How To Use Google Adwords

When you first open a Google Adwords account, it can be very daunting. There is a lot to learn just to create an ad, but don’t worry, in this article we are going to help you make strong campaigns that provide a decent return on investment.

The first step toward creating an ad in Google Adwords is to create a campaign and an Ad group. As an example, Digimark provides Website Design services, so a good campaign name could be Website Design, with an ad group named after the contents of a landing page we want to send the visitor to. Categorising like this makes keyword research a bit easier, when it comes to choosing keywords for your ad.

Campaign Types

There are four campaign types. These are:

Search Network – The Search Network is the ad option most commonly used. It consists of the Google search results and YouTube, as well as Google’s Search Partners. Google does not disclose a definitive list of their search partners, so we are unable to elaborate on this.

Display Network – The Display Network consists of millions of websites that display ads. These ads are displayed in and around content and is often based on specific audiences rather than traditional keywords.

Search Network with Display Opt-In – This is a combination of both the Search Network and the Display Network. Effectively, you create a Search Network campaign with the option of opting into the Display Network. Google then determines when and where to display your ads for best performance. This takes away a lot of control from the user and may not be for everyone.

Shopping: Product Listing Ads – The final campaign type is Product Listing Ads, which will be elaborated on later in this article. The general gist is that advertisers submit a product to Google Merchant Center and then sets up a shopping campaign in Adwords. From here, instead of using keywords, advertisers bid on feed attributes. These are: Brand, Category, Condition, Item ID, Product Type, and Custom Attributes.


To some degree you can choose your audience. This is most often used in remarketing, after the person has visited your website, but you can market to specific segments based on their interests, buying habits or intent. For more on this, visit Google’s support page on Audiences.

Device Targeting

Ads can be shown on all devices and can have differing bids based on the device. Desktops, laptops and tablets all have the same bidding applied, whereas mobiles are different. Mobile bids have a modifier, which decreases the bid price by 50%. That is, for every bid of $1.00 on a tablet or similar will only be $0.50 on a mobile.

Location Targeting

Location is possibly one of the most important aspects of marketing. Targeting a specific region is easy in Adwords, allowing you to specify a region, city or postcode.

How To Use Google Ads | PPC Marketing

 Budget, Scheduling and Delivery

Budget – Within Adwords, you can set a specific daily budget. If the total cost for any particular day reaches your daily budget maximum, the ad stops being displayed for that day. This can prevent you from overspending on ads unintentionally.

Scheduling – Unlike traditional advertising, your ads can run 24/7. In fact, you can schedule when your ads will run, whether it is within business hours, or all day.

Delivery Types – There are two main delivery types; Standard and Accelerated. Standard shows your ad evenly throughout the day and is best for business owners on a restricted marketing budget. Accelerated spends the budget as quickly as possible to show the ad to as many people as possible. As you can imagine, this method can be quick risky.

Google Adwords Strategy

Marketers and business consultants go on and on about S.M.A.R.T. goals, so we won’t revisit what has already been well established. Using this smart system, determine what it is that you want to achieve from your Adwords campaign. This could be a specific number of leads per month, sales on your website, or even just to maintain brand awareness through impressions.

Manage What You Measure

There is a saying in marketing and sales, “You can manage what you measure”, and it’s totally true. If you go ahead with an Adwords campaign without measuring the results, if you succeed it will be a lucky guess, if you fail, then you will have nothing to learn from it. There are four metrics to keep an eye on. These are click through rate (CTR), conversion rate, cost per click (CPC), and cost per acquisition (CPA).

This article should have provided you with a general understanding of how to use Google Adwords. Keep an eye out for our article on keyword research and building an ad that converts.


Within Google Adwords there are seven keyword match types that each keyword needs to be matched to in order for your ad to show the way you want it to. These include:

Exact – The searcher must type the keyword exactly.

Exact (Close Variant) – The searcher must type the keyword exactly, but spelling mistakes or slight variations are accounted for.

