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Beginner guide: Google Ads

Do you want to start with Google Adwords but don’t know where to start? After reading this article you will know the basics of Google Adwords and you will get tips and tricks with which you can achieve a better result.

Search or Display?

Google Adwords offers the possibility to advertise in the search network and/or the display network.

The search network consists of Google Search, Maps and Shopping and sites of search partners. The display network consists of Google websites such as YouTube and Gmail, but also of partner sites on which, for example, an image can be advertised.

In this article, we focus on the search network.

The basics

Google Adwords is an online auction. The bid consists of the maximum price the advertiser wants to pay for one click (CPC) or per 1000 impressions (CPM).

The costs are determined on the basis of three factors:

  1. The bid: what are you willing to pay per click?
  2. The quality: Google gives a quality score to your advertisement. Do you help the visitor with your advertisement?
  3. The expected effect of extensions and ad formats.

An Adwords advertisement in the search network consists of a text without images. The advertisement sends the visitor to a landing page on your website.


At the campaign level, the more general properties of the advertisement are set. Think of the network you want to use, the budget, the location, language, and so on.

There are several reasons for setting up multiple campaigns, for example:

  • Different products or services
  • Different budgets
  • Different geographical locations
  • Advertising groups


Advertisements are displayed based on the keywords from the ad group. An advertisement consists of a title, a two-line description, a url and ad extensions. An advertisement must comply with policies.

The advertisement text must contain strong keywords and tempt the visitor to click.

Play with different ad texts and create at least four ads per ad group. Measure which ad is clicked on the most and keep optimizing.


Google Adwords has five different matching types for keywords. These settings can enlarge or reduce your target group.

  • Exactly matching keywords 
  • Phrase match 
  • Modified broad match

Which matching type is best?

The choice for a matching type depends on your budget and your intended reach. If you’re just starting out with Adwords and have a limited budget, it’s wise to start with exact match keywords. An exact match between search query and keyword gives you the most control over your ads. This way, you spend as little money as possible and your campaign has a relevant reach.

For a larger reach, you can use phrase match or broad match. Always combine these matching types with negative match keywords. This is a smart way to exclude a non-relevant target group and thus save money. For example, if you sell all kinds of men’s shoes but not sports shoes, enter “sports shoes” as a negative keyword.

Create an Adwords account

You have now ticked all four necessary elements for Adwords and you know how Adwords campaigns are organized. Now create an AdWords account on the Google website.

With an Adwords account, you can start setting up ad campaigns.

Tips for writing Adwords ads

Composing a good advertisement is not easy. A good advertisement ensures a high click-through rate. Google rewards advertisements with a high click-through rate with a higher quality score (Quality Score QS), a value that indicates the quality of an advertisement.

Advertisements with a higher QS are displayed more often and cost less per click: After all, Google will earn more from this than from advertisements with a low click-through rate. With these tips, you make sure that your ads get a high-quality score.

Name your USPs. Describe in the advertisement what makes your company unique and why a customer should buy from you and not from the competitor. Also, use the highlight extension option.

Think like your target group. Place yourself in the position of buyer and think about what the target group wants to achieve with a search.

Add a Call To Action. A Call To Action tells the target group what happens when you click on the advertisement. For a webshop, a good CTA is for example “Buy online now”.

Stick to the advertising rules. An advertisement that does not comply with Google’s guidelines will not be displayed.

Process (longtail) keywords in the text. Advertisements with the right keywords are clicked more often, especially if the keyword is placed in the title.

Tips for the right keywords for Adwords ads

Google has developed a useful tool for finding relevant keywords for Adwords advertisements. This tool is called the Keyword Planner and can be found on the Google Adwords website. Proceed as follows:

  • Take a look at your website and write down the most important keywords. In a clothing store, for example, this is “women’s clothing”, “men’s clothing”, “children’s clothing” and “accessories”.
  • Enter the keywords in Google’s Keyword Planner.
  • If necessary, adjust the settings by selecting only targeted searches.
  • A list of similar keywords will appear. The keywords are provided with the search volume. The search volume is the number of times a keyword is searched per month.

Long Tail keywords

A mistake many advertisers make is that long-tail searches are forgotten. Long Tail searches are searches that are not common and that contain a specific combination of different keywords.

A search with long-tail keywords usually means that the customer has passed the orientation phase and is at the end of the buying process. Moreover, there is little competition on long-tail keywords. It is therefore relatively cheap and effective to target advertisements on these keywords.