AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Your Google Ads keywords (formerly known as AdWords keywords) are the foundation of your Google PPC campaigns. All the optimization in the world won't get you anywhere if you don't start with the right keywords.

You can greatly improve your PPC marketing results with a two-pronged approach to Google ads keywords:

  • Better AdWords keyword research
  • Better keyword grouping and organization

Chances are, even if your keyword research is solid and you have a system in place for keyword organization, you could be doing better on both fronts.

In this article, you'll learn how to find the right keywords for your Google advertising campaigns, and how to organize and optimize your keywords to get better results, at lower costs

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Google Ads: What Is It?

Simply put, Google Ads comprise Google’s advertising networks – the search network, the display network, and YouTube.

For instance, here’s what a Google search ad looks like for a given search:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Here’s what a Google display ad looks like on

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

And here’s what a YouTube ad looks like, showing a How To Cook Bacon In A Pan Perfectly

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Companies pay money to Google based on clicks to show up, in hopes of capturing interested buyers and generating leads or sales.

Google makes money from the advertiser every time someone clicks on an ad.

New Google Ads User Interface

For those of you just dipping your toe into Google Ads, you’re in luck. They released a new update just recently, and it’s a hell of an improvement.

The new interface is more user-friendly, and offers superior analytic reporting:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

The new interface makes it easier for advertisers to create ad groups and access and cycle through their campaigns from one dashboard.

It offers campaign snapshots, advanced insights, and the new overview page (which shows your whole advertising account as soon as you log in).

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What is The Quality Score and How Does it Work?

The quality score is a crucial component of running a successful Google Ads campaign.

It’s made up of three main factors:

  1. Your ad campaign’s landing page: How quick does your landing page load? What’s the conversion rate? What’s the bounce rate? In short, is Google sending the people who click to a website that seems to address their needs?
  2. Expected CTR: How do your ad campaigns typically perform? Is your click-through rate better or worse than the average?
  3. Ad Relevance: How specific is your ad in relation to the search?

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Improving your quality score is a great way to rank higher with your ads without having to bid higher. You can reduce CPCs and improve your performance by focusing on those three factors that make up the quality score.

If you use adsense on your website, see my article how to maximize my adsense revenue

Tips to Increase Your Google Adsense CTR (Click Through Rate) and CPC (Cost Per Click)

The biggest mistake I see with people using Adsense as their monetization strategy, is they forget that Adsense is a CPC based network. You get paid per click, not by impression.

Yet over and over again I see people not laying out their ads on their sites to maximize their income potential.

Forget traffic for right now. I’m going to show you effective Adsense tips on how you can double your income from your existing traffic with a few optimization tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

google adsense per day


1. Use all your ad blocks, and make them big

Starting off simple.

Use all your ad blocks. In addition to increasing your chances for a click, this increases the ad spaces on your site advertisers can bid on and gives you a better overall RPM. You’re allowed to use 3 ad blocks and 3 link units for each page of your site. While I don’t normally use link units at all, I do use 3 ad blocks no matter how short my content is.

Forget all the other size options that Adsense gives you. Bigger is better. Forget trying to blend it into your content, just make them visible so people can’t miss it. I’ve done extensive testing colours and came to one conclusion: blending is not always the answer. As long as people can see them, they’ll click on it if it’s something they’re interested in.

2. Place at least 2 ads within the post content

I know, it’s ugly to have ads mixed into your content, but it’s where your ads can get the most exposure. I like to place at least 2 ad blocks within the content itself: 1 at the top and 1 at the bottom.

What works best for me is to put the first ad right below the first paragraph, and the second one right after the content.

3. Use Red Instead of Blue

For the longest time, I had the same colour scheme to my site: black text and blue links. It worked.

But I noticed that using red links throughout my site instead of blue worked so much better. Maybe it has something to do with people’s natural blindness to blue link ads, but red far outperforms blue.

Try making all the links on your site red, and then use the same red colour for your Adsense ads. Don’t use a bright red, but more of a maroon colour so your site doesn’t look like it was built in 1999.

4. Use a Scrolling Ad Block

Google does list this as not-allowed in their policies. However, I’ve been using it for years and have even passed a manual review on my site. Use this at your own risk. It may be a case-by-case basis. If they see you are using it to manipulate clicks, you are putting your account as risk.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Ever visit a website and see the ad follow you down the page as you scrolled down? Implementing that into my websites dramatically improved my CTR and overall RPM

Even if you do get permission to use it, it’s only against the policy if you hover it over your content. For example, if you had an ad block above your post title and it covered your content as you scrolled down, that would be against the rules.

