Google Advertising 101

When many businesses start out with paid advertising, they begin with Google Ads. Google Ads is one of the most accessible, effective forms of paid advertising on the web. Every day, millions of queries are sent through the Google platform. With Google Ads, your website, products, and services can appear alongside Google search results.

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How Does Google Ads Work?

Let’s use a simple example. Someone searches for “electricians” in New York, NY. Google’s search engine shows relevant results to the user. However, it also shows ads to the user: ads that are relevant to a search for “electricians” in NY, NY. These ads are just as visible as the user’s other search results. If the user clicks through one of these ads, they may be directed to a specific electrician, who is paying for advertising.

Google ads appear on Google websites, search engine queries, and mobile sites. These ads are either text or image-based, and link a user directly to the advertiser’s site. Google ads can greatly increase the visibility of a website.

Why Advertise on Google?

Google is the largest advertising network available, with widespread reach and a number of other benefits. Today, people look up virtually everything on Google, from things that they want to purchase to places that they want to go. Advertising on Google gives a business tremendous exposure, because Google is so ubiquitous.

But it’s more than that. Google also has a very robust advertising platform, which makes running ads easy. Google will report back large amounts of data to you, so you can determine whether your advertising campaigns are successful.

Google collects detailed demographic information, so you can drill down to an audience most likely to use your products. As an example, someone who sells home decor could narrow down to 30 to 45 year old female homeowners in San Francisco, CA. They could even narrow further: 30 to 45 year old female homeowners in San Francisco, CA who are interested in interior design.

All of this makes Google’s ad platform incredibly effective.

Reasons Why Your Google Ads Aren’t Working

While Google’s platform is one of the best, it can still take some work to effectively use it. There are a few reasons why Google Ads may not work.

  • Your keywords aren’t specific enough. If you’re selling educational toys and have just selected “toys” as a keyword, you may be getting people who aren’t necessarily interested in your product.
  • Your ads aren’t relevant to your content or product. If users click through an ad for “diet tips” and instead find themselves on a site for a diet app, they may click away: while it’s a little relevant, it’s not what they were looking for.
  • Your website doesn’t funnel your traffic properly. If you haven’t properly constructed a landing page, you aren’t going to be able to get users to commit once they’re on your site. You’ll just see them bouncing from your page after clicking.
  • Your ad isn’t high quality or professional enough. If your ad doesn’t look professional or has errors in it, it’s going to be marked as lower quality, and won’t be shown as often.

These are just some of the most common mistakes made with Google; learning how to craft the right Google ad can take some time and experimentation.

Google Ads Terms to Know

When you get into paid advertising, you may see many unfamiliar phrases. Knowing these phrases is critical to constructing your ad campaign.

Here are a few of the most important terms that you should know:

  • Campaign type. There are four major types of ad: search ads, responsive search ads, display ads, and video ads. Search ads show up on query pages, responsive search ads cycle through multiple displays to find the most effective, display ads show up on other websites (and mobile apps), and video ads show up on YouTube ads.
  • Bidding. You have three types of bidding: CPC, CPM, or CPE. When ads are displayed, advertisers “bid” on how much they’re willing to spend. CPC is “Cost Per Click,” you only pay per actual click. CPM is “Cost Per Mille,” you pay for every thousand ad impressions. And CPE is “Cost Per Engagement,” you pay when people take a specific action with your ad.
  • CTR. For most ads, CTR is going to meen a lot. CTR is “Click Through Rating,” which refers to how many people actually click on your ad. The higher the CTR, the better your ad is.
  • Conversion rate. Conversion rate goes hand-in-hand with CTR. Conversion rate is the number of people who actually make a purchase from you or contact you. If you have a high CTR and a low conversion rate, your ad is good, but it isn’t selling your product. If you have a low CTR and a high conversion rate, your ad isn’t good, but your product is solid.

Knowing these terms will help you when researching advertising further.

How to Set Up Your Google Ads

Setting up a Google Ad is actually very easy. Once you understand the terms outlined above, you just go to the Google Adwords site. You sign up as an advertiser and Google walks you through the rest. Starting an ad on Google Adwords should only take about ten minutes. During this time, you’ll need to fund your Adwords account using a credit card or bank account.

Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Once you’ve setup your ads, you can choose whether you want your bidding to be performed manually or automatically. If it’s performed automatically, Google will determine how much to bid on certain ads for you, while keeping your budget in mind. If it’s performed manually, you will manually set a rate that you’re comfortable spending per click, mille, or engagement.

In general, Google’s automatic function will work best. Automatic bidding uses data from Google to make your advertising dollar more effective. However, if your budget is important to you, and you want more fine-tuned control, you should set it manually.

You can start your campaign today. Google Ads are easy to setup, and you can set your own budget. For many, a Google ad campaign should be one fo the first campaigns a business engages in.