If you have read my previous posts, you know I like to provide value to my readers. I’m going to write on how you can launch Google Search Ads. After you’re done reading my step-to-step guide you’ll know how to launch Sponsored Search Ads and hopefully, you will not only know but will also actually do it.
Whether you have an e-commerce store, drop shipping store, online service or even blog or portfolio website – photography, designer, developer, etc. This guide will help you to launch your first Google Ads campaign. Let’s not waste any more time and let’s get to the details.
What is Google Search Ads?
Google Search ads are called that because they run in response to a search query. Here is a visual:
The first one as you can see is an ad or Google Search Ad, the second one is the organic result. For the first result, you pay for the second one your work hard on your SEO.
Google Ads allows you to display your products or services to your potential customers who entered a specific search query into Google.
In Google Ads advertisers bid on keywords(that you have selected and which are relevant to your business) and the winner in the auction placed their ads at the top of the search results, Youtube videos, and on Googles partners websites depending on the type of campaign selected.
You will have to create a keyword list of all the keyword that your potentials customers might search for in order to find your service or product. This keyword research will not only help you with Search Ads but also come in handy when you will work on your SEO.
There are a hundred options on how to do keyword research and there are a hundred keyword research tools that will help you and most of them are paid and not that great, so be careful if you buy them. I’ll show you how I do my research.
In order to do that I’ll “create” a fictional business, let’s say – iPhone Cases. My online store is going to sell all kinds of iPhone Cases & Accessories. For the sake of example.
Create a Google Ads account & Open Keyword Planner
You need to create an account to access google keyword planner. Also, open up an excel, if you don’t have Microsoft Excel installed on your device open up a spreadsheet in google drive, that will do.
Now when that is done, take some time and think about what kind of services and products you are offering and try to separate them by categories. This is how I would segment iPhone Case AdWords campaigns.
- iPhone 4
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 8
- iPhone X
- iPhone Xr
- iPhone Xs
- iPhone Accessories
You need to segment your account very detailed because you want to get as accurate data as possible. There might be completely different results for iPhone 6 & iPhone 8 category. This is the easiest way to manage your account. If it doesn’t make sense, for now, bear with me, I promise it will make sense later on.
Now it’s time to add keyword under each category. Get back to Keyword Planner. Go to Keyword ideas and enter your keyword and get some ideas rolling. You can change the location & language if needed to suit your online business.
This will help you find relevant search queries or keywords for your campaign.
You can save them on the dashboard, but here’s what I do: I open up an excel file and add all the keyword I can find under each category. The more keyword you can find the better, but remember – keep them relevant and look for keywords that have a purchase intent.
There’s another keyword tool I like to use, but it’s a paid one if you have the budget you can check out Ahrefs Keyword Tool.
Estimate Your Results
You can only make estimates, but it’s almost impossible to predict the result of your campaign. Even the search volumes very often are wrong. But this is the best you can get – Google Forecast.
Add all of your keywords and change the match types if needed, set how much you’re willing to pay for a click and your average conversion rate and Google will create some estimates. Now, in my experience, these forecasts are incredibly inaccurate. There are hundreds of other factors that should be taken into consideration before you can create an estimate, but let’s just leave it at this.
Google Search Ad Setup
After you created your categories and did keyword research on all of them it’s time to create campaign setup & write the ad text. Here’s how it will look:
Create this in another tab. If it looks too much, don’t worry. I’m going to explain all of it, it’s actually a lot simpler than you think. You do this so you can upload it on Google Ads Editor it makes it a lot easier than doing it over & over again in Google Ads dashboard.
When I create Google Search Ads, I like to come up with a structure on how I’m going to segment all of the campaigns. I added Prospecting in front of the campaign so I can separate from people who are visiting my website for the first time and people who are returning visitors. For returning visitors I would call my campaign Remarketing_iPhone-X_M. You should do this because there’s a huge difference between returning visitors and first-time visitors, especially in the conversion rate. I added the _M at end of the campaign name to separate mobile devices from desktop. This will make it easier to manage your campaigns.
In order to make this blog post a little bit shorter here’s a simple explanation about each match type in a picture:
I usually create 3 match types – Exact, Phrase and Broad Match Modifier. (if you’re low on the budget go with Phrase & Exact only, that’s the safer way) I do separate match types in the ad group level. You need to do this in order to get segments that are easier to manage and to know exactly what works better for your online business.
