Are you wondering how to advertise your product or service on Google? Do want to set up Google Ads but don't know how to get started? No problem, expert Sven Scheuerle explains step by step how to create your first Google Ads campaign and reach your target audience.
Have you ever wondered why only big shops appear among the first search queries in Google? Especially when you are looking for things that you can buy online. This is simply because these companies usually place advertisements on Google.
To be more precise, this is the Google Ads service, through which the so-called ads - i.e. advertisements - can be placed for a very specific search query or "keywords". Until 2018, this service was still called Google AdWords, which is why the terms "Google Ads" and "Google AdWords" are often used synonymously.
For example, a Google Ad will look like this in the search results:
In this article, I'd like to explain in a few simple steps how you can use Google Ads for your business or service. Because the big advantage of Google advertising is that you can place your offer immediately in the search results pages (SERPs).
What are Google Ads anyway?
As you may already know, you have two options to appear in the top rankings in Google search results. When we talk about the top rankings, we generally mean the first page of the search results.
- On the one hand, you can use the organic optimization, i.e. the classic search engine optimization (SEO), which consists of the OnPage optimization and OffPage optimization.
- The second option is search engine advertising (SEA) which allows you to be placed in search results for specific keywords.
So what's SEM?
Search engine advertising is billed per click. Note that the so-called CPC value (cost per click) can differ from keyword to keyword. You can get a nice overview of the approximate click prices, for example, through your keyword research and in the Keyword Planner of Google AdWords. More about this in a moment.
Two steps to your first Google Ads campaign
You can create your first Google Ads campaign in just two steps. I'll show you which configurations you need to make in the appropriate settings in the following example.
1. Keyword research
Before you start with a Google Ads campaign, you should perform an extensive keyword research. You can do this either directly with the Keyword Planner within Google AdWords or, of course, with another tool such as Ubersuggest.
In the first step, keyword research helps you identify the keywords your target group is looking for. And to find out how high the competition is and how high the click prices are. Of course, you can always repeat the keyword research at a later point and add or remove appropriate keywords. Moreover, you can see exactly how and in what form users search for your keywords during the course of your campaign.
To access the Keyword Planner in Google Ads, click on "Keyword Planner" under "Tools and Settings".
In the following overview, click on "Discover new keywords" to first view general information about your keyword.
You can then enter your main keyword. In our example, I'll use the keyword "baby crib".
Of course, you could also enter other relevant keywords here. Then click on the button "Show results". In the following overview, you will then receive the results for your previously entered keyword. Here you will see all keywords that are also related to your keyword (for example, long tail keywords, synonyms, etc.).
On the right site under "Refine keywords" you can further hone your keyword search.
In the individual columns you can see, among other things, the approximate monthly search queries, the competition and the cheapest and most expensive click price in this area. With a check mark in the respective keyword, you can include this directly here in a new or existing campaign.
I personally recommend always using another keyword tool in parallel and not relying exclusively on the Keyword Planner. The Keyword Planner unfortunately only provides inexact data for some key figures, e.g. search volume, and is somewhat difficult for beginners to use.
Alternatively, you can also do keyword research with a tool like Ubersuggest and get clearer results.
As you can see, a keyword tool such as Ubersuggest provides much clearer results at first glance, which are easier to work with, especially for beginners. Here, too, you can see your main keyword as well as other related keywords. In addition, a current trend, the search volume, the click price (CPC), the competition in paid advertising (PD) and the level of competition in organic search (SD). The higher the value, the more difficult.
During your keyword research, you get a first overview of keywords you can use for yourself in your Google Ads. The more precise and longer the keyword, the lower the click prices - and the lower the search volume.
For example, if you only sell beds measuring 70x140cm (keyword: baby crib 70×140) or want to promote this category from your online shop, you should start your campaign with this keyword. The most popular keyword "baby crib" would simply be too general and by trying to compete with the competition, you'd simply be throwing a lot of money out the window.
2. Create campaign
Once you've done your keyword research, the next step is to create a campaign.
Click on "Campaign" and then on the "+" symbol and create a "New Campaign".
In the following overview you have to select a goal for your campaign. Here you have a variety of options to choose from:
- Sales: Achieve sales or conversions / Target customers who are on the verge of making a purchase decision.
- Leads: Relevant users who are interested in the product or service and who are persuaded to take a certain action (conversion).
- Website traffic: Getting potential customers to visit your website.
- Product & Brand Readiness: Encourage users to find out more about your product or service.
- Brand awareness & reach: increase awareness of the brand, the service, the product, the company
- App advertising: increase the number of app installs and interactions
- Local store visits and promotions: Increase visits to local stores
- Create campaign without target: Other
In our example, we want to make sure that we sell our product (baby crib). For this reason, we select "Sales" here.
By clicking on the respective campaign goal, another window opens where you can now set the campaign type.
Here we select "Search" - i.e. a text ad within the search results - and click on the "Next" button. You will then be taken to the campaign settings. (When you should select which target and for which type of ad this is suitable, you can read in the Google Help Center ).
