Step by step guide – How to get started with Google Ads!

You want to run Google Ads, but don’t know exactly how? The setup of your Google Ads account is a headache for you? You don’t know which campaign types make sense for you and how to structure them best? We have prepared a detailed guide that will help you create your Google Ads!

What is Google Ads anyway?
The development of Google Ads over time
Rebranding – Just a name change or something more?
The Google Ads account
These types of online advertising are available with Google Ads
Creating and managing campaigns
Do’s & Don’ts in dealing with the Google Ads account

What is Google Ads anyway?

What you know today as Google Ads used to be called Google AdWords. Google AdWords is now shining in new splendor. The reason for this is a rebranding measure that removes the short “Word” from the original name and now simply names the online advertising program Google Ads. Of course, there were also other changes in the process of restructuring – you can read more about this in the section “Rebranding – Just a name change or more?“.

But what exactly is it now? It is an online advertising program from Google, through which advertisers can place online ads. By targeting the ads, they reach users exactly when they show interest in products or services.

So one thing remains unchanged despite the rebranding: Google Ads is for creating Google advertisements. In a nutshell – this is how it works: You bid on specific keywords for which you want to be found with your products. They then appear in this ad space. This ensures that the ad is displayed to potential customers in the search results exactly when they are interested in the advertised product or service. The paid ads thus have different objectives:

All ads are managed online. There, ad texts, budgets and other settings can be made. Each advertiser can proceed individually and is not bound to a predefined minimum spend.

The development of Google Ads over time

The Google Ads timeline shows the most important dates at a glance:
2000: Foundation of Google Ads
2002: Introduction of the quality factor
2005: Google Advertising Professional Program
2013: Targeting for mobile devices
2018: Rebranding
Google Ads timeline

Originally an ad-free search engine, Google introduced a new ad concept in 2000: Google AdWords. The online advertising program was a revolution after already existing banner ads and pay-for-placement or pay-per-click search engine ads. Search results, which until then had simply been placed on the basis of the highest bid, were now to be sorted and displayed according to relevance to the user and the quality of the content, according to Google’s idea. The basis for today’s quality factor model was created. At that time, the cost of the ad was calculated on the basis of CPM (Cost-Per-Mile). The basis for calculation here is the amount of money that has to be spent to reach 1,000 people in a certain target group. There were also visual innovations: Compared to the competition, Google did not design colorful advertising banners, but instead displayed plain text ads that were delivered on the basis of search terms.

2002: Google switches to the pay-per-click payment system with a revised version of AdWords. It also fully launched Quality Factor to continue to pursue its vision of relevant, user-centric ads.

The Google Premier Partner logo not only shows who is a certified partner, but also in which areas the respective partner specializes. The specialization options include:
- Search Ads
- Mobile Ads
- Video Ads
- Display Ads
- Shopping Ads
Google Premier Partner-Logo

The Google Advertising Professional Program (now Google Ads Certification) was introduced in 2005. It allows search marketers to show that their knowledge has been tested and recognized by Google and that they have expert status in the field of online advertising. Agencies can also obtain this award and thus present themselves to the outside world as a certified SEA agency. Accordingly, they bear the title “Google Ads Certified Partner”. In addition, they receive the corresponding partner logo to be able to present this certification to the outside world.

In 2013, Google recognized the importance of tablets and smartphones. Mobile friendliness thus moved more and more into the center. Therefore, Google set up a new targeting in AdWords, which allows users to place campaigns across devices and media (i.e. also websites, apps, etc.).

Then in 2018 came the rebranding, which turned Google AdWords into simply Google Ads. With this, the company wanted to clarify that online advertising is no longer just about text, but that other media such as images, audio and video have now also gained in importance.

The rebranding – a mere name change or something more?

Google AdWords becomes Google Ads. The deletion of “Words” is thus intended to emphasize quite clearly that online advertising has long consisted of more than just text ads. It brings the entire range of advertising concepts to the fore – whether videos on YouTube, navigation via Google Maps or apps via Google Play. Google’s advertising network is very extensive these days.

DoubleClick and Google Analytics Suite will become the new Google Marketing Platform. The image therefore shows a merge of the two logos and the resulting final, new Google Marketing Platform logo.
DoubleClick and Google Analytics Suite become Google Marketing Platform, © Google

In addition, the company is relying on machine learning within the campaign types. This is intended to make it easier to get started in the online advertising business.