If you have it in the sidebar, away from any content on the site, you’re allowed to use the feature.

For this, I like to use the AdSense Plugin WP QUADS, which is free for WordPress users. Just activate the plugin, and you’ll see an option in your widgets to make them sticky.

Sidebar ads really suck for Adsense. But with this scrolling plugin, I improved my sidebar-ad CTR by over 150%.

The best ad unit for this? The giant 300 x 600 large skyscraper ads.

5. Use Text & Image Based Ad

With Adsense, you’re allowed to choose whether your ad unit is image based or text based. Unless you’re seriously in love with one type of ad, try using Text & Image based.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Using both text and image options allows more advertisers to bid on it (text ad bids and image ad bids) and increases your overall Cost Per Click.

Don’t expect to see an instant jump in CPC. From my experience, it’s not a huge increase, but over time, it does pay more per click than an only text or only image ad.

6. Create a Shortcode

For WordPress users.

This involves editing some PHP files, but don’t freak out if you can’t code. This is really simple stuff.

What it does is it allows you to create a simple shortcode that allows you to add in ads wherever you please.

So while you’re writing an article, all you have to do is type in [ads] wherever you want the ad to be, and it will place it there. This is useful if you want to control your ad positions on shorter and longer posts, or for different kind of posts such as a video or image heavy posts.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Go into your WordPress editor and open the functions.php file.

2. Paste in this code:

// Ad Shortcode
  function ads_shortcode() {
add_shortcode('ads', 'ads_shortcode');

Don’t forget to delete the line that says ERASE-THIS-PART-AND-PASTE-IN-YOUR-ADSENSE-CODE-HERE and paste in your Adsense code.

You can put in styling along with your Adsense code to center them, float them, place 2 ads side by side, etc.

It’s awesome.

Now, when you’re writing or editing your posts, wherever you type in [ads], it will show the Adsense code and whatever styling you applied to it.

7. Ad Position: Under 1st Paragraph

My best performing ad position is usually the large rectangle or regular 300×250 ad block placed right under the first paragraph of the post or page.

From my own testing, these performed better than floating it to the right of the first paragraph or having it right under the title.

Here’s a simple function you can add to your functions.php file. It will add in your Adsense code right after “x” amount of paragraphs. For me, I choose 1 to put it right after the first paragraph, but you can choose any number you want.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Go into your WordPress editor and open the functions.php file.

2. Copy and paste this in:

function insert_ad_block( $text ) {

if ( is_single() ) :

$split_by = "\n";
$insert_after = 1; //number of paragraphs

// make array of paragraphs
$paragraphs = explode( $split_by, $text);

// if array elements are less than $insert_after set the insert point at the end
$len = count( $paragraphs );
if ( $len < $insert_after ) $insert_after = $len; // insert $ads_text into the array at the specified point array_splice( $paragraphs, $insert_after, 0, $ads_text ); // loop through array and build string for output foreach( $paragraphs as $paragraph ) { $new_text .= $paragraph; } return $new_text; endif; return $text; } 

add_filter('the_content', 'insert_ad_block');

Don’t forget to delete the line that says ERASE-THIS-PART-AND-PASTE-IN-YOUR-ADSENSE-CODE-HERE and paste in your Adsense code.

Just like the first one, you can also apply any styling you want to it.

8. Control Your Sidebar Ads Depending on What Page You’re On

Maybe a sidebar ad performs well on the homepage and archive pages, but not in your individual posts. Well, this can easily be fixed with a free plugin called Display Widgets.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

I use it for almost all of my Adsense sites because sidebar ads don’t perform the same on every page of the site.

Simply install and activate the plugin. After that, just go into the WordPress Widgets section of your admin and you can control each individual widget and on which pages it’s hidden and which pages it’s shown.

Note: If you select “Show on Selected Pages” it will hide it on every page BUT the ones you select. If you select “Hide on Selected Pages” it will show it on every page BUT hide it from the ones you select. You don’t have to configure this for every single one of your widgets, only the ones you want to control. If you don’t touch it, it will just go with your theme’s default settings.

