Google Ads: The Absolute Beginning

Google Ads

For DTC brands, Google Ads is a critical source of traffic. Let’s learn a little bit about getting started with Google Ads. This article primarily talks about four things: why you might want to use Google Ads, the different kinds of Google Ads, how Google Ads accounts are set up, and the most common Google Ads tools. The goal is to give you a basic understanding of Google Ads and set you up for more in-depth learning later.

I. Why choose Google Ads

Why can’t any direct-to-consumer brand exist in the absence of Google Ads? I believe there are four main reasons for this: broad coverage, precise targeting, cost control, and detailed data. Of course, in addition to these four reasons, there are many more that cannot be listed individually.

1. Wide coverage

Google Ads can reach over 90% of the world’s online population. Google Ads can reach the most trafficked websites in the world, including google.com and youtube.com. The Google Display Network can reach the vast majority of the world’s online users. According to SimilarWeb data, the first and second most visited websites are google.com and youtube.com. Also, the Google display network is a group of websites and apps that Google works with and where Google ads can be shown. As a result, there is no doubt about Google ads’ extensive reach.

According to a Statista survey, 87% of users in the United States use Google as their primary search engine. Google Ads is a must-have option for us if we want to reach users when they use search engines.

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According to Google’s financial report, the company made more than $200 billion from advertising in 2021. This shows that more and more people are using Google Ads.

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2. Precise Targeting

Google Ads can show your ads to people who are most likely to be interested in them based on keywords, ad position, age, location, language, date, time, frequency, device, and other factors.

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Google Ads can be tailored to the audience we want; for example, you can target users who have searched for specific keywords and visited specific websites on Google. This allows you to target a specific group of users based on the characteristics of your product and the characteristics of your users. Positioning accuracy is ultimately determined by the advertising platform’s algorithm. Because of Facebook’s privacy policies, social media advertising seems to face a big challenge. However, Google has been improving its own algorithm, and advertising effectiveness hasn’t changed.

3. Cost Control

You can set the monthly, daily, and per-ad spend, and your ads will typically only be charged for clicks. Furthermore, there is no minimum cost for Google Ads. The daily budget will not be more than twice as large as the average daily budget, and the monthly budget will not be more than 30.4 times as large as the average daily budget. If these budgets are exceeded, Google will refund us the difference.

4. Detailed Data

Google Ads not only keeps track of what users click on and buy, but it also gives very detailed data analysis and insights into trends. You can even analyze the time it takes for a user to complete a purchase. You can also examine the user’s profile based on information such as age, gender, household income, and so on.

The account contains detailed information on the conversion path that conversions took after clicking on which ad campaign.

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Conversion metrics show information like the average number of days it takes for conversions to happen on your ad account and the number of ad interactions that must happen for conversions to happen.

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Demographics lets you see detailed data reports about ad users’ age, gender, household income, and fertility status, among other things.

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With the help of advertising data, we can easily figure out how well ads work and what kind of person clicks on them. This is very important information for our website’s operation.

The four reasons I listed are wide coverage, accurate targeting, controllable costs, and detailed data, but there are many more. More and more users are making the decision for us, so we don’t have to worry about making the wrong one.

II. Types of Google Ads

In the last section, we talked about why you should use Google Ads. In this section, we’ll talk about some common types of Google Ads that e-commerce customers use, so you can get a general idea of how Google Ads work before you start using them. Pmax Ads, Search Ads, Video Ads, Display Ads, Discovery Ads, and Shopping Ads are the six types of Google Ads most commonly used by e-commerce clients. This section will give you an overview of how Google ads work in general, but it won’t talk about where ads should go or how to make them work better just yet.

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1. Search ads

Search ads are primarily text ads that are displayed in the form of text in search results. Search ads are typically shown above and below natural search results.

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For example, if we type the word “apple” into Google, many search results will appear below, and Google ads will generally appear in front of the natural search results, with the Ad logo in the upper corner of the ad.

2. Display ads

Display ads are ads that appear in the form of images, videos, and text on the Google Display Network (GDN), Gmail, and YouTube.

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When we browse the web, for example, we see ads mixed in with the page’s content. These ads are usually images, but they can also be videos or text. If the website we are visiting is affiliated with the Google Display Network (GDN), we may see advertisements while browsing the web.

3. Discovery Ads

Most of the time, YouTube, Google Explore, and Gmail show discovery ads in the form of images, videos, and text.

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Display ads, as well as discovery ads, are ads that are actively pushed to users. The main difference is that discovery ads are mostly shown on Google’s own apps, like YouTube, Google Explore, and Gmail. Display ads, on the other hand, are mostly shown in the Google Ad Display Network, which is mostly made up of apps and websites that are not made by Google.

4. Video Ads

Video ads are primarily ads that are displayed in the form of videos on YouTube and on the websites and apps of Google’s video partners.

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In terms of visits, YouTube’s website is second only to Google.com, and many users look for answers on YouTube every day, and the video format is more vivid than pictures and text.

5. Shopping Ads

Shopping ads, which mostly show product photos, prices, titles, and merchant names, are shown on Google Search and Google Images under the “Shopping” tab, which is next to the search results and separate from the text ads.

