What is Google Ads – The Complete PPC Guide

There are a million Google Ads guides (formerly Google AdWords) for digital marketing professionals. But what if you are totally new to search engine marketing and have never connected to Google Ads?

Or you’ve connected, but you still don’t know how to use it. Google Ads is a complicated system with a lot of jargon and acronyms. Do you know what a broad match or a negative keyword is?

In this guide, we will explain what Google Ads is in simple terms to help you decide if it is worth trying for your company and we will analyze the first steps you must take to carry out a successful campaign.

What is Google Ads?


Well, Google’s help center tells us that Google Ads is “Google’s online advertising platform.” But let’s dive and delve a little deeper into the subject …

By using Google Ads, companies can create online ads to reach people who are potentially interested in their products or services.

These ads appear in Google search results, on websites that agree to display Google ads, or both.Ads in Google search results

Ads ad on a Google partner website

Ads ad on a Google partner website

And how do those ads get there? Google Ads choose which ads to show through a bid. Advertisers choose when and where they want their ads to appear, and then bid an amount of money they are willing to pay for each click that is made on their ad. The higher you bid, the more the ad is shown.

Google Ads is an example of a broader type of online advertising called pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. The pay per click is ” a model of internet advertising, in which the advertiser pays his ads to the web that presents them at a rate based on the number of clicks made on the ad .”

Some places where you will see PPC ads are search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), banners, social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) and Capterra.

Google Ads is a self-service platform. This means that users have full control over their budgets, configuration and ad writing, and can modify them at any time. All of these options can be quite overwhelming depending on the complexity of your business model, performance objectives and target audience.

As Internet marketing expert Neil Patel wisely describes, “Google Ads is simple, but not easy.”

To make it a little easier, we will guide you through some of the fundamental steps, including the establishment of a budget and the selection of your first keywords.

But first, let’s find out if Google Ads is right for you right now.

Should I use Google Ads?


When you use Google Ads, you are literally competing with other companies for clicks. Many of these businesses use search engine marketing companies with many years of experience and PPC tools to maximize their profits.

To make money with Google Ads, you have to invest some time. If you don’t have time, you can probably have a negative ROI.

If your goal is not to get new customers, I don’t think Google Ads is your best option. It’s like taking a quantum computer to algebra class. It will take you longer to learn how to use it than if you did the calculations by hand.

If your goal is something simpler than acquiring new customers at a specific price, I would not recommend using Google Ads to achieve it. It can become too expensive, competitive and complicated to learn. There are easier and less expensive methods of increasing brand recognition.

If you think Google Ads could be a key and fruitful piece of your marketing formula, make sure you first have a clear action plan before you begin.

Google offers many free tools that make campaign management as easy as possible, including the Keyword Planner, online support documents and, of course, the Google Ads forum.

Once you have decided to learn how to use it correctly, you should calculate your objectives clearly and concretely. Why do you use Google Ads? What do you want to achieve? How will you know if it works for you?

Step 1 to achieve success with Google Ads: Set your goals and metrics

The first thing to keep in mind is that Google Ads must be profitable.

If you spend more on Google Ads than you get on sales through it, you’re doing it wrong.

Of course, it is normal to lose some money at the beginning as you learn which keywords, ads and landing page work best for you. But it is something that should change very quickly.

Remember, Google Ads helps you make money. You will know that it works for you when you get more than what you spend.

How to decide how much to initially spend on Google Ads?

Whole books have been written about establishing a PPC budget. This article is undoubtedly just an introduction.

The best way to set Google Ads goals is to start by calculating the objective cost per acquisition (CPA). If you don’t know how to calculate your CPA, see “Marketing metrics: how to set the cost per target acquisition .”

Once you know your CPA, you’ll know how much you can spend on each click on Google Ads and keep it profitable.

Now that you know how much to bid, you should know how to track conversions.

Conversion Tracking

With the conversion, we mean the sale.

To be successful with Google Ads, you must be able to track the path from the keyword to the landing page and the sale.

“Don’t launch your campaign without a plan to track conversions,” recommends Jordan Brannon of Coalition Technologies. “If you don’t have resources to track conversions, you’ll never understand the value or responsibility of your advertising efforts.”

You will need software to help you track conversions. Google Analytics is a free software option as a service. There are also many other packages of analytical marketing tools to choose from.

Step 2 to achieve success with Google Ads: Create your landing page

A landing page or landing page is where the search engine arrives after clicking on your ad. The landing page has one purpose and is only one: sell.

“Landing pages are the key to success,” says Sam Brinks of TeamSnap. “Without high-quality landing pages, your visitors won’t know what to do.”

