Google Ads

Master Guide

What Is Google Ads?

Google Ads is the main advertising platform that Google has made available to businesses worldwide.
Google Ads allows you to bid on keywords, topics, audiences, and more to drive traffic to your website, landing page, or any other digital property.

Whether you're a software business, eCommerce shop, or wanting to drive leads, Google Ads can help you scale and grow your company as long as you focus on the correct execution (that's why we made this guide).

Read, watch, listen and learn as we take you through the different phases of your Google Ads journey so you can hit your business goals faster than ever.

Google Ads is the premier advertising platform for helping advertisers better reach their audiences via search engine marketing (SEM). So, let's take a look at how advertising on the Google Ads platform works to better understand how we can improve your digital campaigns and help grow your business.


Ever wondered how exactly Google generates the results page for the specific searches you type into the search bar? Well – as far as simple answers go – Google's algorithm calculates the best results based on what it deems to be the most "relevant" posts and ads.


ie: Google shows you what it thinks are the most helpful pages and posts on the internet for your search.


This means that all these different pages and posts are competing to be the "most relevant" in Google's eyes – thus ranking them higher on the SERP where they're more likely to be seen by search engine users. But what if I told you that you could cut the line and go straight to the top of the SERP?


This is where organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) falls behind and Google Ads pay-per-click (PPC) advertising takes over.


With pay-per-click advertising on the Google Ads platform, advertisers pay to have their ads shown at the top of specific SERPs in order to generate clicks from search engine users. Each time a user clicks on their ads, the advertiser pays Google (hence the name "pay-per-click," or PPC). It may be a pay-to-play arena, but these ads automatically show at the top of the SERP above the organic results. Which means that even if you're the last ad shown in the top listings, you're still more than likely to be above the fold.

And that's the first big win that all digital marketers are looking for: getting your ads above the fold to ensure that they're at least seen by users.


Now, keep in mind that you aren't paying a flat fee for all keywords and all clicks. Depending on the search volume of specific keywords you'll be paying a different CPC (cost per click) for each term.


And yes, this is a fluid number.


Not only do you have to deal with the actual search volume of the keywords and general competition affecting your CPCs (factors you can't control) – you have to pull your own weight as well. Google also takes the quality and relevance of your brand, product, offer, and ad copy into consideration when calculating your CPC.


What Google Ads calls a "Quality Score" is a bit of a black box. But it's a black box that can greatly determine how much you're paying to engage your targeted audience. Google will actually determine where your ad shows in the ad placement as well as what kind of CPC to charge you based on your Quality Score. So the more relevant you can make your ad and your offer to your ideal audience's exact search, the better.


This is where a distinction between the keywords PPC managers bid on and the search terms that users type into the search engine can arise.


To keep your keyword:search term ratio as close to 1:1 as possible, we've developed quite a few branded tactics to help boost your relevance, increase your click-through rates (CTR), and lower your CPC across your campaigns. PPC is kind of our thing, and we love developing and testing new theories on how to outperform the Google Algorithm to better increase your revenue. And beyond that, increase your ROAS and ROI in the long run.


For those of you who don't know, ROAS stands for Return On Ad Spend, or essentially how much revenue you are generating from your current advertising budget on Google Ads. ROI, on the other hand, stands for Return On Investment, which takes into account your own business costs as well to give you a more fully-developed picture of your finances.


The goal of PPC advertising on Google Ads is to maximize your ROAS by increasing your CTRs while simultaneously decreasing your CPCs. Then, it's simply a matter of leaving it up to your landing page and CRO (conversion rate optimization) experts to make sure that those clicks are turning into sales.


I mean, think about it. If you're devoting the time, energy, and resources to master PPC advertising on Google Ads in order to generate all those clicks through your ads onto your landing pages, you'd surely be kicking yourself if it was the landing page that was costing your sales in the end. But don't worry, landing pages and CRO is a whole other resource for a whole other day. ;)


Thankfully, below you can read up on some expert tips and tricks as well as a step-by-step guide on how to get started with Google Ads. So don't waste any more time! Dive deep into our Google Ads master resource hub and start taking advantage of our expertise today – there's no time to lose when you can be boosting your Google Ads ROI as we speak!

Setting Up Your Google Ads Campaigns

Step 1: Calculate Your Budget

The first part of setting up any Google Ads campaign is calculating your budget. How much will you be willing to spend on clicks in the order to make that spend back (and then some) by converting some of those clicks into leads and sales?


To calculate your ideal PPC budget all you need to do is work backwards using some simple math. First calculate your Max CPC, then scale up to find your daily, weekly, and monthly budgets (as shown in the diagram).

