Google Ads is, without a doubt, the star tool in SEM. It can help us get highly qualified traffic, increase the visibility of a brand around the world and, of course, achieve conversions, all at a very low cost.
But although Google Ads campaigns have a very intuitive interface, it is true that there are many parameters to control and that it is difficult to optimize them well from the beginning. So so that you have things very clear, we are going to see some basic concepts to master this tool and a step-by-step guide to creating the best campaigns.
Important concepts about Google Ads
A keyword or keyword is the set of terms that a user enters in a search engine such as Google. It can be a single word, multiple words, or even an entire phrase, for example, “Buying Cheap Travel to New York.”
Keywords are like the “building blocks” of a Google Ads campaign. Thanks to them, Google can know what are the topics that interest a specific user at a certain time and show them ads according to them. Thanks to a good selection of keywords, we will ensure that we are creating truly relevant advertising.
The match types determine to what extent the term entered by the user in the search engine must match our keyword. We can choose between:
- Broad match: is the one that is assigned by default. Includes synonyms, misspellings, related searches, and other variations. For example, if the keyword is “women’s hats”, the ad may appear when you search for “buy women’s hats.”
- Broad match modifier: Includes slight variations, but not synonyms, and search terms can appear in any order. For example, “buy a hat for a woman.”
- Phrase match: It is based on the exact match of a part of the text that the user is looking for with the keyword in question. For example, for “women’s hats”, the ad would show with “buy women’s hats”, but not with “cheap women’s hats”, as entering a word in the middle breaks the match.
- Exact match: as the name suggests, in this case, the ad would only be shown if the user entered the keyword exactly.
- Negative match: This option is a bit different since here we enter the keywords for which we do not want the ad to appear. A very useful term is “free” since we want to filter out users who are not interested in buying.
The search engine advertising is always to text ads. These ads should correspond as much as possible with the terms that the user has entered in the search engine. For example, if you searched for “Buy cheap trips to New York,” you might find an ad titled “Find cheap trips to New York.” On the other hand, if you find something like “Cheap flights to Singapore”, it is most likely that you are not interested.
Within a Google Ads text ad, we can distinguish several elements:
- Title: Currently, Google Ads campaigns support up to three different titles with a maximum of 30 characters each. Depending on the device the user is using, the titles will be displayed in different ways. If there are several titles on the same line, they will be separated by a vertical bar.
- Display URL: This is the advertiser’s website address. Google Ads allows you to customize this parameter so that the real domain of the website is displayed and then the words that the user chooses. Customizable text is limited to 15 characters.
- Description: here you can include up to two descriptions of 90 characters each. The usual thing is to use them to expand the information of the titles and it is recommended to always introduce a call to action.
- Extensions: Extensions allow you to expand the information in your ad text with lots of options, such as company locations, phone, additional links, or product prices.
Pay per click
The million-dollar question comes: how much does a Google Ads campaign cost?
The advertising on the Google search engine follows a model pay per click or PPC, that is, we will pay for each time a user does click on ads.
This advertising uses an auction format, that is, all advertisers bid for that space and keyword and decide the maximum price they are willing to pay. From there, Google uses a series of parameters to determine which ads to show and in what order.
The next million-dollar question is, logically, what are these parameters. The crux of the matter is the Quality Score or level of quality.
The Quality Score is a score from 1 to 10 that Google assigns to each keyword in the account. The higher it is, the less we will pay for the ads and the better they will be located in the search engine. This score is determined based on:
- The CTR or “click-through rate”, that is, the percentage of users who click on the ad concerning the total number of users who see it. The higher the ad-to-keyword ratio and the attractiveness of the ad, the higher the CTR achieved.
- The relevance of the ad, that is, to what extent it corresponds to the keyword searched by the user.
- The landing page the user reaches after clicking. Once again, what we are looking for is a good relationship between the keyword and the contents of the page, as well as a good user experience.
Read more: SEA / SEO: How to find keyword ideas?
How to create a great Google Ads campaign step by step
1) set goals
You already know that setting realistic and consistent goals for your business should be the first step in any marketing campaign.
The campaigns Google Ads are very versatile because we can use them to turn to the user at different stages of the funnel.
