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Step-by-step guide: how to advertise on Google

Google, search, alert, rating and cursor icons to represent advertising on Google.

With 8.5 billion search queries processed every day, Google’s strength as an online advertising platform is unquestionable. With so many people flocking to type their questions into that waiting empty box—from locating the nearest Italian restaurant to learning how to paint their bedroom—there are so many opportunities to promote your small business.

If you’ve only just finished creating your website, Google advertising will help you rank a lot more quickly than an organic SEO strategy. But like all marketing strategies, you'll need to learn some tricks of the trade to make your campaign successful. This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to advertise on Google. And while Google can be a free place to promote your site in terms of organic search, its other forms of advertising are all all paid.

Ready to get started with Google Ads? You can manage your campaigns right from your website dashboard using Google Ads with Wix. Simply log in and navigate to your Marketing & SEO tools. Click the option to create a Google Ad campaign and follow the checklist to set up your account. To optimize your campaign targeting and organization, use Wix's beginner-friendly tools and 24/7 support team.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is an advertising program that promotes websites on Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube and Google’s other partner sites. If you have decided that this type of advertising is right for your business, but you don’t have a large budget to work with, search engine marketing (SEM) could be a great fit because you set your own budget and only pay when you get results. Because of the high ROI of Google advertising (the average advertiser makes $8 for every $1 spent on Google Ads), it’s a great opportunity for both small and large businesses.

How does Google advertising work?

Though the amount you spend on your Google advertising does affect your rank, Google doesn’t just give the highest bidder the top spot on a search engine results page (SERP) If an ad isn’t relevant to the assigned keywords, doesn’t appeal to searchers or doesn’t link to a user-friendly website, no amount of money will get you to the top SERP spot. In fact, the higher your ad's quality, the less you will be expected to pay per click. The reverse is also true: the lowest-quality ad will pay much more for each click.

Here, we’ll discuss the factors that determine an ad’s ranking and the amount you will pay for it:


Google Ads gives you a lot of control over your spending. Because it operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, you only pay when your ad performs. You decide how much you will pay for that performance.


Google Ads work similarly to organic SEO in that an ad's rank depends on how well the link meets the search intent of a SERP. The difference is that you choose which keywords you want your ad to rank for. If you sell custom jewelry, for example, you might set your ad to rank for keywords like “gift ideas” or “engraving near me.” The more relevant the ad’s landing page is to the SERP, the higher it will rank within it.

User experience

In addition to evaluating the ad content and format, Google Ads also assesses the user experience of its landing page. Slow loading, a convoluted site structure or a lack of mobile-friendliness are just a few factors that could affect your ranking.

How to advertise on Google in 10 simple steps

Here’s how to advertise on Google:

  1. Open an account

  2. Write your ad

  3. Select keyword themes

  4. Choose your geographic parameters

  5. Set your budget

  6. Review and pay

  7. Analyze and strategize

01. Open an account

You can set up Google Ads using your Google credentials, so signing up is as easy as signing in and hitting “New Google Ads account” on the first screen. Then, it’ll ask you for your business name, your website URL and your main advertising goal.

02. Write your ad

A Google Ad consists of three headlines and two descriptions. Each headline has a maximum of 30 characters and each description has a maximum of 90. The three headlines appear in the title section of your search result, and they’re separated by vertical bars. The third headline and second description only appear when there is enough space to show them. You have the option to enter your business phone number and add a call button to your ad.

03. Select keyword themes

Keyword themes are phrases that help Google understand which keywords you want your ad to reach.

04. Choose your geographic parameters

Google will have you choose where you want to advertise so that you only reach customers that can buy from or visit your business. You can choose to advertise near an address or advertise in specific zip codes, regions or countries.

05. Set your budget

Google will provide a few budget options with estimates for how many ad clicks each budget can get you. You can also enter your own budget. Google provides a bracket that shows the average budget among your competitors.

06. Review and pay

Google Ads will ask you to review your ad and provide your payment information.

07. Analyze and strategize

The Google Ads Dashboard breaks down your site performance according to four metrics: impressions, clicks, calls and conversions. You can also use your search terms report to evaluate performance through such metrics as how many people have seen your ad, the click-through rate, and how much money you’ve spent on the campaign.

Looking for more? Link Google Ads to Analytics to gather important information about the quality of your ad and its performance. If you notice a significant drop in numbers between how many people click on your ad and how many people interact with your website, try adding new features that will take your site to the next level. Most of all, give yourself the license to experiment. Play with different keywords and fiddle with your budget to see how both factors impact your reach and click rate.

Once you have enough data to hand you might consider working with Google re-marketing.

Note: You won't be able to take advantage of Google Analytics if you make Google Ads with Wix.

How to advertise on Google in Expert Mode

Once you get the hang of Google Ads, consider switching to Expert Mode for more customization options and to get a deeper look into your campaign. It requires more maintenance and strategic thinking than Smart Mode, but it gives you complete control over your Google Advertising campaign. Advertise on Google in Expert Mode with these tips:

  1. Select a bidding strategy

  2. Expand your reach

  3. Target your ideal customers

  4. Try out different keyword match types

  5. Incorporate assets

01. Select a bidding strategy

In addition to setting a monthly budget cap, Google Ads will have you choose between 12 bidding strategies (most of which rely on Smart Bidding) based on your goals for the ad:

  • Target cost per action (CPA) bidding allows you to decide how much you are willing to spend for each conversion.

  • Target return on ad spend (ROAS) bidding predicts the value of a potential conversion, then automatically adjusts the bid for each search to maximize the ROI.

