The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

One of the most successful ways of reaching your target audience is to run Google Ads. The platform itself can look very overwhelming to a complete newcomer. Besides the platform itself, you also need to know the different types of ads, how to optimise them and what it takes to maximise conversions. Thankfully, with my guide you will be on the way to becoming a Google Ads expert in no time. 

What is Google Ads? 

Google Ads is a free to use advertising tool that enables you to bid for advertising space at the top of Google SERPs. The platform uses a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) where you are charged every time a user clicks on your adverts. The most popular types of ads you can run are search, display and shopping. Google Ads used to be known as Google AdWords and has since changed to the current naming as of the 24th of July 2018. AdWords was initially launched on the 23rd of October 2000 and has since gone through many changes since. 

Why you Should be Using it 

  • Free to register 
  • Comes with many useful tools 
  • Easy to install and navigate 
  • Ability to tailor & monitor ad performance 
  • Provides real-time data 

How to Setup Google Ads 

Setting up Google Ads is easy to follow even for newcomers. I’ve broken down the setup process below: 

  1. Create Google Ads Account in Smart Mode (Skip to expert if you want to have full control of your ads) 

As with most platforms inside the Google Marketing Platform brand, Google Ads requires you to use an existing Google email account or create one to set up a Google Analytics account. 

The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Once you have a valid Google email account, head over to and login using your Google by clicking the ‘Start now’ button in the middle of the screen or on the top right of the screen (See image above). 

On the next screen you will be prompted to select what you want to promote. ‘Your website’ should be the option highlighted. Confirm this and then click ‘Next’.  

Now, enter you full business name into the box provided and click ‘Next’. 

After entering your business name Google will ask for your website, which will be your root domain. Enter your domain and proceed to the next step. 

The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

You will then be shown an image of your landing page that users go to after clicking on your ads (As shown above). 

On the next pages you will be instructed to setup your first ever campaign (This can’t be avoided) and apply a budget to the campaign. You can always turn off or delete the campaign once you have access to your Google Ads dashboard if desired.  

The setup will be as follows: 

  • Ad copy 
  • Keywords 
  • Location targeting 
  • Budget 
  • Review 
  • Payment info 

Now you should have ‘Smart’ access to google Ads which includes limited features and relies on algorithms. So, here’s how to sign up for expert settings. 

The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Just in case you completely skipped the first part to see the expert settings, make sure you visit and click on ‘Start now’. After signing in you will be asked what you want to promote, click ‘Switch to Expert Mode’ (As Shown Above). 

You will be redirected to the expert view of Google Ads and the page will be displaying the starting options of a new campaign. TIP: If you don’t want to create a campaign just click the ‘Create an account without a campaign’ option shown in the image below. 

The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

For those of you who want to setup a campaign immediately the structure will go as follows: 


  • Campaign goal 

  • Campaign type 

  • How to reach your goal 

  • Install tracking code (Step 2) 

  • Name the campaign 

  • Payment info 

  • Networks 

  • Targeting 

  • Budget and bidding 

  • Ad extensions 

  • Ad group (Name, keywords) 

  • Ads (Titles, descriptions, URLs, etc) 

  • Payment info 

 2. Use Tag Manager to implement Google Ads conversion tags 

Google Tag Manager is a popular tool used for implementing tracking tags to a website. Once you’re familiar with tag manager it will become second nature when implementing new tags in the future. 

The following steps outline how to add the conversion tracking tag to your website code: 

  1. Copy the Conversion ID and Conversion label that belongs to your conversion action. 
  2. Follow the instructions to set up Google Ads conversion trackingin Google Tag Manager. Important: To ensure proper tracking in all browsers, make sure that you add a Conversion linker tagand set it up so that it fires on all of your web pages. 
  3. Click Next. 
  4. Click Done. 
  5. If you plan on tracking clicks on your website as conversions, you will need to complete additional setup steps in Google Tag Manager. This is required for conversion tracking to work. Choose one of the two options below: 
  • Basic: Set up a click triggerso that the conversion tracking tag fires when the relevant click occurs. 
  • Advanced: Add a function call to the code for the link, button, or button image. Then, set up a custom event triggerso the conversion tracking tag fires when the event (in this case, a click) occurs. 

3. See results that matter the most! 

Once you have implemented the conversion tracking tag using Google Tag Manager, you can now begin tracking the conversion actions that matter to you most. I highly recommend running a test to make sure that everything is working as it should. Here’s how:    

  • Perform a test conversion on a page that has a conversion action set to it. For example, a purchase or form submission. 
  • Once completed you should be able to see the conversion tag firing in the tag assistant.  

Learn more about tag assistant here: 

You’re good to go! 

Tips For Running Ads That Convert 

The following list outlines the top things you should practice optimising and run campaigns that convert. 

  • Split test & optimise ad copy/ writing style 
  • Focus on what users want and how you can provide it 
  • Make sure ad copy is relevant to the landing page 
  • Utilise remarketing as a conversion rate optimisation tool 
  • Test your landing page design 
  • Keep up to date with CTR best practices 
  • Group and organise keywords 
  • Add irrelevant search terms to negative keywords lists 
  • Put yourself in the customers’ shoes 


Now you should be ready to start advertising on Google, but before making campaigns it’s always great to spend some time reading up on best practices and techniques for making your campaigns stand out at the top. 

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