Carey Boyes

Carey Boyes

31st March 2022

How Do Google Ads Work?

Every second, there are 63,000 searches performed on Google and each search offers opportunities for you to get your brand in front of more users. Google Ads allows you to advertise and promote your products and services when users search relevant keywords. When done correctly, it has the potential to massively boost leads and sales.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is a PPC platform offered by Google. When users search a keyword, they get the results of their query on a search engine results page (SERP). With Google Ads, you can boost your website traffic, phone calls, and in-store visits. Over time, Google Ads will also help you analyze and improve your ads so your business can hit all of your paid campaign goals.

What are the Benefits of Using Google Ads?

Here are just some reasons why you should consider using Google Ads:

How Do Google Ads Work?

Google Ads displays your ad to potential customers who are interested in your product or service. Advertisers bid on search terms, or keywords, and the winners of that bid are placed at the top of search results pages or on relevant websites, depending on the type of ad campaign.

There are three options for bids:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC) - How much you pay per click on your ad.
  • Cost-per-mille (CPM) - How much you pay per 1,000 ad impressions.
  • Cost-per-engagement (CPE) - How much you pay when a user performs a specific action on your ad.

Types of Google Ads

Google offers a number of campaign types that you can use:

  • Search campaigns
  • Shopping campaigns
  • Display campaigns
  • Video campaigns
  • App campaigns

Search campaigns

Search campaign ads appear as text ads on the search results page, and these are the ads you’re probably most familiar with. They appear with the black “Ad” symbol next to the URL.

Shopping campaigns

A shopping campaign allows you to promote your products in a visual way, appearing as ads on the search page and on Google Shopping. These show your physical product to potential customers. 

Display campaigns

Google’s website partners display your ad on different websites and they can appear in a number of different ways. Your ad can appear on third-party websites, on YouTube before a video, in Gmail and in third-party apps. Google partners with more than two million websites and reaches more than 90% of all internet users.

Video campaigns

Video campaigns are similar to display campaigns but specifically target video content. These can be skippable ads, non-skippable ads, or discovery ads that appear on the search page for relevant keywords. 

App campaigns

App campaigns are used to promote - you guessed it - apps. They are similar to video campaigns, but they can be targeted and you don’t design your individual app ad. Instead, Google will take your text and assets such as photos and furnish the ad for you. The algorithm tests different combinations and uses the one that performs the best.

AdRank and Quality Score

AdRank determines the placement of your ads. Your Quality Score is based on the quality and relevance of your ad, measured by the CTR. Your Quality Score is where you should focus your attention when you first start your ad campaign. The higher your score, the lower your acquisition costs will be and with better placement.


When setting up your Google Ad, you’ll select a geographical area. If you have a physical shop, this may be a radius around your location. For an e-commerce store with a physical product, your location should be where you ship to.


Keyword research is as important for paid ads as it is for organic search. Google matches your ad with search queries based on the keywords you selected, so you need to have the best selection of keywords possible.

Match Types

Match Types give you a helping hand when it comes to your keyword selections. There are four match types to choose from:

  • Broad Match - The default setting that uses any word within your keyword phrase in any order.
  • Phrase Match - Matches with queries that include your phrase in the exact order but may include additional words before or after.
  • Exact Match - Maintains your keyword phrase as it is written in the exact order.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool to help you choose the keywords your business should target. Simply search for words and phrases related to your business and it will provide insights on those keywords that help you decide which to use. It will also give suggested amounts you should bid and tell you how competitive certain keywords are.

Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions are free and give users another reason to interact with your ad. These extensions fall within one of five categories:

  • Sitelink Extensions - These extend your ad, helping you to visibly stand out and provide additional links to your site.
  • Call Extensions - These allow you to include your phone number in your ad so users have an additional way to reach out. If you have a customer service team it’s a good idea to include your phone number.
  • Location Extensions - Include your location and phone number so Google can provide a map to find you. This option is great for physical businesses and it works well for the search query “...near me.”
  • Offer Extensions - This works if you’re running a promotion. It shows users that your options are cheaper compared to your competitors.
  • App Extensions - This provides a link to an app download for mobile users.

Track your Google Ad with Google Analytics

If you’re not tracking your ad campaign, you will not be able to learn the tweaks you need to make for future campaigns. Follow these steps from Google to link Google Ads and Google Analytics:

  • Go to your Google Ads account.
  • Click the Tools menu.
  • Click Linked accounts under Setup.
  • Click Details under Google Analytics.
  • You can now view the Google Analytics websites you can access. 
  • Click Set Up Link on the website you want to link to Google Ads.
  • From here, you’ll be able to link the Google Analytics view of your website.
  • Click Save.

Bidding Strategies

Now that you’ve set up your ad campaigns and have tracking in place, you can start bidding. Your ability to rank in Google Ads depends on how you bid. There are a few strategies and bid settings you should be aware of when launching your paid campaign.

Automated vs. Manual Bidding

You have two options when it comes to bidding on your keywords - automated and manual.

  • Automated Bidding - This allows the platform to adjust your bid based on your competitors. You can still set a maximum budget, and Google will work within a range to give you the best chance at winning the bid within those constraints.
  • Manual Bidding - You set the bid amounts for your ad groups and keywords, giving you the chance to reduce spending on low-performing ads.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

You can set a CPA and only pay when a user converts into a customer. While this bidding strategy could cost more, you know that you are only paying for a paying customer. This strategy makes it easy to track and justify your ad spend.

It is important to monitor and optimise your Google Ads regularly. If you do so, you will always be ahead of the competition with the most relevant keywords and best-performing campaigns. In the meantime, if you would like any help with PPC, view more of our advice online or contact SilverDisc directly for our services.

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