Step 2: Choose A Bid Strategy

Now it's time to consider how you'll be managing your day-to-day spend. This means choosing from one of the 12 different bid strategies on Google Ads. Each targets, performs, and spends differently. Cater your bid strategy to your goals:


1) Target CPA 2)Target ROAS 3)Max Conversions 4)Enhanced CPC 5)Max Clicks 6)Manual CPC 7)Target Location 8)Target Impressions Share 9)Cost Per View 10)Ad Placement Targeting 11)Cost Per Million (1000 impressions) and 12)Variable Cost Per Million...and Don't forget about bid modifiers...

Step 3: Choose Your Keywords And Match Types

By now you should know where you ideal audience lies within the conversion funnel. This will help with your keyword research as you identify which terms your audience uses to find your brand – these are the keywords you'll bid on.


Enter them into your Keyword Planner to find the best variant for you, depending on search volume and average CPC. And be sure to use multiple match types to create the closest to a 1:1 ratio as possible between your keywords and search terms.

Step 4: Check Out The Competition

Once you've chosen which keywords you'll be bidding on you can do some SERP analysis to identify your competition. Checking out the actual Search Engine Results Page for the specific keywords your targeting will show you which advertisers already have ads ranking on that page.


These are the ads that your own ad will be competing with over ad space and impression share. So, learning a thing or two in terms of ad copy and CTAs from the ads that are already performing is a good start.

Step 5: Set Up Your Account Structure

So what's the specific goal of this Google Ads campaign of yours? Are you looking to grow general awareness of your brand? Or are you looking to convert actual sales at the bottom of the funnel with your PPC ads? The answer to these questions will determine how you structure your Google Ads account.


Broader campaigns can rely on more generic search terms and match types but require a bigger budget to do so. And the opposite is true for more targeted campaigns. Regardless, split-testing should reveal what's right for you.

Step 6: Build Your Landing Page

No PPC campaign is complete without a landing page. This is where you'll actually try to convert users, so be sure not to cut any corners. Take the time to refer to landing page best practices and lean on top performing examples.


Now, Landing Page CRO is its own field entirely. But, what's important to remember and apply in your PPC campaigns is a clean and clear message match between your PPC ads and your landing pages. Your users should be landing on a page that offers them exactly what they read in your ad.

Step 7: Write Your Ads And Publish

Now it's time to get down in the nitty gritty and start writing your actual PPC ads. When it comes to ad copy you can focus on features or benefits, but either way you want to speak in terms your audience will understand. Focus on what makes your brand unique and what is special about your offer.


With text ads, your relying on some pretty enticing copy to pull your users away from their active search. This means using active CTAs as much as any other tools you have at your disposal. Then it's time to publish your ads!

Step 8: Adjust Negative Keyword List

Once you've launched your PPC campaigns and published your Google text ads, the real work of the PPC expert begins. Now you can start to update your negative keyword list. This will make sure your ads don't show for these keywords.


Why would you want to avoid keywords? Well, maybe they simply don't generate clicks for you. They could be failing to generate clicks – or maybe their cannibalizing other campaigns. Regardless, forgetting to maintain your negative keyword list is a costly PPC mistake and leave you burning through ad spend.

Step 9: Track, Audit, And Optimize

Hopefully, by now, you've been able to establish a budget, choose your bid strategy, target your keywords and isolate your search terms using the right keyword match types, and publish some highly relevant text ads. You also should've built some dedicated landing pages to which you'll send your traffic.


Now it's just a matter of sitting back and monitoring your campaigns to see where you can optimize and improve. Be sure to focus on optimizations that are quick wins: the simplest changes for the biggest results.

Expert Tips & Tricks For Google Ads

1. Use Single Keyword Ad Groups to maximize your relevance and CTRs.


SKAGs are one of the fastest ways to elevate your CTR, quality scores, and most importantly, the money that you’re making on Google Ads. Here’s why -- by pairing your keywords into their own unique ad groups, you can make sure that the keywords you’re bidding on match the search terms you’re paying for.


But you can (and should!) include multiple match types of that one keyword in that specific Single Keyword Ad Group. And once you’re controlling your search terms and keywords, you can make your ad copy insanely specific to your keywords.

2. Consider the Conversion Intent of your incoming traffic.


What does this mean? It means take a quick measurement of your PPC traffic temperature. Imagine you order a steak at a fancy restaurant. It looks great on the plate, but when you bite into it, it’s ice cold. This sad and yucky scenario also applies to your PPC traffic. Your visitors have to “warm up” to you before they’ll actually pay you any money.


If your leads are cold, you need to warm them up with valuable but low-threat offers like ebooks, webinars, and other opt-in options. Once your leads are engaged, you can move on to more significant transactions.

