How To Use Google Adwords

Adwords Get Started
You may have been told about Google Adwords by a friend, did a search for “pay-per-click marketing” and “google advertising”, or you might have received a coupon offer from Google to give Adwords a try. Either way my goal is to show you how to get started painlessly. I’ve helped MANY people who were scared off by all the settings and options when first starting out. It can be overwhelming. Start following what I teach you and you’ll be cruising through it in no time! Oh, and you’ll find out what some of the costliest mistakes are when first learning how to use Google Adwords:

Adwords Setup

You’ll want to head to the start page: (link opens in new tab) and hit the “Start Now” button. You’ll be met with an input for your Gmail address.

Adwords Setup

If you don’t yet have a Google account, just enter an address you’d like here, and on the next screen you’ll have the option to create an account.

Google Account Setup

On this next screen, enter your current password (for users who already have a Google account), or click the “create an account” link if you need to setup a brand new Google/Gmail account. This account will/can be used for all Google products going forward.
Once you’re all signed in you’ll need to decide what credit card you’d like your charges to be put on. Your credit card will be charged every 30 days for any clicks that your ads receive.

How To Start An Adwords Campaign

Once you’ve got billing squared away it’s time to start your first campaign! Hit that orange button that says “+CAMPAIGN”:

how to start adwords campaign

After clicking the button you’ll have 5 choices. Yes, 5! It’s OK though. For your first campaign you’ll want to go with “Search Network Only”. These are your general text ads that show at the top and sides of Google search results that you’ve certainly seen and probably click often. (You can read a bit about The Search Network here, and get acquainted with The Display Network here.)

Next you’ll be met with this screen:

New adwords search campaign

Give your campaign a name based on your topic or product. The level of detail in the name depends on preference and how many different campaigns you’ll have.
For example, if my client has multiple, different items for sale then I’ll name them something like: “Cool_Widget_Search”, “Blue_Widget_Search”, “Red_Widget_Search”, etc etc. Or you can name them after the geographic location settings like so: “Widgets_UK_Search”, “Widgets_US_Search”, or “Widgets_CA_Search” depending on the Country we’re selling to. Think of your campaigns as folders.

You’ll need to choose either “Standard” or “All Features” here as well. Just start with Standard for now.

I’m writing an Adwords book that goes into full detail on how you should structure your campaigns, what the “All Features” option means, and so much more. I’m giving away early copies!
Request your Adwords book here

Adwords Search Partners

You can leave the “include search partners” checked for now. You might be wondering who these search partners are:
well it isn’t really public knowledge. Google explains it like this:

“For text ads, search partners include hundreds of non-Google websites (like AOL), as well as Google Maps, Google Video, and other Google sites.”

On average, my clients’ ads actually perform better on these search partner platforms! I’ll show you how to properly gauge how these are performing in a future blog post.

Ads Location

Next you’ll need to pick your geo targeting settings. Here you can pick what geographic area you want your ads to be shown in. If you’re a very local business you would pick your city, and possibly nearby cities only. If you’re an online business targeting “everybody” then you can pick to target the whole Country. This section is very important. Don’t waste money on clicks that will get you nothing in return! I see so many clients literally GIVING AWAY money to Google because of this one simple step:

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Click the “advanced search” link to get really specific with your location ads. Remember too that you can EXCLUDE areas here. For example, lets say you sell to the entire US, but there’s a city or state you can’t sell to for whatever reason. Some sort of restriction maybe. You can exclude them here, and your ads will never be shown to them.

Adwords Bid Strategy

Adwords Bid Strategy

This section can be more advanced once you’ve been running your campaigns for a while. Eventually you’ll be able to let Google Adwords use your past conversion data to make bidding choices for you. We won’t be going over that in this article. We’ll stick to “I’ll manually set my bids for clicks” for now. Go ahead and put in your default cost-per-click bid amount, as well as your daily budget. These both can be changed at any time so don’t feel too pressured here. Start with $1/CPC and $25/day to get started. You’ll ultimately be experimenting on these costs as data comes in. You can do some pre-research on suggested cost-per-click costs too. We’ll be covering that in a future post.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions is a feature that Google added more recently. These provide a way to not only make your ads “stand-out” more, but they can also provide users with helpful information about you or your website. These can also be added later so don’t feel pressured to set them up right away, but I do recommend that you eventually take advantage of these. More often than not they increase your ad click-through-rate, which basically means more people take notice and click on them. Of course you only want relevant users clicking on ads, but that’s a discussion for another time.

The Location extension pulls in your physical address (and displays it within your ad) from your “Google My Business” account:

Adwords Location Extension

The Sitelinks extension allows you to include other website links separate from your landing page. Keep in mind that these are usually better for a brand campaign. If your brand name gets search traffic you should be bidding on these queries. Here’s an example from Quickbooks:

Adwords Sitelinks Extensions

This is the type of campaign that you would add Sitelinks to. Pages like your ABOUT or PRICING areas for example. This provides a way for users to go quickly and directly to other important pages of your website. Again, I recommend that you keep these to specific brand campaigns only. 99% of the time you’ll want users to go to your optimized landing page, OR make sure all Sitelinks have an optimized landing page for users to land on.

You can also use the Call extension to display your phone number within your ads:

Adwords Call Extensions

If you’re the type of business that heavily relies on phone calls then this is a no brainer!

Remember that Adwords extensions won’t always show. Google uses many different factors to determine if they’re eligible to run or not. Some are only shown when your ad appears in the top positions above search results, and unfortunately you can’t choose which specific extensions are shown either.

Ok, that does it for part one. Over in part two we’ll continue setting up our new campaign the right way which covers properly structuring your ad groups, and how your ads should be worded for the best quality scores.