Google AdWords launched in 2000 (Y2K baby!) when Google was already handling 20+ million searches every day.
Now they handle billions per day.
And as of recent data, AdWords has millions of advertisers using their platform to reach new customers.
Google AdWords is pretty simple: It’s online advertising on Google’s search network or sites connected to it.
The goal is to bring in new customers to buy your products or services based on search queries conducted by actual people.
Do you need sales fast? Google AdWords could be the right place.
But AdWords is tough to navigate.
Here’s a Google AdWords 101 guide that takes you from zero to hero in no time.
Google AdWords is one of the most challenging platforms when it comes to monitoring your success.
You can quickly spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars and see little to no return on investment.
The metrics are tricky to establish, and you could find yourself with $0 fast.
So, how do you know if AdWords is right for you? What is Google AdWords and how does it work?
Let’s get started!
What is Google AdWords?
Simply put, Google AdWords is Google’s advertising network that allows companies to bid for keywords to show up in search results as ads.
Here is what the ads look like for a given search:
Companies like Under Armour and NBA pay money to Google based on clicks to show up for these searches in hopes of capturing interested buyers and making fast sales.
Google makes money on these clicks that the advertisers will pay for.
You can choose between a bunch of different types of advertising on Google, too. You can advertise on YouTube, Google applications, and more.
Pretty simple right?
Let’s take a closer look.
How do you rank #1? How do you show up?
Google AdWords works on a bidding system. Your advertising rank, which is a combination of your maximum bid multiplied by your quality score, determines your actual ad position.
Your maximum bid is how much you are willing to pay per click on your ad, and your quality score reflects how well your ad is optimized and relevant to the searcher.
The better the ad rank, the higher you show up!
Is Google AdWords right for me?
I hear this question a lot:
Is Google AdWords right for my business? I just don’t think it will work for me.
Or even more common:
AdWords doesn’t work for me.
To figure out if Google AdWords is right for your business, you need to ask yourself one crucial question: Do you have a budget to spare?
If you’ve got some money to spare and don’t mind potentially losing that money, AdWords is right for you.
As the old saying goes, you never know if you don’t try.
Google AdWords can work for almost any business. It’s just a matter of trial and error.
According to AdWords:
Companies will, on average, double their return on investment on the platform”.
Meaning the majority of users will most likely find success on Google AdWords.
You just have to be willing to roll the dice and test the waters. Even if you’ve got $50 to spare, it’s a great way to test the market and see if AdWords can be good for your business.
But if you want something more concrete, let’s take a look at average industry data concerning cost per click.
Cost per click is the money that you will owe Google for each and every click on your ads.
According to this research, the average cost per click on Google AdWords across all industries is $2.32 on the search network, and it’s $0.58 on the display network. Knowing this data, you can expect to pay a few bucks per click depending on your niche and industry.
Next, you can take a look at the average conversion rate for your industry:
With this data along with average costs per click, you can start to calculate how much it’s going to cost you to land one conversion.
For example, if your industry is automotive, your average CPC is $1.43, and your average conversion rate is 2.27%. That means to get a single conversion, you need about 45 visits, and you’ll pay around $64.35 for a conversion.
Do this simple calculation on your own by finding your average conversion rate and cost per click. Then, see how many clicks it will take to drive a conversion and how much you’ll end up paying for it.
If the costs exceed your margins, then selling that specific product directly with Google AdWords isn’t a viable option.
Remember that the entire goal of AdWords is to make money, not just drive sales.
You don’t want sales that break even. You want to drive sales and results for your business with a positive ROI.
Types of Advertising on Google AdWords
Google AdWords offers a few different types of advertising for companies.
You can choose between four different ways to be found by a given searcher:
Currently, you can show up on display ads, video ads, search network ads, and application-based ads.
The search network is the most popular of all.
Search network ads show up as a text ad for a given Google search.
For example, let’s say someone needs plumbing nearby and they search for a plumber. You can show up as an ad on Google for the search on the search network:
The search network works by targeting specific keywords that you want to show up for.
You bid on them to show up higher and get a better chance at capturing visitors and converting paid traffic.
Next, we have the display network.
Display ads work as text or banner ads and can show up on Gmail and various websites within the display network.
Businesses commonly use them for remarketing to bring back site visitors who didn’t convert.
If you’ve ever noticed an ad on a website, it was likely from the display network.
Video-based ads allow you to create a video ad that will show up on YouTube videos:
Lastly, you’ve got the App Ads that allow you to advertise on popular Google network-based applications.
Currently, the most popular forms of advertising tend to be: search network and display-based.
They are easy to set up with a relatively little amount of work and no video production required.
If you are interested in showing up for popular searches in your industry and getting new consultations or sales, the search network is a great place to do it.
How To Use Google AdWords
Ready to get started with Google AdWords?
