Your Complete Guide to Google Adwords

Last modified:
Cher Window

PPC Specialist

Many people are daunted by Adwords. It looks ridiculously complicated, yet you know it’s important to your website. Well, thanks to this complete guide you’ll know exactly how to use Google Adwords to benefit your site. Here’s what you need to know to get started:

Should you use Adwords?

Adwords is an investment, and like every investment you need to be sure that it’s right for you. There are some circumstances where this may not be the best option for you, and that’s if:

  • Your target market doesn’t know about your product or service – therefore they aren’t searching for you.
  • You’re target market is very niche and can’t be found based simply on keywords.
  • You’re trying to enter a highly competitive market that will be too expensive to be cost-effective.
  • Your website is extremely poor.

These issues highlighted above will hinder the performance of Adwords and could end up costing you a lot of money without bringing in the revenue you need. If none of the above applies to you then it is likely that Adwords will help you generate more leads and bring in a greater return on your investment.

Setting up your account

Creating your Adwords account is a very simple process, you just need to provide a valid email address and create your password. That’s all there is to opening an account, the next steps will be what you use to focus your adverts. Here’s a basic rundown in three simple steps:

  1. Setting your geographic region – pick the area(s) you want to target based on your business, are you local, nationwide or global? You can choose where you want to target based on cities, counties/ states or countries, select the ones that are best suited to your company. Walk through:  hit the ‘create your first campaign’ button > campaign settings > audience and select the areas or languages you want to target.
  2. Decide your daily budget – one of the best things about Adwords is you can control your daily spend and you only pay for people clicking on your adds (Pay Per Click). Walk through: set your budget by going to campaign settings > bidding and budget and select the amount you’d like to send on advertising every day.
  3. Control cost per click (CPC) – your daily budget is one thing, how much each add costs you is another. Having a £200 a day budget is wasted if your average cost per click is £25! The best thing to do here is start off low and increase your budget slowly until you get the results you need. Walk through: again go to campaign settings > bidding and budget > automatic bidding to make Adwords automatically adjust the cost of your bids to help generate the most clicks within your budget. It is also possible to set a maximum CPC limit on your ads.

Creating your ads

Once you’ve set up your account and adjusted your daily budgets and CPC the next step is creating ads. Many people don’t take this very seriously and rush the ads, using generic call to actions and not focusing on relevant keywords. This is a huge no-no. Before you create your ads you need to know what your goals are and then come up with adverts that help you meet these goals.

For example: If your goal is to get more enquiries for your services then having an advert saying ‘buy our services’ and linking them to your product page is targeting an entirely wrong audience.

You want to be trying to stand out from the crowd, drawing your target audience in and using important and relevant keywords*. Have a play around with different wording of the ads and testing out keyword variations to see which works best for you – this is easily discovered by checking the click-through rate or seeing which advert had the most conversions. It may take a bit of playing around to make brilliant ads, the key is to keep them relevant and attention grabbing.

*Relevant keywords are essential with Adwords as it is queries with those keywords that will make your adverts pop up.

Knowing what Keywords to use

Keywords are vital to the success of your Adwords campaigns. Even if you have a huge budget and excellent adverts, if you’re not hitting the right keywords then you’ll be missing your target audience.

One of the most helpful things here is Google’s Keyword Planner (Adwords > tools and analysis > keyword planner) you can enter in keywords you think customers will be searching for you with and see how much search traffic and competition there is for them. It also shows you some related keywords that you could try out.

Ideally you want to aim for lower competition keywords as this will cost you much less while giving your ads more prominent positions. This will provide you with a much higher ROI than aiming for high competition. It’s very easy to see which keywords to use in the Planner tool based on level of competition and number of monthly searches.

Tracking your ads

After all this initial work it can be very easy to just sit back and relax, don’t. You need to track the performance of your ads to ensure that they are performing as well as you want them to. Adwords has a handy conversion tracking tool to give you all the information you need to measure the performance of your ads (instructions to set this up can be found here). With this tracking you can see:

  • Cost per conversion – how much it’s costing you to achieve your goals (sales/ enquiries).
  • Conversion rate – what percentage of the people clicking on your ads are completing the goal you’ve set.
  • Total conversions – how many people have hit your goals in total.

By looking through these metrics you can find out which ads work well and which don’t then make changes based on results. Checking these on a regular basis can help you to save a small fortune on Adwords campaigns that aren’t performing. Try to use the ads that worked to improve some of the less successful ads.

Management and maintenance

Once you’ve done all of the above, and of course set up your billing details, that’s all there is to it. However, you can’t just set it up, walk away and expect it to look after itself. Adwords needs to be checked up on frequently, being monitored for performance, adjusting bids and having new ads introduced in order to engage a larger audience.

If after all this, it still seems like too much for you, then consider hiring a professional to work with you in order to make the most out of your Adwords. At Liberty Marketing we specialise in turning around Adword Campaigns that aren’t performing, as well as starting up new campaigns. Our aim is always to give you the best possible ROI on your ads making Adwords a sound investment no matter what your budget is.

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Cher Window

PPC Specialist

Cher has worked for both in-house and agency teams, and has experience in education, social enterprise, beauty, law and conservation. As a part of her current role she enjoys analysing data to predict for the future, increasing campaign relevancy through testing, having the responsibility to organise each step of paid plans, running content on different…

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