Google Ads Guide

Google Ads Overview

Using Google Ads to conduct online advertising is one of the most effective ways to attract new customers and develop your business. However, before you get started, you need to know how to use Google Ads effectively in order to maximize your return on investment and avoid making mistakes. After all, improperly run Google Ads campaigns can be like lighting money on fire! The following guide will show you the benefits of Google Ads and how to start running ad campaigns for your business.

Understand Google Ads‍


Google Ads, which used to be known as Google AdWords, is Google's advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google's search results. Google offers advertisements which appear in the search results on with the use of Google Ads or advertisements that appear on other websites through the Display Network and Google’s AdSense program. Since advertisers have to pay for these clicks, this is how Google makes money from search.

Here is an example of a Google SERP (search engine results page).
Here is an example of a Google SERP (search engine results page).

The sponsored results, or ads, (in the green box) are denoted with a green “Ad” label. Ads can appear on the top or bottom of the Google search results page next to or under an "Ads" label. Ads are ranked primarily based on how relevant and useful they are to what the person searched for, your bid, and a few other factors like the keywords you choose to bid on. Sometimes, depending on what you are searching for, you’ll even see products here. These are done through uploading a product feed to Google Merchant Center and then running a Google Shopping Ad. These ads are actually not done via keyword bidding.

The results that appear below the ads (in the blue box) are referred to as organic results. An organic keyword is a keyword your website shows up on Google for without having to pay for it. This drives free traffic to your site and can be accomplished through search engine optimization (SEO). Organic keywords contrast with pay-per-click (PPC) keywords, which are bid on through paid search marketing campaigns.

These are essentially unpaid links to websites with content related directly to what the person searched for. The more relevant the site is to the search term, the higher the link will appear in the list. Your website could appear here, but your ad won't.

Google also offers Display Ads, which appear on the Google Display Network. The Display Network is an extensive collection of outside, third-party websites that have partnered with Google and agreed to serve Google ads. Google ads on the Display Network can be in text, image, video, or rich media format, and can be targeted differently. This includes remarketing and banner ads. If using AdSense, your ads would appear in the selected areas on a website


There is no doubt that Google Ads is by far the largest PPC network out there. Not only is it used by large enterprises to drive traffic to their websites but also tons of local businesses as well.

One of the best things about Google Ads is that the results are instant. As soon as your campaign has been approved, you can start receiving traffic in a matter of minutes. Simply enter the keywords you want to target, enter a maximum bid, and you’re good to go. Just sit back and watch all the traffic flow to your website (hopefully at your target CPC and CPA). This means you can start getting sales on the same day you start your campaign.

If you’re looking for a scalable marketing strategy, then Google Ads is the perfect solution. With millions of keywords available to bid on, you almost have an unlimited audience to target. With so many keywords to take advantage of, you can keep adding new keywords to your campaign to increase your traffic.

In addition, Google Ads has an amazing array of analytics and charts built into its software. These stats allow users to see how well their campaigns are performing and if they should be making changes. The statistics cover everything from average cost per click to advert position and even conversion rate.

How Does Google Ads Work?‍


Keywords are words or phrases you choose when you set up your Google Ads campaign. These are terms you think your potential customers are likely to use when searching for products or services like yours. By matching your keywords with the ads you create, you make it possible for your ad to show when someone searches for similar terms, or visits a website with related content.

For example, if your company is about online marketing, you could use online marketing as one keyword paired with an ad promoting online marketing services. When someone searches Google using the phrase online marketing or a similar term, your ad might appear next to Google search results, or on other related websites.


So how does Google Ads determine which ads should show? It all happens with an ad auction, which takes place every time someone searches on Google or visits a site that shows ads.

The Google Ads auction is focused around keywords. Advertisers choose a list of targeted keywords, they then bid on these keywords, basing each bid on how much they are willing to pay for a Google user to click on their ad through that particular keyword. This bid, combined with a Quality Score assigned by Google based on the quality of your proposed ad, determines which Google ads appear on the SERP.‍

Ad Rank

To win the auction, you need to optimize your Ad Rank score. Ad Rank determines your ad position and whether your ads are eligible to show at all. Generally, the ad with the highest Ad Rank appears in the top position, and the ad with the second-highest Ad Rank appears in the second position (when ads meet the relevant thresholds).There are five factors which affect your Ad Rank:

  1. Your bid: The maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click on your ad. The amount you actually end up paying is often less, and you can change your bid at any time.
  2. Quality Score: Google Ads looks at how relevant and useful your ad and the website it links to are to the person who will see it. The effective factors are:
  3. the relevance of your Google ad to the search query;
  4. the relevance of the google keyword to your ad group;
  5. the relevance of your ad to its landing page;
  6. the historical click-through rate (CTR: a metric that measures the number of clicks advertisers receive on their ads per number of impressions) of the ad and its ad group;
  7. overall historical account performance.
  8. Ad Rank thresholds: To help ensure high quality ads, we set minimum quality thresholds that an ad must meet to show in a particular ad position.
  9. Search context: When calculating Ad Rank, we look at the search terms the person has entered, geographical location at the time of search, type of device used (such as computers or mobile phones), the other ads and search results that show on the page, and other user signals and attributes.
  10. The expected impact from your ad extensions and other ad formats: When you create your ad, you have the option to add additional information to your ad, such as a phone number, or more links to specific pages on your site. These are called ad extensions. Google Ads estimates how extensions and other ad formats you use will impact your ad's performance.

With cost-per-click (CPC) bidding, you're charged only when someone is interested enough to click your ad and go to your website. You tell Google Ads the most you're willing to pay for a click on your ad (called the maximum cost-per-click bid), but you could be charged less.

