Walkthrough: Getting started with Google Adwords

Nov 22nd, 2017

One of the things that we are often asked to produce by our clients is a series of step-by-step guides or walkthroughs to help them to digest information about search marketing a little easier

With that in mind we have recently started the walkthrough section of our blog and will start our Google Adwords section based on what it is and how to build an ad.

So what is Google Adwords?

Essentially Google Adwords is an advertising platform which allows businesses to place search results for your website on a search engine results page (SERP) by paying for them. This falls under the paid search or PPC section of the industry and is a complex process of targeting the searcher with highly relevant adverts that they may be inclined to click on through a highly advanced algorithm.

The ads appear at the top of the SERPs and are often the first three or four positions. Google identifies them as with the ‘Ad’ icon to the left of the URL on the second line of text. Others appear on the right of the main results and again have the ‘Ad’ icon or the ‘Sponsored’ tag at the top.

The principle of these ads is ultimately to increase conversions for a businesses website. Well written and highly relevant ads will allow businesses to target potential customers at the point at which they are searching. In order to get the conversions, businesses will need to use Adwords to build ads based on their keyword research and the terms with which they want a specific ad to show up for.

Below is an example of an ad that appears when the user searches for ‘mens gloves’. This House of Fraser ad will be triggered based on their bid for the keyword and the complex Quality Score that they are assigned, but more on that later.

Like we mentioned above, it is important to remember that you may not be the only business bidding on a specific keyword and that there is a complex bidding algorithm. As you can see in the below image, when we expand the clipping for the exact same search for ‘mens gloves’ we are now offered three ads. The first is still the one belonging to House of Fraser, but there are now two more ads for ‘Helly Hansen’ and ‘Amazon’.

If you want your ad to appear at all, you have to bid against other companies on how much you’re willing to pay Google Adwords every time a searcher clicks on your ad. The more you bid the more likely your ad will appear in the search results. However unlike other real-time bidding models, it’s not just the highest bid that is taken into account but Quality Score.

According to Econsultancy: “Google looks at how relevant and useful your ad is to the searcher and the search terms they’ve used. It also looks at how many clicks your ad has received previously, also known as its click-through rate (CTR) and how relevant your landing page is.

“For instance if the searcher types ‘Nike Air Max’ and your advert appears saying “buy Nike Air Max here”, once the ad is clicked this needs to lead the searcher directly to a page featuring Nike Air Max trainers. If it just goes to your generic homepage, it’s not good enough.

“The higher your Quality Score, the better. Even if your maximum bid for a keyword is less than a rival bidder, you still may appear above their ad if your Quality Score is better.”

So how do you build an ad?

When it comes to using Adwords the first step once you have signed up is to initiate the build of new campaigns and ads. There are relatively few steps to this process but each of them is vital if you are to get the traction that you want. It goes without saying that the first step is to sign in to your AdWords account, from here the following step should be taken:

1. Click the Campaigns tab.

2. Click on the ‘+’ button.

3. Select the type of campaign that you wish to create.

4. In the example we have selected to create a ‘Search Network’ campaign. Once this has been completed you can then choose whether or not you want to set up a goal. There are three main metrics that you can choose from here;


Drive sales online, in app, by phone or in store. The sales goal recommends settings and features to help you reach customers who are ready to act

  • Shape how people engage with your business with extensions
  • Get clicks that are more likely to lead to a sale
  • Reach customers as they browse sites, videos and apps that partner with Google


Get leads and other conversions by encouraging customers to take action. The leads goal recommends settings and features to help you attract people to your business

  • Increase your potential customer base with audience targeting
  • Shape how people engage with your business with extensions
  • Expand your reach by showing ads to people as they browse sites, videos and apps that partner with Google

Website Traffic

Get the right people to visit your website. The website traffic goal recommends settings and features to help you drive relevant customers to your website

  • Increase visits to your site with a bidding strategy customised to your campaign
  • Reach new customers with relevant, dynamically generated ad headlines
  • Shape how people engage with your business with extensions

5. If we choose our target at ‘Sales’ we are then offered three possible options as to how we can reach our goal.

6. Enter your URL and then click continue. This will take you to the ‘select campaign settings’ tab.

7. Fill in the page as instructed. Start with a campaign name. A top tip here is to make it a memorable name. Many businesses run several campaigns and have several users. If it is easy to identify then it is easier to manage. Personally we wouldn’t recommend calling a campaign something like ‘Campaign 1’.

8. You then have the option to choose which network to display on. Note that you can choose both here.

9. You need to choose your location and the language in which you want create the ad for. This normally defaults to the United States and English. For the purpose of our campaign we are changing the location to target the UK and remaining in English. This allows us to see our potential reach and we can also choose to exclude certain locations. This is useful if you want to remove geographical locations that you may not conduct business with or ship products to.

10. Following this you will want to set both the bid strategy and the daily budget of the campaign. Your daily budget is the most you’re willing to spend each day on your campaign but be warned the actual daily spend may vary so it is vital that you track your spend. In terms of the strategy for these conversions there are several options to choose from.

The budget can be spent in two ways –

Standard: Spend your budget evenly over time.

Accelerated: Spending budget more quickly. This may cause your budget to run out early.

11. The next step is to set up your ad groups here you can choose your keywords and get some suggested to you based on your URL. Add in all those that you wish to target and those that are highly relevant.

12. You are then ready to create the ads. Google recommend that you create at least three ads that closely relate to the theme of your keywords. Follow the template here and fill in the ‘Final URL’, ‘Headline 1’ , ‘Headline 2’ boxes. You can then add in the ‘Display Path’ and the ‘Description’. There are also three different preview options so that you can see how the ad will render on different platforms.

It’s worth noting that before your saved ad starts showing to customers, AdWords reviews its content and formatting to make sure it meets their advertising policies. More information can be accessed in our PPC resources.

For more actionable paid search advice, visit our resources page or find out what our experts can do for your ROI by contacting us today.


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