There are five elements you should consider to create a high conversion landing page:

  • *Clear added value: When a potential buyer arrives on your page, it should be clear what product or service you sell and how it will improve your life.
  • *Call to action: Your landing page should ask the visitor to make a purchase.
  • *Short forms: Do not hinder your purchase by asking for too much information.
  • *Elements of trust: Any element, from user comments or testimonials to customer logos, helps build trust, especially if they are authentic, relevant and recent.
  • *Easy to digest content: Whether it’s vignettes, video demonstrations, or both, make sure there is complete information about your product or service. The buyer needs to know a little more before pressing “buy now”.

Step 3 to achieve success with Google Ads: Bid on keywords

Are keywords the most important part of a Google Ads search campaign?

Amy Presuhn, Capterra digital marketing manager, believes so. “Keywords can determine the success or failure of campaigns,” says Presuhn.

Before moving on to the keywords, let’s go back to the basics. Google Ads is a bid.

Reminder: Google Ads is like an auction

But not just any type of bid. Instead of a conventional bid in which cars are auctioned, in Google Ads bid for keywords.

What does this mean? This means that you are asking Google to show your ad when someone searches for a particular term in exchange for paying each time they click on your ad.

You just want to bid on keywords that are closely related to your products or services. A simple trick is to scan your website. What terms are used frequently? The closer you are to choose keywords that are relevant to your business, the more likely it is that you will get clicks from users looking for what you offer.

“I like to use keywords as a starting point to build a new campaign,” says Presuhn. “After identifying the keywords, writing ads is easier.”

“Know what search terms your potential customers use,” recommends Deering from TouchPoint Digital Marketing. “Use the Google keyword tool to determine which words and phrases are the most popular and create ads related to those terms, giving priority to the most used. Also, make sure you use variations of the words and terms since not everyone will look the same way. ”

Types of concordance

Google will ask you to choose the type of match you want for each keyword you bid on.

What is a type of agreement? It refers to the extent to which Google matches your keyword with what the user is looking for. The types are: exact, phrase, broad and broad match modifier.

  1. Exact: Google shows your ad when a user searches for the exact word for which you bid.
  • *Keyword: cows
  • *Exact match: cows
  1. Phrase: Google shows your ad when a user searches for a phrase that contains the exact word for which you bid.
  • *Keyword: cows
  • *Phrase match: Buy cows
  1. Broad match modifier: Google shows your ad when a user searches for a phrase that contains the exact word for which you bid and words related to a modified word.
  • *Keyword: luxury cows +
  • *Broad match modifier: quality cows
  1. Broad: Google shows your ad when a user searches for a word or phrase related to the word or phrase for which you bid.
  • *Keyword: fancy cows
  • *Broad match: quality cattle

“For some accounts [broad agreement] they open up many opportunities for low spending,” says Mike LaLonde of Londes Digital Marketing. “To maintain greater control, opt for exact keywords, phrase and modified broad match keywords, and check your search terms reports frequently to add negative keywords that you might be targeting without realizing.”

Negative keywords

A negative keyword is a word or phrase that you don’t want connecting to your ad. So, if you sell cows online, you don’t want to appear when someone searches for the Dallas Cowboys (the football team).

“Negative keywords are as important as any other type of match,” explains Benjamin Collins of Laughing Samurai. “The true power of search engine advertising lies in being very specific with whom it is addressed (…) Know the types of matches and how they work, and use the negative keywords generously to optimize advertising spend. A more relevant segmentation translates into more effective search campaigns. ”

Other useful tips

  • *The closer your landing page is , and the more the keywords and ads relate to each other, the less you’ll have to spend on conversions. “Make sure everything [on your landing page], from the page title to paragraph headings and content, is as relevant as possible to the ad group you have set up,” says Brinks. “Enter your keywords naturally and make sure everything looks good on your mobile. Take the time you need to build a solid foundation for your optimized landing pages and everything else will be much easier. ”
  • *Keep in mind that Google Ads does not check if your ads or landing page contain spelling, grammar or punctuation errors. “Check the spelling and punctuation of your ads in another tool before publishing them,” recommends Philip Barnhart of Nehmedia.

Are you ready to use Google Ads?


Wow, How much information And we’ve only scratched the tip of the Google Ads iceberg. But hopefully, it will have been enough to help you decide if it is a good option for your business.

If you need software to help you with your Google Ads campaign, check out our category of PPC tools and ours to our category of marketing data analysis tools where you can compare the software options and find the one that best suits your marketing needs