You may have been told about Google Adwords by a friend, did a search for “ppc advertising” and “google advertising”, or you might have received a coupon offer from Google to give the Adwords platform a try. Either way my goal is to show you how to get started painlessly. I’ve helped MANY people who were scared off by all the settings and options when first starting out. It can be overwhelming. Start following what I teach you and you’ll be cruising through it in no time! Oh, and you’ll find out what some of the costliest mistakes are when first learning how to use Google Adwords.
You’ll want to head to the start page: https://www.google.com/adwords/ (link opens in new tab) and hit the “Start Now” button. You’ll be met with an input for your Gmail address.
If you don’t yet have a Google account, just enter an address you’d like here, and on the next screen you’ll have the option to create an account.
On this next screen, enter your current password (for users who already have a Google account), or click the “create an account” link if you need to setup a brand new Google/Gmail account. This account will/can be used for all Google products going forward.
Once you’re all signed in you’ll need to decide what credit card you’d like your charges to be put on. Your credit card will be charged every 30 days for any clicks that your ads receive.
Start Your First Adwords Campaign
Once you’ve got billing squared away it’s time to start your first campaign! Hit that orange button that says “+CAMPAIGN”:
After clicking the button you’ll have 5 choices. Yes, 5! It’s OK though. For your first campaign you’ll want to go with “Search Network Only”. These are your general text ads that show at the top and sides of Google search results that you’ve certainly seen and probably click often. (You can read a bit about The Search Network here, and get acquainted with The Display Network here.)
Next you’ll be met with this screen:
Give your campaign a name based on your topic or product. The level of detail in the name depends on preference and how many different campaigns you’ll have. For example, if my client has multiple, different items for sale then I’ll name them something like: “Cool_Widget_Search”, “Blue_Widget_Search”, “Red_Widget_Search”, etc. Or you can name them after the geographic location settings like so: “Widgets_UK_Search”, “Widgets_US_Search”, or “Widgets_CA_Search” depending on the countries you’re selling in. Think of your campaigns as folders.
You’ll need to choose either “Standard” or “All Features” here as well. Just start with Standard for now.
Adwords Search Partners
You can leave the “include search partners” checked for now. You might be wondering who these search partners are? Well it isn’t 100% public knowledge. Google explains it like this:
“For text ads, search partners include hundreds of non-Google websites (like AOL), as well as Google Maps, Google Video, and other Google sites.”
On average many of our clients’ ads actually perform better on these search partner platforms! But as always you have to test to know. I’ll show you how to properly gauge how these are performing in a future blog post.
Adwords Geolocation Settings
Next you’ll need to pick your geo targeting settings. Here you can pick what geographic area you want your ads to be shown in. If you’re a very local business you would pick your city, and possibly nearby cities only. If you’re an online business targeting “everybody” then you can pick to target the whole country. This section is very important. Don’t waste money on clicks that will get you nothing in return! I see so many clients literally GIVING AWAY money to Google because of this one simple step:
Click the “advanced search” link to get really specific with your location ads. Remember too that you can EXCLUDE areas here. For example, lets say you sell to the entire US, but there’s a city or state you can’t sell to for whatever reason. Some sort of restriction maybe. You can exclude them here and your ads will never be shown to them.
Adwords Bidding Strategy
This section can be more advanced once you’ve been running your campaigns for a while. Eventually you’ll be able to let Google Adwords use your past conversion data to make bidding choices for you. We won’t be going over that in this article. We’ll stick to “I’ll manually set my bids for clicks” for now. Go ahead and put in your default cost-per-click bid amount as well as your daily budget. These both can be changed at any time so don’t feel too pressured here. Start with $1/CPC and $25/day to get started. You’ll ultimately be experimenting on these costs as data comes in. You can do some pre-research on suggested cost-per-click costs too. We’ll be covering that in a future post.
Ad extensions make your ads larger, taking up more screen real estate, but they can also provide users with helpful information about you or your website. These can also be added later so don’t feel pressured to set them up right away, but I do recommend that you eventually take advantage of these. More often than not they increase your ad click-through-rate, which basically means more people take notice and click on them. Of course you only want relevant users clicking on ads but that’s a discussion for another time.
The Location Extension pulls in your physical address (and displays it within your ad) from your “Google My Business” account:
Sitelinks allow you to include other website links, separate from your landing page, down underneath your main ad copy. Here’s an example from Quickbooks:
Pages like your ABOUT or PRICING areas for example. This provides a way for users to go quickly and directly to other important pages of your website.
You can also use the Call Extension to display your phone number within your ads like so:
Desktop users can manually dial this, and this number becomes a clickable dial button for users on their phones. If you’re the type of business that heavily relies on phone calls then this is a no brainer!
Callout extensions look like Sitelinks but these aren’t clickable. Think of them as more ad copy. Put benefits and eye-catching words about your service or product here.
These extensions allow you to show users pricing for your products or services in a variety of ways. Show type by “brand”, “events”, “locations”, “neighborhoods”, “product categories”, “product tiers”, “service categories”, “service tiers” or “services”. You can also choose to display pricing with a qualifier like: “From”, “Up To”, or “Average” as well. A lot of options here.
Structured Snippets Extensions
The Structured Snippets extension is yet another way to increase your ad size, but more importantly you can display things that you offer like: “amenities”, “brands”, “courses”, “destinations” and a variety of other things. Use it if you can!
Remember that Adwords extensions won’t always show. Google uses many different factors to determine if they’re eligible to run or not. Some are only shown when your ad appears in the top positions above search results, and unfortunately you can’t choose which specific extensions are shown either.
Ok, that does it for part one. Over in part two we’ll continue setting up our new Adwords campaign the right way which covers properly structuring your ad groups, and how your ads should be worded for the best quality scores.