Set up a Google Ad Like Pro

The first step in your pay-per-click journey starts with setting up a google ad. But Google ads can be complicated can get complicated! Here’s how to do it like a pro.
Published on
March 9, 2023

So you’ve decided it’s time to bring your business up a level with paid-per-click advertising and what better way to get new eyes on your business than with Google Ads? Google ads are an incredibly popular choice, with 76% of the paid search market belonging to the platform. But with so many different configurations and options, setting up a Google Ad without the right know-how is a surefire way of unnecessary expenditure. But don’t worry, after reading this guide you’ll be able to set up a google ad like a pro!

Preparing to set up a Google Ad

It can be tempting to dive right into the process and set up a Google ad straight away, but really if you want to set up a killer ad campaign, most of your time should be spent preparing rather than on the Google Ad platform.

 Are you ready to set up a Google Ad?

The first question you should ask yourself is, ‘are you ready?’. Before you set up a Google Ad, you should:

  1. Have an amazing website: An amazing ad is useless if clickers are brought to an outdated, unoptimised website! Before you even think about creating a Google Ad, you should make sure that your website is impressive to look at and intuitive to use. 
  2. Have predefined goals: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Make sure you have outlined a plan for your google Ad campaign, and you have done adequate research to have accurate KPIs.
  3. Have a budget: In a previous version of Google ads, after the initial set up of your google ads account, you would be brought to a page that would tell you to keep a budget in mind. Although this feature no longer exists it should still be your priority. Without a proper budget plan, your company could end up overspending or not getting the same results as your forecast.

Key terms you need to know

There are a lot of different configurations and metrics inside the Google Ads platform and if you want to set up a Google Ad you can’t avoid them.

Key General Marketing Terms

  • A/B Testing: In marketing, A/B or split testing refers to having multiple versions of an ad within a campaign with varying configurations. By split-testing your ads, you can compare your results and figure out which option is best for you.   
  • Bounce Rate: Your bounce rate is a metric that refers to the number of website visitors that leave your website having viewed only a single page. You should always aim to have as low of a bounce rate as possible. If your bounce rate is very high, your Google Ad might not target the right audience, the ad might be unclear, or your landing page isn’t optimised correctly. 
  • Call-to-Action: A call-to-action(CTA) is a written direction to your ad audience to take a particular action. This could be to buy a product from your store, learn more about your business or to join an email newsletter
  • Conversion: A conversion, in marketing, refers to the point in which someone completes the desired action of your campaign. For example, if you had an email newsletter campaign and somebody signed up to your newsletter that would be a conversion.  

Key Cost-related Google ad terms

  • Bid Strategy: When setting up a google ad, you will need to choose a bid strategy. This refers to the tactic you want to use when it comes to bidding on advertisement spots. There are several different bidding strategies available on Google Ads.
  • Billing Threshold: Your billing threshold refers to the amount of money that you can use on Google Ads before you trigger a charge. You can look at your billing threshold as a sort of credit with google; if your billing threshold is two hundred pounds, that means you can use up to two hundred pounds in Google Ads prior to being charged. 
  • CPC: Your cost-per-click is the amount of money you spend for each click on your website.
  • CPM: Your cost-per-mile is the amount you pay for one-thousand impressions on your advertisements.    
  • Daily budget: With Google ads, you have the option to set a daily budget. Your daily budget overrides any other billing settings and will prevent you from overspending past a set limit. For example, if you have a daily budget of 5 euros and a maximum bid on an advertisement set at 10 euros, your daily budget won’t allow you to go over 5 euros.
  • PPC: Pay-per-click refers to an advertising method in which you opt to pay for advertisements based on each time that someone clicks on your advertisement.  

Ad Creation Terms

  • Destination URL: Your destination URL refers to the link you want to send your advertisement viewers to. 
  • Display URL: If your destination URL is unappealing or too long, you can change what the URL looks like to your viewers with the display URL. Though the root domain stays the same i.e. you can change the permalink to something more appropriate. This can also be useful if you include custom campaign tracking metrics in your links.
  • Headline: When creating a Google ad, the headline is a key component. This is almost like the title of your advertisement. 
  • Side ad: A side ad refers to an advertisement that is positioned at the side of a page i.e. on the left or the right.
  • Top ad: A top ad refers to an advertisement that is positioned at the top of the page.

Understanding Google’s Campaign Structure

The Google ads platform operates on a multi-layered system that can be categorised into three main groups.

1.) Your Account

Your Google account is associated with a unique email address and password and will give you the authoritative access to edit/manage your Google Ad Campaigns. If you have a team of advertisers you can use the ‘Google Ads accounts manager resource’ to manage the permissions and options for all your ad accounts in one place. 

2.) Your Campaign

You create a Google Ad campaign to manage the overall budget and settings such as location, language, etc. for a particular group of ads. Your campaign settings will override the settings for your ad groups and the ads themselves. For example, if you have a campaign budget of 500 pounds and an ad in that campaign with a budget of 1000, the ad will still stop at 500. This makes it convenient to control the overall expenditure of a campaign that is made up of various ad sets. 