But that’s not all: The DoubleClick advertising solution and Google Analytics 360 Suite have now been bundled into an independent brand – the Google Marketing Platform. Marketing teams of large companies in particular should benefit from this in the areas of campaign creation, planning and analysis.

These are the features that the Platform brings together:

The image shows the new features of the Google Marketing Platform, © Google:
- Display & Video 360
- Search Ads 360
- Analytics 360
- Data Studio
- Optimize 360
- Surveys 360
- Tag Manager 360
Features of the Google Marketing Platform, © Google

The Google Ads account

The Google Ads account is the place where you create and manage all your ads. Therefore, a good setup and a logical structure is important. This is the only way to keep track of your ads.

Create Google Ads account in 9 easy steps

Die Einrichtung eines Google Ads-Accounts ist einfach und erfordert in der Regel nicht allzu viel Zeit. Doch Du musst aufpassen. Häufig passiert es, dass Nutzer übereilt ein Express-Konto erstellen. Dadurch fehlen vielseitige Einstellungsoptionen, die Du brauchst, um Deine Anzeigen optimal zu nutzen. Hier erfährst Du deshalb Schritt für Schritt, wie Du vorgehen musst:

  1. Start by going to the Google Ads website.
  2. Now click on one of the blue “Get started now” buttons (located at the top right or in the middle of the screen below the body text).
  3. After that, there are two questions you have to answer. Then you enter your e-mail address and the address (URL) of your website. After that you will get to the next step by clicking the button “Next”.
  4. Note: If you have an email address that is already associated with a Google account (either because you have a Gmail address or you have already created a Google account with your email), you do not need to complete steps 4 and 5. You simply need to log in.
  5. In the next step, you will be asked to create a new Google account. Here you must therefore write your personal contact and login data in the appropriate fields, read the terms of use and privacy policy and check the corresponding checkbox. After answering the security question you will get to the next step.
  6. Please confirm your account now. For this, you will receive an activation code, which you will receive by SMS or phone call. Enter this code in the corresponding field and your account is confirmed.
  7. Almost done! Now you only need to set the billing settings. To do this, click on the button “To my account”. This will take you to the overview page of your account.
  8. Then click on the link “Call billing settings”. Here, you select your country and go to the next step by clicking “Next”.
  9. Now you will be asked for various information about the billing settings. Fill in all fields correctly, read and accept the terms of use.
  10. By clicking on “Complete registration” you have finally done it. Your account is ready, now you can get started with the content!

If you still have problems, you can find some advice in the section “Problems and how to solve them”.

Define Google Ads goals to be successful

Defining goals is the cornerstone for success – this is also true for Google Ads. Therefore, you should set clearly defined and achievable goals. It is important that they are formulated in a meaningful way, otherwise there is too much room for individual interpretation. In plain language, this means: not “We increase sales”, but “We increase sales by 15% within the next six months”. But Google Ads goals are not always linked to financial values only. You can also use ads to build visibility. In this case, the advertising measures clearly pay off on your branding and the image of the brand. Targeted retargeting can also be a goal of a Google Ads campaign. In this case, potentially interested parties are approached again in order to achieve another touchpoint with them. Campaign goals can also be integrated into your campaign name for the sake of clarity. For example, a campaign could be called “Increase sales of women’s jeans” if you, as an online store operator, want to specifically increase the sales of your store category for women’s jeans.

Structuring an Ads account

In order not to lose the overview, you should bring a certain structure into the ads account. With a maximum of 25 different campaigns, each with 100 different ad groups, this is not easy at first. You might ask yourself: “What is the difference between campaign and ad group?” With the following illustration, we want to clarify the structure and content for you.

In the graphic you can see the structure of a Google Ads account. It contains different campaigns, which in turn contain ad groups where the price bids, ads and keywords can be found.
The structure of a Google Ads account

As you can see, the basic structure is not too complex. However, if you are now working with many campaigns and ad groups, your account still needs to have a logical structure in order to work with it efficiently. The easiest way to do this is to cluster by topic or goal. For this, follow the structure of your website or your online store. In addition, a separation of generic search terms and product or brand keywords helps. Be as granular as possible!

