Google Adwords: A Crash Course

Try making a Google search for something right now.

Does your browser look like this?

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Take a look at the boxed content. These links are not organic search listings through Google. They are actually advertisements.

Recently, Google got rid of side ads on its search pages, choosing to focus only on top page ads. These ads have been proven to result in the majority of paid clicks (making up 85% of clicks in January 2016), and have the added bonus of resembling organic search results, overcoming the ad bias of potential consumers.

To follow up Google’s new look, we decided to give our readers a refresher course on the basics of Google Adwords.


What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is an advertising service by Google for companies or businesses looking to show ads on Google’s search engine through Google’s ad network. The service allows users to target specific consumers online and to set budgets on their advertisements. Businesses will only pay when their ads are actually clicked on by visitors.



The service operates through an algorithm that focuses on keywords. When a user searches something on Google with one of your keywords or words related to your keywords, your advertisement will most likely appear on their search results page. If a user clicks on your ad, they will be directed to your website.

When choosing your keywords, keep in mind that Google Adwords offers different keyword matching options for your campaigns:

  • Broad Match: This reaches the most users by showing your ad whenever your keyword is searched for.

  • Negative Match: This option prevents your ad from showing when a word or phrase you specify is searched for.

  • Phrase Match: Your ad is shown for searches that match the exact phrase.

  • Exact Match: Your ad is shown for searches that match the exact phrase exclusively.

Adwords allows businesses to be as specific as they would like when developing their ads. Users can choose the time of day and/or language(s) they would like their ad to be shown in, and have the opportunity to place location filters on where their ads are shown. The service does allow for cross-platform advertising as well, meaning that your ads will be seen on mobile, tablet and desktop.  Advertisers can also get specific about who they would like to target by choosing the ages of whom they would like to target, the kinds of websites they visit as well as by their areas of interest.


Setting Up an Account

To set up Google Adwords for your business, you will need to create an account and create a campaign. If you are just looking to run one campaign, your account structure will be quite simple. If you plan on running more than one campaign, the structure of your account could get complicated-but have no fear! It doesn’t have to be.

Ensuring that your account is kept organized will make your life much easier when you go back to track the success of your campaign. According to Wordstream, an online advertising service, the best Adwords accounts are structured into individual campaigns, each of which will have its own ad groups. In turn, each ad group will have its own keywords, unique ad text, and landing pages, as shown in the graphic below:

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Image Source



Analytics is another key feature that comes along with your Google Adwords package. Linking a Google Analytics property to your AdWords account can help you analyze consumer activity on your website after an ad click or impression from your advertisement. This information and data can lead to insights on how much of your website traffic or business comes from AdWords, and helps you improve your ads and website. Linking Google Analytics to your Adwords account allows you to import Google Analytics goals and transactions, see Google Analytics data in your AdWords reports, and import Analytics remarketing audiences. You’ll also see AdWords data in your Analytics reports.

For a step-by-step guide on linking Google Analytics to your Adwords account, check out this article from Google Adwords.

Looking to use Adwords and need some help developing a list of keywords for your business? Check out our post on how to build a kick-ass keyword list!


Talk to us!

Are you currently using Adwords? What tips do you have for creating a campaign?