Google Ads Account

Google Ads is Google’s online advertising product, allowing you to show your ads on search engines and other relevant websites, tablets, and mobile devices. It is a highly effective, accountable, and targeted method of connecting with customers, providing reach at the exact moment of relevance as people are searching for you.

Consumers are spending more time online, especially with the evolution of smartphones, and digital ad revenues have continued to grow at a rapid pace. Increasingly, there has been a need for businesses to have a solid online presence and engage with customers as they move through the research and purchase funnel. Google Google Ads helps bridge this gap and build relationships with customers, helping companies create awareness and drive direct sales through the online marketing channel.

Although advertisers can start showing ads through Google Ads in minutes, correct setup can help you avoid blowing through your budget without getting the desired results. The proper research, campaign planning, and ongoing management will help you get the most out of your investment, while understanding the available features will enable you to navigate the complexity of Google Ads and make it profitable.

What this page covers

Chapter 1, Researching the Market and Competition and Setting Goals, will help you with thebasic research you should conduct as you consider advertising with Google Ads.

Chapter 2, Setting up Your Account, will help create an Google Ads account shell andcustomizing the various key settings for easier management and navigation.

Chapter 3, Tracking beyond the Click, will cover setting up Google Ads conversion tracking andanalyzing relevant data in Google Analytics.

Chapter 4, Structuring Your Account, will help you choose where to show your ads and how totarget campaigns, including common ways to structure an account.

Chapter 5, Creating Relevant Keywords, will cover choosing keywords relevant to yourbusiness, using keyword matching options effectively, and taking advantage of available tools.

Chapter 6, Writing Compelling Ads, will provide tips for researching competitors’ ads, writingeffective ad text, and testing ad copy elements.

Chapter 7, Budgets and Bidding, will help in setting budgets and bids and adjusting thembased on your goals and performance.

Chapter 8, Running Display Ads, will cover various options for setting up display campaignsand how they are presented, as well as features that can help you optimize and improved target display ads.

Chapter 9, Remarketing to Past Visitors, will help in reconnecting with users who previouslyvisited your website as they go on to browse the Display network.

Chapter 10, Reporting and Analysis, will help you in analyzing ad performance, including whenand where your clicks are coming from, and other useful reports.

Chapter 11, Optimizing Performance, will provide tips on improving relevance, Quality Scores,and ROI.

Chapter 12, Advanced Strategies and Features, will help in implementing advanced adformats, experiments, and automation to boost performance.

Chapter 13, Managing Google Ads, covers troubleshooting ad issues, reviewing past changes,creating alerts, and using Google Ads Editor to streamline account management.

What you need for this page

Google Ads is an online interface and requires a computer, an Internet connection, and a browser. You’ll also need to download Google Ads Editor, Google’s free application that helps you manage and update your account offline.

Who this page is for

This page is for Google Ads novices who are looking to get started with Google Ads as well existing advertisers who need to optimize their campaigns and learn about advanced Google Ads features and strategies.


In this page, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: “In the following example, we searched Google for PPC ads to figure out what websites are coming up in both organic and paid listings.”

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: “Go to the Tools and Analysis tab, and click on Google Analytics.”

Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.

Researching the Market and Competition and Setting Goals

In this chapter, we will cover the following:

  • Focusing on relevance
  • Identifying your competitors using Google search results
  • Using third-party tools to research competitors
  • Analyzing budgets and bids to determine market saturation
  • Setting advertising goals
  • Predicting if Google Ads will be profitable and calculating potential returns


This chapter covers the basic research we should conduct as we consider advertising with Google Ads. Before we start competing in an online ad auction, we need to understand how saturated the market is and what our competition is doing in the online ad space. The first recipe explains how to identify our pay-per-click (PPC) competitors, while the next two recipes will help us analyze how much our competition is spending on Google Ads. The final recipes will guide us on how to use this competitive information to set our own spend-and-bid goals and then calculate the potential return.