The following example will demonstrate the procedure of topic clustering:

You own an online platform for animal mediation with the name “animals4you”. You use the name for a separate brand campaign and exclude it for all other campaigns so as not to distort them. In the ad groups you will find the brand keyword with various relevant generic keyword options. For further campaigns, you now use the categories of your website. On the one hand you mediate dogs, on the other hand cats and create separate campaigns for them. These are again divided into ad groups. Here you will find, for example, the individual dog or cat breeds – so it is best to name your campaign Dog or Cat Breeds, so as not to lose the overview. In addition, the generic search terms for the respective main keywords must not be forgotten. These are therefore bundled into separate campaigns (“Dogs generic”/”Cats generic”), in which all individual ads can then be found. They include, for example, ads for the terms “buy dogs” or “cat to give away”, and many more.

In the picture you can see an exemplary structure of a Google Ads account. This is set up for the fictitious online platform "animal4you". Therefore it includes different campaigns like the brand campaign and campaigns for dog breeds, cat breeds, etc. Below the campaigns you will find the different ad groups.
Illustrative example of Google Ads account setup with topic clustering


The following example is intended to demonstrate the target clustering approach to you:

The platform remains “animal4you”, but this time the campaigns are deliberately named after the corresponding campaign goals in order not to lose focus. It is therefore important to you that the branding of your site is strengthened in general – for this you rely on a targeted brand campaign. In addition, you want to increase sales for your category “dog puppies”. Therefore you place targeted ads on beagle and husky puppies. People who have already viewed Main Coon cats on your site will be targeted with retargeting ads, as you want to attract them to your website again. You also want to increase the overall visibility of the “Dog” category. Therefore, you have created a campaign with the goal of increasing visibility.

The graphic illustrates the clustering of a Google Ads account according to goals. The campaigns are deliberately named after the corresponding goals in order to focus on them. In addition to a brand campaign to increase the image, there are therefore also revenue-increasing and retargeting campaigns.
Illustrative example of Google Ads account setup with target clustering

In addition to these two clustering methods, there are others. For example, you can structure your campaigns in these six other ways:

1. By campaign type:

You only need to differentiate between search and display campaigns, because shopping and video campaigns are always created independently. In addition, there are also smart campaigns and app campaigns, which adapt automatically to a large extent through machine learning.

2. By Keywords:

In order to really always display ads that are exactly one hundred percent appropriate, campaigns and ad groups are often segmented by keywords. In this way, you can avoid showing users ads that are only very close to the right keyword, but not completely accurate. To find out which keyword is the right one for your ad, a keyword research is suitable. In the following step, you book the keywords into an ad group. Here you distinguish between perfectly matching keywords, which come into one ad group, and not 100% exact keywords, which are booked into a separate ad group. Note that in the latter case, you have to exclude the perfectly matching keyword.

Too complicated? Sure, it’s not easy to categorize campaigns this way, but Google Ads can hardly be controlled more precisely. However, if you manage numerous campaigns or ad groups, it is not advisable to segment in this way, as the overview can quickly be lost, and it is a time-consuming method.

3. By targeting options:

Campaigns can be influenced in a certain direction by different targeting options. Depending on the advertising environment, usage situation and target group, it therefore makes sense to segment. For example, remarketing campaigns, which are very specific to the target group, or location-based ads (part of the usage situation) are created as an extra category.
The rough breakdown is as follows:

In summary: The individual targeting options in Google Ads
1. Advertising environment: topic, keywords and placement of the ad
2. Usage situation: device, times, location and language
3. Target group: remarketing, age, gender, interests
Targeting options

4. By brand & no-brand:

Die Unterteilung nach Marke und Nicht-Marke ist vor allem wegen der Handlungsabsicht der Nutzer wichtig. User, die bereits den Markennamen suchen, haben in der Regel auch die Absicht, sich genauer mit ihr zu beschäftigen, mit dieser zu interagieren oder sogar dort einzukaufen. Eine separate Betrachtung ist deshalb unumgänglich. Achte aus diesem Grund auf jeden Fall darauf, dass keine Marken-Keywords in die no-brand Kampagne rutschen, um Deine Ad-Performance nicht zu verfälschen.

The split by brand and no-brand is important mainly because of the users’ intent to act. Users who already search for the brand name usually also intend to engage with it in more detail, interact with it or even make a purchase there. A separate consideration is therefore inevitable. For this reason, make sure in any case that no brand keywords slip into the no-brand campaign, so as not to distort your ad performance.