When you have gotten this far with one category, you probably will also want this for desktop & other match types. Just Copy/Paste and change _M to _D. Now you have the same campaign for desktop. Now create another match type, just copy the whole thing paste it, change the ad group name. You will also need to switch from square brackets to quotes and so on. iPhone-X – Phrase. Not that hard.
The goal is to create a campaign for each of your categories into – Desktop campaign & into 2 or 3 match types. So iPhone X is one category and from this category, you will get how many campaigns? That’s right 2 campaigns. One for desktop & one for mobile. For each of these campaigns, you will have also 2 or 3 ad groups. iPhone X – Phrase, iPhone X – Exact, iPhone – Broad.
Add Ad Text to your Campaigns
In this example, I’m only using the Exact and Phrase match type.
Create at least two different Ads for each campaign. It might seem like a lot of work, but it’s mostly two Ads, the only thing that’s changed is the main keyword from iPhone X Cases to iPhone 8 Cases in the Headline 1, so it’s more relevant and receives a higher quality score. In the final URL, I want you to add to the most relevant landing page to the campaign. In this case, for iPhone Xr campaign I would send people to a landing page where are all of my iPhone Xr Cases for iPhone 8 segment I would send them to a landing page where are all of my iPhone 8 Cases, the more relevant landing page to your keyword the higher quality score you will receive from Google.
More or less it’s a copy/paste job.
Headline 1 – 30 characters, Headline 2 – 30 characters, Headline 3 – 30 characters, Description 1 – 90 characters, Description 2 – 90 characters.
Upload your campaigns/setup into Google Ads Editor
First step – Download Google Ads Editor
The second step – Connect it with your Google Ads Account.
The third step – Upload your Ad Setup, copy all of that. Ctrl + A and Ctrl + C
Go back to Google Ads Editor. Keywords and Targeting > Keywords > Make multiple changes
Make sure that everything is correct. Remember they only show a preview of the first 100 rows of data, so don’t worry if you can’t find all of your data. It will show up later. Simple press process and make sure everything is in order and you didn’t make any mistakes.
If everything is correct press “Keep” at the left top corner. If there’s an error you have found reject it, go back to excel fix it and do it over again. Don’t worry about the errors just yet.
Now your Campaigns, Ad Groups, and keywords should be uploaded. Now upload all of your ad text from Excel or Spreadsheet to Google Ads Editor.
Ctrl + A & Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V in Google Ads Editor
In the left corner go to Ads and Expanded text Ads then at the top click Make multiple changes and a then this additional window will popup and just Ctrl + V all of your ad text. Make sure the campaigns, headlines, and descriptions are in order, they might show up just as “not importing” so change that row headlines if necessary and double-check.
The hard part is done. Edit some minor settings.
For each campaign name at the right corner, you will see an exclamation mark in red, which will show you errors you need to fix. Not only errors but also some improvements you can make. Set the budget for each campaign according to your strategy. Since this campaign is intended only for Desktop users we need to set – 100% to all the mobile and tablet users and vice versa. Also, go to locations and add the country you wish to advertise in. Another important detail you need to edit is – bid strategy. Now, this is a tough one. How to pick a bidding strategy? If this is your first campaign I would advise to go with maximise clicks this will help you gather the data you need and adjust it later down the road because you need to have a decent amount of conversion in order to change your bidding strategy to Target ROAS or Maximize Conversions, etc.
Another important detail we need to change – CPC.
Go to Ad groups level and change the CPC for each campaign. I set $0.45 in this example, but you adjust it according to your needs and business. If you have a lot of keyword under each ad group you can also change CPC on a keyword level. Go to keyword level and change the CPC there.
What we had to do after the upload:
- Set campaign budget
- Set CPC price
- Set bid strategy
- Change location
- Add device bid adjustments according to campaign
Also, make sure that your campaign type is set to Search and that Google Search Partner is enabled. This should come as a default, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
If you have done this – great. You might notice they still show you some alert signs that you can add callouts, site links, structured snippets and add audiences. Let me show you what that is and how can you add them.
Google Ads Extensions
I’ll show you have each ad extension looks and which extensions you need. Most of these will increase your CTR and relevancy which will lead to a better quality score and lower CPC. You’ve to give the best possible experience for the potential customer you can.
You can add site links to your account level, campaign level or even ad group level if you’re going for the perfect quality score.
The sky is the limit what you can add here. The goal is to add relevant and additional information to your user. You can add a link to each of the site links so the user is redirected directly to the most relevant landing page. You can adjust site links for mobile & desktop users. I would recommend to add more than just 4 site links and let google optimize for the most relevant.
