How to use Google AdWords

29 Apr 2021


Helen Crompton

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When we’re living in a world full of online shoppers, it’s important to ensure our digital marketing strategies are reactive and on point. Google is the online equivalent of a shopping centre, after all. Working on your SEO is a long game, but if you want to grow your brand recognition quickly, and make some fast sales, then PPC is the way to go. 

Want to know how to get your ads right at the top of the search engine? All you need is Google AdWords and an awesome PPC strategy.

What exactly is Google AdWords?

Maybe you’ve heard of PPC? Pay-per-click. Google allows you to bid for certain keywords to get your ads on its search results pages, and in front of searchers. They can appear at the top, bottom or to the side of SERPs, so they’re conveniently placed to catch your target audience’s eyes. Every click is paid for, and it’s very effective. You can monitor, tweak and report the ad campaigns in your accounts to manage them efficiently, and get better ROI. 

Why should a business use Google AdWords?

Creating a flashy website that shows off all your amazing products and services is all well and good until you realise the traffic is super low. Which means conversions are too – yikes. Well, maybe searchers just need a helping hand to get them where they need to go faster.

It’s all in the targeting

With Google AdWords, you get a whole host of targeting options to ensure your ads get in front of the right audience. You can filter based on age, keywords, location and so much more. Not only that, you can also schedule the ads to only display between a set number of hours to your targeted audience. This works so you can run them when the business is open to maximise spend. 

As well as targeting audiences, you can also target specific devices. Since the 2013 Google AdWords update, you can now choose what devices to show your ads on. That means you can tailor campaigns to different devices and change bid adjustments. For instance, you may want a certain ad for mobile devices, and to go for a higher bid adjustment on that ad campaign, meaning it will display more frequently on that device. 

The PPC aspect

This digital marketing strategy is hugely efficient, as you only pay for clicks on ads, not impressions. You’re paying for results and actions, instead of just if people have scrolled and noticed your ad. If they’re willing to click and view your website, you only pay when they’ve taken that action.

Tracking performance

What good is a digital ad campaign on Google, if you can’t track how it’s doing? With performance tracking, you can track the number of users that view and click your ad, and how many of those took a desired action after viewing your website. From there, you can put together reports, monitor conversions and see how well certain ads are doing, and whether you need to optimise them, tweak or stop.

Setting up a Google AdWords account

Just before you do set one up, you need to have your goals and landing pages well thought out. 


You need to know your goals and to clearly define what you want to get out of your ad campaigns. More sales is always the goal, but as we know, online shoppers like to shop around, so one click and view of your website doesn’t guarantee a purchase. 

There’s also a journey involved in closing that sale. You need to build trust and a relationship with customers, so displaying ads that aim for email sign-ups, lead generation, brand awareness, and registrations are so valuable. Your potential customer or visitor may not be ready to purchase that day. But if they’re intrigued by your interesting newsletter ad showing potential discounts, they might just make that purchase down the line.

Landing page

Once you’ve got your objective set up, you need a landing page to fit. Landing pages are tailored, stand-alone pages separate to your website that match your specific ads. 

For an effective landing page to increase conversions, they need to be clean and clear, rather than noisy and cluttered. They need to be well-designed and optimised for an objective with clear calls-to-action, or even just one simple call-to-action (CTA). 

Keep them focused on the objective, answering the ad that took users there in the first place, and make sure it is mobile-friendly, visual and easy to navigate with an appropriate CTA.

Sign up

Head to Google AdWords and sign up with your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one. 

To get started, Google will want you to pick a main advertising goal.

Create a campaign

From there, Google will ask for your business name, details and what campaigns you want to create. 

When creating a campaign, you can choose your target audience, budget, set bids, and write copy for your ads.

Setting a budget

You can set daily budgets so you never go over your limits. This may take some testing and trialing, as you need to work out a good, average conversion rate from a set number of visitors to your landing page. Once you know this, you can better define budgets, but when starting out, you can work with averages.

Target audiences

When it gets to the audience targeting, you can specify geographical location along with the keywords you’re bidding for. Maybe your business can only deliver in one country, so you’ll want to keep that location targeted. 

In the advanced search option, you can also use ‘radius targeting’ to target a certain radius around a postcode on maps. So, for instance, if you only want to target locally and close to the city, you can simply specify a radius around a point or postcode on the map for the ad to reach. You may want to set a higher bid adjustment within a 5-mile radius, and a lower one within a 20-mile radius. 

Choosing a network

With Google Ads, you can choose between Google’s Search Network and Display Network. With Search Network, your ads appear on Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages). If you choose the Display Network, your ad appears on any website that allows ads. 


What are your potential customers and target audience searching for? What are they typing into that search box? Whatever it is, that’s what you should be bidding on. If you’re in the fashion industry and sell tons of shoes, then there’s lots of queries to target there. Maybe you’re a niche watchmaker, so your keywords you want to trigger your ads can be: [brand] watchmaker, watchmaker for [brand], watchmaker near me, watchmaker [location] etc. 

Each keyword will have its own search volume, some are more popular and competitive, and so this will affect your budgets and bidding. But it’s all about capturing the right ones and those you can have a good chance of being seen for. So, one top keyword for you may be searched for on average 550,000 times a month – wow, let’s bid on that! 

Not so fast though. 

That’s a hugely competitive keyword and will probably be an expensive one. You may find ones with good search volumes that will be easier and cheaper to bid for. So do your research.

Ad copy

When writing your ad copy, you need to make it as engaging and clear as possible. What are you offering? Why should people click? You need to create serious FOMO – make it so they overcome with the fear of missing out if they keep scrolling and don’t click on your ad. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • The headline: You can have two headlines in Google AdWords with limited characters. It’s recommended to include at least one of your target keywords in the headlines
  • Description: Keep it concise and relevant. Again, there is a character limit. So if you’ve got an offer, write it! Include a call-to-action, at least one keyword, your offer, and make sure spelling, grammar and punctuation is correct and consistent. Short sentences work great
  • Image: For ad carousels or product ads, Google displays these right at the top or to the side of SERPs, so make sure your ad is of high quality and of course, related to the ad copy and keyword

Once you’ve got your ad set up and saved, you’re good to go! Google will just need payment info, and you’ll be charged once you’ve exhausted your budget or after 30 days. But, once they’re out there, whether you’re running one ad or multiple ads, you need to be managing them efficiently and know your PPC stuff. 

Luckily for you and your hectic business schedule, a PPC agency like us can deal with it all for you. That’s the planning, creating, managing, ongoing optimisation, and reporting all done for you by the experts to improve your ROI. Just get in touch with us today to see how we can help you with your PPC and AdWords.

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