5. By advertising medium:

Here, you distinguish between text and image ads (banners). This makes it easier for you to allocate the budget correctly and to control the performance of the advertising forms.

6. By region:

If you operate internationally, each country should have its own campaign. Depending on the complexity, you can even think about additional, separate Google Ads accounts. However, if you want to run your ad only regionally, you need to think about doing this either through bid adjustment or segmenting at the campaign level. You can also exclude bids for certain regions via the bid adjustment.

What does a Google Ads account cost?

The creation of your Google Ads account and its use are free of charge. However, if you place ads, they will be charged per click. The billing model is therefore called Cost per Click. It works as follows: You bid on a keyword that is relevant to your ad. If you are the highest bidder, you get the best place. For this reason, the prices that a click costs can vary greatly, which in turn also makes the different advertising spaces differently expensive. Sometimes they are just a few cents, but they can also cost several euros. How much the click on your ad costs depends on different factors:

Problems and how to solve them

1. You already have problems when creating an account:

Are you really sure that you don’t have a Google account yet? Google manages all its services through one account. That means: If you have a Gmail, you don’t have to create an account. You can use not only your mails, but also Analytics, Ads account and many other services of the search engine without creating a separate account.

2. You don’t remember either your username or the email address of your account:

It’s not a big deal. Google has a special account recovery form for this case. Just click here and follow the instructions.

3. You have forgotten your password:

This is also not an issue. Here is also a link that can help you: Here you can solve problems with your password. On this page, you enter your e-mail address and click on “Send”. You may be asked some questions on the next page to identify you and your request. However, it is also possible that you just need to select different options that will help you reset the password.

Google Ads campaigns: These ad formats are available on Google Ads

As you could already read a bit further above, there are different campaign types. Depending on the campaign type, it is decided how your ad is brought to the user. For this purpose, the Google search or display network is used. Both consist of an association of various search-related apps and websites. You can place ads there at your whim. These are then delivered in the SERPs if the search query of a user refers to the keyword of your ad.

The following ad formats are available:

Text ads

The most classic format that probably comes to your mind immediately is text ads. You can find these above and below the organic search results on the search results page. There, they are clearly marked with the word “ad” for all users, so they know that these results are paid ads.

The image shows a screenshot of a Google search query for the keyword "jeans". The first results of the SERP shows directly paid ads at the very top below the search bar, marked with the bold word "ad" (framed in blue in the screenshot).
Example of text ads on the keyword “jeans”

These types of ads are the most common in the search network. If you find a paid ad of this type not on the Google search results page, but in the ad network, i.e. on a website of a Google partner, you will often find the label “Google ad(s)” here.

If you decide to use this format, you have different options:

  1. Classic text ads – Here you enter the title and text of the ad directly.
  2. Responsive Ads – Here you give Google different options on how the ad can be composed. The different title and text options allow you to customize the ad.
  3. Dynamic ads – Here you simply leave the URL of the website, Google will then automatically search for suitable titles and text content.
  4. Display ads

Display ads

Display ads are not displayed in the search network, but in the display network. There they are placed on partner sites of Google. You can decide whether you want the ad placement to happen manually or automatically. You can also exclude specific pages so that your ads do not appear there. Using the following methods, you can also control where your ads are displayed:

Google provides tips specifically for display ads to make them effective and increase their reach. These include using your own images and using the corporate design color scheme to increase recognition. Google also advises testing different display ad types and content layouts to achieve the best possible success.

These are the different types of display ads you can resort to:

1. Dynamic ads
2. Social ads
3. Interactive ads
4. Video ads
5. Universal ads
These are the different types of display ads you can access, © Google

Video ads

Looking at the ad formats quite meticulously, you can see that video ads are actually part of display ads. Nevertheless, they are worth mentioning again separately. Video ads can be placed on YouTube, but also in the whole wider display network of Google. There, you can run them standalone or include them in streamed videos.

Which variants you can use as video ads, you can also read in our article about YouTube Ads.

The image shows an overview of the different ways to advertise on YouTube. These include:
- Skippable in-stream ads
- Non-skippable in-stream ads
- Bumper ads
- Video Discovery Ads
- Out-stream ads
- Masthead ads
Here’s a little taste: All YouTube Ads formats at a glance

Gallery Ads

Google Gallery Ads are a relatively new variant of online advertising. They are basically ads that contain multiple images that are displayed in the form of an image gallery. The user can thus “swipe” through the individual photos and get a better overall view of the ad.

