Advertising with Google Ads: Setting up a New AdWords Campaign Correctly – A SEA Guide for Beginners

With a market share of around 90 percent, Google is the most widely used search engine in English-speaking countries. Google’s search results pages are increasingly characterized by advertising – the text and shopping ads from the Google Ads advertising system (formerly Google AdWords).

This dominance of advertising in the search results pages “feels” forcing many companies to run Google Ads – which is easier said than done economically.

This article provides you with valuable input for your next new, economically viable Google Ads campaign !

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What is SEA? What You Should Know about Search Engine Advertising!

This is how SEA works with Google – The Google Ads auction principle

There are up to 7 ad spaces on a Google search results page. At the top there are up to 4 ads above the “normal” unpaid search results and up to 3 more ads below the list of “organic” search results. The order is determined by means of an auction process.

The basis of the ad delivery are the search terms ( keywords ) that are entered by Google users during a search query. A match between the keywords you have selected for your Google Ads advertising and the search query of a Google user leads to an advertisement ( impression ).

This impression, i.e. the delivery of a text ad, costs nothing – only the click of a Google user on the ad triggers costs.

This system is called “Cost per Click” ( CPC ). The advertising Google Ads customer uses a maximum bid to determine how much Google can charge for a click (maximum cost per click bid – max.CPC ). In addition, the Google Ads user also determines the maximum amount of money that can be spent per day – this is your Google Ads daily budget.

If there are now several matching ads for a search query, the Google Ads system compares the max. CPCs of the advertisers with each other and – like in an auction – puts the highest bidder at the top of the ad list. All others follow according to their max. CPCs.

The Google Ads quality factor: guarantee of success for your campaigns

Because the quality of the advertising plays a major role for Google Ads in all of this, a quality factor (QF – also known as Quality Score [QS]) is also included everywhere.

This quality factor is now so powerful that advertisers with a high quality rating are strongly preferred. This leads to the fact that advertisers’ ads with high quality are listed with a low maximum bid over ads from advertisers with poorer quality. Quality comes first!

For every keyword that you want to advertise on, a quality factor between 1 (bad) and 10 (very good) is assigned. You can see this QF in your Google Ads account next to each keyword. To do this, however, you must first insert the quality factor information as additional columns into the table using the “Adjust columns” function.

Tips for a high Google Ads Quality Score

Four criteria contribute to achieving a high Google Ads quality score:

  1. Only advertise on keywords that match your company, your services and products 100 percent – and only in the appropriate geographic region.
  2. Use ad text that arouses Google users’ curiosity and offers them real benefits. Repeat the keywords you want to promote in the ad copy.
  3. Always link your advertisements with the 100 percent matching sub- pages of your website – the start page of your website is only very rarely the correct “landing page”.
  4. Include ad extensions in the text ads. Telephone number, further links, lists with USPs and goods or services as well as prices can be stored. The more ad extensions available, the more exposure your ads will get.

This video by Google Ads channel explains the basic functionality of the Google Ads auction. The ad rank is calculated using the CPC bid and Quality Score. The higher the ad rank, the higher the placement of your Google Ads ad in the search results list: 

Setting up a Google Ads account – nothing could be easier

Signing up for Google Ads is free.

Important: Sign up for the Google Ads account in your existing Google account. There you are probably already using Google Analytics and possibly the Google Search Console. Establish links between the three Google services during the process of setting up the Ads account. This makes you smarter when it comes to analyzing and optimizing your Google Ads advertising.

By the way: the search engine operator gladly rewards the start with Google Ads with a starting credit !

Structure of the Google Ads campaign structure

Google Ads accounts have a fairly flat structure. The higher-level element in the account structure is called the campaignAd groups are subordinate to a campaign. Each ad group contains a few keywords and matching ad text
In order for the account to remain flexible, a campaign structure specially tailored to your company is essential:

  • Local companies often opt for just one campaign with one to five ad groups.
  • Larger companies run a “general campaign” for general terms (fitness studio), a “brand campaign” for advertising specifically for their own brand (Osborn fitness center) and a “offers campaign” for special offers (aerobics courses in New York). Each of these campaigns contains one to five ad groups.
  • Branch operations with locations that are further apart from one another tend to opt for regional campaigns. Each of these campaigns contains one to five thematically identical ad groups.

The best way to decide which campaign structure makes sense for your company is in a team!