You have control over your Google Ads budget. You decide the average amount you want to spend each day. On the days when your ad is more popular, Google Ads will allow up to twice your average daily budget, so you won't miss out on those valuable clicks. But don't worry, over the course of a month, you won’t be charged more than your average daily budget times the average number of days in a month (30.4).

For campaigns that are paused in the middle of the month or that otherwise don't run for the full month, you may see discrepancies between your average daily budgets and your total charges.

For the question “how much does Google Ads exactly cost”? The answer is “it depends”. Here are some facts:

  • Google Ads is based on an auction system that rewards businesses who have high-quality ad campaigns with lower costs and better ad placement.
  • You can exercise tight control over how your Google Ads budget is spent using tactics like ad scheduling, geo-targeting, and device targeting.
  • The average cost per click in Google Ads is between $1 and $2 on the search network.
  • The most expensive keywords in Google Ads cost $50 or more per click. These are generally highly competitive keywords in industries that have high customer lifetime values, like law and insurance.
  • Giant retailers can spend up to $50 million per year on paid search in Google Ads.
  • The average small business using Google Ads spends between $9,000 and $10,000 per month on their Google paid search campaigns, however, this number will vary significantly for your business based on a variety of factors.

How to use Google Ads?


Before you start advertising on Google Ads, you'll need to set up an Ads account. Setting up a new Ads account is easy and takes only a few minutes.

You can choose to create an account with an existing Google Account or create a new account specifically for Google Ads. You will then assign some basic information to your account, such as your location and time zone. Finally, you'll set up billing details so that Google can charge you monthly.


Once you've set up your Ads account with Google, you can consider how to build your Ads account. The logical account structure can have a huge impact on several key PPC metrics, such as quality scores. There are many benefits to ensuring that your Ads account is structured properly, including:

  • More relevant traffic and clicks
  • Higher quality score (thus reducing your cost per click)
  • Make your account easier to optimize and maintain
How to set up an account for optimal performance.
                                              How to set up an account for optimal performance.

‍If you're only planning to run one campaign, your Ads account structure might be simple. However, if you plan to run multiple campaigns at the same time, or plan to run your campaigns again in the future, consider optimizing your account structure from the start.

An ideal Ads account is made up of several individual campaigns, each with its own ad group. In turn, each ad group has its own keywords, unique ad text and landing page. The following figure shows how to set up an account for optimal performance.‍

There are several ways to build an Ads account, depending on your needs. For example, if your business operates in multiple separate markets, you can build your Ads account based on your site structure, the type of product or service you’re advertising, or the location.‍

Make your Google Ads successful

We put together a checklist you can follow to give you the best chance of having a successful Google Ads account:

  1. Establish account goals: what are you using Google Ads for? Lead generation? E-commerce? Brand building? How you structure your account and the features you take advantage of will hinge on your response.
  2. Determine audience: what do your ideal customers do? Where do they do it? When are they actively searching? On what device?
  3. Conduct keyword research: By bidding on effective keywords relevant to your business, you can place your ads in the search results for people who are searching for what you offer. Keyword tools help you discover cost, competition, and volume for search terms at every stage of your sales. At electrIQ, we use SEMrush to do the keyword research.
  4. Set budget and bid
  5. Structure account
  6. Write killer ads: maximize CTR by ensuring every text ad has a pair of compelling headlines, a call to action, and includes the keyword you are bidding on. Extensions make your ad bigger and more informative. Remember: emotional ads get more clicks!
  7. Design great landing pages: this is where you will convert leads to customers, meaning where you will convert the person who clicks on your ad into a paying customer.
  8. Minimize from fields
  9. Focus on benefits, not just features
  10. Use multiple, high-quality product images
  11. Make your call-to-action clear as day
  12. Make sure your landing pages work on mobile devices and browsers
  13. Implement conversion tracking: place the requisite code on your website and then use either Ads or Google Analytics to create conversion goals.
  14. Grow remarketing lists: build your remarketing lists as early as possible. Remarketing is a clever way to connect with visitors to your website who may not have made an immediate purchase or enquiry. It allows you to position targeted ads in front of a defined audience that had previously visited your website as they browse elsewhere around the internet. This will allow you to keep your product or service in front of prospects even if they don’t convert on their first site visit.
  15. Routine optimization:Test everything. A/B test your ad copy and landing page. Adjust bids based on keyword performance. Add negative keywords to eliminate unqualified search queries.
  16. Don’t Stop Here! If you are interested in other online marketing tool guides, head back to our resources page here.

Google Ads Summary

Running a successful Google Ads campaign can be challenging. Keywords should be chosen based on data and research, as well as strong incite into your customers and the searches relevant to them. This can make it difficult for small businesses to run a successful ads campaign, especially because small business owners often have so many things going on at once. Running a quality ads campaign takes research and time, and it also involves a great deal of refining as you continually alter your ad to maximize clicks and conversions.

At electrIQ Marketing, we specialize in running ads campaigns for small businesses. With an emphasis on a data driven approach, we make sure we are not simply choosing keywords blindly based solely on intuition and guesswork. Instead, we make sure the keywords we use are truly relevant to your website, as well as the products and/or services you offer. That way, you aren’t simply “lighting money on fire”. As always, if you need any help or advice, feel free to reach out, and, if you are looking to outsource your next campaign, don’t hesitate to book one of our free consultations so we can go over the specifics on how we can make your next Google Ads campaign a resounding success!

Other great digital marketing guides by Electriq include: 

For the most amazing agency services including Email Marketing to Traffic Boosting SEO, please reach out to us to help you with your Lifecycle Marketing Agency needs today!  

Explore More