How to Run Ads on Google Ads: A Beginner’s Guide

I used to think advertising was simple. Come up with a catchy jingle, slap your logo on a billboard, and watch the profits roll in. As it turns out, advertising in the 21st century is a bit more complicated than that. If you want to reach people where they actually spend time – on the internet – you need to understand the beast that is Google Ads. I should know, I just spent the past three months figuring out how to run ads on Google Ads for my business.

What Is Google Ads and How It Works?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is Google’s advertising platform that allows businesses to promote their products and services on Google Search, Maps, YouTube, and other partner sites. As an advertiser, you bid on certain keywords and pay when someone clicks your ad.

The search network displays your ads on Google Search, so when people search for terms related to your business, your ad might pop up. The display network shows your ads on other websites, targeting people interested in your products. Video campaigns run ads before, during or after YouTube videos. App campaigns help you promote your Android or iOS app.

How do the ads get ranked? It’s all about your bid, quality score and budget. Bid high enough on relevant keywords and your ad may show up at the top. Google also evaluates your ad’s click-through rate, relevance and landing page quality to determine your quality score. The higher your score, the better your ad position. And of course, the more you spend, the more prominently your ads will be displayed.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not exactly. An effective Google Ads campaign requires constant monitoring and optimization. You’ll need to analyze metrics like impressions, clicks, conversion rates, keyword performance, and costs to improve your ads and bids over time. But do it well and Google Ads can drive high-quality traffic to your site and boost your business.

If you’re not an expert, consider working with a Google Ads agency to handle it for you. They stay on top of the latest updates, have advanced tools and use proven best practices so you get the most bang for your marketing buck. Unless you enjoy endlessly analyzing data, tweaking ads and pulling your hair out over plummeting click-through rates, in which case, have at it! Google Ads awaits.

Types of Ads on Google Ads: Search, Display, Video, and App

I don’t know about you, but I find Google Ads to be a maze of options. Search ads, display ads, video ads, app ads – do I really need them all? The short answer is no, you can start with just one. But to understand what’s on the menu, here’s a quick rundown of the main types of ads Google Ads offers:

Search Ads

These ads appear at the top of the search results page and on the right rail. They’re text-based ads that match what people are searching for. If you want targeted traffic, search ads are the way to go. Just be prepared to bid against the big brands for popular keywords.

Display Ads

Banner ads, responsive ads, and other image-based ads shown on websites, videos and apps. They’re less targeted but can increase your brand visibility. I tend to find them distracting, but hey, maybe that’s just me.

Video Ads

Ads shown before, during or after YouTube videos and on video content across the web. If you have an engaging video, video ads are ideal for raising brand awareness and keeping people engaged. Just keep them short, around 15-30 seconds. No one wants to sit through a long, boring ad.

App Ads

Ads for your mobile app shown on the Google Play store and in apps and games. If you have an Android app you want to promote, app ads are pretty much mandatory. But fair warning, competition is fierce, so make sure your app is polished and provides value before shelling out the big bucks.

Google Ads certainly provides plenty of options to part you from your money. But start small, test what works, and scale up from there. Keep your ads relevant, catchy and not too annoying, and you’ll be golden. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself!

Setting Up and Managing Your Google Ads Account

Setting up your Google Ads account is pretty straightforward, but managing it? Well, that’s a whole other beast. As a beginner, you’ll soon find out that Google Ads has more knobs, levers, and moving pieces than the space shuttle.


The heart and soul of your Google Ads account are the campaigns. These group together ads that share a common goal, like promoting a new product line or driving newsletter signups. You’ll want to start with just one or two campaigns so you don’t get overwhelmed. More campaigns does not necessarily mean more success.

Ad groups

Within each campaign, you’ll have ad groups which contain closely related ads. For example, if your campaign goal is selling tennis gear, you might have ad groups for tennis rackets, balls, shoes, accessories, etc. The more tightly themed your ad groups are, the better. Google rewards relevancy.


The keywords are the phrases people search for that trigger your ads to show. Choosing good keywords is an art form in itself. You want keywords that are relevant to your products, have decent search volume, and not too much competition. Use tools like the Google Keyword Planner to research options. Start with 10-20 keywords per ad group, and you can always add more later.