Add keywords – research & selection for your Google Ads campaign

Do you remember starting this article?

The principle of Google Ads is based on the fact that advertisers’ ads are displayed in the Google search results pages that match the search queries of Google users. The basis for this ad delivery are keywords that the advertiser stores in the Google Ad System.

If the search query of a Google user in New York matches the keywords in the Google Ads campaigns of the previously briefly mentioned fitness center Osborn, then Mr. Osborn’s most suitable keyword triggers the placement of one of his advertisements.

How does a Google user search for us?

What would a Google user from New York enter when looking for a gym in New York? Just “fitness”? Or “Studio in New York”? Or just “New York”? Of course not. Nevertheless, many Google Ads advertisers book such general keywords into their ads campaigns. Please don’t do that!

You know better after all. The New York Google user would of course search for “Fitnessstudio New York” or “Fitnesscenter in New York”. And you should only use such precise keywords.

Avoid using unspecific keywords – you will not be successful with them!

Use tools for keyword research

Google helps you to find precise keywords for your Google Ads campaigns. Pay attention to which terms the search engine on suggests when entering search queries using the auto-complete function ( Google Suggest ).

These suggestions are the most popular searches on the “tarnished” topic. You can use all suggestions in these lists that fit very well with the advertising you are planning as a keyword in your Google Ads campaigns.

However, researching with Google’s suggestion lists can be lengthy. That is why tools have become established that make keyword research more convenient. They are based on the Google suggestion lists, which is why they are called suggest tools :

You can also find help on Google Ads. Under ” Tools ” you will find the keyword planner in the Google Ads system. You can use it to ” search for ideas for new keywords ” based on the keywords you have already determined yourself.

Caution: Only select those keyword suggestions that fit very well with the Google Ads advertising you are planning. You will find that the Keyword Planner doesn’t really give you any suggestions. Please absolutely ignore these.

Put together a keyword and ad group overview

All of the keywords that have now been researched in detail for Google Ads advertising are now compiled in a clear Excel file. The file shown here clearly shows a nicely put together account campaign structure:

When building your own account campaign structure, make sure that each keyword occurs only once in the entire structure. If the campaign structure is well thought out, then each keyword only fits exactly into one ad group!

Create a new Google Ads campaign – let’s start

Let’s stay with Mr. Osborn’s fitness center in New York as an example. Mr. Osborn has decided on an account structure with three campaigns and now wants to set up the first campaign – the “general campaign” with keywords such as “fitness studio in New York”.

Everywhere in the Google Ads account there are round blue “+” buttons with which Mr. Osborn can create a new element in the Google Ads account. Clicking on the PLUS symbol in the campaign overview opens the dialog with which the new campaign can be set up.

It is important to pay attention to this when creating Google Ads campaigns

There are a few pitfalls in the settings of a Google Ads campaign. Some settings are difficult to understand for newbies. Others – wrongly chosen – can be truly counterproductive.

7 tips to avoid the pitfalls in Google Ads campaign setup:

  1. Always select ” Search network ” for campaign type to display text ads in Google search. The goal is website visits.
  2. Give the Google Ads campaign a name that everyone can understand.
  3. Make sure to deselect the Google Display Network under Advertising Networks.
  4. In Locations, you can now search for your city, your district, your federal state or – using the “Advanced Search” – a “Perimeter Orientation”. Only advertise where it is worthwhile for your company. Exclusions can also be defined here.
  5. For languages ​​click away the default languages ​​- ” All languages ” should appear here !
  6. Now enter the maximum amount you would like to spend on this Google Ads campaign per day under Budget. Calculate the daily budget from your planned Google Ads monthly budget divided by 30. Please book a realistic budget : 10, 15 or 20 EUR daily budget should be. Anything under 10 EUR daily budget is too little for most of today’s Google Ads campaigns.
  7. Please choose ” clicks ” for the point bids . This will allow you to choose an automatic bid strategy. It is designed to generate the maximum number of clicks from the daily budget.

All other points in the campaign settings can be left as preset and at the end of the page click on “Save and continue”.

Set up your first Google Ads ad group with optimal ad copy

Back to Mr. Osborn from the aforementioned fitness center Osborn in New York. After “going through” the Google Ads campaign settings, he now has to create his first Google Ads ad group. He also gives this a name that is easily understood by everyone.

This is followed by entering the previously researched keyword set for this ad group. Please “Save and continue” to switch to the dialog with the help of which you are to write three display texts.