Is Advertising on Google right for me?

I hear this question a lot: Is Google Ads right for my business? I just don’t think it will work for me.

Or even more common: Google Ads doesn’t work for me.

To figure out if Google Ads is right for your business, you need to ask yourself one crucial question: Do you have a budget to spare?

If you’ve got some money to spare and don’t mind potentially losing that money, Google Ads is right for you. As the old saying goes, you never know if you don’t try.

Google Ads can work for almost any business. It’s just a matter of trial and error. According to Ads:

Companies will, on average, double their return on investment on the platform”.

Meaning the majority of users will most likely find success on Google Ads.

You just have to be willing to roll the dice and test the waters. Even if you’ve got $50 to spare, it’s a great way to test the market and see if Ads can be good for your business.

But if you want something more concrete, let’s talk about average industry data concerning cost per click.

Cost per click is the money that you will owe Google for each and every click on your ads.

The average cost per click on Google Ads across all industries is $2.69 on the search network, and it’s $0.58 on the display network. Knowing this data, you can expect to pay a few bucks per click depending on your niche and industry. Next, you can take a look at the average conversion rate for your industry. With this data along with average costs per click, you can start to calculate how much it’s going to cost you to land one conversion.

For example, if your industry is automotive, your average CPC is $1.43, and your average conversion rate is 2.27%. That means to get a single conversion, you need about 45 visits, and you’ll pay around $64.35 for a conversion.

Do this simple calculation on your own by finding your average conversion rate and cost per click. Then, see how many clicks it will take to drive a conversion and how much you’ll end up paying for it.

If the costs exceed your margins, then selling that specific product directly with Google Ads isn’t a viable option.

Remember that the entire goal of Ads is to make money, not just drive sales.

You don’t want sales that break even. You want to drive sales and results for your business with a positive ROI.

Types of Advertising on Google Ads

Google Ads offers a few different types of advertising for companies.

You can choose between four different ways to be found by a given searcher:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Currently, you can show up on display ads, video ads, search network ads, and application-based ads.

The search network is the most popular of all.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Search network ads show up as a text ad for a given Google search.

For example, let’s say someone needs plumbing nearby and they search for a plumber. You can show up as an ad on Google for the search on the search network:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

The search network works by targeting specific keywords that you want to show up for.

You bid on them to show up higher and get a better chance at capturing visitors and converting paid traffic.

Next, we have the display network.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Display ads work as text or banner ads and can show up on Gmail and various websites within the display network.

Businesses commonly use them for remarketing to bring back site visitors who didn’t convert.

If you’ve ever noticed an ad on a website, it was likely from the display network.

Video-based ads allow you to create a video ad that will show up on YouTube videos:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Lastly, you’ve got the App Ads that allow you to advertise on popular Google network-based applications.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

With new additions, you can also implement Google Shopping if you run an e-commerce website, allowing you to advertise products directly on Google through your online store:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Currently, the most popular forms of advertising tend to be: search network and display-based.

They are easy to set up with a relatively little amount of work and no video production required.

If you are interested in showing up for popular searches in your industry and getting new consultations or sales, the search network is a great place to do it.

How To Use Google Ads

Ready to get started with Google Ads?

Well, there are a few things you should know before you follow Google’s setup protocol.

They often lead users astray in the setup process, making it much easier to spend money without seeing a return.

If you want to quickly go from zero to hero, follow this easy Google Ads tutorial, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

To get started, head to Ads and create a new account.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Click “Start Now” to create your free Google Ads account.

How To Pick A Budget

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

For daily budgets, there is no “one size fits all” standard.

Essentially, you want to select a number you feel comfortable spending daily and adjust from there.

Remember that you can always change this number later.

How To Choose A Target Audience

Next, choose your audience location for advertising:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

If you sell only in the United States or Canada, be sure to select that.

You don’t want to waste your money on clicks that won’t buy from you or that you can’t sell to.

How To Create Custom Audiences

On top of location targeting and demographics, Ads packs some powerful custom audience methods that rival the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

To create custom audiences, head to the Audience Manager in your Ads Dashboard:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Here you can create custom audiences based on both affinity groups and intent:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

With affinity audiences, you can create a new custom cohort based on interests, URLs, places or mobile applications:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

For example, if you want to target people interested in marathon running, you simply type that interest into the bar and hit enter. Next, you can start to add more interests that are directly related to refine the audience:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

With custom intent audiences, you can base your list off of what users are searching for:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

For instance, if you are selling e-commerce products like TVs or basketball shoes, you could enter a URL of a comparison article. This would signal a high intent to purchase as people viewing comparison reviews are close to converting and making a purchase decision.