Google Ads are the actual advertisements that show up in search results. You’ll want to create text ads for each ad group that catch people’s attention, highlight key benefits, and have a clear call-to-action. Google will rotate the ads to determine the best performers. Keep testing new ads to improve your results.


How much do you want to spend to get started? You can set daily campaign budgets as low as $1 per day. Start small and make changes gradually based on your results. The key is finding the right balance of budget and ROI for your business goals.

While the number of options in Google Ads may seem endless, the good news is you can start slowly and learn over time. Focus on choosing a campaign objective, crafting tightly themed ad groups, using relevant keywords, creating eye-catching ads, and setting a reasonable budget. The rest you can figure out as you go along. Mastering Google Ads is a journey, so enjoy it!

How to Create Effective Text, Image, and Video Ads

Creating effective ads is an art form. Believe me, I’ve spent many hours tweaking images, writing and rewriting ad copy, and analyzing results to get it just right. After much trial and error, here are my tips for creating ads that actually drive clicks.


Images are everything. Use eye-catching photos that make people do a double take. I’m talking dramatic landscapes, cute animals, gorgeous food. Whatever is relevant to your business. Make sure the images are high quality and capture the essence of your brand. A stunning photo can turn an average ad into an awesome ad.

Ad Copy

Keep your copy short and sweet. Seriously, no one wants to read an essay. Focus on one main selling point and drive it home in 3 short sentences. Ask a question to grab attention. Use power words like “free,” “you,” “now.” Most importantly, tell people what’s in it for them. What can your product or service do for the customer? Speak directly to them and be persuasive yet friendly.


If you have the budget, video ads are incredibly effective. People love watching videos and they keep eyeballs on your ad longer. Even a simple 30-second spot highlighting your product in action can work wonders. Again, focus the message, show how you can solve a problem, and inject some humor or emotion. Just make sure the video is high quality and optimized for mobile viewing.

While creating ads may seem overwhelming, stick to these basic principles: visuals that wow, copy that gets to the point, and video that entertains. Test different options and analyze how people respond. Once you find a combination that clicks, keep tweaking and improving based on data. With time and practice, you’ll be churning out ads that drive real results. Now get out there and advertise! The world is waiting.

Tips for Optimizing Ad Ranking on Google Ads

So you want to run ads on Google Ads, do you? Welcome to the wild world of online advertising, my friend. As an self-proclaimed expert with over 10 years of experience optimizing ads, let me impart some wisdom to help boost your ad rank.

Choose your keywords wisely

The keywords you choose are the foundation of your campaign. Pick popular search terms that are relevant to your product or service. Make sure there’s lots of monthly searches for each keyword, but not too much competition. You want keywords people actually search for, not just what you think sounds good.

Write compelling ads

Your ads are your chance to grab attention and convince people to click. Write catchy headlines and enticing descriptions that highlight benefits and features. Use power words like “free”, “new” or “amazing”. Keep your message clear and concise, you only have a few short lines. If your ads don’t get people clicking, the rest won’t matter.

Optimize your landing page

Once someone clicks your ad, you have milliseconds to keep their interest before they bounce. Your landing page needs to be visually appealing and match what was promised in your ad. Highlight the key benefits and a clear call-to-action right away. Make it easy to convert by minimizing distractions and steps. An optimized landing page with a high conversion rate is key to a successful Google Ads campaign.

Monitor and modify

The only way to really know what’s working is to constantly check your stats and metrics. See which keywords and ads are performing the best and double down on them. Pause or delete underperforming ads. Make small tweaks to your landing page and ads to improve click-through and conversion rates over time. Google Ads is an ongoing optimization process, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to monitor closely if you want the best results.

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to improving your ad rank and dominating the SERPs. Now go forth and advertise, my friend! May the clicks be with you.

So there you have it, folks – my hard-won wisdom on how to run ads on the Google Ads platform without losing your shirt or sanity. Is it easy? No. Will you get instant results? Highly unlikely. But with some patience, persistence and the willingness to tweak and optimize, you too can achieve advertising nirvana and build your online empire one click at a time.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some ads to review and some invoices to pay – the glamorous life of an internet entrepreneur! At least I can take comfort in knowing my Google Ads education didn’t cost me a dime. The only thing it cost was my time – but as they say, time is money. And on that cheery note, I bid you all adieu!

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