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Google Advertising Explained

There are about 3.5 billion searches on Google every day. Some of those searches are for the products and services your business sells. In other words, you are missing out on customers if you are not yet using Google Advertising as part of your digital marketing. Google Advertising or Google Ads is an incredibly effective way to drive relevant, qualified traffic to your website and promote your business online.

What is Google Advertising?

Google Advertising is a form of paid advertising or digital marketing that uses ads on the Google network to drive people to a website, create brand awareness or help sell products and services. It is also often referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). It enables businesses to reach customers anywhere in the world exactly when they are interested in purchasing products or services. Google Advertising allows you to target customers based on their search queries, their location and the type of device they use.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is the name of this paid online Google advertising platform. Initially, it was called Google Adwords. But this changed to Google Ads in 2018. Google Ads can also refer to the actual paid advertisements shown to users on the Display Network or on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Usually, the paid ad will be shown at the top, bottom or side of the SERP. It will also have the word “Ad” next to the paid ads to differentiate them from the organic search results.

How does Google Ads work?

With Google Ads, advertisers pay to have their ads show on the SERPs when a user searches for a keyword relevant to their business. And because Google Ads uses the pay-per-click (PPC) model, it means you’ll only pay for the ad when a user clicks on it, visits your website, calls your business or gets directions to the store. You are able to decide on the specific goal and set your own budget.

Google Ads operates on an auction system. The ‘auction’ occurs whenever a user searches for a keyword on Google. Even though advertisers need to bid and compete against other advertisers to have their ad shown, it’s not only about the highest bid amount.

How does the Google Ads Auction work?

Winning the Google Ads auction and having your ad show for your keyword will depend on the ad’s quality score and bid amount. The higher the quality score for the ad, along with the amount you’re willing to pay for the ad click, the higher your Ad Rank will be. This refers to the position that your ad will be on the SERPs. The quality score helps Google determine which ads are the best quality and the most relevant to the user’s query.

There are a number of factors that contribute to your ad’s quality score. These include the relevancy of your ad to the search query, the relevancy of the keyword to your ad group and the relevancy of your ad to the landing page on the website. Other factors are the click-through rate of the ad and ad group, as well as how the account performed historically.

Different Google Ads Campaign Types

Based on your specific goal, there are various types of Google Ad formats or Ad Campaign types to choose from. This also determines how the ad will be shown to users on the Google network. Here are a few of the most common Campaign Ad Types:


Search Campaigns

These ads will appear as text ads in the SERPs whenever a user searches for a keyword relevant to the ad. Apart from the “Ad” or “Sponsored” labels on Search Ads, they look very similar to the organic search results on the SERPs.


Display Campaigns

Google Display ads are mostly used for remarketing purposes or to create brand awareness. These ads are served on the Google Display Network, a collection of third-party websites that are partnered with Google. Display ads can be in image, text, video, gif or rich media format. They are also available in different sizes and orientations.


YouTube Campaigns

Apart from being able to use videos on the Display Network, Google also allows you to choose video ads for YouTube specifically. These ads appear before a YouTube video starts playing or in the search results. With video ads, you are more likely to get users’ attention and connect with them in an entertaining way.


Shopping Campaigns

With Google Shopping ads, you are able to promote your products to potential customers in a more visual way. These ads will display an image of the product, the price and other product information. They are shown to users in Google Shopping or on the SERPs if a user is searching for a product.


Universal App Campaigns

Although app ads can be included as part of display ads, they can also be used for more targeted campaigns. Universal App ads get promoted across different apps on the Google Network. The main objective is to drive app downloads or in-app conversions on Google Play Store or Apple App store.

Different bidding strategies in Google Ads

Advertisers have many different bidding strategies to choose from for their bids. For your Google Ads to be effective, it’s essential that you choose the right bidding strategy for your specific objective. These are the available Google Ads bidding strategies to choose from:


Maximize Conversions

This is one of the most popular and simplest Google Ads bidding strategies. It allows you to set a maximum daily budget. Google will then run your bidding automatically and get as many conversions as possible for your set budget.


Maximize Clicks

Depending on the maximum daily budget you set, this automatic bidding strategy aims to get as many clicks as possible. Considering that with this strategy, the Google Ads algorithm’s main goal is to drive traffic to your website, regardless of the relevance or quality, this strategy is not great if you want to drive sales and conversions.


Target Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)

This bidding strategy allows you to optimise your conversions by converting users at a specific set acquisition cost. In other words, Google Ads automatically sets your bids based on your CPA.


Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

With the Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) bidding strategy, Google sets bids to maximise the conversion value. This will be dependent on the specific return you want to get from the ad spend.


Maximize Conversion Value

Similar to Target ROAS, Google will aim to maximise your ROAS but without you needing to set a target ROI. With the Maximize Conversion Value bidding strategy, Google will automatically maximise your ad spend the best way possible.


Manual CPC

With Manual CPC bidding, you will manually set bids for different keywords or ad groups. Although this bidding strategy gives you more control over your campaigns, you will need to spend more time monitoring and adjusting your budgets when you realise some keywords are less or more profitable than others.


Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC)

This bidding strategy can be described as a combination between automatic and manual bidding. It allows you to set the cost-per-click for keywords and ad groups but the Google Ads algorithm will optimise it. In other words, Google will either increase or decrease the bid, depending on how likely it is to drive sales.


Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM)

Cost-per-thousand Impressions (CPM) is a bidding strategy that is based only on impressions. Because of that reason, it is used only for ads on the Google Display Network or on YouTube.


Cost-Per-Thousand Viewable Impressions (vCPM)

VCPM is also only used for YouTube Ads or the Display Network. The difference with this strategy, however, is that it sets your maximum costs on a viewable thousand impressions. An impression is considered ‘viewable’ only when at least one second of a display ad has been shown on the Google Display Network or when at least two seconds of a video played on YouTube.


Cost-Per-View Bidding (CPV)

Similar to the previous two bidding strategies, this bidding strategy is also only used with video ads, either on the Display network or YouTube. With cost-per-view (CPV) bidding, you will pay for every view or interaction with the video.


Target Impression Share Bidding

This bidding strategy is more focused on increasing brand awareness and increasing the total reach. In other words, if you want to get as many impressions and have as many people as possible see your ads for a specific keyword, this strategy is ideal.

Benefits of Google Advertising

One of the most important benefits of Google Advertising is how instant it is. Once you’ve finished setting up your Google Ads, your ads are able to start showing on the SERPs. And you can immediately start driving users to your website, which could result in leads and sales. The entire process is measurable and paid ads are able to put your brand in front of a larger audience.

Another one of the many benefits of Google Advertising is the fact that it brings qualified traffic to your website. In other words, your ads are shown to users who are already looking for the products or services you offer. And therefore, they’re more likely to convert and purchase. This makes it one of the most cost-effective strategies.

Google Advertising or Google Ads Services

As you’ve now seen, incorporating Google Advertising or Google Ads in your digital marketing strategy could be one of the most profitable decisions for your business. If you would like to find out more about our Google Advertising services or any of the other digital marketing services we offer, feel free to get in touch with us today.

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