There are five types of Google Ad Campaigns:

  1. Search: Text advertisements that display in Google Search results.
  2. Shopping: Advertisements that are displayed in Google’s product listings. 
  3. Videos: Video advertisements on YouTube.
  4. Apps: For advertising your apps on various channels.
  5. Display: Image advertisements that appear on websites.

3.) Your Ad Groups

Google Ad Groups are used to organise and link ads by a common theme or characteristic. Each ad group can contain a separate keyword list that will trigger the advertisement and can have an individual budget. Advertisers often use Ad Groups to separate ads by pages. For example, if you had a homeware store you could have an ad group for kitchen items and a different ad group for your bathroom products. Your kitchen ad group would contain all of your keywords related to kitchen products and your bathroom ad group would have all of the keywords relevant to that section of your website. 

The steps to setting up a Google Ad

Google ads, formerly known as AdWord, is one the most popular choices for marketers mainly because of the vast amount of options available. But for the non-marketing savvy, all of the options can make setting up a Google Ad overwhelming. Here are the seven steps involved in creating a Google Campaign so you can avoid the headache!

Step 1: Getting Started

Before creating a Google Ad campaign, you will first need to set up a google ad account. If you don’t have a Google account yet, you will need to create one by visiting and entering the necessary information.

Once you have a Google account go to and select “Sign In”.

You will be brought a form where you will need to enter your businesses name, website address, and your main advertising goal.

Step 2: Create a Campaign

On your Google Ads dashboard, select the “Campaign Option” on the left side menu. Click the blue plus icon.

Choose your advertising objective depending on the main marketing goal that you outlined in your strategy.    

When you scroll down, you can create your conversion goals. To add more goals, you can select “Add another Goal”; to remove a goal, you can click the “Delete” button.

Your campaign options and settings will vary depending on your chosen campaign type. 

Creating a Google Search Campaign

If you choose to set up a Search campaign you can opt to choose the “results” that your campaign is aimed at i.e. website visitors, phone calls, or app installs. Selecting options from this list will customise the set-up process and will make things a lot easier for you if you are a beginner.

Creating a Google Display Campaign

With a display ad, you will need to enter the webpage that users will be sent to after clicking your ad.

Creating a Google Video Campaign

With a video campaign, you will need to choose a campaign subtype. The campaign subtype will control how, when, and where your video ads are displayed. If you don’t want to be restricted by a particular subtype you can select, “Custom Video Campaign”.

Creating a Google App Campaign

When setting up a Google Ad campaign, you can choose between three campaign subtypes, “App Installs”, “App engagement”, and “App pre-registration”.

You will also need to link your app to the campaign by choosing the appropriate platform i.e IOS or Android. You can then search by the app, package, or publisher name and select your app.

Creating a Performance Max Campaign

In order to create a performance max campaign, you must set up a website conversion to track. To do this, select a conversion from the dropdown menu and click on the, “Create Conversion” button.

Creating a Google Smart Campaign

A Google smart campaign is designed by nature to be intuitive, making it easier for beginners to create their first ad campaigns.

Creating a Google Discovery Campaign

Similar to Google’s performance max campaign, a discovery campaign requires you to set up a conversion to track as well as your business’s website. 

Step 3: Add bidding strategy

The bidding strategy that you choose for your ad campaign will determine how and what conversions you pay for. For example, you might one to pay for each view of your video campaign or for each click to your website. Your bidding strategy options will vary depending on the type of campaign you have chosen.

Step 4: Set Up Ad Groups

It is good practice to create a separate ad group for each of your products/services you have and to link each of these ad groups to a specific landing page.

To get started, name your ad group in order to keep things organized. We are going to name our Ad Group, “Marketing Strategy” because that’s the service we will be advertising.

Next, you have the option to auto-generate keywords by linking a relevant landing page and listing the product or service/s you are advertising and clicking, “Update Keywords”. Alternatively, you can add your keywords to the field below and separate them by using a comma or by using a new line.

Step 5: Creating your Google Ad

Finally, you are ready to set up your first Google ad. The process of creating a Google Ad varies depending on the type of campaign you chose.

Setting Up a Search Ad

  1. Enter the final URL
  2. Enter The Discovery Path
  3. Add up to 15 headlines
  4. Add up to 4 descriptions

Setting Up a Display Ad

  1. Enter the final URL.
  2. Add your business name.
  3. Add up to 15 images including at least one squared image and one portrait.
  4. Add up to 5 logos.
  5. Add a video from your asset library or YouTube (Optional).
  6. Add up to 5 regular headlines.
  7. Add a long headline (Up to 90 Characters).
  8. Add up to 5 short descriptions.

