Google Adwords and PPC Advertising Complete Step By Step Guide

Advertising Reads Mar 01, 2020


Google Adwords is a game of words. And your ability to understand customers and businesses will be tested. Targeting is role-playing with words. And seeking a chance for engagement must happen with 120 characters or less.


On the internet, you can find the volume of content on these topics of Google Adwords and Pay-Per-Click advertising. And, from each source, this subject covered in varying degrees to fill you in on elaborate details.

But, the problem is the amount of effort necessary to gobble them up and get started would be the main obstacle for the beginner. They even have an online university with a curriculum of topics separated from basics to advanced.

The question is, Do I have to jump through these hoops to get what I wanted from Adwords?  The straight forward answer is Probably Not.

Then, What is the blueprint for success with Adwords?

The reason is when you look at the Adwords; it's about how best you play the word game. Yes, you hear it, it's the game of words. And this game has two unique parts and one overlapping element to this entire AdWords advertising preparation and execution.

First, targeting -  How best are you equipped to describe your audience's interest and behavior at any given moment through the cluster of keywords? Doing this right, and in creative ways, can get you the audience with a potential customer at the right time and the correct cost.

Second, convincing -  You may have been able to short-circuit the first part with going easy on keywords, and throwing money at aggressive bidding. But, there is no leeway with this essential part of PPC advertising, which is persuasion.

This part of the AdWords efforts will truly test your ability as a wordsmith. With the limited real-estate in the ad unit, then the challenge will become how best you can communicate? And persuade the audience to click the ad and further engage with you in understanding what you have to offer.

The third part is alignment - This is the most critical aspect and needs continuous administration throughout the campaign lifetime. That is, aligning the targeting and messaging to align with overall campaign goals. It's not just limited to the first version of the keywords packed in the ad group and the message in the ad copy. Instead, continually evaluating the performance of keywords and reach of the ad message. And measure them against expected target metrics.

So, it's essential to understand and internalize the value of this three-part formula of campaign preparation and execution. And doing this for each one of your campaigns and applying that underlying principle consistently will yield measurable business results and brand recognition for your product and services.

Why the need for continuous optimization with AdWords and PPC Advertising?

Remember that we will be doing all this exercise for an unknown and invisible audience. So, the segmentation is starting from your understanding of who the audiences are. And what they might be doing at any given moment on the internet. Because of that, matching segments of the user's intent and expectations with your approach in those two steps are highly subjective and dynamic from one context to another.

The upside of doing these steps right is the main difference between getting the real return on ad spends (ROAS) and solving the business challenges through achieving the campaign goals.

In this post, I have attempted to strip this subject to the bone, without any unnecessary fillers to describe this post subjects. So, without any further ado, let's get into the necessary weeds of Adwords and tools offered by Google to manage digital advertising.

How Google Adwords campaign management application structured?

Google Adwords application has a hierarchical organization structure for campaign planning, creation, and execution. Starting with your account, it trickle-down through Campaign, Ad groups, Ads node. Understanding this structure and control elements available in each node is essential to manage advertising for better results and return.

Adwords account - organization structure -

How to plan and execute effective keywords management?

With Adwords, setting up an ad campaign starts with creating a campaign. As described above, the campaign has a hierarchical relationship with Ad group and Ads.

So, you must be ready with creating Ad group, which is the vehicle through which we are going to accomplish the first part of advertising - targeting.

Then, you must be ready with an ad copy available with breakdown information of multiple headlines and descriptions. With that, you are finishing the second part of convincing users to first interact with your ad and take that conversation further in your familiar territory.

Have Multiple Campaign and Manageable level - for better targeting -

How to create a campaign in Google Adwords?

You can create a campaign in two ways, first, when you are first setting up account first time when you don't have any existing drive to reference. Then select the option "+ New Campaign" and proceed with set up as guided by subsequent steps.

Second, through Load Campaign Settings, which is when you have a template of campaigns ready for your business scenarios created in the account. And you can reference them through this "Load Campaign Settings" for continuous reuse.

However, you still have to go through the painstaking effort of setting up an Ad group for targeting. Which is a good thing; this will allow thinking about the aspect of targeting for every campaign.

My personal preference is to have product and services wise separate campaigns. Each one requires a different approach and user pattern to consider. And there are different bid strategy also to be considered for the targeted result.

Your preference and requirement are different for your business. Explore the tool and create a manageable campaign to keep your navigation inside the manager pleasant and easy to work.

