A Short Guide to Google Ads

A Short Guide to Google Ads

When you type in a word or sentence to Google, you do it with intent. You are looking for something specific, whether it’s a pizza place near you or a unique, hand-crafted jewelry store. In most cases, you are actively looking to make a purchase. You are literally telling a search engine what you want to buy by spelling out words that relate to the products or services you seek.

Herein lies the power of Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords). Google knows exactly what people want, and with Google Ads, you can leverage that power.

Not sure how it works? Let’s start with the basics.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a marketplace where companies pay to have their website ranked at the top of search result pages based on keywords. It can take months, years even, to build up enough content and a strong website to rank at the top of a search page. Using Google Ads is like taking a shortcut to the top of the page. You can jump straight to number one by running an Ads campaign.

How does it work?

The Google Ads marketplace works as an auction. Companies bid money for clicks. However, spending more money doesn’t guarantee you will win. Google takes both quality and spend into account in order to serve the best ads to users. If you have a high-quality ad and a good bid, your ad is likely to be displayed on search.

Great, so how do I get started?

To get started on Google Ads, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with a few basic terms.

Keyword: A keyword is a word or phrase that users search for when they see your ad. Your ad will show up if a user searches for the keyword(s) that you picked!
Clicks: Google charges you every time someone clicks on your ad.
Impressions: This is a measure of the number of times your ad is shown on search, regardless of clicks.
Click-through-rate (CTR): If you divide clicks by impressions, you get your click-through-rate. CTR is the percentage of users who arrive on your advertised page because they clicked on your ad. It is a good indicator of how your ads are performing.
Bid: A bid is the amount of money you are willing to pay for each click. For example, if your max bid is $2, then your ad will only show up if someone else isn’t bidding more — assuming that you have the same quality score!
Cost-per-click (CPC): Even though you might have bid $2 on a keyword, your cost-per-click could be less than that. This is because Google adjusts your maximum bid depending on what other people are bidding. Having a good quality score also affects your max bid.
Quality Score: Your Quality Score is calculated based on the experience a user has on your landing page or website, and how relevant your ad and landing page is to their search. Google will show an ad with a high-quality score over an ad with a higher bid because they want users to find what they are looking for and keep coming back to Google.
Conversions: A conversion is a new lead or sale, but in more general terms, it means the user is taking the action you want them to take once they’ve landed on your page or site.
Ad Rank: Your Ad Rank is your Quality Score times the maximum bid you’ve selected. This determines what position your ad will appear in. In theory, you can rank at the top while paying less than your competitors by having a high-quality ad and landing page.

Make sense so far?

Google Ads is a powerful tool to leverage in the e-commerce sphere, and if you do it right, it’s possible to obtain a high ROI. Though it may seem daunting to learn, our advice is to start slowly. Set a small budget and do some experimenting until you get the hang of it! There are a ton of online resources to help you out, including this comprehensive guide to Google Ads from Google itself.

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