Gallery Ads always have fixed components:

The special feature of this format: billing is not based on click prices, but on interactions. The user must either view the ad up to the third image or click on the website. Thus, you should change your bidding strategy here.

Shopping ads

Shopping ads are used by merchants to promote their products. It doesn’t matter if it’s a store or an online store, the user just needs to be directed to a website that provides more information about it. You can also use shopping campaigns to increase website traffic, drive visits to brick-and-mortar stores, and generate new, qualified leads.

The image is a graphical illustration of how Google Shopping Ads can help you better promote your products and present them to your customers.
Google Shopping Ads help you to promote your products better

How it works: Shopping ads must be created with the help of the Merchant Center. Here, product data is entered and the campaign is set up. This campaign is then used by Google to create appealing ads that are delivered directly on the search results page and also on other websites in the Google advertising network as search hits.

Unlike text-only ads, Shopping ads feature product images to make the whole thing look better. In addition, this ad format contains the following content:

In the image you can see a screenshot of a search results page. The keyword of the search is "jeans". Above the normal ads and search results you will find the shopping ads, which, unlike the text ads, also include images, prices, brand name and ratings.
This is what the Shopping ads look like within the Google SERPs

Unlike other ad formats, the keyword does not determine where and how the ad is displayed. This is determined solely by the Merchant Center product data. This information about the product and the offer is used to decide which shopping ad is suitable for which user and which search query, in order to suggest the most relevant products as search hits. There are three different types of shopping ads that influence your bidding strategy:

  1. Product shopping ads – billed via CPC (cost-per-click
  2. Showcase shopping ads – billed via CPE (cost-per-engagement)
  3. Ads with local inventory

Ads are delivered to the user in various locations on the internet. This is where they can be found:

Universal app campaigns

Apps are becoming increasingly important, and so is their marketing. But how do you reach your target group outside the app store? This is where app campaigns can help you! They can be used to promote apps via Google Search, Google Play, App Stores, YouTube, Discover in Google Search and the Google Display Network.

Delivery of app campaigns in the Google search network, © Google
Delivery of app campaigns in the Google search network, © Google
App campaign delivery on the Google Display Network, © Google
App campaign delivery on the Google Display Network, © Google
Delivery of app campaigns via Discover in Google Search, © Google
Delivery of app campaigns via Discover in Google Search, © Google
App campaign delivery in Google Play, © Google
App campaign delivery in Google Play, © Google
App campaign delivery via Discover in Google Search, © Google
App campaign delivery via Discover in Google Search, © Google

Google needs the following information from you to create an app ad:

Google uses this information to create different combinations that are then delivered individually. In doing so, the ad with the best performance is displayed the most. The targeting and bid setting is thus automatic.

Ad extensions

Additionally, you can add ad extensions to each ad. Here you can choose between the following:

You can set up and manage the individual extensions via your Google Ads account. To do this, simply select the “Ads and Extensions” tab. Here, however, you must make sure that the extensions are always matched to the respective campaign or the respective end device. A big advantage of these ad extensions is that they attract attention. This can ensure that exactly these ads become very click-strong. Moreover, they are very helpful in the course of usability, as just one click on the ad extension will take the user to the landing page of the website where they can get the information they wanted.

Running Google Ads – How to create and manage campaigns

You now know how to create a Google Ads account, how to deal with it, how it is structured and what thoughts you need to put in advance for the segmentation of your campaign. So you are ready to create your first campaign. Now you will learn how to do it step by step:

1. set up your ads account

You can find everything in this section: “To Google Ads account in 9 easy steps”.

2. Selection of the campaign type

You can choose between six different campaign types:

The type depends on the main goal of the campaign.

3. Define the location

Even if there should be no physical location (because pure online store, etc.), a location should be defined. One option would be to specify the location of the majority of the target audience, or at least exclude regions where the ad should not be displayed.

4. Determination of a budget

This is actually self-explanatory. It is important to keep an eye on the costs and thus maintain better control over the campaign.

5. Writing the advertisement

This consists of ad title and description. Only the character limit must be respected. Thus, the texts must be short, yet concise and targeted to meet the users’ search queries.

6. Determine the displayed URL

The displayed URL is different from the target URL. The former should be remembered by the user in particular. Therefore, the website URL is mainly used here.