Focusing on relevance

Google Ads is all about relevance and ensuring that Google users see quality ads, which directly relate to what the people are searching for. The system was designed to reward advertisers who create quality campaigns and is monitored through key metrics called Quality Score and clickthrough-rate (CTR). Focusing on relevance will help you pay less and achieve better profits from your ad efforts.

Getting ready

Keep in mind the following basic terms and concepts discussed in this page:

  • Keywords: These are words or phrases describing your products or services that you can choose to help you to determine when and where your ad can appear
  • Impressions: These are counted each time your ad is shown
  • Clicks: This is when someone clicks on your ad
  • Cost-per-click (CPC): This is the cost for each click on your ad
  • Pay-per-click (PPC): This is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay for clicks accrued

How to do it…

As you create your campaigns and plan Google Ads strategies, focus on relevance by:

  • Achieving a high CTR: The general rule of thumb is to aim for a CTR of 1 percent and above, though CTR varies widely by industry and the type of keywords.
  • Keeping healthy Quality Scores: Once you create your Google Ads account and start running campaigns, you’ll be able to see your Quality Scores at the keyword level. Choose keywords that are relevant and have good Quality Scores and then refine those that do not.

How it works…

Clickthrough-rate (CTR) is the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions.

CTR (expressed as %) = Clicks / Impressions

Each of your ads and keywords have their own CTRs, indicating how compelling users are finding your ads and keywords. CTR helps you gauge the success of your marketing efforts and it factors into Quality Score.

Quality Score is a measure of how relevant your keywords are to your ads and to your landing pages. It is calculated at the keyword level every time someone does a search for one of your keywords, and ranges from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). Quality Score affects your ad position as well as how much you’ll pay for clicks. Advertisers with higher Quality Scores are rewarded with lower CPCs and better ad positions.

  • The Improving relevance and Quality Score recipe in Chapter 11, Optimizing Performance

Identifying your competitors using Google search results

Advertisers considering PPC ads need to understand which similar websites and businesses are already using Google Ads, and also how they are positioning themselves in the online search market. This competitive information can be used to research keywords, which the competition is taking advantage of and identify our own unique advantages.

Getting ready

You likely already have a list of businesses that you consider your key competitors in a particular market. However, they may not all be advertising on Google Ads. Armed with a list of websites you consider your competition, you can begin researching their online ad presence.

Researching the Market and Competition and Setting Goals

How to do it…

Start with a search on Google using terms that you consider your main keywords or ways that customers look for your products or services. In the following example, we searched Google for PPC ads to figure out which websites are coming up in both organic and paid listings.

Organic, or natural listings, are on the left below the search query, while the paid ads are to the right and potentially above the organic listings.

Take note of paid ads coming up for your key searches, including how many ads are appearing. Scroll to the next page of search results to see additional pages and websites that come up after the first page of Google’s search results. The more ads there are, the greater the competition and the more saturated the market is for those keywords.

The paid ads that we see may not be the same businesses we identified as our competition prior to doing the search. Our competitors may not be advertising with Google Ads or our search query may not be triggering their ads at the time of our research. You may also find new businesses that you were not previously aware of that you will be competing against.

It’s also possible that your keywords are applicable to different industries and areas of focus. In any case, the ads that consistently come up for your most important keywords in your target locations will be your competition in the online ad auction, and you’ll need to better understand their strategies to make your own campaigns successful.

There’s more…

Perform the Google search, as previously explained, multiple times a day and on different days. Each auction is in real time and we’ll likely see different results every time we search on Google. Your competitors’ ads may or may not show when we perform a search based on their campaign settings, including during what days and times of the day they have set their campaigns to show, or what locations they have chosen to target via their campaigns.

  • The Using third-party tools to research competitors recipe

Using third-party tools to research competitors

There are a variety of tools other than Google that can help us get more information about websites whose online marketing efforts we are interested in researching further. Such tools scan the search results pages and extrapolate keywords and ads for various domains. They’ll provide data such as keywords used, daily budgets, how much our competitors are spending on individual keywords, and history of budget and ad changes.

