Google search ads are one of the best ways for you to reach potential buyers, showing in search results your ad to buyers that are actively searching for a product like yours.
So for example if you’re selling accessories for mobile phones you can show your ad on any related search such as ‘dazzle iphone cover’ ‘iphone cover 5s gold’ etc.
However, Google AdWords works on a PPC, or pay-per-click, model which means you will pay each time a potential buyer clicks on your ad. Which means you need to put some work into your campaign to make sure it stays cost effective and that you maximize your results from it.
The good news is that you can get a $75 credit when signing up to AdWords, which will help you in trying it out with minimal risk.
You will also be able to tell if Google Adwords ads are worth your investment by using conversion tracking, which we mentioned how you can do when setting up your Google Analytics account.
How do I start a Google AdWords campaign?
Step 1: Create a Google AdWord account
The first step to starting a Google AdWords search campaign is to create your AdWords account, which you can do for free with a Google account.
Step 2: Create your first campaign
After creating your account and setting up your billing we can start our first campaign. To do so go to Campaigns, click on +Campaign and choose Search network only. We will go into more detail about a Display network campaign in our Google Remarketing chapter of this guide.
Next, name your campaign and choose a target location. If for example you only sell in the US choose here the United States as your location.
If you’re not sure who your target audience is and what countries are they from yet, you can use separate campaigns for each country to see where you get the most buyers from.
Keep all the other default settings for the campaign, but we will set a default bid for our campaign. The amount you want to spend for a click will depend on factors such as the overall cost of your product and your net revenue from selling a product. You can also set here a daily budget, it’s best you start small until you understand how to make the most out of your advertising budget.
Step 3: Create your first ad group
An ad group is a selection of search terms that are relevant to your store. So if for example you sell phone accessories you can create different ad groups for different categories such as iphone covers, android covers, headphones, clips etc. This way you can create different ad copy for each of these ad groups.
After giving your ad group a name such as ‘iphone covers’ we want to find all the related keywords for that category. Click on Save and Create ads later and let’s go find keywords for our campaign.
Step 4: Finding keywords for your AdWords campaign
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
To find keywords for our ad group we will start out by using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Go to Tools > Keyword planner, next enter a keyword for example ‘iphone cover’ and click on Get ideas.
The keyword results will show up as ready-to-use Ad groups ideas and Keyword ideas, with the number of Avg. monthly searches, level of Competition and Suggested bid.
Ad groups ideas gives you groups of keywords, while Keyword ideas gives you single keywords to choose from.
Avg. monthly searches indicates the number of monthly average searches for this keyword over a 12-month period, a high number here isn’t necessarily a good thing since usually that means high Competition.
Competition indicates the number of advertisers competing on this keyword. Usually for high competition keywords you will also see a high Suggested bid.
In our iPhone cover example you can see here that many of the keywords are very expensive, almost not profitable for targeting iPhone cover buyers. So try searching under Keywords ideas for keywords with Medium-Low competition with a lower bid. Once we find such keywords within our budget we will click on Add to plan to add them to the ad group we created.
Google’s Keyword planner isn’t our only way of finding keywords, it will show you keywords with plenty of monthly searches, but with also plenty of competition that might not be profitable for us. Which is why we will also use a very simple strategy of finding long-tail keywords with Google’s autocomplete. Long-tail keywords is the term for keywords that are made up of a few words, making them much more specific. For example, ‘iphone 5 leather flip covers’ is a long tail keyword.
These keywords tend to have very little monthly searches so they won’t show up in the AdWords keyword tool. But, they also have less competition and are cheaper to bid on.
Finding keywords this way might be more labor intensive, but they are valuable keywords that maybe not otherwise show in in a general keyword search using the Keyword planner.
To find these keyword simply open a Google search and start entering the name of your product, while doing so you will see that you’re getting different autocomplete suggestions, suggestions that indicate other related searches that you can use as your keywords.
Once you find these keywords copy them keywords into a spreadsheet, segmenting the different keywords into ad groups by categories.
After running the search scroll to the bottom of the search results, where you will be able to find more keyword suggestions.
After you’ve collected your long tail keywords we will go back to our ad group and add them under Keywords. Make sure you just add the keywords relevant to the ad group you set.
Step 5: Creating your ads
Next, go to Ads to add ads to your ad group. Click on Ad, and fill out the copy for your ad.
Make the ad specific to the ad group, rather than just adding some general copy about your store. You can do that by adding the name of the product this ad group targets in the ad’s title or ad text. So if for example the ad group is iPhone covers, use that term in the title or text of the ad.
For each ad group you can write a few ads, this will help you test different versions and compare the effectiveness of the ads.
Step 6: Analyzing your campaign
We can compare the effectiveness of the ads by comparing Clicks, Impr., CTR, Avg. CPC, Cost and Avg. Pos.
Clicks is the number of times the ad was clicked on, while Impr. stands for impressions, the number of times the ad showed up in a search.
CTR is the ratio of clicks per times the ad was shown, so the higher the ratio the better.
Avg. CPC stands for the Average Cost per Click, how much on average each click costs.
Cost tells you how much overall was the cost of the ad.
Avg. Post. stands for Average position, the placement of your ad in the search results page, the top 2 placements are the best place for your ads to show.
The best way to compare what ads are doing well is by checking which have a high CTR and a low CPC, more clicks for less cost. So any ad that isn’t doing well you can pause and keep running only those that are showing the best results.
Another way to analyze the results from your campaign is by looking at your keywords, where you can also compare the CPC and CTR to see which keywords are working for that ad group.
If you see a low CTR for certain keywords, that isn’t explained by the position of the ad, it might indicate that those keywords aren’t relevant enough to that ad group’s ads. To fix this create another ad group for those keywords with more relevant ads.
You can also link your Google Analytics account with your AdWords account to compare the sales you’re getting from your ads with those from other marketing channels you’re using.
Analyzing and adjusting your campaign is a crucial part of running an adwords campaign, only this way you can make sure it remains profitable and that you’re maximizing the results from your ads.
Next, let’s take a look at how you can use Google remarketing to drive more buyers to your store >>