Callouts are different from Sitelinks in the sense that you cannot click on them separately. When a user clicks on a callout they will be taken to the landing page for the ad in which the callout has been placed. They can be considered as additional information to your original ad. Here’s an example:
Again, add relevant information, that actually benefits the customer. Try to take advantage of this.
Google Ads call extension is an extension that lets you display your business phone number directly in the SERP. On smartphones, the extension will show up “Clickable”. Your potential customer will be able to call you with just a single click.
You can only enable them on mobile if necessary.
Structured Snipper Extensions
The Structured Snippets extension will show under your ad copy and callouts and above any site links. Example:
These extensions are similar to Callout extensions in the sense that they are not clickable, they just provide a little more information for the customer. Why not take advantage of both, right? There’s a small difference though. You have to pick one header that is predetermined. There are 13 headers in total. In this example, as you can see I chose Types.
Structured Snipper Headers:
- Degree programs
- Featured hotels
- Insurance coverage
- Service catalog
These are usually the ad extensions I use, if you’re interested in other extensions – leave me a comment below.
Google Ads Seller Rating or Review Extension
Common question is – how to get a star rating under my ads? Which is a great question, because it’s proven that this extension increases the CTR dramatically. Which makes sense, this gives credibility to your website. In order to do so, you will need a verified Google Review Partner.
P.S this is an example for seller rating extension for organic results, but it’s the same for paid ads as well.
This extension is generated automatically, but you can turn it off if needed. In order to get this extension, you will need at least 150+ reviews generated in one year, but this might vary from the industry you’re in.
Overview of Google Ads Extensions
Should you add all of them? Of course, you should. It will just increase your visibility in the SERP. Always add as many ad extensions as you can. This will lead to higher relevancy, higher CTR, higher quality score and that all equals to lower CPC, which equals – better results.
Connect Google Ads to Google Analytics
We’re almost done. We still have that tip from google that we should add Audiences(Which is a great tip) to our campaigns, but before we can do that we need to create audiences, so in order to do that – let’s connect Google Ads with Google Analytics.
Log in to your Google Ads account, click on the tools & setting>Linked accounts
Click on Google Analytics Details
Firstly, Google Ads will ask you to give permission to your Google Analytics account, and each GA account you have under that specific email will be listed in your Google Ads Account. When this is done, simply press “LINK” and your Google Analytics Account will be linked with your Google Ads account.
Create Audiences for Google Ads
Now when our accounts are linked we can create our audiences. Go to your Google Analytics account.
Before you can create audiences Google will ask you to enable remarketing and add destinations. You need to pick your GA account and your Google Ads account. This is important.
This is just an example, you can create as many audiences as you wish with all the segments you can imagine, but the most important factor is you need to connect them with your Google Ads account. You need to have that Google Ads logo at the right corner. If you do – great. You did everything correctly.
You can create all kinds of segments here – Visitors who made a Purchase, Visitors who Added To Cart, Visitors who dropped of at Check-Out, Visitors who visited specific landing page but didn’t make a purchase, etc. You can play around with this, it really varies from your business.
Add your audiences to Google Ads Campaigns
There are three options. Target only people who are inside your Audience. Exclude the specific audience. Add audiences to observe. If you’re planning to use Remarketing campaigns you should only target the specific audience.
Before your freshly created audiences show up in your Google Ads Editor you will have to refresh the data. You can do that by pressing at the top – Get recent changes>more data>all campaigns>ok
For your Prospecting campaign add all of your audiences in Negative. Meaning, if someone has already visited your website the ad won’t show again and create a separate campaign for that – Remarketing. This just makes more sense.
When you’re creating Remarketing campaigns you will need to add them to Audiences and change ad-group settings.
Set Audiences for Targeting. This means you will only target people that are in your audience. If you will leave it at Observation you will be able to exclude that segment and analyze how that specific segment is behaving on your website.
Now you have to go through every single campaign and make sure everything is in order and there are no potential errors. Gather data from your campaigns and then optimize. Google Ads is an on-going process, you can’t just set it up and forget about it, it requires a lot of attention and time.
Google Ads Tutorial Summary
Double-check and press launch. You’re done. You created a great campaign which will be easy to manage and optimize. You have everything you need. I know this might have been a lot to handle. If you will learn how to work with Google Ads Editor it will be easier in the long term. It’s easier to make changes and edits and do it quickly.
If there’s any question you can leave me a comment below and I’ll try to help you.
I’m also planning to make an online video course on how to set up your Google Ads Account just with more details. If you would be interested in that drop me a line.