Getting ready

The following are a couple of popular PPC spy tools that will allow us to do basic domain and keyword research for free:


For a more thorough list of keywords and ads that the various domains are using, you will need to purchase a subscription. However, you can do some basic research through the free look ups using one of the previously listed tools.

How to do it…

Use tools such as KeywordSpy and SpyFu to research competition as follows:

  • Search for your keywords of interest. Following is an example of results for a keyword search on KeywordSpy and the free information the tool provides. For example, you can see how many advertisers are showing for a particular query and average CPCs:
  • Search your competitors’ URL to see if they are advertising through Google Ads and learn more about their budgets, clicks per day, average ad position, and average cost-per-click (CPC). You’ll also learn how many ad copies and keywords a domain is coming up for, which can help you better understand how comprehensive a particular domain’s PPC program is.
  • Note budget trends over time, which can help you determine seasonality or changes in a particular business’s strategy and marketing budget. You’ll also be able to see some of the top keywords and ads for a domain, as well as related PPC competitors who are using overlapping keywords on Google Ads:

How it works…

Third-party keyword spy tools analyze a domain’s behavior over time on various search engines, including what keywords and ads websites are appearing on. Spend data is estimated based on assumptions that take into account ad position and how often ads are appearing for the various keywords. Data may not be available for all countries.

There’s more…

It’s important to note that PPC keyword spy tools do not actually have access to other advertisers’ accounts, and as such they are not 100 percent accurate. You can use them as a starting point in understanding your competition, but ultimately you should do your own keyword testing to determine what works best with your goals and budgets.

Analyzing budgets and bids to determine market saturation

Understanding how competitive the online search ads’ market for your industry is, will help you determine your own marketing budgets and how much you may want to bid on your keywords.

Getting ready

Decide which tool you would like to use. You can start with one of the free basic PPC keyword spy tools, such as KeywordSpy (, for basic budget and average CPC look-ups.

How to do it…

  • Enter a domain URL into to get daily Google Ads spend and average CPC estimates for a particular business.
  • Repeat this search for multiple businesses of various sizes to better understand the different spend ranges.
  • You can also use a tool like to figure out average CPCs for keywords of interest and how many advertisers are showing ads on a particular keyword. Generally, the higher the average CPCs, the more competitive the industry. The more advertisers that show up in the auction, the more saturated the search ads’ market is for a particular term. In some industries, advertisers are also more willing to pay for each click, driving up average CPCs, since a single lead can be very valuable. For example, in the legal industry, one ad click can result in a multi-million dollar settlement, making many legal terms competitive and expensive.
  • Another tool you can use to figure out how high the CPCs are for your keywords is the free Google Ads keyword tool. Go to https://Google KeywordTool and enter a keyword of interest to see search volumes and competition denoted from low to high for keywords related to your search:

How it works…

The Google Google Ads keyword tool uses historic data and provides estimates only, not exact numbers. Once you have an Google Ads account and are logged in, you’ll see additional information in the Google Google Ads keyword tool, including average CPCs and local search trends, which provide a sense of seasonality and traffic volumes throughout the year. While logged into your Google Ads account, you can import the keywords you are researching in the keyword tool directly into your campaigns.

There’s more…

Keep in mind that results will vary for different websites and that budgets should be consistent with your marketing goals. High spend advertisers typically have more comprehensive ad campaigns and are likely seeing a positive return on investment (ROI) from Google Ads. However, low spend does not necessarily mean that Google Ads is not profitable. A business could simply have budget constraints unrelated to Google Ads’ performance. Also, just because a competitor is investing a lot into Google Ads does not mean that you will not be able to compete without a large budget. I recommend starting with conservative spend as you figure out what works for you and test the various options that Google Ads has to offer.

The Using third-party tools to research competitors recipe

Setting advertising goals

For companies that are interested in branding, clicks and engaged visitors are sufficient. However, for most businesses, the ultimate goal is not simply a click, or a website visit, but a sale or a lead. This type of action that we want website visitors to ultimately take on our website is also known as a conversion.

Getting ready

Before you start spending money on Google Ads, you will want to determine what you’d like your visitors to do once they come to your website. It’s important to understand your end goal so you can properly track and measure results of your ad campaigns.