Intent audiences pack powerful tools to help you capture users at any stage of the funnel. So you can create multiple campaigns and change your offer for each custom intent audience!

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How To Create a Remarketing List

After creating custom audiences and bringing in traffic with Ads, you can create remarketing lists.

What are they? Remarketing is the act of sending more marketing messages to people who you have marketed to before.

For instance, if someone visited your website but left without buying from you, you can easily run a remarketing campaign to bring them back.

Why would you? Because 98% of people don’t convert on their first visit to your site!

To create a remarketing list, head to your audience manager and create a new one based on website visitors, app users, YouTube or your own customer list:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

This will allow you to target people who visited your website or saw your ad but didn’t buy.

Latest studies show that remarketing campaigns have a 22% cheaper cost per click and 25% lower costs per conversion than standard campaigns.

Remarketing is both cost-effective and conversion producing.

How To Select A Network

Now, you can select the networks you want to advertise on:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Remember: the search network allows you to bid on keywords, aka “search queries,” that real users are searching for online.

For example, if someone searches for “basketball shoes,” you can bid on that term to show up in the top search results like this:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Display network is where you can visually advertise on Google content sites and content partner sites.

As an example, here is what your ads will look like on a given site:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

You can place your visual-based ads on different sites and reach new customers or ones who’ve previously visited your site.

In-Market Audiences Arrive for Search Campaigns

Google Ads now uses machine learning to identify in-market audiences throughout the search network. While this is not a new concept, it was formerly only available on the Google Display Network.

Using In-Market Audiences, Google can identify buyers with purchase intent. It does this by collecting search query data and analyzing the prospect’s online activities.

The metrics that it gauges include the content of recent sites that they’ve visited, what related ads they’ve clicked on, and where they’ve converted for other companies.

In-Market Audiences can be invaluable for a company because they help you find buyers who are nearing the end of their buyer’s cycle. The process only gets more effective with time as the system continues to figure out what works and doesn’t work through machine learning.

Google Recommends mixing your In-Market Audiences campaign with existing remarketing campaigns in order to achieve the best results on conversions. This boosts your reach without sacrificing relevance.

Spy on Competitors to Get Campaign Ideas

After you select the network that you want to advertise on, it’s always a great idea to spy on your competitors.

Before diving into ads that cost money, research should be your go-to next move.

It can help you assess the current market when it comes to everything from ad text to value propositions and keywords to target.

Plus, it shows you what works and what doesn’t and can spark great ideas for writing your own Ads ads or developing creative for YouTube and Display Ads.

The simplest way to research is by heading to Google and searching for keywords in your industry to see what ads show up:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

You can analyze what their offers are and how they structure their ads.

For instance, each uses different ad extensions and calls to action, like a free PPC audit.

The key here is to expand on what your competitors are doing. Use these as your base-level and focus on creating better ads.

Using a tool like SEMRush, you can analyze the exact keywords that your competitors are using, too:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

This list will show you what terms they bid on, their landing pages for each one and how they rank, giving you the perfect data to create your next campaign to outrank them.

Most companies using Ads will also have their ads on display with SEMRush, allowing you to generate instant ad copy ideas that can normally take hours of time to brainstorm:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Never start a new campaign without doing competitor research. You’ll save time and money by finding the best keywords and benchmarking their current ads as your baseline.

Starting with the Right AdWords Keyword Tools

If you're building out a new Google ads campaign, or just trying to improve the one you've got, it's a good idea to use a keyword tool to generate a list of AdWords keywords to bid on. These keywords will form the basis of your ad groups, and ensure that you'll pulling in relevant, high-intent traffic to your site.

WordStream's Free Keyword Tool or Keywords Suggestion Tool is a great place to start, because it was built specifically with AdWords users in mind. You can even connect your AdWords account (for free!) to get personalized metrics related to cost and competition, based on your actual account data.