Adwords Campaign Creation -
google adwords smart versus regular campaign creation -
Select appropriate outcome you are seeking -
Provide Information suites your need - Network, Audience targeting, Extensions, and Budget and strategy are key parameters -

How to optimize keywords for proper targeting?

For targeting, Google has an in-built solution to recommend keywords based on your website. Take them in only when meeting your broad campaign needs. By default, all the keywords added with match type "Broad Match," and this is not effective when long-tail words sentence involved.

Google has extended a powerful keywords targeting tool through "Match Qualifier." Using that, you can fine-tune keyword targeting, which matches the exact user intent. Make sure to review each one of the keywords listed in the ad group and apply the match qualifiers wherever required.

Different Match Qualifier

Broad Match - nocode application development
Broad Match Modifier - +nocode application +development
Phrase Match - "nocode application development"
Exact Match - [no code application development]

As you can see, without applying the appropriate qualifier to this keyword, campaign showing ads to the wrong audience and wasting dollars on zero return clicks.

Continuously manage the ad group keywords by adding and updating existing ones as necessary.

To add new keywords to the existing ad group.

Adding New Keywords to Ad group

To update existing keywords through the mass update feature available on the "Search Keywords" overview page.

Existing Ad group key words update - Select Edit button to pop up the available options.

List of options available for Adwords attribution

Google is providing the wealth of data generated out of your campaign performance. Likes of impression and number of clicks and other qualitative datasets. You have to take the tracking code and implemented it on your site for google analytics.

But, in today's world, ad blocking is becoming the norm, and anything rendered from google is considered as evil and blocked. To work around that, you will have to connect with external attribution analytics services or have something stitch together in-house.

Then, you can use the Ad URL options to configure the tracking URL, which will be called along with the final URL configured for click-through.

To address the page loading and performance, active the parallel processing. So, that tracking template will be processed in the background while your final URL is loading your site for the user to interact.

Tracking template and Final URL suffix for external attribution

Important things to consider


Account-level setting

Adwords has the number of control elements available to configure, which are ranging from targeting and  Inventory type selection to excluding content and classified contents by labels (PG, Teen, Matured Audience).

Account Level - Tracking, Content Type exclusion and Other key control elements.

Campaign level setting

Ad scheduling

With the default, the campaign is configured to execute "All Day." Maybe this will work for your needs. If not, and you have an understanding of user availability certain period of the day, then make sure to adjust it to suit your individual campaign needs.

Note - Google uses the timezone of the Gmail account used in the Adwords. Hence, you may have to adjust if you are to target customers in multiple timezones relative to your own.

List of Control elements available at adwords campaign -
Customize this settings for your need and save the budget from using unnecessary ad showing.

Budget and Bid Strategy

You can update the budget and the ongoing bidding strategy to reflect your current business needs and campaign performance.

Bidding Strategy update

How to maximize limited Ad copy real-estate?

Ad copy is the beginning of the second part of the equation that decides the campaign outcome. That is convincing the audience with your words that worthy of their time.

Each ad unit creation involves finalizing five pieces of different datasets.

Final URL - click-through link, where to traffic your audience to further nudging them to make a decision that beneficial to you.

Headline - Max 30 character length. And three of these slots provided. Given the size of the device form factor, maybe only the first two will be displayed. So, prioritize your message within those sixty characters.

Description - With two, ninety character text blocks, you can tell the story with more words than in the headline.

Display path -  This URL is the place you want to send your audience and further your interaction within your web application.

Ad URL options - Using this option, in addition to data collection provided by Google, you can ask each ad-click event to send a tracking URL to your external analytics system.

Additionally, you can append the final URL with two 15 character key and value pair parameters for tracking as well.

Ad creation and Update through Campaign

Maximize the use of Ad Extensions

These extensions are additional real estate available for individual ad units to exploit. The use of the extension is proven to increase the click-through rate of ad unit performance.

And beyond that, having these peripheral nuggets of information attached to the ad unit makes your ad more noticeable in the search engine result page (SERP).

adwords extension for optimization -

Make the best of the final URL and optimize for conversion.

Each character available in the ad unit display is an opportunity. That said, having a URL description to work for you would be one of the underutilized resources.

Instead of sending the audience to an existing landing page, have the customized URL for the campaign and make use of the display path options in the final URL to your advantage.

Optimization strategy and understand the expected outcomes.

In addition to continuous improvement with keywords refinement for targeting, Experiment with multiple bidding strategies, both automated and alert based recommendations, and identify the combinations that work and align with overall digital advertising objectives.

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