Getting Started: Creating Google Ads – Best Practices for Beginners

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We have our website built with quality content that is better than anything else on the web – now what? First, we tell everyone we know to go check out our business and share it with a friend (cheap, easy, effective: word-of-mouth). Now, we need to promote it to a bigger audience!


Article Breakdown & Quick Links


Advertising with Google

photo c. Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Promoting your business on the Google platform offers benefits you won’t get with other forms of advertising. Like all digital medians, the promotions are cheap compared to traditional methods, and they offer more condensed targeting. But compared to Facebook and Linkedin, Google puts your brand in front of an audience when they’re most likely looking for your product or service.

Example Time!

For example, Jim is looking for car tires. So what does he do? He goes to Google and types in “tires.” Immediately, he is shown 4 ads at the top of the browser window promoting local sellers and online retailers. Below these 4 options are the local search results on a map and after that, the organic search results. Point being, the top slot is offered to paid advertisers for a reason, and that’s because these results are by far the most likely to be selected. Don’t think so? WordStream.com ran a report showing their search results. Advertising for them resulted in 64.6% conversion rate compared to organic.

Now, of course, we’re not saying SEO isn’t important. As the old fable goes, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Developing great SEO practices and a well-performing page saves your business loads of money and puts you up front with various key phrases.

Let’s make an Ad

photo c. John Schnobrich on Unsplash

There are a LOT of variables when creating a Google Ad, and each plays a major role for winning bids and appealing to your audience. We need to know our audience, what they like, where they live, what they need, and what they’re searching for. We also need to write copy that will rank high on Google’s platform based on keywords/phrases, and we also need to use images that relate to what we’re promoting and will grab attention. Don’t let this overwhelm you though, we’re going to take this step by step.

Remember, Google offers automated ad development tools if you don’t want to spend time developing one, but we’re able to fine-tune our placements with the advanced settings.

Research, Research, Research

Ask yourself these questions when researching your audience.

  • How will my audience search for my company?
    • Will they be using Google search, browsing websites, watching videos, using mobile apps?
      • This can influence what type of ad you launch – text, display, shopping, video, app, smart.
  • Where (geographically) is my audience located?
    • Are we targeting a local, national, or international user?
      • Going for a very specific group? The geographic section can pinpoint a zip code or city.
  • When they’re looking for my product or service what keywords will they search for?
    • How could these keywords change based on our geographic locations?
      • We can apply different keywords to specific ads in our group to keep them relevant.
  • What’s the purpose of this advert?
    • How will viewers perceive the message?
      • This ties into our goals. What do we want our viewer to do when they interact with our ad?

Campaign Settings

Campaign Settings Page Google Ads
Advanced Campaign Settings Page

The campaign settings create the foundation for your ad. Your input with this page may vary depending on whether you’re using Google’s automated campaign builder or you’re using the advanced settings. Reading the rest of this article will give you insight on your own campaign when updating the various settings.

Writing Great Copy

photo c. Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Center your ad around the keywords & phrases tied to the campaign. So if we’re targeting a user who searches for “rock climbing harness.” We’d likely use climbing equipment, climbing harness, and rock climbing harness as our keywords. We’re going to give an example of one ad, but it’s recommended that you write at least 3 ads per campaign. This way you’re variable adverts will appear to those searching a specific key phrase.

Key Terms & Phrases Google Ads
This is the advanced settings page for Key Terms & Phrases

Using the “rock climbing harness” search for an example. Our Headline 1 should relate to one of the key terms we’ve specified. So if someone searches climbing harness, we will make Headline 1 something like “Climbing Harnesses.” Headline 2 should draw the viewer into the site by showing the value within or by making an offer. Let’s say “Free Shipping on All Orders.” Lastly, the content describes what’s inside and builds credit to your brand and product. We’ll say, “Our climbing harnesses are handcrafted by American workers who ensure quality in every stitch, see for yourself!” You’ll notice we included a call to action with “see for yourself.” This puts the thought of seeing more of the product into the viewer’s mind.

Creating Google Ads
We want to create at least 3 ads that relate to the key terms

Before we’re done with the copy, our web link can lead users to specific pages in our site. The secondary link description is used to specify exactly what it is they can expect. So if we’re a large outdoor gear provider, we may include “climbing harness” in the secondary link.

Adding Images

Google Ads Display Ad

If you’re using the Google A.I to generate an ad or if you’re creating an image ad it’s important to use images that support what exactly it is that you’re promoting. As we see in the above image, Salesforce is featuring their image ad on websites such as skimag.com and many others that subscribe to the Google Adsense. In this situation, Salesforce is relating their email services with paper airplanes (a common branding subject for them). So for our harness campaign, we would likely use an image of our product being used. Likely a photo of someone wresting on a rock-wall with the rope tied to the harness.

Setting a Budget

photo c. NeONBRAND on Unsplash

An ad budget varies from business to business, but there are a few options available whether you’re spending $1,000 a day or $1. Say we set a budget of $10 a day for our harness advert. We want to ensure that we’re only bidding on placement when our audience is active. So, we’ll make our ads active from 10am – 8pm. This will ensure that we’re getting in front of our audience when they’re most likely to be searching for our product. We can also specify the delivery method. This can be standard or accelerated. A standard delivery method paces your ad bidding throughout the day. While the accelerated method is more likely to spend your budget sooner in the day.

Geographic Targeting

photo c. Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

If you’ve done your research, you’ll know where your audience is geographically located. Using Ocean Fig as the example, we researched what cities in the U.S are hotspots for startup businesses. We then cross-referenced our sources for the best results. Always check your sources to ensure they’re up-to-date (within 2-3 years old at the very most)! We concluded that Austin, Boston, Denver, Portland, and San Diego are some of the cities with the most startups. These city regions will hopefully put us in front of our audience. You can specify locations down to a zip code and cities so specifying a region within a small area is easy enough.

Always Review

photo c. freddie marriage on Unsplash

Always review your ads before submitting them and after they’re complete. First, there’s nothing worse than seeing a blatant mistake in the copy such as sale prices, shipping discounts, and typos. Second, there’s no way to improve your advertisements without seeing how each performs. By creating 3+ ads per campaign, we can see which is performing the best and we can then work around how we can make improvements.

As always, we hope this article has helped you learn something new today. Leave a comment below if there’s anything we may have missed that you’d like to learn more about, and stay tuned for our next post!

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