Well, there are a few things you should know before you follow Google’s setup protocol.
They often lead users astray in the setup process, making it much easier to spend money without seeing a return.
If you want to quickly go from zero to hero, follow this easy Google AdWords tutorial, and you’ll be up and running in no time.
To get started, head to AdWords and create a new account.
Click “Start Now” to create your free Google AdWords account.
How To Use Google AdWords: Pick A Budget
For daily budgets, there is no “one size fits all” standard.
Essentially, you want to select a number you feel comfortable spending daily and adjust from there.
Remember that you can always change this number later.
How To Use Google AdWords: Choose A Target Audience
Next, choose your audience location for advertising:
If you sell only in the United States or Canada, be sure to select that.
You don’t want to waste your money on clicks that won’t buy from you or that you can’t sell to.
How To Use Google AdWords: Select A Network
Now, you can select the networks you want to advertise on:
Remember: the search network allows you to bid on keywords, aka “search queries,” that real users are searching for online.
For example, if someone searches for “basketball shoes,” you can bid on that term to show up in the top search results like this:
Display network is where you can visually advertise on Google content sites and content partner sites.
As an example, here is what your ads will look like on a given site:
You can place your visual-based ads on different sites and reach new customers or ones who’ve previously visited your site.
Using The Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Now that you’ve selected your networks, it’s time to establish some keywords:
Google starts by telling you to “Add around 15-20 keywords.”
Don’t do that. That’s a bad idea. Seriously.
Let me explain.
So, Google allows you to set up “Ad Groups” where you target a group of keywords.
Here is what an ad group will look like when you add 15-20 keywords:
Once you’ve set up these ad groups, you can start to create ads.
But then you notice a problem.
How on earth can you create 1-3 ads that are relevant for all of these diverse terms?
You can’t. And when your ads aren’t highly specific and optimized, you get a lower quality score.
The lower the quality score, the more money you pay for the same results.
Think about it:
What if you are targeting “women’s red dress” and “black dress” in the same ad group? They might see the wrong ad, costing you an expensive click that doesn’t convert.
Instead, in the keyword section of your setup process, find a single keyword that you want to target.
Hit “Save” and then create your first ad based on that keyword:
Once you’ve saved your new ad and keyword, head to the Ad Groups section of your dashboard.
Find that ad group that you just created, and complete it by adding keywords in the following match types:
- Modified broad match: Modified broad match terms allow you to show up for tons of searches on Google that contain your keyword in any order.
They are structured like this:
For example, if you sell basketball shoes, it would be: +basketball +shoes
- Phrase match: Phrase match can help you show up on searches that contain that exact phrase with any other query words, too.
They are structured like this:
“Keyword” — “basketball shoes”
For example, if someone on Google searches for “red basketball shoes,” you’d show up since the phrase match keyword is there.
But if someone searches for “red basketball sneaker,” you won’t show up.
- Exact Match: Exact match will help your ads show on searches that match the term or show close variations.
It’s structured like this:
Your finalized ad group should look something like this:
To sum it up for you, you want to make ad groups for each keyword you want to target using phrase, exact, and modified broad match forms of your keyword in each.
That way, each ad you create is going to be highly optimized for that keyword.
Instead of trying to target 2-3 ads for 15-20 keywords, you’re targeting 2-3 ads for a single keyword, giving you the best shot at a high CTR and more conversions for less money.
How To Use Google AdWords: Write Your Ad
Now, it’s time to write your first ad targeted towards your new SKAG.
I recommend following this simple guide from Unbounce:
Be sure to include your keyword in the headline and URL, as this will help signify to the searcher that they are finding exactly what they are looking for.
Once you’ve created a few ads with different copy for each SKAG, it’s time to set up your AdWords conversion tracking.
How To Use Google AdWords: Set Up Conversion Tracking
Head to the conversions section of your dashboard:
From here, create a new “Website” conversion:
This conversion type will allow you to track conversions on your website.
That includes anything from a form to a final e-commerce purchase.
Now, to finalize your conversion tracking, you need to install a few codes:
The global site tag will help you create remarketing lists. You’ll need to install it on your entire website.
The event snippet tag is your new conversion action that you just created. For example, tracking e-commerce purchases.
Take that event snippet and paste it on your thank you page so that, each time a user lands on that page after a purchase, AdWords can record that and give it conversion credit.
Without any conversion tracking, you’ve got no clue how well your campaign is performing.
Now that you’ve got it set up, along with your single keyword ad groups, you’re ready to bring home the bacon.
AdWords is no joke when it comes to driving easy, fast, and cheap sales.
You can quickly make a killing on AdWords, but you can also quickly lose money.
The platform is very complex and challenging to navigate, especially if you’ve got no history using PPC platforms.
Follow this Google AdWords 101 guide, and you’ll be on your way to driving tons of new sales fast.
Now, what are you waiting for?