a beginner’s guide to google ad words


In an effort to learn online marketing, I started Google’s Academy for Ads. The bite-sized lessons were pretty informative, although it was a bit redundant at times.

I really liked the ability to take an exam either at the beginning or at the end of each module to get a sense of what I really know, instead of feel like I know.

Below are notes from AdWords Fundamentals and happy to report that I passed this one! Hope that you find them as useful.

Adwords Basics 
Headline: two headline fields are available with up to 30 characters each. Note: longer headline might wrap on mobile devices.
URL + Path-FieldsUse path-fields with a friendlier name to give users an idea of where they are going t
Description FieldsUp to 80 characters

Google Ad Words Campaign Structure
Account > Campaign > Ad Group > Keywords & Bids

Ad Copy Tips
– Specific, Actionable, and Relevant!
– Make the ads specific (link to product page) or general (link to a brand page)
– Using additional deep-links can help users
– Be mindful of mobile — and make sure that the site is mobile ready and the ad reads properly on mobile devices
Best Practices from Google

About Ad Extensions 
Consider including ad extensions. They can increase ad clicks 10-15% (depending on the industry) and it doesn’t cost extra. The downside? Google decides whether or not to display ad extensions based on ad’s rank and predicted performance.

When setting up campaign…
– Schedule Campaign (start and end date) & Ad (certain days or hours of the week)
– Set Ad delivery Method: By default, AdWords shows your ads when they’re more likely to get clicks or conversions, but you can choose to show your ads more evenly throughout the day
– Advanced location options: Use this if you want to target to customers within certain geo
– Campaign URL options: Add utm’s to keep track of which ad performs best
– Targeting users based on Who & What & Where

Ad Word Match Types
Broad Match: default and includes synonyms
Broad Match Modifier: excludes synonyms = +keyword1 +keyword2
Phrase Match: only shows exact phrases and close variations = “keyword1 keyword2”
Exact Match: only shows ads based on exact keywords and close variations = [keyword1 keyword2]
Negative Match: excludes keywords = -keyword1

Ad Rank is influenced by bid, ad quality, landing page experience, and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.

About Ad Bidding…
– Automated bidding works best if campaign is already getting at least 15 conversions and 15 clicks per month.
– Bid Adjustment – there are semi-automated and fully automated bid approaches, which I can explore once I have a set CPA & data for google to optimize
– Device Type bids are an option too


Wow – that was a lot! I certainly learned a lot, but ad bidding methods were hard for me to understand. Nonetheless, I feel good about taking baby steps.

Below are my priority list and note to self so that I apply what I learned.  I will continue to provide progress based on other tutorials.

Ad Campaign Priority List  
1) Search Campaign
2) Shopping or PLA — to make sure that the item appears when the person is searching for an item

Note to Self 
– When building keywords – make them as specific as possible and research on how to create keyword list
– Add negative key words to save costs
– 5 – 20 keywords per ad group

Photos by Arnel Hasanovic & STILon Unsplash

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