Just enter a keyword or URL to get started, and you'll get plenty of high-volume keywords as well as long-tail keywords to use in your AdWords advertising campaigns.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Some key features of our AdWords keyword tool include:

  • A proprietary Opportunity Score that surfaces high-volume, low-competition keywords to prioritize in your AdWords account
  • The ability to filter your results by industry and country to get more accurate keywords

The Importance of AdWords Keyword Organization

Having a sizable list of of AdWords keywords at your disposal is important for long-term PPC success and growth, but it's crucial that you have a process in place for organizing all those keywords. Let's say you have 100,000 keywords—you can't possibly craft a unique AdWords ad and landing page for each and every one of them. At the same time, you can't write one ad or 10 ads or even 100 ads that will speak to all those keywords.

The most efficient way to approach your AdWords keywords is to segment them into small, manageable groups so you can write strong, targeted ads for a number of keywords at once. This keyword grouping strategy ensures that your AdWords account structure is well-organized and primed for high Quality Scores.

Your results will be even better if you further segment those groups into subgroups, with individual text ads for each targeted query. These ads will be more likely to speak specifically to each searcher's query, raising your click-through rate (CTR) and increasing the chances those visitors will convert. The best part? High CTR is the single largest factor in your Quality Score, and higher Quality Scores save you a ton of money in the long run.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Stronger keywords and ad groups will increase relevance across your AdWords campaigns, leading to higher Quality Scores, which means Google rewards you with better ad positioning for lower costs.

Keyword Intent: Pick The Right Keywords For Your Google Ads Campaign

When picking keywords for your new Ads campaign, there is one crucial factor to keep in mind:


What is the searcher expecting to get from this search? What are they looking for and what does the specific search tell you about their stage in the buying journey?

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Depending on the funnel stage of a given user, their searches will be vastly different.

For example, if someone is just starting their buying journey, they don’t know what TV they want just yet. They likely will be searching to compare products or narrow down the product type:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Whereas users lower in the funnel (closer to buying) will search for specific TVs, sizes, or where they can purchase them.

The intent is crucial to successful ads. If you target keywords like “plasma or lcd” with an ad focused on buying one, nobody will convert. They are looking to compare first, not buy immediately.

Should You Bid on Branded Search Terms?

With keyword intent in mind, the next question is usually: is bidding on branded search terms worth it?

A branded search term is simply bidding on a search with your brand name in it.

Like this one:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Bidding on branded search terms might seem pointless:

Why should you pay for searches looking for your company when you rank first organically?

Here are a few key reasons.

First, they’re dirt cheap:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

And second, competitors are going to bid on your branded terms:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

t’s unavoidable, and you can’t risk competitors stealing your branded traffic when it’s pennies to the dollar to bid on your branded terms.

Create a simple campaign that runs with cheap bids on your branded terms. Most clicks will go to your organic results anyways, costing you nothing. But doing so ensures that almost all paid clicks will still go to your website and not a competitor.

Search Terms: What Are They and How To Use Them For New Campaigns

Ads’ search network is based on keywords.

You search for them using the keyword planner, and you create new campaigns based on them. Plus, you even bid on them.

But you aren’t actually paying for them.

Let me explain:

Keywords are just that: keywords. They aren’t necessarily the direct terms you pay for. On Ads, depending on which match types you use, you are paying for dozens of different related search terms.

While you might be bidding on “ppc agency” you are paying for “ppc agency near me” and other related phrases.

You can see these phrases directly in your Ads account under the “Search Terms” report in your keyword dashboard:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

The best way to utilize this report is to sort the results by top converting search terms and use them as new campaign ideas.

It’s free and easy keyword research that you know works. Find search terms that have high conversion rates, high CTRs, and cheap costs.

You can then turn these directly into new campaigns to take advantage of cheap conversions.

And if you find search terms that you don’t want to pay for, here’s what you should do…

Negative Keywords: What Are They And How They Can Reduce Wasted Spend

In your search terms report, it’s not uncommon to notice terms that confuse you.

For instance, other competitors or “Free” when you don’t sell free products and services.

These are dangerous to your success because you are still paying for the clicks even if they will never convert.

Meaning your budget could slowly be draining from clicks that will never buy from you.

Thankfully, Google Ads allows you to add these as negative keywords, meaning your ads won’t show up for these terms.

To do so, simply select them in your search terms report and add them as negative keywords:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

This will keep your wasted spend at bay and allow you to spend money on clicks that convert.

