Google Ads - Your All-inclusive Guide to Harnessing the Behemoth’s Power

01 April 2020

With over 2 trillion searches made each year (that’s roughly 63 thousand a second) and a 90%+ market share, it’s easy to see that Google is dominating the world of search. 

When that many eyes are on screens, your business is presented with a huge advertising opportunity.

However, whilst the potential is large, getting started with Google Ads isn’t as easy as it might first appear. In this article, we’re going to give you a snapshot view of everything you need to know about Google Ads so you can drive the best results for your business.

Read on to find out more. 

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The 5 different types of Google Ads 

Google has evolved from the familiar yellow icon and simple text ads it was known for 10 years ago. Things have gotten bigger. 

It now offers businesses 5 key ways to get their brands seen by budding buyers.

  1. Google Search Network:

This is your chance to capture the attention of budding buyers when they’re actively seeking information that’s relevant to your business. This is a very big deal.

For example, a cake-maker could create an ad that displays when someone within 5 miles of their shop searches “wedding cakes near me”.

These ads are 100% text-based so no images are allowed, but you can cram them full of website links, phone numbers, locations, social links or anything else you think your target audience will need to take the leap and convert.

These ads pull their weight. In fact, people who click on Google text ads are 50% more likely to make a purchase, giving business owners a unique opportunity to grab their attention and drive more sales.

  1. Google Display Network

Looking for a boost to your search engine ads? Google Display Network is well worth a look. 

By setting specific targeting criteria such as age, location and interests, Google Display advertising gives you the ability to home-in on potential customers whilst they’re going about their internet business, with ads displayed directly within websites, Gmail, YouTube and apps.

Display ads are invaluable for boosting brand awareness. To get the most out of them, include an eye-catching image, engaging text and an irresistible call-to-action.

  1. Video Ads

We know what you’re thinking - video ads take work. You’re absolutely right. However, when over 70% of marketers include video in their digital strategy because of the sheer impact they have, they’re well worth the time investment. 

As with display ads, you can show off your video content on a host of websites, platforms and apps, including YouTube. On top of that, you only have to pay when people actually choose to watch it.

Video ads are a top method for generating interest in your products or services and bringing your brand’s story to life via an interesting and engaging medium.

  1. Shopping

Facing hot competition in your market? Directly compete with rival B2C brands by displaying ads within shopping search results. Google shopping ads appear next to search results, text and responsive ads, and give you the opportunity to share detailed information about why a user should choose your product over your competitors’ before they even click.

Shopping ads are an excellent option for businesses looking to boost their online or local stock sales, increase their website traffic and generate higher-quality sales leads. 

  1. App Ads

Engage your audience directly within their favourite apps and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds. App Ads help you run campaigns across some of Google’s largest properties, including Search, Play and YouTube, as well as thousands of mobile sites.

Setup is quick and simple, and bids are automatically adjusted to drive more downloads for your spend - all you need to do is design a creative and add a call-to-action, and Google does the rest. 

App campaigns are great for boosting your app downloads, but can also be used for more specific actions, such as driving newsletter sign-ups or promoting in-app purchases.

By setting specific targeting criteria such as age, location and interests, Google Display advertising gives you the ability to home-in on potential customers whilst they’re going about their internet business, with ads displayed directly within websites, Gmail, YouTube and apps.

TOP TIP: remarketing for the win!

This is where the true power of online advertising really kicks in. With remarketing ads, you can target individuals who visited your website previously but didn’t take the action you wanted, such as registering for an event, submitting a contact form or making a purchase. 

Remarketing ads will show up on any website that’s enrolled in the Google Display Network, with clicks leading straight to your web page of choice.

Watch out for GDPR

Remarketing ads are powered by cookies, which are automatically given to customers when they visit your site. If you’re based in the UK, GDPR laws come into effect here, so you’ll need to make sure your visitors are actively opting-in. 