  • Maximize Conversions bidding automatically sets bids to help you get the most conversions out of your set budget.

  • Maximize Conversion Value bidding gets you the most conversion value you can within your budget.

  • Enhanced cost per click (ECPC) bidding automatically adjusts your manual bids to get the most conversions.

  • Maximize Clicks bidding manages your bids to get the most clicks possible within your budget.

  • Manual cost per clicks (CPC) bidding allows you to set different bids for each ad group, individual keyword or placement.

  • Cost per thousand (CPM) bidding allows you to pay for the number of impressions, meaning the number of times your ad appears. This strategy can help increase brand awareness.

  • Target cost-per-thousand impressions (tCPM) bidding allows you to set an average for how much you’re willing to pay for the number of impressions you get to maximize your campaign's reach.

  • Cost per viewable thousand impressions (vCPM) bidding is a manual bidding strategy for increasing awareness rather than generating clicks or traffic.

  • Cost per view (CPV) bidding allows you to pay for video interactions.

  • Target Impression Share bidding has the goal of getting your ad to a certain position on a SERP.

02. Expand your reach

Although the primary function of Google Ads is to advertise in relevant SERPs, the platform offers other options. You can create these six types of campaigns on Google Ads:

  • Display campaigns promote image ads on Google AdSense–registered websites, apps and Google-owned properties. Although the display network has a much lower conversion rate than the search network (0.57% compared to 4.4%), it can contribute to brand awareness which isn’t as easily measured.

  • Video campaigns distribute commercials around or within YouTube videos. Video ads provide a more in-depth introduction to your business and they capture more sustained attention than a search ad.

  • Shopping campaigns are product listings that appear on search results and in Google Shopping.

  • App campaigns can help you promote your app across Google’s properties.

  • Local campaigns are useful for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to attract visitors and drive in-person sales. Local ads appear on Search, Display, Maps and YouTube.

  • Performance Max campaigns allow advertisers to create campaigns that span different networks. Google automatically optimizes these campaigns to help you reach your goals and perform more effectively on different channels.

03. Target your ideal customers

If you know your target market or want to advertise products or services that appeal to different demographics, you can narrow your advertising reach to a specific age, gender, household income or parental status.

04. Try out different keyword match types

Google Expert gives you more control over the searches you rank for with different keyword match types. If you want your ad to appear on searches that relate to your keyword, you’ll need a broad match. If you want your ad to appear on searches that include the meaning of your keyword, you’ll input the keyword with quotation marks around it to indicate that it is a phrase match keyword. If you want your ad to appear on SERPs that exactly match the meaning of a keyword, put it in brackets to indicate that it is an exact match keyword. If you don’t want your ad to appear on certain SERPs, you can type them into the “Exclusions” section of the “Content” tab.

When you select broad match keywords for an ad, the ad may show on searches that relate to your keyword. When you use phrase match, ads may show on searches taht include the meaning of your keyword. When using exact match, ads may show on searches that have the same meaning as your keyword.

05. Incorporate assets

Assets, or ad extensions, are content pieces that you can add onto your ad to provide extra information to searchers. They increase the amount of space your ad takes up and don’t cost extra, so use at least one. Assets lead to a higher CTR (up to 15%, according to Google), which increases the quality score of your ad. There are nine types of assets:

  • Sitelink assets: Specific page links

  • Callout assets: Brief company highlights

  • Call assets: Phone number or call button

  • Image assets: Visuals that complement text ads

  • Location assets: Address and other business information

  • Structured snippet assets: Additional header with related values

  • Price assets: Interactive price breakdowns

  • App assets: App download links

  • Lead form assets: Contact forms

Best practices for writing Google Ads

Here are a few tips for writing Google search ads:

Include primary keywords in your ad text

Including your primary keywords in your Google headlines, descriptions or assets is the simplest way to optimize your ad for SEO. For example, if you’re targeting people searching for “best full-suspension mountain bike,” you might want to make the phrase a headline or a callout. Make sure that those keywords also appear in the linked landing page.

Selecting the right keywords for your business can be tough. You need to balance accuracy and opportunity with competition and price. Although “mountain bike” has a significantly higher search volume than “best full-suspension mountain bike,” the broad term wouldn't necessarily be a good keyword for your business as it is more difficult to rank on the SERP. You can use the Google Ads Keyword Planner and external tools such as the Wix Semrush integration to find the best keywords for your business and goals.

Make calls to action

A call-to-action (CTA) is a short, instructional phrase such as “Buy Now,” “Request a Demo” or “Book an Appointment” that tells readers what they can expect when they click on your ad. Devoting a headline to a CTA can motivate engagement or boost conversions.

Keep it simple

Unlike most advertising, Google advertising prioritizes clarity, accuracy and specificity over flare. Your Google Ads should answer all the basic questions a customer might have about your offering. Make sure the ad clearly states what you sell, your business's location and why customers should choose your business. You can answer the last question with a unique service you provide or a special web discount for first-time customers.

How to advertise on Google FAQ

How much does it cost to advertise on Google?

The cost of advertising on Google will vary, depending on the keywords you want to target their competitiveness and how many people click on them. Cost per click for a Google ad can range from a few cents to tens of dollars depending on the type of ad and keyword. When you start Google ads you will need to set a budget for your campaign either as a total amount for the entire campaign run or as a daily budget. Google also uses an auction system for ads, where you bid on keywords and depending on your relevance and budget, Google will show whether to show your ads and in which order. Generally the more you pay, the higher on the search page your ad will show. Other pricing models on Google ads include cost per acquisition or cost per impression.

How to advertise on Google for free?

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