7. Adding the target URL

The target URL, on the other hand, directs to the page on which the advertised product is ultimately located. It is mandatory that the landing page matches the user’s search query in order to keep usability and customer satisfaction high.

8. Adding suitable and appropriate keywords

The right keyword ensures that the ad is displayed to exactly those users whose search query matches the offered product. In addition, a negative list should be maintained, in which all keywords are collected that should definitely not be considered in the ad group.

9. Setting the click bids

This sets a guideline of how much money can be spent per click at the peak.

10. Check everything again

This should go without saying, but don’t forget to double-check your ads before you put them live. This includes not only a grammar and spelling check, but also a close examination of all campaign settings. Regular checks of the campaign’s performance as well as A/B tests are also included and serve the purpose of constant optimization.

Created campaigns can of course also be managed and edited. There are various functions for this:

Kampagnen zu kopieren ist vor allem dann sinnvoll, wenn man eine erfolgreiche Kampagne vorzuweisen hat. Diese kann dann als Vorlage für weitere verwendet werden und behält so ohne viel Aufwand die Einstellung sowie Struktur bei. Das Gleiche gilt für Anzeigen, die problemlos von einer Anzeigengruppe in eine andere kopiert werden können. Hierfür muss das Kästchen links neben der Kampagne/Anzeige ausgewählt werden und mit Strg. (Windows) bzw. command (Mac) + C kopiert und danach mit Strg. bzw. command + V wieder am gewünschten Ort eingefügt werden.

Folgende Einstellungen kann man für mehrere Kampagnen gleichzeitig ändern:

Auch hier müssen die entsprechenden Kampagnen über das Kästchen links neben der Kampagne ausgewählt und dann über „Bearbeiten“ im Drop-Down-Menü angepasst werden. So kann außerdem der Status mehrerer Kampagnen gleichzeitig geändert werden.

Kampagnen und Anzeigen zu sortieren, geht ebenfalls einfach. Hierfür müssen nur die Überschriften der Spalte geklickt werden und schon wird dementsprechend durchsortiert.

The optimization cycle

Even though your campaigns may be working well at the moment, you should never stop there! There is always something you can improve or work on. Especially after a certain amount of time, your actual ad may not be as up-to-date as it should be. The optimization cycle is very suitable for this. With the help of this cycle, you can keep all important areas up to date.

The graphic shows an overview of the areas that should be optimized in a regular cycle to make the best use of the click budget.

1. Optimization of CPC bids at keyword level.
2. Optimization of quality factors
3. Optimization of the keyword pool
4. Optimization of the account structure
5. Optimization of campaign settings
6. Conversion and landing page optimization
Overview of the areas that should be optimized in a regular cycle.

These are therefore the optimization options that you should go through regularly to always get the ideal result for your budget.

Dos & Don’ts in dealing with the Google Ads account

There are some classic mistakes that you can easily avoid when dealing with your Ads account. If you avoid them, nothing will stand in the way of your online advertising success.

1. Lacking or missing logical structuring of the account

As discussed in more detail in the previous section, the structure of the Ads account is the be-all and end-all for successful Google Ads. Therefore, try to break down your campaigns and ad groups as granularly as possible in order to be able to create a specific ad for each product and service that will appeal to the target audience in the best possible way.

↑ For more tips on the topic of structure, simply scroll up again. ↑

2. Wrong keyword choice

Keywords that are too general or only largely suitable ensure that your ad is not always displayed perfectly. Conversely, this means of course that you are not fully exploiting the potential. The overview of the keyword options should clarify which search results are achieved with which option.

There are three different keyword options:
1. Broadly matching keywords
2. Exactly matching keywords
3. Matching keywords
Keyword options

Ads with largely matching keywords are thus often delivered to broader target groups, while ads with the “exactly matching” option are only displayed to specific user groups. For the “largely matching” option, there are therefore additional modifiers that make these keywords more specific. For this purpose, words that define the keyword more precisely are appended to largely matching keywords with the help of a plus sign.

Example: If you want to narrow down the broad keyword sunglasses with modifiers, you have to insert plus signs in front of both the keyword itself and the modifiers. The result would be: +sunglasses +ladies +cheap. As a result, Google will only display ads on the search query for cheap ladies sunglasses, instead of also displaying the ad on search queries for men’s sunglasses or similar.

