Google Ads 101

March 17, 2020 |
By Nancy Koskoshie

Everything you need to know about Google Ads

Google Ads is one of the most common ways to market your business. Google caters to billions of users every day thus it would be a shame not to utilize it for your advertising purposes. In the case where you have an available investment budget to allocate to Google ads, you need is to know exactly where your money will go and ensure that a well-adjusted strategy will target the right audience. This way you can rest assured that your investment is correctly assigned to attract your target market.

What once used to be called Google Adwords is now referred to as Google Ads following its re-branding by Google. Below you will be able to find valuable information on what Google Ads is and how you can utilise it yourselves for your own benefit.

What exactly is Google Ads?

Google Ads is the platform where an individual or business can run advertisements that appear on Google itself, Google search Partners or even YouTube. The older generation marketers refer to Google Ads as PPC or Pay-Per-click which makes perfect sense since advertisers pay by the click.

The ads are not only used to drive sales but also for branding and consideration purposes. That is why they are divided into Search ads, Display ads and Video ads. The different types of creative can be used for the different stages a user might be at – the awareness, the consideration and the conversion stages. That is, as long as the message is adjusted accordingly.

All types of ads are being served by from one platform – your Google ads account. This is where you can specify the type, and end goal, at a campaign level.

How to setup a Google Ads account?

The big question here is how to correctly setup an account on Google Ads. This is very simple and you do not have to be an expert to achieve this. You only need to decide which type of account suits you best – the expert or the express one?

If you’re looking to work on all types of ads then the expert account is the way to go. The express type allows for a limited set of actions and will only run text/search ads and not the others. We will go into the debate of which one is the best in another article. But for now, we suggest you go with the expert account type even if you do not know which ad types you will end up rolling with.

So one huge tip of advice, when you start creating your account make sure you select the option shown below:


campaign selection screencap from Google Ads




Google Ads Screenshot

After that you will need to setup your account with the basic information required. Once you’re all done creating your account, you may start working on your campaigns.

How to setup a Google Ads campaign?

As previously mentioned, you need to decide which ad type you want your ads to use so as to start your campaign. Let’s dive into the definition of each ad campaign…

Google Ad campaign types

Search Ads – Search refers to the ads you see at the top when searching for a term on Google. These are perfect for all stages of a user but are mainly used for the conversion stage.


google search ads screenshot





Source: Google Search Ads

Display Ads – Display ads are the banners that appear on different websites and are perfect for branding on consideration.


google display ads screenshot




Source: Google Display Ads

Video Ads – Video ads are mainly displayed on websites and on Youtube itself.


google video ads screenshot




Source: Google Video Ads

App ads – These are Ads that advertise your app on the various app options such as Search, Google Play, YouTube, Discover and the Google Display Network. These are mainly used for conversion purposes.



Shopping Ads – These are not available in all countries. They are used to advertise products that you may sell on your e-store. These are also used for conversions.


Each of the aforementioned campaigns have different ad formats that you can use depending on where you would like your ads to show.


One of the most important aspects you should be aware of when starting a Google ads campaign are keywords. Keywords are what will bring in the right visitors if performed correctly. If you’ve chosen the wrong keywords, it will not only waste your budget and efforts but also target the wrong audience which will lower your AdRank and cause high bounce rates which are both harmful for your ads and website performance.

After you’ve performed comprehensive keyword research through your handy tool called Keyword Planner, you can now set the match types for the keywords you’ve chosen. The match types are specified through a set of symbols that allows Google to understand the keyword and serve your ads to the right searchers. Read on to find out the different keyword match types and how each one can help you attract the right audience.

Keyword Match Types

Broad Match

Broad match keywords are the ones that will attract a broad audience. Adding broad type keywords to your campaign means that you do not specify which part of a user’s keyphrase/search term should match yours just as long as it’s remotely relevant to your keyword. With broad match, you do not use any type of symbols. For example, ‘red bikini in small’ will be shown to anyone searching for red bikini or small bikini. Hence, your audience reach is much broader and not as specific.

Broad Match Modified

This type is specified by adding + symbols in front of every word in your keyword. Using this, you indicate to Google that you require at least one of the + words to be targeted when someone searches for it. As an example, ‘+red +bikini’ means that the audience will be targeted if they search for red bikini, bikini, or red.

Phrase Match

Phrase Match type keywords are specified by using the “” (quote) symbols at the beginning and the end of the keyword you would like to target. This will trigger search terms closely related to your keyword as well as variations of the keyword by allowing words before and after it. For example, “red bikini” will bring visitors looking for red bikinis, red bikinis in small, triangle red bikinis and so forth.

Exact Match

In this case, the keyword is specified with the symbols []. When your keyword is surrounded with these symbols, it indicates that you only want to show up for the exact keyword you have in-between. For example, [red bikini] will only rank for the red bikini search terms and no other variations.

Google Campaign Bidding Strategies

Once you’ve identified which campaign suits you and your product/service offerings best, you‘ll need to decide the type of bidding you will utilize.

The types of bidding available are:

Manual CPC

This strategy allows the advertiser to manually set the bids for each keyword they use. When adding the keywords you would like to target you will be asked to set a maximum CPC (cost-per-click) which is where the campaign’s budget will cap as well as a bid for a specific keyword which is how much you are willing to pay for that specific keyword.

Automated Bidding

With automated cpc, you allow Google to set the bids according to how competitors bid for your keywords and the budget limit you set when setting up the campaign.

Worldwide vs Local – Location, Location, Location

When it comes to spending budget on advertising in Google Ads, one thing you should never do is have open location targeting. That is because it will chew up your budget so fast you won’t even have time to blink.

Any advertiser must know beforehand which locations they should target so it will limit the reach and thus, the clicks a campaign will generate – which is where your budget will go. In the case where your product offerings are available worldwide, our suggestion is still not to get crazy. Start out with the countries/regions you know have more demand and then test out the rest. Remember, you can set a lower or a higher budget on specific areas which is so neat since you will not have to waste it on underperforming regions.

Ad Copy

Ad copy refers to the text you include in the ads that will show up when users are targeted by all the other variables you’ve specified in your campaign. That is the message you add to attract the right audience. The ad copy has the power to attract and repel audiences.

Your ad is separated into three sections – the headline, the description, and the ad extensions.

You must always keep in mind that the three sections can influence a user’s decision to click on your ad so be as specific as possible.


You are now almost ready to roll your ads!


The final part of setting up a proper campaign would be to set up effective conversions tracking. The tracking can be done via a number of ways, as long as you’re a bit techy.

The three ways Google Ads allows you to track actions is through:

  1. Google Tag Manager
  2. Adding a code on your website’s header
  3. Connecting with Google Analytics Goals

You can test different ways by using dummy tests and see which one works best for you and the end goal you would like to track.

All set for Google Ads

On your mark, get set, go! You are now ready to run your campaigns and see how everything works. Never stop optimizing and be on top of things before you lose users and/or budget.

In case this is too much for you or you do not have the time to handle Google Ads, we can do it for you. Allow Yoshiro Digital’s team of Google Ads managers to manage and optimize your Google Ads while you sit back and enjoy the sweet fruits of exposure and conversions!