Setting Up  a Video Ad

  1. Upload your video advertisement to YouTube.
  2. Under the “Create your video ads” section, enter your video link in the, “Your YouTube Video Field”. Alternatively, you can search for the video by entering its title and you can then select the video if it appears.
  3. Select your desired ad format. You can choose between a skippable in-stream ad, an infeed video ad, or a bumper ad. 

Setting Up  Video Ad Creation

  1. Enter the final URL.
  2. Enter the display URL.
  3. Add a call-to-action (Optional)
  4. Add a campaign banner (Optional)
  5. Name your In-stream Ad  
Setting Up Infeed/Instream Video Ad
  1. Choose a thumbnail.
  2. Add a headline.
  3. Add two descriptions.
  4. Add an ad name.
Setting up a Bumper Ad
  1. Enter the final URL.
  2. Enter the display URL.
  3. Add a call-to-action (Optional)
  4. Add a campaign banner (Optional)
  5. Name your In-stream Ad  

You can create multiple video ads in a single campaign but they must all be the same time i.e. in-steam, in-feed, or bumper video ads. 

Setting up an App Ad

  1. Add up to 5 headlines.
  2. Add up to 5 descriptions.
  3. Add up to 20 images (Optional).
  4. Add up to 20 videos (Optional).
  5. Add up to 20 HTML5 assets (Optional).

Setting up a Performance Max Ad

  1. Enter the final URL.
  2. Add up to 20 images.
  3. Add up to 5 logos
  4. Add up to 5 videos.
  5. Add up to 5 headlines.
  6. Add up to 5 long headlines (90 Characters)
  7. Add one short description (60 Characters) and, optionally, 4 short descriptions.
  8. Choose a CTA, or let Google automatically choose a call-to-action for you.
  9. Add your business name.
  10. Change the display ad (Optional). 
  11. Create an audience signal.

Setting up a Smart Ad

  1. Enter 3 headlines.
  2. Add 2 descriptions.
  3. Add a number (Optional).

Setting up a Discovery Ad

  1. Add a final url.
  2. Add up to 20 images.
  3. Add up to 5 headlines.
  4. Add up to 5 descriptions.
  5. Add your business name.
  6. Choose a call-to-action or let Google choose one automatically.

Step 6: Link Analytics

In order to monitor your Google ad campaign’s success, you’ll want to link your Google Ad Account to your Google Analytics Account.

Log in to your Google Analytics dashboard and select the “admin” option from the left sidebar menu.

In the “Property tab” select “Google Ads Linking”.

Select the Google ads to the account number you would like to link to and select continue.

Name your link group and choose your link settings based on your preferences. Once you are satisfied, select continue. 

Step 7: Publish 

Before you publish, review all of your campaign configurations, budget, your bidding strategy and all other aspects of your ads!

Once you have published your ad, it will be sent to Google for review(this usually takes one business day) after which your ad will be live and active. 

Best Practices

  • Avoid Broad Keywords: Keep your ad keywords relevant and niche-specific. Broad keywords are often more expensive per click and will reduce the effectiveness of your campaign because of the higher risk of attracting the wrong audience.
  • Use Responsive Ads: For display campaigns, you can use responsive ads. With Google’s responsive ads, you can upload multiple assets such as images, headlines, and copy. Google’s machine learning module will choose which assets to display to the end-user based on your own performance history. This will save you time, broaden your reach and maximise results by personalising the ads for you.
  • Use smart Bidding: Smart bidding uses AI technology to find the best bidding options for you and maximise your conversions.
  • Use simple language: Avoid complex language in your Google Ad copies. You want to make your advertisement as clear as possible, this will increase the likelihood of the right type of person clicking on your ad because they will actually understand what your ad is about and in turn, this will improve your conversion rate and reduce unnecessary cost.
  • Optimise Your Landing Page: You want continuity between your advertisement and your website. Create landing pages specific to your ad campaigns and optimise these pages for conversions. You can learn more about landing pages by clicking here.
  • Manually implement Google Ad Extensions: The google ad Extension feature will display additional information on your ad such as your address, phone number, ratings or some additional website links. Although Google Ad extensions can happen automatically you can also manually implement them.
  • Test your ads: You can always tweak your ads later. There is always an element of trial and error when advertising with Google. It’s best to start off small, on a lower budget and split-test various ads to see what works best. Upon finding a successful ad, you can scale the ads and adjust your strategy accordingly.   
  • Capture Search Intent: When setting up a Google ad, you must consider search intent! Before you use a keyword ask yourself, why would someone be searching this? If somebody is using your word to search for an informative article then an advertisement for your product or service won’t be appropriate.
  • Don’t forget about negative keywords: When doing keyword research for your Google PPC ads your primary focus will be to find good keywords but you shouldn’t forget about the keywords that could damage your campaign efforts. You can create a negative keywords list to prevent your ad from being displayed when certain words are used. For example, if you were advertising red shoes with the keyword “shoe” you could add “Blue” to your negative keywords list to prevent your ad from showing to users search “Blue Shoes”.
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