There is also an option to exclude keywords in each campaign. This is especially useful if you don’t want the ad to show for certain search queries. For example, if a hairdresser, who only cuts men’s hair, places an ad, it is advisable to exclude all keywords related to women’s hair beforehand.
As you can see, sufficient keyword research is essential in preparation for ad planning.

3. Too many topics in one ad group

To display an ad as targeted as possible, it is necessary to set a focus and concentrate on certain topics per ad group. To guarantee this, it helps to work out a targeted strategy, which brings us to the next point that is often disregarded.

4. No well-thought-out campaign strategy

In order to give the Google ad the relevance it needs to be efficient, you need a campaign strategy that has been worked out in advance. This includes several points:

Keeping this in mind, there is a common thread running through the ad that helps to ideally target the user and thus turn them into a customer. Again, remember to create negative lists to specifically exclude websites, target groups or keywords from your campaign.

5. Ads lead to bad or incorrect landing pages

If a user finds an ad that corresponds exactly to his search query, he expects that after opening it he will also find what he was just offered – that’s actually logical, isn’t it? Nevertheless, it happens more often that users are redirected to bad or wrong landing pages. So it’s no wonder that you can’t achieve conversions this way. A direct return to the SERPs is the result – which in turn has a negative impact on the bounce rate and the conversion rate. The user is frustrated about not having found what he is looking for. It’s even sadder when you think about the fact that you not only lost sales, but also incurred costs by clicking on the ad. Double damage, so to speak, and therefore to be avoided urgently!

6. Too low CPCs or click prices not adjusted correctly

A mistake that is often made is that the budget is not properly adjusted to the keywords. Often, a daily budget is divided evenly by all campaigns, which means that the maximum click-through rate cannot be achieved for a long time. Especially with smaller campaign budgets, the focus should therefore always be placed first on targetable keywords, and it should be considered in advance exactly how much the click is worth to you. In addition, CPCs can be optimized via bid adjustments. For this purpose, Google gives you the option to make percentage adjustments between -100% and +900% in the following areas:

By using bid adjustments, budget can be efficiently utilized.

7. Missing tracking

Serious mistake, because it means you are spending money without knowing the exact meaning behind it! As a result, you often shoot in the dark, without exactly recording,

Only if this can be tracked can campaigns be sufficiently optimized and made more effective. Therefore, in order to have the best possible overview of the background of the conversions, there are the following tracking options:

  1. Website: Tracking of all actions that can be taken on the website.
  2. App: tracking of installs, interactions within the app, and uninstalls.
  3. Calls: tracking of all calls and call durations that were referred via a Google Ad
  4. Conversions: tracking of all sales and microconversions, such as newsletter signups, user account creation, etc.

8. No control and therefore no optimization

If you just let your Ads account run on its own and never check it, you run the risk of throwing money out the window. The account must always be monitored, for example, to exclude unsuitable keywords and search queries, to adjust click bids and to control on which websites the display ads are placed. Regular monitoring also allows you to track user search queries and tailor your campaigns accordingly. This leads to the optimization of the campaign and thus to the optimal use of the budget.

9. Do not link ads with analytics

Of course, this is not absolutely necessary, but it is still very helpful in order to make optimal evaluations. Google Analytics can be used to track whether someone has bought something or sent a contact request. In addition, you can go even deeper. A precise evaluation of user behavior helps to optimize campaigns.

10. Mix search and display ads – no separate evaluation

If you do not pay attention to this before setting up the campaign, Google throws search and display ads together by default. However, since this is not very effective, you should create separate campaigns for both. There are two main reasons for splitting

It is important to know that the character of the two different types of ads is completely different.

Search ads follow the intention of the searcher. In accordance with the classic pull principle, the need for a product or service is already present here. They therefore follow a performance goal.

The image shows a graphical illustration of the pull principle. The pull principle of search ads shows that the user has a specific intention, which is the basis for the search ad that is then displayed.
Pull principle of search ads

A display ad, on the other hand, clearly works according to the push principle. A company presents a product or service to the user and hopes to meet the user’s needs exactly. They are therefore very suitable for branding.

The picture shows a graphical illustration of the push principle. Display ads, on the other hand, follow the push principle. This means that a company displays advertising and hopes to meet the customer's need exactly.
Push principle of display ads

If you visualize the purpose of both ads in this way, it actually becomes self-explanatory that they do not run under one campaign and can be evaluated together.

