page URL. The engines then automatically test different combinations to determine which performs best.

7. Set up conversions

To know if the ad is successful, you must learn if the potential customers are turning into paying customers. Conversion tracking can help track the actions that you want customers to take on your website. By tracking this data, you’ll be able to assess the effectiveness of your ads, targeting, and overall campaigns. One way to track conversions is through a tool called Google Analytics. To track conversions, you’ll connect Google Analytics directly to your Google Ads account. Before setting up any conversions, you’ll need to provide users with clear and comprehensive information about any data you are collecting about them. You probably have noticed many websites has the pop up notice as “cookie consent bar,” please read it. You may need to use something similar if you’re tracking conversions for a website.

Identify keywords and understand the ad auction

When doing search engine marketing, keywords are a foundational component. You should be advertising to the right type of potential customers in order to not miss out on any relevant traffic. This starts with accurate keyword research. You don’t need to enter every type of keyword exactly. Instead, you can use keyword match types. Keyword match types dictate how closely the keyword needs to match with the user’s query. There are three options:

  • Broad match will show your ads on phrases that relate to your keywords. For example, the phrase “low-carbs diet plan” may also appear in searches for “carbs-free foods,” “low-carb diets,” or “low-calorie recipes.” You should optimize the landing page because the Google Ads algorithm reviews the ad’s landing page to understand the ads. Therefore, it appears in the search.
  • Phrase matches are keywords that include the meaning of your keywords. It is more flexible, but it’s more targeted than a broad match. For example, if the keyword is “tennis shoes,” the ad may show searches for “shoes for tennis,” “buy tennis shoes on sale,” or “red tennis shoes.”
  • An exact match shows the same meaning or same intent as a keyword. It gives you more control over who sees your ad. For example, if the keyword is “shoes for men,” may show on searches for “shoe men,” “men shoes,” or “men shoe.” The ads won’t show “men’s tennis shoes” or “men’s dress shoes.”

There are variation in search like misspelling, adjective, adverb, etc. Therefore, there is no need to build an exhausting keywords list, however, you need to consider negative keywords. Negative keywords – search terms excluded from an ad campaign. It helps avoid irrelevant searches that you know won’t perform well. Google Ad focuses on keywords and increase your account performance. Let’s imagine “running shoes” is a negative broad match keyword. The ad may show for “blue tennis shoes” or “running shoe,” but it won’t show for “blue running shoes” or “shoes running” or “running shoes.”

Your keywords must match the content of your ads and the landing page for something called the ad auction. The ad auction is how Google determines which ads to show in what order for each search result that contains text ads. Where your ads show on a particular search is called ad rank, which is a value Google uses to determine your ad’s position. Three main factors determine ad rank.

  1. Your bid. The bid is how much you’re willing to pay each time a potential customer clicks on the ad. The more you’re willing to pay, the higher it may show in the SERPs.
  2. The quality of your ads and landing page. With auction, Google assesses the relevance of your ads and landing page to the user’s query, as well as the likelihood a user will click your ad. A diagnostic tool called quality score is your Google Ads account can help you identify areas for improving ad quality.
  3. Ad extensions. This is the additional information you provide in the Google Ad, such as a phone number or additional links to your website. You should use all ad extensions that are relevant to your business.

Together, these three factors help determine when and if your ad will appear to potential customers. It’s important to note that there are other ad rank factors as well, including contents of the search and other results on the page. It is crucial to align your ad with the right keywords and if you don’t, your ads may show to the wrong type of searchers and this may affect your ad rank.

Best practices when creating a Google Ad in Search

In addition to encouraging potential customers to click on your ad, why would you want an effective ad? An effective ad can appear higher in search results pages and generate more clicks and more conversions, sometimes even at a lower cost per click than your competitors. Here are several best practices to consider when creating your Google Ad for Search.

Craft your messaging to focus on user needs and benefits. This indicates value to a searcher. They’re more likely to respond to ads that include concepts important to them. Think about what researcher wants from your ad. Therefore, you can incorporate the right keywords or phrases in the ad like “official site” for reliability and trustworthiness. Or “view our inventory” if the users want a wide selection of products.

