The Basics of Google Ads

Paid search, or Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns are important in helping your company appear on Google for people who have searched for terms (or keywords) that are relevant for your industry. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain an advantage over competitors.

The PPC Journey

So, how does Pay Per Click advertising actually work? It can be easily summarised by these seven steps:

  1. The customer searches for their desired product/service using a ‘search-term’, e.g. ‘Laptop case’
  2. A keyword within your Ad Account matches the customers search term. E.g. ‘Laptop bag’
  3. The advert is then triggered to show for the customer. E.g. Buy Laptop Bags | Browse all Laptop Bags |
  4. The customer may then click on the advert.
  5. You are charged for that click by the search engine.
  6. The customer lands on your website.
  7. The customer may then convert.

Keyword Research

In order to run a good PPC campaign you need to ensure your keywords are relevant to your products/services. There are a number of ways for you to do this, including:

  • Looking at the wording you use on your website
  • Having a look at your competitor’s websites for the terms they use
  • Asking your friends and family what they would search for

After you’ve gathered a list of keywords, you can use a research tool (such as Keyword Planner) to see how often people are searching for your chosen keywords, and to help you discover related ones. Adding some of the most relevant keywords to your own website can help improve the quality score of your ads but remember to make them sound natural and in context to the page and copy as Google will pick up “keyword stuffing”.

Keyword Match Types

In terms of setting up your keywords in your PPC campaign there are numerous different types of searches you can perform. These are:

  • Broad match: Your ad may show to any generally related search, including synonyms. For example, if you bid with broad match on “laptop case,” your ad could show when someone searches for “computer bags.”
  • +broad +match +modifier: So long as all words are in the search, your ads will show regardless of order or additional words.
  • [exact match]: Your ad will only show if the search term is exactly the same as your keyword.
  • “phrase match”: Similar to exact match, however words can be added before and after the keywords.

Plurals and common spelling mistakes are also taken into account meaning you don’t need to have variations of the same words.

Whichever keyword match type you decide to go for will determine the overall reach of your campaign, however with a broader match type you may end up paying for a lot of clicks which aren’t relevant to your business.

The Quality Score

With so many potential customers using search, you’ll often be competing with other companies for the best spots. Your position is determined by how much you are willing to bid and the quality of your ad campaign. The quality score is how Google rates the quality and relevance of your keywords and PPC ads and the experience of your websites landing page.

This means that even if your budget isn’t as large as some of your competitors, if you create a high-quality ad you can appear higher on search results.

Your quality score will also affect your Cost Per Click (CPC), as a high score can actually result in a discounted cost, but a low score can result in an increase.

Google Algorithms

It’s been reported that Google changes its search algorithm 500 to 600 times a year. While this may seem like a lot, most of these updates are small and don’t have too much of an impact. However, every so often Google releases a big update which will change how the search engine operates. For example, in 2016 Google removed the side adverts which appeared on the right-hand side of the page to focus on the ads at the top and bottom of the search results.


One of the most important aspects of creating PPC campaigns is to monitor your ads regularly to make sure they are running as efficiently as possible, identify if a certain ad is performing better than others and then try and figure out why this could be happening. Make sure your keywords are capturing the right traffic and don’t forget to negative those that aren’t relevant, also make sure your landing pages are answering the questions your audience is asking.

When done right PPC ads can be a great way to reach new potential customers without using a huge budget. It might take you a little while to really maximise your campaigns, but this shouldn’t put you off!

We recently covered the basics of Googles Ads at one of our Technical Tuesday events at the Wrapped head office, if you want to hear about future events sign up to our newsletter. Learn more about our PPC service.

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