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How Does Google Ads Work? The Ultimate Guide.

How Does Google Ads Work? The Ultimate Guide.

Learn the basics of Google Ads (including the down-low on Google Networks + Ad Ranks) and how to implement it effectively into your marketing system.

Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords) is one of the largest advertising platforms, enabling businesses to reach audiences across the world. Through this pay-per-click (PPC) network, online advertisers are able to pay Google to target users based on things like their keyword search, country, device type, and deliver to those who are actually interested in their product, saving them a lot of time and money in the long run. When implemented correctly, Google Ads can be one of the most cost-effective and efficient forms of online advertising, and we’ve got you everything you need to get started with Google Ads here.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is a PPC online advertising platform that allows advertisers to display ads on Google’s search engine results page.

Based on the keywords they want to target, businesses pay to get their ads ranked at the top of the search results page, so they can get more views and authority online. And, since the platform runs on PPC advertising, they only have to pay when a visitor actually clicks an ad, saving a lot of lost-revenue in the long run.

The marketplaces on Google Ads work much like an auction – people bid for clicks. However, it’s not always the highest bidder that wins. Apart from bidding, Google also takes into consideration the “quality score” of a website to ensure that the people clicking on ads have the best possible experience (without the risk of scammers or any nasty threats).

google ads work

What are Google Ad Networks?

Google Ads allows businesses to target users on two main networks:

The search network + the display network.

On the search network:
Advertisers bid on relevant keywords and this enables them to display their ads to those who enter these keywords into Google as part of a search. The paid search results are USUALLY displayed at the top and bottom of the page and have a small “Ad” icon next to them.

On the display network:
Advertisers are offered the chance to display their banner ads on the websites that are a part of the Google Network. That’s a group of more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps where an ad can appear.

What is “Ad Rank”?

The Google Ads system is principally a live auction where advertisers place a “bid” in the Ads system to secure a particular ad position. Which means that, depending on the competition and price bid by other advertisers, the advertiser either gets the desired position or is related to a lower position.

google ads rank

But your actual ad position is determined by two factors:

Your maximum bid x Your quality score

Your maximum bid:
How much you’re willing to pay when viewers click your ad. 

Your quality score:
How well an ad is optimised, the quality of your landing/sales page, your expected click-through rate and the relevance of your ad to the searchers. 

The better your ad rank? The more optimally your ad is displayed in the google search results. 

High-quality ads and well-performing Ads campaigns are also rewarded by Google with discounted per-click costs, higher ad ranking positions and are more likely to show top placement above organic listings.

How do Google Ads Work?

Here’s a step-by-step guide for using Google Ads (or Google AdWords, if you still can’t keep up with that name-change):

  1. Establish account goals – work out why you’re using Google Ads and understand the features you need to access.
  2. Develop audience personas – determine who your ideal customers are, what they do, what they’re searching for and on what device. 
  3. Conduct keyword research by using keyword tools (like SEMrush) to discover cost, competition, and volume for the search terms (at every stage of your search). 
  4. Structure your Ads account into different ad campaigns and ad groups, each featuring relevant keywords and ads. 
  5. Once you’ve listed different keywords relevant, you can place your ads in the search results by bidding on the keywords. 
  6. Create the ad copy. Make sure that you include relevant keywords, a compelling headline, a clear call-to-action and ad extensions (If you need any help with that, find us here).
  7. Design a mobile-friendly landing page that focuses on the benefits and features of your product or service, has high-quality images, a form, and a clear call-to-action. 
  8. Place a Google Analytics code on the website for conversion tracking

And don’t forget! The key to a successful ad campaign through Google Ads is routine optimization and testing of all your ad copy and landing pages!

how google ads works

How Much Does Google Ads Cost?

The amount that Google Ads charges advertisers depends entirely on what they’re actually advertising.

Due to Google Ads being a PPC advertising program, your ads are displayed for free and you’re only charged when someone actually clicks your ad in the Google search results. And with the Ads system being based on live auction, the click prices are determined by the amount of competition, and how much that competition is willing to pay for a click. 

When implemented effectively, Google Ads can drive high-quality traffic to your website at costs that are much more affordable when compared to other forms of advertising. 

However, if you don’t expertly manage the process, costs can rack up fast while still driving low-quality traffic. So the key to running a successful Ads campaign is to understand the factors that play into how much each click costs you. These can include:

  • Keyword competition 
  • Maximum bid and bid position
  • Your average monthly budgets
  • Click-through rates
  • The quality score of your keywords

If you target high-volume keywords with lots of monthly searches, you could be paying a hefty amount for that traffic, which can be anywhere between a few cents to well over ten dollars for a single click. 

To manage your Google Ads costs? Set a daily budget at the campaign level. You can make changes to it any time you like, but ideally beginner advertisers should start small with a low budget, and determine whether to boost budget (or stop a campaign) based on insights and quality of leads.

How Effective is Google Ads?

Google Ads is an affordable form of advertising that can target qualified, in-market prospects when implemented and monitored correctly.

Using Google Ads can offer more views and authority online, promise the affordability of PPC advertising that makes the most of your budget, and will also help you keep in-line with understanding who your audience really is (and how best to market to them). 

Here’s a couple key tips to keep in mind to make Google Ads as effective for your business as possible (and plant the seeds for success):

how effective is google ads
  • Do all necessary research and preparation prior to implementing Google Ads. 
  • Understand the ins and outs of paid search, bidding strategies, keyword research, account structure etc.
  • Make a budget on what you’re able to spend on each campaign, set your daily budget accordingly and keep track of the spend. 
  • Do keyword research and bid on the phrase and exact keywords at higher bids to get more relevant clicks. 
  • Optimise your ads with relevant and enticing content, and ensure you’re running A/B tests to improve your landing page. 
  • If you’re scared? Start small, adjust based on results, and double down if your campaigns are generating affordable and profitable results.

As one of the largest advertising platforms, Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) enables businesses to reach audiences across the world, utilising a PPC network where advertisers are able to target their users based on a number of factors, so they can deliver to those who are actually interested in their product. By implementing Google Ads effectively and consistently monitoring its results, businesses are able to save a lot of time and money in the long run, making Ads one of the most cost-efficient and effective forms of advertising. 

If you ever need help with managing your Google Ads campaigns? 

We’re always here to help. Whether you’re looking to grow your quality score, get the best out of your campaigns, find the right keywords, or all (and more)? We’ve got you covered here at McKee Creative.