What is Google Ads and how does it work?

If you are marketing online, you have a lot of fantastic tools at your disposal. One possibility is Google AdWords, a system available from the search engine giant designed as an easy way to help you manage your marketing campaign. So what is Google AdWords, why should you be using it and what do you need to know about this system? These are some of the questions we’re going to explore on this post.

Google Ads is a web based advertising tool that helps businesses acquire customers. You create your online advert, and set up Google Ads targeting to reach your ideal customer at specific stages of the marketing funnel, and Google Ads shows your ads to them. 

If you are keen to explore the concept of what is Google AdWords, firstly Google Adwords is now known as Google Ads, Google has evolved from a paid search solution.to an end to end advertising platform across multiple channels.  

Paid search is the alternative to SEO. With SEO, you change your site and optimize it in the hope that if you make enough changes you see your rank increase. When this happens, your site may move up the SERPs for your targeted terms. This is referred to as organic marketing. Paid search is about paying a cost to make sure that your site appears in the sponsored section of the SERPs.

Now, you might dismiss this area of the search result pages. But, it is worth noting that about a third of users online will click around the sponsored section before they get to the organic results. This could be because Google has slowly but surely adapted the design to ensure that the sponsored results look very similar to the organic listings. As such, as a business or website owner selling a product or service, it can be in your best interest to explore paid search possibilities.

Google AdWords is one of the ways that you can do this. Through this system, you will be able to put an ad for your website on the SERPs by paying the cost.

Through this system, you don’t have to wait to see if you can change your site to raise it up organically. Instead, you will see results immediately. The image below example, shows the advert/ sponsored listing above the organic listing of the search entered into Google

Google Ads is one of the PPC platforms available. To learn about other PPC platforms, check out our article What is PPC?

The Benefits Of Google AdWords

Google Adwords provides a number of distinct advantages that you can not access or hope to gain through other systems.

For instance, you might be having a problem with a competitor that is constantly gaining a significant portion of your sales. Checking the AdWords outrank share report, you might find that this competitor is indeed consistently outranking you on Google. With Google AdWords, you now have a great tool at your disposal.

You can choose to use the “Target Outrank” automatic bidding option. This will allow to automatically and immediately outrank your competitor in a bid. Instantly, you have gained the upper hand and tipped the odds back in your favour.

Google Ads also allows you to correct an issue with using PPC. PPC is based on the concept that every search for a keyword is valuable and this just isn’t the case. If you think about it a lot of people searching for those keywords could just be exploring the market or investigating what’s available. This means that they will have no interest in buying your product and it diminishes the idea that every keyword should have a full search impression share. But Google Ads fixes this with concepts like Enhanced Cost per Click.

By using this, you can adjust your bid based on conversion data and a variety of different variables that could impact the potential of the search. This includes the time of day, browser, location and model. It provides a lot more power to you when you are running and managing your campaign.

Another benefit of using Adwords is that you can actually look at different variables of your campaign, test them and make the right changes that you need. You might decide to highlight a new feature for a product while also testing a new bidding management style. Over time, you may see a change in conversions but there’s an issue. You don’t know which change caused the improvement. With AdWords, you can quickly access and experiment with one change for each campaign and test it over a given period. You can then see whether the change had the effect you wanted and the best part is that data is verified to remove any issued with random variables impacting the results.

Google Ads also provides an incredible level of control over when you are advertising your products. That’s important because when your target audience is searching for your products will be determined by a number of specific variables related to them. It might be beneficial to run ads 24/7 for some products but not for others. This will depend on your industry, the data you’re working with accessible through AdWords and the service that you are using.

Once you have run your campaign for a set period, you will have a vast level of data to work with. You can then decide when you should be running your ads and when you should be holding back. This allows you to reduce the costs of your campaign and increase the efficiency level of your ad strategy. You can even reduce the bids or pause the ads at times during the day when you’re not going to see a lot of clicks.

Connect with customers when it matters: Google Ads has a sophisticated targeting system that helps you show your ads to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Use keywords, location, demographics, and more to target your campaigns. 

Google Ads gives you complete control over your budget. You choose how much you spend per month, per day, and per ad. There’s no minimum. 