3. Do NOT disregard the Iceberg Effect. The Iceberg Effect happens when what you see above the surface in your PPC accounts doesn’t match up with what you can’t control beneath the surface.


Lots of managed PPC accounts out there are seeing their return on investment (ROI) dragged down into the icy depths, yours included… and you probably didn’t even notice.


In other words, your ratio of what you can’t control vs. what you can control is askew (aka search terms versus actual keywords). Thankfully, SKAGs can help you out a lot here…

4. Invest in the right PPC Spy Tools.


You may think you know who your competitors are just from looking at Google’s search results. But what about the ones who are making a killing on the Display network or on Facebook advertising?


Aren’t you curious to know how they’re succeeding, and not just which search keywords you’re competing on? I hope so.


Because what’s cool these days isn’t targeting more keywords, spending more money, and getting more volume. What’s really cool is finding brand new channels, offers, and other gold mines that you’d never considered.

5. Don’t be afraid to try different Google Ads bidding strategies until you find the right one.


Beating your competitors in the Google Ads slugfest that happens 40,000 times every second isn’t easy. And more importantly, it doesn’t happen by accident. PPC management companies these days have hundreds of different bidding options that can be programmed to trigger instantly and automatically.


If you’re still looking for your first Google Ads breakthrough and haven’t yet experienced the joy of virtually destroying your deep-pocketed rivals, I’ve got good news.


All it comes down to is arming yourself with the right tricks, tools, and tactics.

6. Embrace automate and Google Ads Scripts to help scale your campaigns.


Google Ads scripts are snippets of JavaScript code that allow you to better control your campaigns, but more importantly, they help ease and automate your PPC reporting and performance. These complex scripts are extremely useful, and understanding them can take your paid ads a long, long way.


These scripts are tools to automate and optimize your PPC campaigns. From bid management and split testing, to improved reporting and avoiding repetition, they’re as useful as you make them. And what makes these tools extra great is that they’re incredibly customizable.

7. Use the Google Tag Manager to track, report, and optimize your site.


The Google Tag Manager (GTM) is basically a free container to house all of the tracking scripts, or tags, for your website. It’s used for PPC conversion tracking, retargeting, analytics, and much more.


Because they’re all in one container, GTM makes it easy to keep track and manage your tags in one place. Tag Manager helps navigate tracking code on sites, allows marketers to be more efficient with our time, and prioritizes what we task to our IT and development teams so that they can focus on what really matters.

8. Don’t let users fall through the cracks. Capitalize with remarketing.


If you’re not familiar, retargeting is when a visitor hits your website or landing page without converting. You then add a cookie/pixel to their browser or capture their email address to then have your image ads, text ads, or emails follow them around the rest of the web until they hopefully come back and convert.


It’s easy to see how retargeting works. It’s a lot harder, though, to actually make it work. Especially when choosing between retargeting, Facebook retargeting, and RLSA text campaigns.


But, if done right, retargeting can outperform all other digital ad channels and maximize your ROAS.

9. Take the time to learn from some of the experts – See further by standing on the shoulders of giants.


You may find yourself scrolling through countless examples of "best practices," and "perfect landing pages," or "highest clicked Call-to-Actions" as you hunt for inspiration for your own campaigns. And that's okay. Make sure you read up on how the best agencies that you like to follow became the best in the first place. You might be shocked out what you learn.


For instance, you may end up following a certain story of a small but not-to-be-slept-on agency's journey from a $100K/Mo Agency to a $300K/Mo Agency and then to a $500K/Mo Agency and on! ;)


And yes...we're still growing.


  • When is the right time to consider outsourcing your Google Ads work?

    That depends on what your goals are and how fast you want to hit them. Give us a call and we'd love to help out. :)

  • Do you require any contracts?

    Only 3 months for starters, then it's month to month.

  • Who owns the campaigns or pages you build?

    Don't worry – you still own them. :)

  • Any way I can follow along on the progress?

    Of course. We’ll keep you updated with frequent emails, calls, and meetings.

  • What do you charge?

    It depends. Sometimes it’s flat, sometimes it’s performance based. It's all about what works best for you and your campaigns.

  • What’s your conversion rate optimization specialty?

    We our lead gen/SaaS rockstars. And we're bringing our eCommerce game to the same level of fame fast.

  • How often do I get updates?

    We’re always open, but we send formal updates once a week.

  • Do you have any extra fees?

    Nope. Our one fee is all you’ll ever have to pay. Nothing extra (unless you want extra).

  • When can we start?

    Right now :) Give us a call us at (877) 501-3447

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When it comes to PPC, the first person I turn to is Johnathan Dane. He and his team cut through the bullshit and get straight to the point with the goal of making you more money. Work with him.

Peep Laja
Peep Laja
Founder @ ConversionXL
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