How to do it…

Think about what you would like your visitors to do once they come to your website. The following are some common conversion goals advertisers have:

  • Sales
  • Registrations
  • Leads
  • Downloads (whitepapers and apps)
  • Sign-ups
  • Visits to a particular page, such as the contact page

The goal of online ads is to get as many visitors as possible to take the actions you previously identified. In essence, you’ll try to maximize clicks that result in conversions and optimize the ad to increase your conversion rate.

There’s more…

Conversion rate is the number of conversions (sales, leads, and so on) divided by the number of clicks received during a set time period. For example, if you received 5 online leads (conversions) out of 100 clicks from Google Ads, your conversion rate would be 5 percent.

Conversion rate = Conversions / Clicks x 100

Conversion rates vary based on a variety of factors, including a website’s look and feel and how easy or difficult it is for visitors to get through the conversion process. You can get an idea of how your website converts and how many visitors are completing your desired actions in your Google Analytics account, or through other web analytics programs you may be using.

Simplicity is key, and you should aim to minimize distractions and website features that would complicate or hinder the conversion process. For example, “Buy Now” buttons should be prominent and easy to spot, contact options displayed prominently on the website, and lead and registration forms as simple as possible.

I have heard industry experts throw around 2 percent as an Google Ads average conversion rate across different industries. Typically, websites with a higher level of commitment required on a user’s part (such as e-commerce) will have lower conversion rates than websites with lower levels of commitment required (such as lead generation). The Fireclick Index,, can help provide some additional guidance on online conversion rates by industry.

The simpler conversion goals such as lead generation or e-mail collection will usually convert closer to 3 percent but can go as high as 5 to 15 percent. For lead generation, conversion rates can be all over the place since the marketing offers, the value of the product, and costs vary so widely.

The Predicting if Google Ads will be profitable and calculating potential returns recipe

Predicting if Google Ads will be profitable and calculating potential returns

Use simple math to figure out how many clicks you can get with your target Google Ads budget by reviewing average CPCs for your industry. You can take this information a step further by taking into consideration your current conversion rates to figure out what types of returns you can expect from Google Ads.

Getting ready

First, understand average CPCs for your target keywords by following the steps outlined in the Analyzing budgets and bids to determine market saturation recipe.

How to do it…

  • Once you know the average CPCs for your keywords, pick a budget that you’re considering testing Google Ads with. Next, you can calculate potential returns using some assumptions about conversion rates across different industries, or even better, using conversion rates from other online marketing efforts you may have tried.
  • If you’ve done some advertising online and have an idea of how your website converts, you can use that number to make some initial assumptions about potential Google Ads returns. However, keep in mind that different sources of traffic do tend to convert differently as well. For example, you’ll likely see higher conversion rates from repeat visitors who are returning to your website after pagemarking it than you would from first-time visitors who are researching a product.
  • If you are not sure how many of your visitors tend to convert, you can use more general and conservative assumptions. Start with 2 percent until you gather some data specific to your industry or specific to your website.
  • Let’s now try to calculate potential return from Google Ads. Let’s say our average CPC is $1 and we have a budget of $100 with which we’ll get 100 clicks. With an assumed conversion rate of 2 percent, we’ll get 2 conversions for each $100 spent on Google Ads with each conversion costing us $50.
  • Even if we are not sure what your conversion rates will be like, you can use average CPCs to figure out if Google Ads is a viable way to advertise online. If average CPCs for your industry are high, say $10, and you are only willing to pay $20 for each conversion, then Google Ads is most likely not going to bring the returns you expect, since you would need a 50 percent conversion rate for the math to work in your favor, and such conversion rates are very unlikely.
  • The next important question is how much each conversion is worth to you. If you are paying $50 for each conversion, but make $1,000 from each conversion, then Google Ads is obviously profitable. However, if it costs you $50 to convert a visitor but that visitors buys a $10 product and tends to never to come back to your site again, you are likely losing money with a 2 percent conversion rate on Google Ads.