The most traditional strategy is based on acting on the last phase of the conversion funnel when the user is ready to buy. This allows you to achieve high conversion rates and fast results but has the disadvantage that the competition can be very high. Since advertising is paid on an auction basis, this often has a high cost per click.
On the other hand, we can use Google Ads to reinforce our inbound strategy, introducing keywords that are not related to the moment of purchase but the appearance of the need. The advantage, in this case, is that the competition and the costs per click are much lower.
2) Research your keywords
Good keyword selection can make the difference between success or failure in Google Ads.
In general, it is advisable to start with “brainstorming” techniques and then analyze each potential keyword to get the ones that interest us the most. For the first step, we can use the related searches of Google’s own search engine. To introduce ourselves further, the star tool is Google Ads’ own keyword planner ( Keyword Planner ), although there are also other options such as SEMRush.
To decide if a keyword interests us or not, we must take into account these key aspects:
- The volume of searches. Is it attracting enough attention to generate relevant conversion volume?
- The competition and the price per click. If we have an estimate of the click-to-conversion rate and the ROI of each new customer, we can easily see what our cap price is.
- The intentionality. Here we have to put ourselves in the shoes of the user looking for this keyword, to see if they are looking for general information, if they have a specific need related to our products or if they are ready to buy.
3) Decide on the structure of your account
To start working with Google Ads, you have to be clear about the different levels of structure within an account.
First of all, we find the campaigns. In general, we must bear in mind that each objective will have a separate campaign. Within the campaign, we can configure these options:
- The type of campaign. In this guide, we are focusing on search ones, but there are also other options such as display network campaigns.
- The ubication. Very important to eliminate unwanted clicks.
- The bid strategy (automatic or manual)
- The daily budget.
- The device.
Next, we have the ad groups. At this level, we configure the internal structure of the campaigns according to themes and control the relationship between keywords and ads. My advice here is that you try to create clearly differentiated themes, for example, the different product lines of your e-commerce.
And finally, within each ad group, we will include a list of keywords and ads.
Read More on Toboola ads pricing
4) Set up your campaign
Let’s do it! We are going to see how to create and configure a campaign in Google Ads step by step.
- Sign up at https://ads.google.com or sign in if you already have an account.
- Decide on the daily budget for your campaign. To help you make the best decision, Google estimates the coverage that you can achieve with the budget entered.
- Define the location of your target audience. As we have seen, this is essential to rule out users who are outside the scope of your products.
- Choose the network. If you want your ad to only show up in the Google search engine, you will have to uncheck the “Display Network” option.
- Write your keywords. Don’t forget about the concordances!
- Set the maximum bid that you are willing to pay for each click.
- Create the text of your first ad.
- Enter your payment information.
And ready! With this, you already have everything you need for your advertising to start showing in Google Ads, but depending on the account structure you have defined, you will have to spend a while creating and organizing your ad groups.
5) Do A / B tests
The tests A / B or “split test” are one of the most effective ways to optimize your campaigns of Google Ads.
The premise is very simple: it is about doing experiments with some key elements of your ads, such as the calls to action, the title, the visible URL, the landing page,, or the copy. In each A / B test, you will test two identical ads in everything except the version of the element to be tested. If you have more than two variants, you can do a second A / B test and then compare the winners with each other.
For an A / B test to be truly effective, we have to wait until both versions have received a significant number of impressions and clicks before concluding.
With this technique, you will be able to filter which are the creatives and options that really work with your target audience and create increasingly effective Google Ads campaigns.
6) Evaluate the results
Last but not least, don’t make a common mistake when creating campaigns in Google Ads: setting up your ads and forgetting about your account for weeks or months.
No matter how well designed your campaign is, it needs a bit of pampering, attention, and tweaking to do its best. But it’s also no use obsessing over and making premature changes. For this reason, I recommend that you establish regular monitoring moments (for example, every end of the month) to study what is happening in your account and how you could improve.
As you may have already noticed, Google Ads offers many different metrics and it is impossible to be truly aware of all of them at once. Instead, we must choose which are the KPIs that best correspond to the objectives set. In any case, it is always a good idea to control the level of quality and conversions.
You are ready to succeed with your Google Ads campaigns!
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