Are you interested in reaching new customers online with Google Ads ads? We can help. Whether you’re still researching if Google Ads is right for you, or getting ready to set up your first campaign, use this checklist for a step-by-step look at how to get started.
These are the words or phrases that people type into Google Search, which trigger your ad to appear. When setting up an ad campaign, you’ll pick a list of keywords that you think people might search for when they want what you have to offer.
This is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad. (Since, with Google Ads, you don’t pay to show up — only when someone clicks on your ad to visit your site or call you.)
This metric tells you how relevant your keywords are to your ad — and to your landing page (i.e. the webpage where people will be taken when they click your ad). A good Quality Score can lower your bid costs and improve your ad rank in the search results.
This metric helps determine where your ad will show up, relative to other ads, when it's triggered to appear on Google. Your rank is determined using your bid, your Quality Score, and other factors.
The actual amount you pay when someone clicks on your ad. (You don’t necessarily pay your entire bid price for every click — that just sets up a range of possible costs-per-click you might pay.)
A conversion takes place when someone who has clicked your ad goes on to take another action you’ve designated as important — like making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or calling you.
How do you set your account up for success from the beginning? Start by breaking down your products or services into categories, and basing your account structure on those. (One good option is to mirror the structure you already use on your website.)
There are two levels of organization within a Google Ads account: campaigns (the higher level) and ad groups (the lower level — you can have multiple ad groups in each campaign). Think about campaigns as representing larger categories in your business, and ad groups as representing smaller, more specific sets of products or services.
With Google Ads, you control how much you spend using two different settings: your daily budget and your bids. Your budget is the amount you want to spend on each campaign per day. Your bid is the amount you're willing to spend on a keyword if someone searches for that term and then clicks your ad.
When you’re first starting out, it can be a good idea to spread your overall budget (i.e. the amount you want to pay for your whole account) evenly across your campaigns, until you get an idea which one work best for your business. But in general, you should set different campaign budgets and bid amounts based on your business goals.
The goal when picking keywords is to choose terms that you think people will search for when they’re looking online for what you offer. In addition, you want your keywords to be as relevant as possible to the ad they trigger and to the landing page people will arrive at if they click that ad.
To help you get started, Google Ads comes with a free tool called the Keyword Planner, which can generate a sample list of keywords for your campaigns. (We recommend reviewing the list of suggestions and only using the ones that make sense for you.) The Keyword Planner can also help you estimate how much to bid on a particular keyword so your ad shows up in search results — this can give you an idea about whether certain keywords are too expensive for you to bid on, and which will fit within your budget.
“Keyword match type” is a setting in Google Ads that lets you further refine when your ad will show up on Google. There are five options:
Broad Match Modifier
Your landing page is where potential customers arrive after clicking on your ad. Choosing a page that’s relevant to your ad and keywords can help people find what they’re looking for more quickly: so, if your ad is promoting a sale on yarn, choose a landing page where that yarn is prominently featured, instead of just sending people to your website’s home page.
Do your ideal customers search on a desktop, mobile device, or both? Are you more interested in reaching shoppers when they’re out and about, or people who want to make an immediate online purchase? As you set up your Google Ads account, consider which types of customers you want to connect with (and more importantly, the types of devices those customers use), so you can reach them. For instance, if you run a car repair shop and want to attract customers when they’re nearby and needing help, consider showing your ads only on mobile devices.
Your ad is the first impression many people will have of your business, so make sure it communicates that you have what they need. This is easiest when the ad actually contains the keywords people search for — which you can accomplish by breaking your campaign out into clear ad groups, and writing unique ads for each (a yarn-promoting ad for your yarn keywords, and a craft-promoting ad for your craft supplies, for example). This will make your ads more relevant to potential customers, and also possibly increase your Quality Score.
Google Analytics is a free way to get even more insights into how people interact with your ads and website. You don’t have to use Analytics to use Google Ads, though, so feel free to skip to the next step if you prefer.
While Google Ads can tell you how many people click on your ads, integrating Google Ads and Analytics lets you keep an eye on what those people do once they reach your website. For example, if people arrive at your site but then immediately click away, your ad might not be reaching the right people after all — or you might be taking them to to wrong area of your site.
Good work! You’re ready to activate your campaigns — and see how they perform. Remember to check back in frequently to keep an eye on which ads and keywords are bringing you the most clicks and conversions. Over time, you should start to see which strategies are helping you meet your goals, and which still need tweaking.