One of the most important metrics you’ll want to set for yourself is how much you are willing to pay for each conversion and then optimize Google Ads campaigns with that goal in mind.

How it works…

The cost-per-conversion is often referred to in the PPC world as your CPA.

Cost-per-action (CPA) = Total Cost / Conversions

CPA as cost-per-action usually corresponds to pay-per-lead, while CPA as cost-per-acquisition usually corresponds to pay-per-sale.

There is no such thing as high or low CPA that we can generalize across all advertisers. CPA is relative and different business models will have different CPA thresholds. For example, a lawyer could pay $400 for an Google Ads lead but that lead could result in a case that brings the firm millions of dollars, in which scenario a CPA of $400 would be a bargain.

Your returns will vary based on a variety of factors, including your website, how compelling your products and services are, pricing, and special offers to name just a few. Your conversion rates will also vary based on how you stack up in all of these considerations against similar businesses online.

2. Setting up Your Account

In this chapter, we will cover the following:

  • Creating an Google Ads account
  • Determining the right billing option for your needs
  • Inviting other users to access your account
  • Changing user access levels or removing users
  • Enabling auto-tagging at the account level
  • Changing your notification settings


This chapter covers the basics of creating an Google Ads account and customizing the various key settings for easier management and navigation. You’ll learn how to choose the right billing option for you, invite others to access your account, change access levels, and personalize views and notifications so that you can see the data you care about.

Creating an Google Ads account

You can create an Google Ads account and start showing your advertisements in minutes. The Google Ads interface is very user friendly and will walk you through the necessary steps as you move through the signup process.

Getting ready

Google Ads is managed through an online interface, and to sign up and manage it you’ll need an Internet connection. You also need an e-mail address, which will be associated with your account. If you do not have a Google account already, you’ll need to sign up for one first.

How to do it…

  • To get started, go to and click on the signup prompt.
  • On the next screen, you will have the option to either use a Google account you already have or to set up a new one. You can only use one e-mail address per Google Ads account, so if your e-mail address is already related to an Google Ads account you will need to use a different e-mail ID.
  • Select your time zone and choose a currency for your account. You will not be able to change this information after you create your account; so review your choices carefully before proceeding.

Choose a time zone that’s in sync with your business hours of operation. That way, you’ll be able to schedule and adjust when your campaigns should run more easily.

There’s more…

After entering your billing information, you will be ready to start setting up your first campaign. If you are daunted by the prospect of choosing keywords and writing ads, Google Ads does offer support for new advertisers. Google Ads customer reps can answer any questions you may have and can even offer free campaign setup support. Find the phone number for your country at Ads/answer/8206?hl=en and call Google Ads for additional help, or go to

The Determining the right billing option for your needs recipe

Determining the right billing option for your needs

Google Ads offers three main options to pay for ads. Advertisers can choose to pay before ads run (manual payments) or after clicks are accrued (automatic payments). Advertisers can also apply for invoicing to get a line of credit from Google—an option typically used by large advertisers.

Getting ready

The following table explains the three payment options in more detail and for whom each option is most appropriate:

How you pay

Billing optionHow it works
Manual paymentsAdvertisers prepay and add funds manually to Google Ads before ads run.
 Automatic paymentsGoogle Ads charges you after ads run. You are billed either 30 days after your last payment or when you reach yournext billing threshold.
Monthly invoicingGoogle provides a line of credit and advertisers pay via check or wire transfer after ads run. To be eligible, businesses have to be registered for a minimum of one year, and meet country-specific spending requirements.
Google Ads will review your credit history and will send you an e-mail with their payment terms and credit line offer.

What you pay with

Once you decide which payment setting is most appropriate for your needs, you’ll be able to pick from various methods of payment, including direct debit, credit card, and money transfer. Payment methods vary by country and you’ll need to check what options you’ll have by going to the billing page in your Google Ads account or reviewing country-specific options at Ads/bin/ topic=1714069&ctx=topic#US.

How to do it…

Once you have created your Google Ads account, you will need to go through the billing preferences pages to complete the account setup.