General campaign settings
In the general settings, you enter your campaign name and select the appropriate display network. To get started with Google Ads, you should first begin with the search network.
Targeting and audiences
In the audience targeting settings, you specify the location and the languages in which the Google Ads are to be displayed. If you want to advertise to a British target group, select "United Kingdom" under Location and "English" under Language.
Budget and bidding
In the budget and bidding settings, you can set your daily budget. Start here with a sensible amount so you can get a feeling of the Google Ads service.
Under "Bidding" you can determine what you want to focus on. For example, you can choose between conversion or clicks. We want to optimize our campaign for conversions as we mainly want to generate visitors who'll take the corresponding action - in our case, a purchase.
You don't need to set a target CPA at the beginning. You can deal with this when you eventually come to the different bidding strategies.
Set up ad groups
Under "Set up an ad group" you now have the option to create different keyword groups. So, if you use different keywords, it makes sense to assign them to different groups as well.
If you don't want to add your keywords manually, you can use a URL or a product or service to have Google Ads generate a variety of interesting keywords.
In our example, I've specified the product "baby crib". You'll then get a number of relevant keywords that you should certainly check over first. For example, you could also enter the URL of your competition and AdWords would display all relevant keywords for that URL. Or simply enter the keywords you collected earlier during keyword research.
In our case, for example, it would make sense to put the terms "baby crib", "cot", "bed" etc. into different groups.
Under "Create ad" you now have to enter the Google Ads texts, which will finally be displayed on the search results pages. Via the lower button "Create nextad" you can also create several or more ads for an ad group.
New text ad
Here you can design the final display. On the left, you can make your entries and then see a preview of how the ad will be displayed on desktop devices and smartphones on the right.
In addition to the URL your users will be directed to when they click on the Google Ad, you store a corresponding ad title and descriptions. In AdWords, the number of words for each line is limited. You therefore need to communicate the most important information briefly and concisely within the Google Ad.
Afterwards, you will see a summary of your Google Ads campaign. For example, the start and end date, the campaign budget or the bidding strategy. Your campaign will then be published via the "Publish" button.
Google Ads conversion tracking
So you can also track whether and how many conversions you've achieved via the Google ad (sales), you now need to integrate the so-called conversion event on your website.
Click on the "+" symbol to create a new conversion action.
Create an action
In our example, we want to track conversion on a website, so we select "Website" in the view below.
In the next step, you now define the settings for conversion tracking. Under "Category" you have to specify which action you want to track. In our example, this would be the sale of a product.
Furthermore, you assign a conversion name here, e.g. "Thank you page ". Under "Value" you can set a value for the conversion. If you achieve 15 euros per sale, you would enter "15" here. This way you can see directly in the statistics how much revenue you've generated with this campaign.
Under "Count" you can define how the conversions should be counted. For sales, you should select "Every" here so that every purchase is tracked.
Set up tag
For the tracking to work correctly, you need to first install the site tag. To do this, you can either simply copy the script and integrate it manually into your website or, if you already use it, via the Google Tag Manager.
With a click on "Insert tag yourself" the following view opens. Here you can copy the script directly by clicking on "Download snippet". Afterwards you have to insert this script into the source code of your header. The easiest way to do this is to use a Plugin like Insert Headers and Footers.
To track the conversion or purchase correctly, you now need to add the "sell event" you created in Google Ads to the corresponding page, e.g. the thank you page.
We leave the settings as they are, because the event should fire as soon as the site is loaded. You can also copy the event snippet by simply clicking on "Download snippet".
You may only insert this snippet on the "Thank you page ", however. You can also use the plugin mentioned above instead and make the appropriate settings.
GDPR and Google Ads
As you're probably very much aware of already, everyone is talking about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Of course, this means that you too need to consider the current laws and guidelines for tracking your Google Ads campaign.
What do I want to tell you with that? Basically, you are only allowed to track if visitors have agreed in advance via a corresponding cookie banner. For this purpose, you can use a cookie Plugin such as Borlabs Cookie, which I have already presented in detail here.
In this case, you simply create a corresponding cookie for the Google Ads script and insert the code here. You can also insert the event script on the corresponding page via the meta boxes (e.g. the thank you page). This way, the event is only fired when someone has actually agreed to the cookies.
Google Ads are a fantastic way to advertise products or services quickly and easily within Google search results. In today's article, I showed you how to start your first campaign in no time using the basic functions.
However, the fact is that Google AdWords really does offer numerous and advanced features when creating campaigns, which I have deliberately left out here. So if you decide to switch as a beginner:in your first Google Ads, I recommend you to deal with Google advertising over a longer period of time. Start with a low budget at first and then slowly work your way up. Again, the same applies as with Facebook Ads - you need to test, test, test! It's important that you learn how Google Ads work, otherwise you'll burn a lot of money.
Best of luck with your first Google Ads campaign and I wish you every success!