Google Ads 101

Google is the most popular search engine, period. Google has become part of our vernacular – when in doubt, just Google it! What you may not realize is that Google is also a huge advertising platform! Google Ads is a complete platform made specifically for companies to create, maintain, and evaluate the performance of their advertisements. At its most basic, Google Ads allows you to pay to appear above organic search results when a potential customer searches Google.

This post is the first of an entire series about Google Ads in which I will take you step-by-step through using the platform. You will learn how to create your first campaign, launch your first advertisement, improve your ads with extensions, optimize your ads, and evaluate your ad’s performance!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Google Ads, we have to cover the basics. So here we go – let’s jump in!

What Are Google Ads?

If you’ve searched something on Google then you’ve probably seen businesses or products related to your search appear at the top, bottom, and along the side of the page. They don’t look much different from organic search results, except for some tiny little clues. These are Google Ads! They usually have a tiny green “Ad” flag next to them, or will say “Sponsored” in the top right. Here are a few examples:

Depending on how you target the ads you create, Google Ads can also be deployed on websites and mobile apps that contain advertisements powered by Google. Here are a couple of examples of Google advertisements on other websites:

Who Should Use Google Ads?

Disclaimer: Google Ads are not a good fit for every business or organization. So how do you know whether or not you should use them to grow? The answer depends on what you’re promoting!

Google Ads works really well if you are selling something that people are already searching for. If your product or service is commonly used or something people already buy regularly, then you should definitely be using Google Ads. On the other hand, if you are selling a product or service that is for a niche market or something that is brand new with no established market or following, then Google Ads might not be for you.

A quick google search will let you know if your market is too small for your advertisements to work well on Google. Don’t start using Google Ads in the hopes that the keywords (search terms) for your products or services get more popular because generally, they won’t. The keywords that are already popular will reveal what the people using Google are looking for. Put more simply, if you sell something that fits into popular search terms, then Google Ads is right for you.

Why Do Google Ads Work?

So I’ve covered the what and who of Google Ads, let’s move on to why. Google Ads work well because they target the person who is already interested in your product. Google allows you to set your keywords and target location(s) for each ad set. Then, whenever someone in the target area does a Google search that includes your keywords, they see your ad! There are a few different factors that determine who sees your ads and when, but I’ll get to those later in the series!

Basically, Google Ads puts your product or service in front of the people who are specifically looking for it. Also, you only pay for your advertisements every time they are clicked, not just for showing up in a search. This combination allows your advertising budget to go to the best possible use and gives you the opportunity to bring in new prospects that are already interested in your product or service.

Though Google Ads may not be perfect for every business out there, a majority of businesses will be able to reap the benefits of advertising with Google. If you are interested in learning more about creating ads with Google, stay tuned! Next week I will walk you through setting up your first Google Ad!