1. On your billing page, choose your country, or where your billing address is located.

2. Clicking on payment options on this screen will bring up another page, which will provide the option to select your currency and will highlight forms of payment available to you.

3.   Next, fill in your business name and contact information.

  • Finally, you’ll get the options to choose how you pay and what you’ll pay with. Remember that forms of payment vary by country and your payment options might look different depending on where you are located.

Google Ads distributes coupons to new advertisers that you can use towards free advertising. You may get a promotional credit in the e-mail, through your hosting provider, such as GoDaddy, or you can search on for Google Ads coupons. Make sure to apply the coupon code to your billing page and enjoy the free clicks.

There’s more…

It is recommended to choose automatic payments rather than manual, since with manual payments you’ll need to remember to add funds to your account each time you run out. Most advertisers will forget to add manual funds occasionally, resulting in your ads being down and a loss of traffic. You can always switch from one payment setting to another (from manual to automatic, for example), but you cannot change the account currency you select.

The Creating an Google Ads account recipe

Inviting other users to access your account

As you continue to manage Google Ads, you may need to invite other users, such as your associates or employees, to access your account. Depending on the level of access you grant other users, they may be able to review reports or help you make changes to campaigns.

Getting ready

Decide who you’d like to invite and what level of access they should have. For example, should this person be able to make changes to your campaigns or just receive reports?

How to do it…

To invite other users to your Google Ads account:

  1. Go to the My account tab.
  2. Select Account access.
  3. Click on the Actions button next to the e-mail address whose access level you’d like to change and click Terminate access.

If you’d like to change access level rather than terminate account access completely, you will need to invite this user again with a different access level assigned.

There’s more…

Once you terminate a user’s access to your account, Google Ads will notify the user via e-mail that the account access has been disabled.

The Inviting other users to access your account recipe

Enabling auto tagging at the account level

You are likely already using or planning to use a web analytics program to analyze your website statistics. In order to get Google Ads data properly fed into your web analytics program, you should make sure to enable Auto-tagging in Google Ads.

How to do it..

To enable Auto-tagging, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the My account tab.
  • Choose the Preferences sub tab.
  • Make sure that the Auto-tagging checkbox is selected.

Setting up Your Account

  • Click on Save changes.

How it works…

Auto-tagging is a feature that helps you analyze performance in other analytics tracking programs, such as Google Analytics, by adding extra parameters to your URLs. For example, you’ll be able to see in Google Analytics which campaigns, keywords, and ads led to visits, as well as the associated cost data.

There’s more…

You can also choose to tag your keywords and ads manually by adding URL parameters that are compatible with your analytics tracking tool. You’ll need to make sure to tag all of your ads and keywords in order to track properly. As this can be a time consuming process, auto-tagging is the preferred method.

The Linking Google Ads to Google Analytics recipe in Chapter 3, Tracking beyond the Click

Changing your notification settings

Worried about missing out on important communication about your Google Ads account? Review and customize your notification settings to ensure you get all of the relevant e-mails from Google.

Think about what information is most relevant to the various users that have access to your Google Ads account. For example, you may wish to limit e-mails that are sent out about any disapproved ads to only go out to those that manage the campaigns.

How to do it…

To change your notification settings:

  • Click on the Campaigns tab.
  • Go to the My account tab.
  • Select Notification settings.
  • Select the user whose notification settings you’d like to change.
  • You will see a list of all notifications a user currently receives. Click in the Email column to change the notification for each particular alert and choose the appropriate e-mail preference.

How it works…

Google Ads allows you to customize what notifications you and other users that have access to your account receive. You can change these settings any time to reduce unnecessary e-mail or to ensure you are not missing any critical updates or opportunities.

Setting up Your Account

There’s more…

If there are certain associates that should be receiving account updates but currently are not, you may want to add them as users. Also, if you do not wish certain users to be able to access all of the information in your account, you may wish to change their access levels.

The Inviting other users to access your account recipe The Changing user access levels or removing users recipe

The Running and scheduling reports recipe in Chapter 10, Reporting and Analysis

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