How to develop your first Google Ads campaign

7 minutes

Google Ads is one of the most interesting online marketing tools for businesses who want to gain attention and increase their online traffic. 

Because most internet searches utilize Google (more than 90%), Google Ads is a common and effective tool for launching advertising campaigns.

Why is Google Ads effective?

  • Segmentation: We can very accurately determine who the ads will impact the most. 
  • Quality: The traffic for the ads is of high quality, because it is composed of Google users.
  • Ease: It is easy to start using, and doesn’t require that a set minimum amount of money be invested.
  • Optimization: We can tell in real time what is occurring and rapidly make any necessary adjustments.

How is it organized?

Google Ads has a pyramid structure with three levels:

How organized a Google Ads Campaign
  1. Account: The Google Ad account represents the top tier of the pyramid. Normally each company has a single account from which they launch their ad campaigns. This account is connected to their email, billing, the company’s preferred configurations, etc.
  2. Campaigns: The Google Ads account is then subdivided into different ad campaigns. Each campaign has its own budget and set-up. Additionally, these campaigns have unique campaign configurations for the ads themselves (addressing elements such as objectives, primary language, target audience, etc.)
  3. Advertisement Groupings: These groups depend on the campaign’s specified preferences and can be used to target ads to groups based on their shared interests and/or characteristics. Groups are chosen based on keywords and have a shared series of ads. 

What types of ad campaigns can we develop?

Selecting the best type of campaign to run depends on the company’s goals like increasing brand awareness, site traffic, and/or app downloads, etc.

The main campaign types:


This type of campaign allows you to create announcements which appear above the normal results of a Google search.

The key to this type of campaign is that ads will appear to users conducting a search (the user is looking for an answer to his or her query). These campaigns focus on converting users.


These types of ads rely on graphics (both images and texts) which will appear in the margins (at the top or side of the screen) of different landing pages within the Google network.

This strategy, usually implemented by well-known brands, often targets users that don’t know about us. The advantage of this format has a lower CPC, however the interruption of “annoying” ads may decrease the user’s likelihood of converting to the company’s product.

Search Network campaign with Display Expansion

This strategy is a mix between the two above. Here we use text ads which appear in the search engine results and can also show up in the Display if the budget has not been used up in the search ads.

Video Campaigns

This format allows you to publish video ads in Youtube (remember that Google bought Youtube in 2006) and in the landing pages of the Display.

Shopping Campaigns

This format is intended to promote ecommerce products using text and image ads in Google search results.

App campaigns

This strategy aims to increase the download frequency of an app using ads which can be set up in the search engine, Google Play, and Youtube.

Google Ads Display format in a website

When creating an advertisement campaign using Google Ads one must not only consider the best type of campaign, but additionally the series of parameters that will deliver the best results.

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First steps for launching a new campaign:

First steps for launching a new campaign:

  1. Naming the Campaign: From the start, we need to select a unique name which will set the campaign apart from others.

Example: US_Display_2020

  1. Networks: With the “network” configuration, you indicate to Google where the ads should be published. (Remember that Google partners with various other companies such as Yelp and CNN).
  1. Devices: You cannot specify the devices that the ads are oriented towards (whether that be a tablet, computer, or phone). However, you can manually adjust the frequency of appearance of ads on certain devices by reducing the number of bids for that device. So, for example, if you do not want the ad to appear to users using a tablet simply reduce the bid frequency for tablets to zero.
  1. Location: In the location set-up phase you can select preferences based on country, state, city, etc. Another useful and lesser-known option is to indicate the distance by radius. This way, we can set up our campaign to reach those who are within a radius of 1, 2, 3, or 4 miles from a given location.
  1. Budget and Bids: Bids determine how much (and in what form) we’re willing to pay for each user-ad interaction. Depending on the type of campaign, there may be additional bid options. The budget is the average daily expenditure which allows the company to maintain constant control over the cost of the campaign.
  1. Advertisement Extensions: Ad extensions allow you to add additional valuable information such as location, links to the website, and the company’s phone number to the ads for free which increases your CTR. This allows up both to offer much more information to users and to take up more space on a given SERP.
  1. Additional Configuration: 

There are additional features available to optimize your ad campaign such as:

  • Scheduling: With this feature you are able to select a fixed start and end date to your campaign. If we want to launch a campaign with July sale prices, for example, we’ll want our campaign only running in the month of July.
  • Ad Scheduling: This allows you to select specific days and times for the ads to be published each week (this would be useful for a restaurant which wanted to offer a 2 for 1 special one day a week for example).
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Target Audience

One of the fundamental aspects of setting up a successful campaign is selecting the audience segmentation. The goal is for the target audience to see the ads. In order to succeed, schedule ads while keeping in mind key questions about your target audience:

  • Who are they (Demographic data, sex, age, etc.)?
  • What type of searches do they perform?
  • What are their interests and hobbies?

Selecting Keywords

Keywords can be defined as “words or phrases that are frequently searched by your target audience and selected to optimize your ad’s impact.” When a user searches a term which you have selected as a keyword, our ad will be entered into the auction to determine whether the ad is shown or not. That’s why keyword selection is critical to determining your campaign’s success in Google Ads.

There are many free tools which can measure the frequency with which words are searched as well as which keywords are used by your competitors. The most important are:

Bid Types

Google Ads offers a series of bid strategies tailored to the different types of campaigns.

  • If you’d like to increase brand recognition the best strategy would be to focus on impressions.
  • If your goal is to increase website traffic then you need to focus on amassing clicks.
  • If your goal is for users to not only visit your website, but to take an action such as performing a purchase, you need to focus on user conversion. 

Bid Types

  1. CPC (Cost Per Click): With this strategy you will only pay for the clicks made on your ad.
  2. CPM (Cost Per Mille/1000): This format has you pay for the total views of your banner or video on the Display Network
  3. vCPM (Viewable Cost per Mille/1000): This measure seeks to account for how many times an ad is actually seen by users and not just how many times it’s been served by the seller. For Google, a “viewable impression” is when a user views at least 50% of the advertisement for at least one second.
  4. CPV (Cost Per View): This bid is specifically for video campaigns. With CPV bidding, the advertiser pays for video views or interactions with the video, such as clicks on a call to action, clicks on the companion banner, etc., whichever comes first.
  5. CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): This format allows you to optimize bids to obtain the maximum possible number of conversions at a specific cost per share (which we’ve set prior).

As we’ve seen, launching a Google Ads campaign is pretty simple. It’s a digital marketing strategy with many advantages, whether the goal is to increase brand recognition or to boost sales. 

Once you’ve launched your first Google Ads campaign, you’ll have to constantly optimize it to achieve the goals you’ve set.

Natalia De la Peña Frade
Natalia De la Peña Frade
Content creator: I try to write things you like to read

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