Control Costs: Google Ads shows you how many people see your ads, what percentage of them click to visit your website, and even how many click to call you. With these tracking tools, you can even see the actual sales your website is generating as a direct result of your ads.

Improve Performance. If you want to change your strategy, you can tweak your ads, try new keywords, or pause your campaign and re-start it whenever you’d like. 

Google Adwords Explained

When you ask the question: what is Google Ads, you will often run into two misconceptions. People will suggest that marketing through this solution is either expensive or complicated. Neither is true and Google has designed the system to be as user-friendly as possible while continuing to offer paid search as a budget-friendly alternative to SEO if you know how to use it.

How Does Google Ads Work?

As mentioned, Google AdWords is actually more simple than most people think. It starts with research that you’ll complete yourself. You need to explore what keywords customers are searching with when looking for the products or solutions that you offer. The keywords could be anything but be aware that trends do change regularly. 

Once you select a keyword or phrase, you can build an ad around it for your product. This ad is what’s going to appear in the sponsored results of the SERPs.

When exploring the question: what is Google AdWords, you will likely come across the term ‘bidding.’ The keywords you have chosen to target with your ad will be favoured and selected by other companies. These companies will want to use them for their own ads with some being more competitive than others.

So, through Google ads, you then need to bid on the keywords that you want. The more you bid, the more likely it is that your ad will appear in the SERPs for your targeted search terms. Be aware that some companies will target less competitive keywords to save money.

What is Google Ads UI

Bidding Through Google Adwords Explained

The price you pay for your Google ad is determined by how much your ad is clicked. You set this price with the bid and then the amount for each click is referred to as CPC or cost per click.

Google Ads provides you with a variety of ways to handle the bidding process. For instance, you can decide to control it manually and if you do this you will need to set the max bid amount. If you don’t set it manually, you can select the automated option.

Here Google chooses a max bid based on your budget and aims to provide you with the most clicks for your budget. There’s also CPI or cost per impression. Using this method, no click-through is required and you pay based on every 1000 times your ad appears in the SERPs.

What’s The Average Cost?

As you might have guessed, the CPC for an ad is determined by a variety of factors. This includes how competitive the keyword is, the industry you’re operating in, the quality of your ad and even the geographical location.

In the US, the average CPC is just over $2 which can quickly add up depending on the level of clicks you receive. The good news is that the United Kingdom average CPC is about 13% less than the standard average for the US. So, if you’re using this service in the UK, you are benefitting a great deal. To learn more check out our blog post, How much does Google Ads Cost? 

Is Bidding The Only Variable That Matters?

You might have used other PPC or pay per click models in the past. Well, Google Adwords is different because when determining whether your ad appears it considers something known as the Ad Rank. You might think that that this is completely determined by the bid you place but this is actually just one of the deciding variables. Bidding can get complex with so many options. To learn more check out Google Ads Bidding Strategy Guide, as well as a Bid Modifiers Tips

Ad Rank For Google Adwords Explained

According to Google, the Ad Rank that your ad receives determines where it falls in the sponsored listing. So, the ad with the highest ranking will be the first listed followed by the second, third, and fourth. You want to appear as high up that list as possible because it will give you the greatest chance of getting a high number of clicks. That’s important to guarantee the value of your campaign.

Ad ranking is impacted by ad extensions and formats. This can include anything from links to other pages on your site or even contact details like a phone number. It is also determined by the general quality of your ads and this is determined by your quality score. This is ranked on a 1 – 10 scale an takes into account everything from landing page experience to ad relevance. Search context is another variable that determines the ad ranking and includes everything from the time of the search to the other ads that show up on the page.

How Fast Is The Process?

You might think that bids and auctions take hours. On the contrary, the whole process is completed within the time it takes to type in a keyword and access the results. Nearly 0.25 seconds, everything from the bid to auction to the calculation of the quality score is all completed and your ad either appears or it doesn’t.


We hope this helps answer the question: what is Google AdWords and why is it important? There are a variety of PPC platforms on the market but Google does offer a superior solution compared to most with several key benefits that can not be found elsewhere on the market. As such, you could find that using this tool does provide a significant advantage for your individual marketing campaign.

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