Include at least one of the keywords in your ad group in your headlines. The headline is the clickable link at the top of your ad. The description is below the headline. Google will automatically test combinations of headlines and descriptions, so be sure any combination will read well. It’s important to include text from keywords because that’s what potential customers are thinking about. If your ad connects with what they’re searching for, they may be more likely to click on it.

A third best practice is to avoid generic sales language. Phrases like “call us today” create a false sense of urgency. Keep the user benefit in mind. If there isn’t a benefit to the user well, why would they even call today? Non-specific or generic calls to action, such as “sign up today” or “book today” often show decreased engagement with ads. Instead of generic sales language, use specific and relatable calls to action. Imagine you’re writing copy for a property management company. Instead of writing “book now” in the ad, write “book your dream vacation rental.” This is more specific and relates closely to what the potential customer desires.

Implement all ad extensions that make sense. Ad extensions provide additional information about the business. They are designed to make search ads more appealing by showing helpful information. Including ad extensions can also make ads more prominent on the results page. Extensions such as location, call, or app install improve the experience for mobile users as well. They’re an easy way to separate the ad from competitors’. Multiple extensions can show with your ads, so enable everything that makes sense for your business.

The fifth best practice is to optimize your landing page. The ad and landing page work together to provide a great user experience. You should compare your keywords to the copy on the landing page and its overall user experience. The exact keywords don’t need to be on the landing page, but the relevancy should be clear right away. Like ask yourself questions such as, how useful is the landing page to someone who clicks on the ad? Is the page well organized? Does the text relate to someone’s search terms? Is the landing page clear in its directions? You should also make your landing page reliable. Ensure it loads as quickly as possible. If page loads take too long, users may get frustrated and leave the page. This indicates to Google that the ad and page may not be the best option.

Google Ads account structure and organization explanation

Google Ads is Google’s online advertising program, 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 account structure

Google Ads account structure
Google Ads account structure
  • Google Ads: Google’s online advertising program. Through Google Ads, you can create online ads to reach people exactly when they’re interested in the products and services that you offer.
  • Campaign: a plan of action for how a set of one or more ad groups that share a budget, location targeting, and other settings will be distributed online.
  • Average daily budget: the average amount that you set for each ad campaign on a per-day basis. It specifies roughly how much you are comfortable spending each day over the course of the month.
  • Ad Groups: the way to organize and target ads into themed groups of keywords. Each of your campaigns is made up of one or more ad groups.
  • Bids: the amount you’re willing to spend each time a potential customer clicks your ad or calls you is known as a bid.
  • Keywords: these are words or phrases describing your product or service that you choose to help determine when and where your ad can appear.

Seven steps to create a Google Ad campaign

1. Define your campaign goal

There are seven campaign objectives to choose from:

  • Sales: drives sales online, in app, by phone or in store
  • Leads: brings in leads and other conversions by encouraging customers to take action
  • Website traffic: encourages people to visit your website
  • Product and brand consideration: encourages people to explore your products or services
  • Brand awareness and reach: reaches a broad audience and builds awareness
  • App promotion: increases installs or promotions for your mobile app
  • Local store visits and promotions: encourages customers to visit a physical store location

2. Choose the campaign type

Next, choose your campaign type. Options include: Search, Performance Max, Display, Shopping, Video, and Discovery.

Google Ads campaign type
Google Ads campaign type

3. Set a budget

Once you select your campaign, move on to set your budget. For more information on setting your budget, visit the Google Ads Help Center.

4. Choose your bidding strategy

Google Ads budget and bidding
Google Ads budget and bidding

5. Select your targeting

Targeting helps define how narrow or broad your audience targeting will be. Target categories include: Locations, Languages, and Audience segments.

Google Ads Targets
Google Ads Targets

6. Create your ad

To create your ad, input information to determine how your ad will appear online such as descriptions, final URL, display path, headlines, and extensions. Be sure to include at least one of your keywords in your headlines, and create headlines that are relevant to the keywords you’re targeting. Also, use the ad strength indicator as a guide to improving the effectiveness of your ads. Ad strength provides you with feedback to help you focus on providing the right messages to your customers.

Google Ads create ads
Google Ads create ads

7. Finalize your ad

Once you are ready, finalize your ad by adding your final URL and display path. Use the preview window on the screen to check how your ads will appear online.

Google Ads finalize ad
Google Ads finalize ad

More information on create effective Search ads.

Happy learning and good luck!

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