Beginner’s Guide: How to Use Google Ads

Beginner’s Guide: How to Use Google Ads

Google Ads can be an intimidating platform for people considering giving it a try. With robust features that aren’t always easy to find, Google Ads has been the primary realm of agencies and consultants. But where does that leave businesses with smaller budgets? We’re breaking down the most important features of Google Ads so that small businesses can get their ads up and running without incurring hefty fees. Keep reading for more information on how to set up, manage, and optimize your own ads campaign.

The Basics

If you read nothing else, take some time to digest step one for an overview of what Google Ads is intended to do, and the basics of how to set up a new campaign.

The benefit of Google Ads is that it’s a fast way to make a big impact on your website traffic and, if your website is designed correctly, on your sales and conversion. Google Ads work quickly because they’re a type of paid media, versus an earned media like SEO that can take a longer period of time to build momentum.

Google Ads are organized into campaigns, and we typically recommend starting with one or two campaigns featuring selected keywords or your brand name and industry. Campaigns are the overarching structure and settings that control the ad groups within them. Ad groups are comprised of individual ads targeted towards specific keyword groups. There are a few layers to the Google Ads organization, so we made a diagram to reference when you’re having trouble identifying where an ad, ad group, or campaign fits into the larger picture.

Step 1: Keyword Research

Before creating your ads, you’ll want to do some research. Your keywords are used to target real searches that real potential customers are making. Keyword research allows you to target potential customers most effectively, so that when a customer clicks your ad, you know that they’re coming to your website with a higher intent to purchase your product or service. Start with terms related to your industry, and with potential searches your customers may make. You can also ask your current customers what they would search for, since they’re the best source of information when it comes to your customers. Once you have a list of keywords, organize them into groups. These keyword groups will become your ad groups that all exist within your first campaign.

Step 2: The Setup Details

To create a new Google Ads account, visit the Ads homepage and sign in or sign up with a Gmail account. From the Overview tab, navigate to Campaigns, click the plus sign, then click create a new campaign.

How to Create a Google Ads Campaign
How to Create a Google Ads Campaign
How to Create a Google Ads Campaign

You’re on your way to creating a new campaign! For your first campaign, start with a standard search campaign. Google Ads will prompt you to answer setup questions about ad scheduling, location, and other variables. When you’re thinking about how to answer, always think of your target customer first and you can’t go wrong.

After that, you’ll get to ad groups. Enter each group of keywords identified in Step 1, separated by topic. In the last step of setup, you’ll enter description and headline variations to attract customers to click on the individual ads within each ad group. When you’re done entering copy, save your campaign. You’re done!

Step 3: Ongoing Management & Optimization

It’s easy to “set it and forget it” when it comes to a new Google Ads campaign, but it’s important to revisit the campaign to make sure it keeps performing well in the background (while you manage the other 12000 things you need to do).

Managing and optimizing a Google Ad campaign can feel overwhelming, but we’ll tell you which sections to pay attention to for maximum impact with a minimum time investment. Of course all these tabs are useful as your strategies become more advanced over time, but beginners really only need to focus on a few tabs. Once you’re ready to level up in the world of Google Ads, schedule a call with us and we’ll walk you through the next phase.

As a beginner, the top tabs you’ll want to refer to are Recommendations, Ads & Extensions, and Keywords. Easy, right?

When you open up Google Ads, you’ll see your Overview tab. The Overview gives you a breakdown of everything that’s happening within your Ads account. While, in theory, this view has everything you need to manage your Ads account, it can be distracting and difficult to use.


Recommendations is the second tab, below Overview. This tab gives you Google-generated optimizations to help improve your ads, so that they’re shown to the right people. Check out this tab once per week and follow their prompts on improvements.

Ads & Extensions

The next tab you’ll want to look at is Ads & Extensions. In this tab, you can look at the budget breakdown and click through rate by ad. You’ll see each ad with its corresponding copy, and be able to understand which ads your potential customers naturally gravitate towards. This will give you a good understanding of how to improve other ads that may not be performing as well (ex. what kinds of words and offers to use). Check out this tab once per week to get an understanding about popular ad trends over time, and make optimizations once per month.


Under the Keywords tab, you’ll be able to add new words or phrases you want to your ads to appear for in searches. The most important section of the Keywords tab is Search Terms. Navigate to Search Terms to see the real searches that trigger your ads to show. You may notice completely irrelevant searches, which you can then exclude and add as a “negative keyword” so that you don’t spend your ad dollars there.

Additional resources:

Google Ads Certification – If you want the full, detailed breakdown of the Google Ads platform, there’s no better resource than Google itself. This training features user-friendly illustrations and examples, but can be time-consuming depending on your learning speed and pace (estimated 4-8 hours).

Blüm Agency Ads Consult – We believe that businesses of all sizes deserve a chance to attract new customers, and a large part of that comes down to advertising online. We provide consulting, management and training to allow any business to scale their advertising.

We offer one-hour Google Ads training via screen share, and would be happy to walk you through the beginning steps of starting your campaign or what to do once it’s set up.

Want more information? Schedule a free consultation using the form below.