Based on these cookies, you can retarget your audience based on how far they were through the buyer journey. For example, someone who visited your home page/about page and left can be shown a brand awareness ad, whereas an individual who added an item to their cart can be retargeted with an offer to help secure the conversion.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Understanding the Google account structure

Google account structure is hyper-specific. To stop you from getting in too deep and making unnecessary mistakes, be sure to have a grip on the 3 Google account layers:

  1. Account: This is where you organise your campaigns, and top-level admin tasks such as contact details, user access and billing information. 
  2. Campaigns: This serves as the umbrella for the ads you’re going to run. A campaign is a set of ads, keywords, and bids that share a budget, location targeting and other settings. Campaigns are used to organise ads based on specific criteria, such as end goal, location or the products/services that will be advertised.
  3. Ad groups: Ad groups are created within a campaign with a shared set of keywords to be targeted. This is where you set your CPC and adjust individual bids for each keyword if needed. 

How does bidding work with Google Ads?

There are 3 key bidding methods which you can use with your Google ads, and which one you should choose depends on what your end goal is: 

  1. Cost-per-click (CPC): You pay a predefined price for each click your ad gets. If no-one clicks on your ad, you don’t pay. 
  1. Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM): You pay per thousand views your ad gets instead of paying for individual clicks. 
  1. Cost-per-acquisition : You pay each time you drive a conversion such as a mailing list sign-up, contact form submission or online purchase. 

The key bidding strategies you need to understand

If you want to make the most of your budget, take the time to understand the bidding methods below:   

  1. Automated bidding - you set a maximum daily budget and ads run until that budget is reached.
  1. Manual bidding - you define a set amount you want to bid for each click, thousand impressions or acquisition. 
  1. Smart bidding - Google automatically increases your bid when it’s more likely to result in a conversion.

Which bidding method is best for you?

From brand awareness and video views to clicks and online actions, each is best suited to a different bidding method. 

Smart Bidding  - Smart bidding is the best choice if you’re running a campaign with the goal of direct action on your site, such as conversions. 

Cost per click - This is best used for driving quality traffic to a site by focusing on ad clicks. 

Cost per thousand viewable impressions (vCPM) - This is a great option for brand awareness campaigns where the focus is familiarising your audience with your business, as opposed to driving traffic. 

Cost per view (CPV) or cost-per-thousand (CPM)  - If you’re looking to boost your video views, drive interaction and increase product or brand consideration, this is your best choice. 

Google Ads best practices - what you need to consider

Want the best ad results? You need to follow the best practices. Let’s take a look at the most important points you need to consider: 

Be relevant and specific 

The content of your ad needs to be both specific to the audience you’re targeting, and relevant to their interests. If you miss these points, you’re going to lose potential sales. 

Make sure your targeting is accurate, and include related keywords within the copy to help convince the reader that your ad is worth clicking on. 

Research your keywords thoroughly

If you rush into your ad groups without fully researching your keywords, you’re going to be leaving a lot of money on the table. Be sure to avoid using irrelevant search terms, and set up negative keywords lists to avoid any that you don’t want your ad to be displayed against.

Be sure on your budget 

Google Ads campaigns can take some tweaking and adjustment before they yield results, so you don’t want to bleed through your budget before you start to make a profit. Start slow with your daily budget and gradually scale it as your ad performance improves. 

Include key company information 

Want to hear from potential customers? Make it easy for them to get in touch with you. Display relevant information such as your address, website URL, phone number and CTA within your ad to increase your chance of driving conversions. 

Be clear on your offer 

Give your audience a reason to take action. Be clear on what you are offering them, and create a call-to-action that tells them what they need to do next. You should also be careful to select an image relevant to your offer.


Hopefully this blog post has provided you with a solid introduction to Google ads and the elements that you need to consider before diving in and getting started.

Given the format we were unable to cover any of the elements in great detail. Please leave your questions about any of the information shared in the comments below. Also, if you would like us to expand on any of the elements covered in a dedicated blog post then please let us know in the comments below, thanks!

Looking to start with Google Ads? Cleoo can help 

Cleoo is an AI-powered cross-channel marketing solution for small businesses looking for big results. Get in touch with our friendly team now to find out just how much impact we could have on your online advertising. 

Written by Cleoo team

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