If you have a website or online business, you may have heard about using Google Ads as a marketing tool to increase traffic to your site. As a web user, you will have seen Google Ads in many of your online searches, although you may not have known how they work.

We’ll explore how Google Ads work, whether they will benefit you, and why you would want to use them.

What Are Google Ads? 

Google Ads, formerly called Google AdWords, are paid listings that appear on the Google search engine results page (SERP). When you enter keywords to search on Google, the first few listings displayed may have the word Ad next to them. Ad listings may also appear at the bottom of the search results page. 

what is google ads

The web pages appearing with the Ad marker use Google Ads to show their sites as one of the first results. 

When users search for a keyword, they usually click on one of the first results that come up in the search results. Therefore, having a website listed on top will generate more traffic and more revenue for a business in the long run.

Who Should Use Google Ads?

Websites looking to increase traffic and gain more customers to their site should use Google Ads, one of the most powerful and effective online marketing tools. You can set your budget of how much to spend on each click and cancel at any time. By understanding how to use the service to your advantage, you can watch your website’s exposure grow. 

Why Are Google Ads Important? 

More than half of web surfers use Google to browse the web, but most don’t go past the first search results page. An average search can yield many pages of results. If your website doesn’t come up on the first page of results, the average browser won’t see or visit your site.

Google Ads increases your chance of appearing as one of the top search results, increasing your chance of visitors. More visitors translates to more potential revenue.

How Does Google Ads Work?

Google uses an algorithm to determine which websites display in the search results for specific keyword searches. However, your website can appear in the results even if it doesn’t fit the algorithm by paying for Google Ads.

Google Ads works similar to an auction, where businesses bid on keywords. Companies submit a list of keywords for which they want to appear as a search result, along with the maximum amount they’d pay if a user clicks on their listing. 

The amount you would pay for each click is known as the Cost Per Click (CPC).

Does that mean the advertiser with the highest bid per click gets the top search result spot? Not necessarily. 

Google considers many other factors when choosing which sites to display as the top Ad listings, including the website’s quality. If a webpage matches the search result keywords, it may win the bid, even if another site is bidding more per click. 

What’s the Cost of Google Ads?

Google allows you to set a budget so you determine how much you want to spend. Set a maximum monthly limit and you won’t pay more than your budget. You’ll also only pay when a visitor clicks on your site through the Google Ad link. If no one clicks on the Ad to visit your site, you won’t get charged.

How to Use Google Ads

Before signing up with Google Ads, you’ll need to have a website and a Google account. If you don’t have an account, you will need to create a new one. 

  1. Go to Ads.google.com and click on the Start Now button on the upper right.
  2. Create a new ad campaign. 
  3. Select the goal of your campaign, whether it’s to get more inquiries, more website sales, customers to your business, or raise brand awareness.
google campaign objective
  1.  Choose the type of campaign: search, display, or video.
  1. Customize your campaign with the settings options and set the budget. You can also choose a location if you only want to target specific demographics.
  2. Set up the ad groups and enter your keywords.
  3. Create the ad.

Creating a Google Ad

Create an ad that catches potential visitors’ attention to entice them to click on your link. You’ll need to set up:

  • Headline – Up to 25 characters that will display on the top of your site’s description in the search results.
  • Ad Body – Enter up to two lines of a description of what your site has to offer that matches the keywords. 
  • Landing Page – The URL behind the link that will display in the results. 

How to Track Google Ads Success

How do you gauge if Google Ads is working for you? After you launch your first campaigns, you will be able to track your ads’ performance on Google Ads with different metrics such as impressions, CTR, CPA, and more. Google Analytics will show you how many visitors clicked on your links and the performance of each keyword. Use the analytics results to determine if you should edit your ad campaign and change any keywords.

Things to Know About Google Ads

Google evaluates your website’s quality and content in addition to your keyword bid amount. Bidding a  high amount on a keyword doesn’t mean your site will appear at the top of the results. 

Google’s algorithm assigns an Ad Rank to your site, calculated from your keyword bid amount and your site’s quality score. The Quality Score calculates how relevant your page is to the keywords. This score means that if your site is not relevant to the keywords, it may receive a low ranking despite your bid. 

Main Takeaways

Google Ads can boost your site’s exposure, traffic, and sales by displaying your site as one of the top search results. By choosing a bid amount per click that fits your budget and setting a maximum monthly amount to spend, Google Ads can be a very cost-effective marketing campaign. 

To make Google Ads work for you, make sure the keywords you choose are relevant to your site and utilize their analytics to adjust your campaign if necessary. 

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