7 tips for writing relevant ad copy for the new Google Ads ad group:

  1. The ” Final URL ” should be entered right at the beginning of every ad creationWhen clicking on an ad, the Google user should be directed to a page on the website that exactly matches the content of the ad. If strength training, a Google Ads seminar or Italian men’s shoe fashion is advertised, then after clicking on the ad, the Google user has to land on a special page on the website for strength training, Google Ads seminars or Italian men’s shoe fashion. A lot depends on this landing page. There, the potential new customer will decide whether to give you – or someone else – their money. So don’t make any compromises at this point!
  2. In the 1st headline, use the ad group’s top keyword (30 characters maximum).
  3. The second ad title you use for advertising reinforce the headline of the ad, which made the first headline and second headline composed is (up to 30 characters)!
  4. The 3rd headline is not always used by the Google Ads system. It is therefore used optionally. Add further arguments here. However, your advertisement must also make sense without the content of the 3rd advertisement title – that is, if only the 1st and 2nd advertisement title are used for the advertisement’s heading. 
  5. In the two displayed path fields (max. 15 characters each) you enter the top keyword of the ad group in one, and a promotional term in the other – for example the city in which the product or service is offered.
  6. Describe in the max. 90 characters long 1st line of text your offer. Formulate two customer benefits and a clear call to action. Seasonal references also work here.
  7. The 2nd line of text is not always used by the Google Ads system. It is therefore used optionally. Add further advantages and convincing arguments here. However, your ad must also make sense without the content of the 2nd line of text – i.e. if only the 1st line of text is used for the description.

After you have finished the first ad text, please add two more ad texts to your new Google Ads ad group. This enables the Google Ads system to determine the best-performing ad and use it more often for your advertising. So there is an A / B / C test!

Make optimal use of the number of characters in the ad textsNever write too general – do without classic sales language. Always be specificreinforce with offers, advertise the products and services. This has been achieved in the example ad:

  • Professional course for advanced learners
  • Intensive seminars
  • with a real professional
  • Individually. Practical. Certified. Entertaining.
  • Find out more and book now!

When the third ad is completed, the first ad group in the new Google Ads campaign is complete. If everything is done correctly, the advertisement will start automatically – and very quickly within a few minutes!

Responsive search ads instead of classic Google Ads text ads

Since 2018, the Google Ads system has offered a dynamic alternative to classic text ads. Instead of combining certain headlines and lines of text in a text ad, the responsive search ad leaves the combination to the Google Ads system.

The responsive search ad works like a repository, storage space for headlines and lines of text. Up to 15 headlines and up to 4 lines of text (descriptions) can be stored. When serving the ads, Google combines them in very different ways. Objective: The most effective combinations are determined.

Which combinations work best can be found under ” Call up asset details “!

7 tips
 for filling a responsive search ad for your Google Ads ad groups:

  1. Always remember that headlines and descriptions can appear in any order. The stored text phrases must therefore not necessarily build on one another in terms of content.
  2. However, phrase the first three headlines exactly as if they would appear together in your Google Ads ad.
  3. Spread your ad group’s keywords in the headlines of the Responsive Search ad. Make the headline text highly relevant to the keywords you are targeting your ad.
  4. Create as many different headlines as possible. The more headlines you enter in the responsive search ad, the more combination options are available. The idea: All arguments can be put together to make relevant advertisements. Combinations with high performance are played out more often.
  5. In the headlines and descriptions of the responsive search ad, mention the merits of your product or service. Explain what problems you are offering a solution to or indicate your shipping options.
  6. Also, create headlines with different call-to-action texts.
  7. Use the tips that the Google Ads system gives you when setting up the responsive search ad in the ” Ad Effectiveness” area.

As long as the Responsive Search Ads are (still) offered as a BETA function for Google Ads advertisers, do not rely exclusively on this format. Use two classic text ads and one responsive search ad per ad group !

Get the most out of Google Ads ad extensions

The Google Ads system notifies you of the ad extensions while the campaign is being created. They are used to insert additional information into the Google Ads ads.

This additional information is shown in extra lines under the standard ad text. This makes the ads bigger, makes them more noticeable, and increases the likelihood of clicking on such eye-catching ads.