Phrase – The searcher must type the phrase exactly, for example, ‘Google Adwords Toowoomba’ would work for this guide as a phrase option, but if someone then typed ‘Toowoomba Google Adwords’, the ad would not show up.

Phrase (Close Variant) – The searcher must type the phrase exactly, but misspelled words and slight variations are accounted for. It is unclear whether the example in the previous section is still relevant in a close variant keyword type, so just be careful with this type of keyword.

Broad – The searchers can type the keywords or phrases in any order and your ad may possibly be shown.

Modified Broad – The searcher can type the keywords or phrases in any order, but each term must contain a plus sign.

Broad (Session-based) – Similar to broad, except it takes into account the searchers session, if there is one available. If a searcher has visited a website similar to yours, or viewed YouTube videos with content similar to what is on your website, your ad will be displayed.

Negative Keywords

A difficult concept to grasp at first, negative keywords can be very helpful in avoiding search terms. For example, we do not want to be associated with ‘cheap’ websites and so we can add this as a negative keyword.

Ad Content

There are three types of ad that you are able to make use of. These are, text ads, image ads and product listing ads.

Text Ads – A text ad is what it sounds like, it uses text to attract attention. The structure of a text ad in Google Adwords is as follow:

Headline 1 – Up to 30 characters (including spaces).

Headline 2 – Up to 30 characters (including spaces).

Description Line – Up to 80 characters (including spaces).

Path 1 – Up to 15 characters.

Path 2 – Up to 15 characters.

How To Use Google Ads | PPC Marketing

The headlines are fairly self-explanatory, as is the description. Path 1 and 2 are a great feature that takes a bit of explaining to fully grasp. Path 1 and 2 allows you to add a URL to display to the user. This URL is not used by Google to direct the user once clicked; Path 1 and 2 are simply decorative. Thus, you could place keywords like this,

Image Ads – Image Ads work differently to Text Ads in the sense that they are not displayed in the Google Search results. Instead, the image is displayed across the Display Network. The Display Network consists of millions of websites that display ads through Adsense and other services. This type of ad is useful for remarketing and can appear to ‘follow’ the user around onto other websites if they have visited your website.

Product Listing Ads – The final type of ad is the Product Listing Ad type, which contains a product title, image and price. These ads must be connected to a Google Merchant Center account in order to work properly.

How Google Adwords Works

In the good old days, when the internet was young, a business owner could buy an ad on Google Adwords and appear on the first page of Google for minimal cost and a reasonable return on investment (ROI). Now everyone is moving online and so Google has to start ranking their ads similar to how they rank organic search results. Thus, the first way that SEM works is through a bidding system.

Pay-Per-Click Bidding

When you use Google Adwords, you choose keywords, or something similar as we have describe above, but for this example we will use keywords. The more competitive a keyword is, the more it will cost to rank in the Google ads section. This is because of the ‘auction’ system that Google uses to determine ad ranking. PPC Advertising is about placing bids; Advertisers make their bids and then ads are ranked from highest to lowest. However, if you bid $5 for a specific keyword, which is the highest bid, you don’t necessarily pay $5 per click. Instead, the lowest bid becomes the cost of the least visible ad, and then the cost of an ad goes up in increments of $0.05 per bid until the top bidder is reached. Thus, you may pay more or less for the keyword, it all depends on where you sit in the bidding range and how many people are between you and the lowest bid.

Quality Score

Bidding isn’t the only way your position in the ads section is determined. There is a saying in digital marketing, ‘Content is King’. This is true, even for ads. Google will look at the keyword you bid on and review your linked page’s content to determine whether it is relevant and of good quality. In our SEO Guide, we discuss Google’s mission. It is Google’s mission to provide the most relevant, high quality result for searchers. Looking at this logically, it makes sense. If you are searching for something using the keyword ‘nutrition’ and it displays results for photography, you aren’t going to find the photography website very useful.

How To Use Google Ads | PPC Marketing

Steve Jaenke

Steve Jaenke is the founder & CEO of Digimark Australia. He specialises in SEO and data analytics, bringing in a background in sales and social psychology.

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