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Shopping ads can now only be placed in standard shopping ads, and their priority is lower than that of Performance Max (Pmax) ads, so they are rarely used in the later stages of the website.

6. Performance Max (Pmax) Ads

Performance Max ads, also called Pmax ads, include all types of Google ads and come with texts, images, videos, and product feeds.

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Pmax ads are a new type of ad launched by Google in 2021 that completely replaces the previous smart shopping ads; we only need one ad campaign to cover all of Google Ads’ ad space, which is very convenient.

Search ads, display ads, discovery ads, video ads, shopping ads, and performance max ads are the six common types of Google ads mentioned earlier. Google ads are classified into two types: active and passive. The term “active type” refers to ads that actively show ads to users, such as display ads, discovery ads, and video ads. Passive ads are those that appear only when users actively search for them, and they primarily include search ads and shopping ads (standard shopping).

Google Ads and shopping funnels can complement each other well. Different types of Google ads can be used at different stages of the purchasing process. For more information, please see the image below. Most e-commerce clients try to get customers at the end of the shopping funnel. However, it’s important to remember that the number of users at the end of the funnel depends on the number of users at the top of the funnel, so it’s best to use different Google Ads to create a full shopping funnel.

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Here is an example of a user’s shopping path. You can see that the user may have seen different Google ads before making the purchase. Here’s another hint: we should be good at matching different Google ads to reach users in order to achieve our marketing objectives.

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III. Account Structure of Google Ads

After discussing the reasons for using Google Ads and the different types of Google Ads, we will now discuss the Google Ads account structure. Understanding Google’s account structure will help us with ad placement and optimization.

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Google Ads manager accounts can manage multiple sub-accounts. The manager account is mostly used to manage different sub-accounts, and it is easy to keep track of how well each sub-account is doing. Sub-accounts are still used for ad placement, and a manager account can be linked to multiple sub-accounts. You can create multiple ad campaigns under a sub-account, and an ad campaign can create multiple ad groups, and an ad group can create multiple ads. This is the Google Ads account structure. We can see that this account structure is very clear and makes managing the account and ads very easy.

The campaign level’s main role is to set the target, budget, bid method, geographic location, language, and some other basic ad settings that can only be set at this level, whereas the ad group level’s main role is to set the bid. If it is a search ad, there are keywords under the ad group in addition to ads. The ad level can set keyword bids, and our final ads, which include ad copy, images, videos, and additional information, are also done at the ad level.

In general, the structure of a Google Ads account is still clear, but we may need to spend some time getting used to the interface of ads and how the different layers of ads work together before we are familiar with the ads account.

IV. Tools commonly used in Google Ads

We haven’t yet seen the interface of Google Ads’ backend at this point in the introduction. In this section, I’ll talk about the backend of Google Ads as well as Google Analytics (GA) and Google Merchant Center (GMC), two other tools that are often used with Google Ads. Here, you can get used to the interface of the tools most people use in Google Ads and lay the groundwork for placing ads in the future.

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1. Google Ads account backend

Google ads must be placed through the Google Ads backend, so let’s take a look at what that looks like.

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The list of campaigns we created is on the left, and the structure of the account, as mentioned above, is in the middle, including the campaign tier, ad group tier, and ads tier. The account data overview, which is in the top right corner, shows the account data as a whole.

This is the main interface on the back end of a Google Ads account. You can find out more about it by placing ads after seizures to learn more about it.

2. Google Analytics backend

Google Analytics’s main job is to look at how people use a website as a whole, but because it’s a Google product, we can easily connect it to the Google Ads backend to look at how well Google Ads work on the website.

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The screenshot above depicts the Google Analytics interface. We can see the overall data of the website on the home page, and we can see more detailed data through the sub-categories on the left side, such as the real-time data of the website in Realtime, the audience of the website in Audience, the traffic acquisition of the website in Acquisition, the user behavior of the website in Behavior, and the conversion of the website in Conversion.

It is important to note that the UA version of Google Analytics mentioned above will be phased out on July 1, 2023, so you should install the GA4 version of Google Analytics as soon as possible. If this is a new website, we can simply install GA4. GA needs to be set up early on in the site’s life so that we can figure out how much traffic the site gets overall.

The screenshot above is of the GA4 interface, where the functions are more simplified and intelligent than in the UA version. Google will use “big data” to help us figure out how well many websites are doing.

3. Google Merchant Center

The main role of the GMC is to store product information from the website, which is used for advertising, such as the aforementioned shopping ads and Performance Max ads, which must use the product feed inside the GMC.

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Above is a screenshot of GMC’s backend; in the overview, we can see the overall situation of the account, but we are more concerned about the product’s health; we must pay attention to whether the product is refusing to register and whether the account is in violation again. We can check the product’s health status using product diagnosis, and if there is a problem, we must fix it as soon as possible. as illustrated in the diagram below.

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Google Ads, Google Analytics, and Google Merchant Center are the three most commonly used tools in Google Ads. We have a basic understanding of how these three tools interact, but more functions must be learned in practice.

This article introduces us to the fundamentals of Google Ads in four areas: why choose Google Ads, types of Google Ads, account structure for Google Ads, and common Google Ads tools. Even though these lessons aren’t enough to make us very good at Google Ads, they are a great start for students who have never used Google Ads before. Please leave me a message if you have any questions.

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