How To Use Google Ads: Write Your Ad

Now, it’s time to write your first ad targeted towards your new SKAG.

I recommend following this simple guide from Unbounce:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Be sure to include your keyword in the headline and URL, as this will help signify to the searcher that they are finding exactly what they are looking for.

How To Improve Your Ad CTR With Ad Extensions

After you’ve written your basic ads on Ads, you can vastly improve their performance using ad extensions.

Ad extensions are tools that literally extend the length and depth of your ads by including various features like phone numbers, addresses, and more.

And according to Google, they have the power to increase your CTR by at least 10%.

Google currently has multiple extension types to choose from depending on your business type and campaign goals:

  • Location Extensions:

these can showcase your address, business details, and even local directions integrated with Google Maps. These are great for driving local foot traffic to your business.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

  • Affiliate Location Extensions:

show searchers where they can find your products in local retail shops. For instance, if your products are carried in larger retail stores.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

  • Callout Extensions:

add more text to your ads like unique offers and CTAs.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

  • Message Extensions:

drive text message conversations with customers directly from your ad.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

  • Sitelink Extensions:

encourage people to visit specific landing pages on your website related to your original offer:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

These are the most popular ad extensions that Google Ads currently offers.

Make use of these for your next campaign to make your ads more detailed and improve your click-through rates.

How To Schedule Ads in Google Ads

When writing your Google Ads ads, you might be thinking: how can I showcase them only during business hours?

If you are using phone numbers and addresses to drive local visits or phone calls, you only want to run ads during prime hours.

If you don’t, you will be paying for phone calls that simply go unanswered.

To schedule ads, head to the “Ad schedule” section of your dashboard:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Here you can edit the day and specific hour that you want your ads to run. Customize a schedule that matches your business hours to ensure that your money isn’t wasted:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

How To Create Mobile-Specific Ads

With mobile traffic surpassing desktop traffic, now is the time to put more stock into mobile ads.

Thankfully, Ads has great mobile-specific ad types to take advantage of:

  • Search network mobile-only ads
  • Display network mobile-only ads
  • Mobile app ads
  • Call-only ads

Each of these ad types will help you capture more mobile traffic.

When creating a new ad, you can create mobile-specific variants by restricting your targeting and selecting phone calls or app downloads from the campaign goal section:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Utilize these to create mobile-focused campaigns that will capture tons of traffic.

Once you’ve created a few ads with different copy for each SKAG, it’s time to set up your Ads conversion tracking.

Setting Up Your Landing Pages

Landing pages are the pages on your website that a given user will land on when they click on your ad.

After searching on Google and finding your ad, a user will click on it and get directed back to your website.

But you can’t just set your homepage as the page they land on.

That’s a big no-no when it comes to running a successful Ads campaign.

Specificity is key, and the landing page is a big portion of your quality score as we discussed earlier.

Better landing pages = better quality scores = cheaper ads and more conversions.

Landing pages should be specific to each campaign you run.

For instance, when I search for organic light roast coffee, I will return ads for that search:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Clicking on the ad, I expect to see exactly what I searched for, not just generic coffee that isn’t organic or light roast. And thankfully, I did:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

For every campaign you run, create new landing pages.

If you are running a campaign for red tennis shoes, show a landing page for just red tennis shoes that you sell. Don’t make the user search on your site. Give them exactly what the keyword shows they want.

When you get landing pages live, it’s time to add them to your campaigns/ads.

To do so, edit existing ads or create new ones and drop your landing page link into the “Final URL” section:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

The final URL is the landing page that users will be directed to upon clicking your ads.

Once you’ve done this, you have access to a new report within Ads meant to help you improve your landing pages and quality scores:

The landing page report.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

With this report, you can analyze tons of data from positions to clicks and conversions:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Customize the metrics you want to see and use this report to find which landing pages are performing best and which need to be improved.

Boost Your Page Speed with AMP Ads

Google’s AMP landing pages are meant to improve page speed, which is one of the most common complaints among people who abandon websites.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and it is specifically designed with optimum speed in mind. It is far easier for browsers to interpret AMP HTML, making the entire process faster and more streamlined.

AMP pages are designed specifically to help developers avoid coding issues. They are simple and effective.