This is what a Google Ads ad with extensions looks like :

Google Ads call extension for ads

The phone number of the company can be added with the call extension. On smartphones, it is displayed as a telephone symbol – a phone call is triggered with one click. The phone number including the area code is displayed on desktop screens.

Two important tips for setting up Google Ads call extension:

  • Turn on ” Call Reports ” and Google Ads will track every call. Calls can be recorded as a conversion.
  • If you cannot be reached around the clock, set the times when you can be reached by telephone under “Advanced options”> “Add schedule” when setting up your telephone number !

Google Ads location extension for ads

Does your business have a “physically” visitable address that is listed on Google Maps? Then include the company address in your Google Ads ads. When clicking on the address, the Google user is directed to Google Maps. There he can use the route planning to visit the store.

Two important tips for setting up the Google Ads location extension:

  • Check the correctness of all company information in Google My Business (GMB) in advance. Your company’s Google Maps entry is maintained in this tool.
  • If there are several company entries in the My Business account, then when connecting Google Ads and Google My Business, filter for the company name whose address should appear in the ad texts.

Google Ads sitelink extension for ads

With this extension, additional links to your website are integrated under the actual ad text. The presentation of these links varies.

Sometimes there are three or four text links side by side on one line. At other times it can be two columns with two or three lines of text links one below the other. And then even extended sitelinks with small short descriptions for each text link are possible when searching for the company name.

Two tips for setting up the Google Ads Sitelink extension:

  • Always add the two lines of description below the link text, even if the description is rarely displayed.
  • For sitelinks that contain temporary content, please add a start and end date or a schedule !

Google Ads extension with additional information

In English, this Google Ads ad extension has a much more appropriate name: Callouts.

With the addition of additional information, the advertiser should “shout out” what distinguishes him from his competitors. So it is important here to formulate the USPs of your own business briefly and crisply. There is a line available for this, which is added to the standard ad text as an extra line.

Two tips for setting up the extensions with additional information:

  • The spice lies in brevity, even if a maximum of 25 characters are available per callout. The shorter the individual callout, the more can be displayed in the extra line.
  • Please also make sure that no arguments are repeated in the callouts that are already in the ad text. That would be a waste of space. 

My tip: Use “Marketing in Numbers”, for example: 600+ workshops * 15+ years of experience * 200+ positive reviews.

Google Ads snippet extension for ads

I like to refer to this Google Ads ad extension as structured callouts. With the snippet extension, you have to select one or more categories (called header type) provided to promote your own business.

If you find one or more suitable header categories, you fill them with your company details. The standard categories include, for example: equipment, services, courses, brands, models, series, styles and types.

Two tips for setting up the snippet extensions:

  • Only select header categories that are useful in terms of content. If you “abuse” categories because there is nothing really suitable in the list, Google Ads will refuse to activate the ad extension.
  • Enter at least as many “values” for the selected header type that the extra line generated for. This is fully used in the Google Ads ads!

Google Ads price extension for ads

With the price extension, companies can integrate individual products or services with price, short description and direct link in Google Ads ads even without Google Shopping ads.

There are numerous business models that are not allowed to participate in the Google Shopping Program per se. For them it is even the only way to advertise in a structured way with prices in Google Ads ads. A product title, a price (also “from”, “to” and “average” possible), a description and a final URL to the product landing page are required.

Two tips for setting up the price extension:

  • In order for the Google Ads price extension to be displayed, at least three different products must be stored.
  • Only one product or service may be included in the title of the price extension. Advertising texts like “sale” have no place in this and would lead to rejection.

With more Google Ads ad extensions …

  • you can use an additional advertising option for your smartphone customer app,
  • it enables small business customers to send a text message using Google Ads ads,
  • major brand manufacturers can display all department stores where their products can be bought,
  • offers for certain products can be displayed directly in the Google Ads ads and
  • Google users can read reviews of products and the company directly.

Be sure to use all useful ad extensions. They increase the click probability of your ads and thus the success of your entire Google Ads advertising in the search results pages.

For (almost) all Google Ads ad extensions, they can also be added at the account, campaign or ad group level. Periods, days of the week or times of day can always be specified when the extensions should be visible.

In addition, a click on a Google Ads ad extension always costs the same as a click on the headline or the displayed URL. However, clicks on drop-downs or moving carousels will not be billed.

Also important: Only the first click on an ad is always charged – regardless of how many elements of an ad are used by Google users in order to obtain comprehensive information about an advertiser’s offer.

I wish you success!

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