11. Forgetting to pause

Sure, everyone messes up sometimes, but with this carelessness you waste cash. Because not every ad and not every keyword must always remain active. For this, there is the option to pause campaigns or even turn them off completely, which is very important for seasonal products, for example.

12. Missed developments/new features

Google regularly changes and adds features to the Ads account. In order to achieve the best possible performance, these must of course be applied. So for this, at best, keep an eye on all innovations and try them out. Google regularly announces new features via the Google Ads Help, so you can easily keep track of everything.

13. Not using the “Drafts and Tests” function

This feature is especially great for classic A/B testing, as you can run the active campaign in parallel with a beta version, as well as compare and evaluate both afterwards. The user has the following options for this:

Especially via the drafts, changes in the ads can be viewed quite easily. The effects of rewording the texts, such as adjusting the characters (after all, it is not always necessary to exhaust all characters) can be tested in this way. Trying out Dynamic Keyword Insertions can also bring surprising results. Here, the user’s keyword is reproduced in the display title (inserted with {Keyword:Standardtext). This often leads to the user feeling better addressed.

The tests, in turn, can be used to observe the changes caused by a change of the target page or bid adjustments for different end devices, for example. This is useful for assessing user behavior and the resulting success before implementing the changes to the entire campaign.

14. Compete against big players

When it comes to Google Ads, big competitors are often simply better positioned than smaller companies. It is difficult to compete against brand names anyway, as a search for brand keywords is often accompanied by a specific and targeted search intention on the part of the user.

15. Unattractive advertisements with boring texts

Especially with display advertising, an attractive customer approach is of course particularly important. The ad must not get lost in the amount of information and must appear “click-worthy” to the customer. The use of call-to-actions, possibly also with an image, helps here. Just make sure not to formulate them too directly. A call to “Click here!” is too offensive for Google.

With search ads, on the other hand, it’s different. Since only text is used here, the USPs and advantages must clearly come to the fore. Relevant keywords and the solution to the user’s problem should be clearly visible to encourage the user to click.

Caution: The characters of a search ad are limited. Phrases, empty phrases and non-customized statements have no place here. Stay concise, goal- and solution-oriented.

Conclusion

Google Ads are a versatile and highly customizable advertising tool. Therefore, you should definitely rely on it to increase sales. Nevertheless, the creation of campaigns is extremely complex and should be well-thought-out. The monitoring of these is also an important point. Make sure that you avoid the above-mentioned mistakes in order to advertise cost-efficiently and achieve the best possible output. To make your Google Ads strategy as optimal as possible, you should always keep in mind the individual components of a successful campaign.

On the picture you can see a triangle, at the tips of which you can find the components of a well thought-out Google Ads strategy. These include:
- a specific target group
- relevant keywords
- target group-specific and relevant content and landing pages.
TIPP: Google also provides specific recommendations for action. So if you decide to use Google Ads, you should take a look at the guide.

FAQs

What is Google Ads?

It is an online advertising program from Google, through which advertisers can place online ads. By targeting the ads, they reach users exactly when they show interest in products or services.

Where can you find Google Ads?

After you have created a Google account, you can access your Google Ads account via https://ads.google.com/home/. In the Google Ads menu, you will now find “Ads” in the sidebar. There you can create ads, view statistics and see clicks, impressions, click-through rates and much more.

What is a Google Ads campaign?

Campaigns contain different ad groups that consist of ads, keywords and bids. The campaign has a common budget, geographic targeting and other common settings. They are best suited to group products or services by category.

What are the campaign formats in Google Ads?

There are different campaign formats that you can serve with Google Ads:
– Text Ads
– Display Ads
– Gallery Ads
– Shopping Ads
– Video Ads
– Universal App Campaigns

What are Google Ad Extensions and what are they?

With the help of ad extensions you can display additional information to your ads. You can use the following extensions:
– Caller extension
– Sitelinks
– Price extension
– Offer extension
– SMS extension
– App extension
– Snippet extension
– Extension with additional information
– Site extension
– Affiliate site extension
– Ratings

What does Google Ads cost?

In itself, the ads on Google Ads are free. However, as soon as someone clicks on an ad, a cost is incurred. This is the so-called pay-per-click (PPC) system. On average, such clicks cost about 0.40€ to 2.00€ – however, it can also be that it costs much less or more. This depends on the keyword that is the basis for the ad.

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