You want speed in your landing pages and website because faster sites get more engagement. Speed is a factor which has a direct impact on conversions and brand loyalty.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Most customers expect their websites to load within three seconds. For every second of additional load time, the conversion rate drops by 20%, according to Google.

How To Track Your Google Ads Results

Set Up Conversion Tracking

Head to the conversions section of your dashboard:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

From here, create a new “Website” conversion:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

This conversion type will allow you to track conversions on your website.

That includes anything from a form to a final e-commerce purchase.

Now, to finalize your conversion tracking, you need to install a few codes:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

The global site tag will help you create remarketing lists. You’ll need to install it on your entire website.

The event snippet tag is your new conversion action that you just created. For example, tracking e-commerce purchases.

Take that event snippet and paste it on your thank you page so that, each time a user lands on that page after a purchase, Ads can record that and give it conversion credit.

Without any conversion tracking, you’ve got no clue how well your campaign is performing.

Now that you’ve got it set up, along with your single keyword ad groups, you’re ready to bring home the bacon.

Setting Up Call Tracking

Beyond general conversion tracking, call tracking is a key next step. Tons of campaigns on Ads are call-focused and can drive tons of calls to your business.

For example, with mobile ads, you can use click-to-call or call-only ads that solely focus on bringing in more phone calls.

But standard Ads phone call tracking isn’t great. In fact, the data you can analyze is extremely limited:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Start and end times don’t tell you anything about the call success. Duration? Useless. Area code? Who cares.

Those metrics don’t show you conversions, leads or the experience on-call, let alone the direct ad group or keyword that drove the call.

The data isn’t good.

If calls are going to be a big portion of your traffic for Ads, it’s critical to invest in outside call tracking software.

Personally, CallRail gets the job done. With CallRail tracking, you get in-depth data on every single caller. For instance, you can see their exact web pages viewed, where they came from, and what ads and keywords drove the visit:

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

With call recording for free, you can listen to calls to improve the user experience.

As calls come in, they reflect live in your dashboard, meaning you can instantly see if they came from a specific campaign, allowing you to tailor your phone call towards their specific interests.

It’s 2018, and you can’t keep asking every new caller “how did you hear about us?” Invest in some good call tracking that can help you improve campaign performance.

Google Attribution: the New Google Ads Tool to Increase Conversions 

Another fantastic new feature that will help you increase your conversion rate is Google’s advanced reporting.

Google Attribution is a new reporting project which helps businesses determine where their conversions are coming from. It shows the impact of your ad campaigns at no additional cost, making a difficult process far easier.

Advanced machine learning can determine where your ad clicks came from, giving you an opportunity to track conversions more accurately. This allows you to funnel more of your marketing budget into avenues that are paying off.

Google also offers a mobile landing page report which provides suggestions on how to best optimize your landing page.

Using this service you can ensure that your landing pages are fast enough while also reviewing site-wide usability.

It even gives you the option of conversing with experts who will answer your questions through Google’s discussion group.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Reporting is incredibly important to any effective marketing campaign.

Adding analytics to any area of a marketing plan gives an average 0.39% increase in profits. Just three units of analytics applied to a plan can boost profits by more than 1%.

AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

If you’re spending equal amounts on search and display advertising campaigns, it’s important to determine which one (if any) is paying off.

If you see through analytic reporting that display ads are paying out way more than your search campaign, it means that you will have to figure out what issues are plaguing your search ads.

It also means that more money should be funneled into display advertising because it is clearly resonating with your target audience.

The end result is a company that wastes less and has a higher margin for profit.

Common AdWords Keyword Questions

Didn't find what you were looking for? Here are some of the most common questions about Adwords keywords.

Is there a limit on the amount of Adwords keywords I can have in my AdWords account?

The AdWords keywords limit is 10,000 keywords per ad group. You can have up to 20,000 ad groups per campaign, and 100,000 campaigns per account. However, that does not mean you can have up to 20 trillion keywords, the maximum number of keywords per account is 5 million

How accurate is Google's AdWords Keyword Estimator?

Unfortunately, Google does not disclose the actual search volume of its keywords, this is especially true for long-tail keywords.

New Google Ads / AdWords PPC Course 2020

These Google Ads AdWords tutorials will help you set up your Ads account, choose the best keywords, write effective ad copy, and track and optimize the performance of your ads. Start training now to make the most of your ad budget and maximize your Ads marketing goals.

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AdWords Keywords: The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

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