Google AdWords: An Overview & Getting Started

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is a robust advertising tool that allows you to run pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Whether you want to create text ads to display alongside Google’s search results, or showcase designed graphics using Google’s network of affiliate websites, these ads contribute to widespread visibility and reach.


Who Should Use Google AdWords?

Let’s say you’re a business owner and you just opened up a new coffee house in your local community—how do you plan on getting the word out? You’ve likely thought through a grand opening strategy to create awareness for the big launch, but what about after that? Using some of your marketing budget on PPC advertising might be a good long-term strategy to keep the caffeine lovers coming back for more—it could also drum up new business in the local search sector.

Or maybe your business isn’t local at all. Google AdWords is a great fit for national brands as well. For example, if you were to run a Google search for “beauty subscription boxes,” you might see advertisements for Birchbox, Ipsy, and FabFitFun to name a few. This doesn’t even begin to cover the widespread reach of these brands on Google’s network of affiliate websites.

The bottom line is this: whether you’re a local business or a national brand, Google AdWords takes the guess work out of advertising.


Image Credit: Google AdWords

What Makes Google AdWords so Great?

Increasing top-of-mind awareness for your brand is key in a digital sphere full of noise. Paid website traffic is a great way to achieve this level of awareness—especially when you have the freedom to create text ads, graphic ads, video ads, and more. Google AdWords does a great job of offering flexibility while still providing guidance to new advertisers.

Let’s talk about some of our favorite features in the advertising tool:

Location Targeting: Stay Local or Go Global
One of the reasons we love AdWords so much is for the robust audience targeting features. Whether you want to advertise to people in a 5 block radius or get your message out across the world, AdWords allows you to pinpoint specific locations and demographics. By having so much control over the location targeting, you’re able to ensure the best use of advertising dollars with the confidence that your budget won’t be used in an area irrelevant to your business.

A/B Testing: Improve Your Conversion Rate

Whether you’re creating plain text ads or something more colorful, the opportunities for A/B testing within Google AdWords are countless. Ad Groups allow you to set campaign parameters including location targeting, key search terms and phrases, etc. Once the main infrastructure is set up, you have the opportunity within each Ad Group to create as many variations of an ad as you want. As the ads gain momentum, you’ll be able to use the easy-to-read reporting tools and tell at a quick glance which ads in the group are the most successful. This is especially nice because you can easily pause the underperforming ads without having to delete them—this ensures your budget is spent on the ads with better performance.

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 1.46.36 PM

Image Credit: Google AdWords

Real-time Reporting

Understanding your return on investment (ROI) has never been easier. The robust reporting tools within the Google AdWords dashboard allow for quick and easy access to ad impressions, cost-per-click, click-through-rate, conversions, and so much more. With its ability to link to your website’s Google Analytics account, you’re able to track conversions, test landing pages for a deeper level of A/B testing, and view performance across campaign type.

The reporting tools are as customizable as they are robust. Within the tool, you have the option to create custom columns, create and edit dashboards, customize tables and charts, and build reports in the Report Editor. Reporting tools also give you insight on ad and keyword performance with the option to use Google’s Keyword Planner to enhance your ads.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 1.25.57 PM

Image Credit: Google AdWords

Start Using Google AdWords

The highlights we discussed only scratch the surface of the opportunities within this great Google tool. Once you begin using Google AdWords, you might find other features of the tool that stick out to you more than these ones, and we’d love to hear about it! Below is a step-by-step guide we’ve created (modified from Google) to help get you started. Download the guide and begin running your PPC ads today!


Download Google AdWords Guide