Google Adwords - How to Set Up a Basic Search Ad

Updated 4 months ago ​by Christopher McHale

How to Set Up a Basic Search Network Ad on Google Adwords

1. Log In to Google Adwords (adwords.google.com)

2. Create New Campaign:

3. Select Ad Type:

Display Network Ads show up on partner websites and are image based.

Search Network Ads are simple, text-based ads. These are what show up in search results when you search for something on Google.

Video Ads are the ads that show up before a YouTube video starts, or show up in the middle of a YouTube video.

There are a LOT of things you can do with Adwords. So much that it would be impossible to cover in one article.

For the purposes of this article, we'll create a basic Search Network Only ad.

4. Campaign Settings

Here are the recommended settings for those who are new to Google Adwords: Basic settings:

Network settings:

Locations settings:

Use the "Let me choose..." function to target your specific market. Bid Strategy settings:

You can always --- and will probably have to --- adjust these amounts later. 

Ad Extensions settings:

For this basic set-up, leave these blank.

5. Create Ad Groups

Next, you'll add the target keywords for the campaign:

As you add keywords into the "Keywords" field, Google will suggest other possible keywords. You can always add and remove keywords later.

6. Create Ads

Creating Search Network ads is easy. Just set your final URL (typically a landing page of some kind), write a headline and some description text, and hit "Create Ad."

You can create multiple ads and headline variations that target the same keywords selected in the previous step. This allows you to split test ads and find the what performs best.

After creating the ads, click "Save and Finish."

The campaign will go "under review" with Google and then go live.

7. Adjust Bids

Often, you will need to adjust your keyword bid as your campaign moves along. You may be getting outbid and your ads are not appearing. To see these details, select a campaign from the list of campaigns on the left in Google Adwords, then select then "Keywords" tab:

Scroll down and you'll see the list of keywords your campaign is targeting. Here, you'll be able to set your max CPC (cost per click). Some keywords are more competitive than others and you may have to raise your bid significantly for your ad to be served.

It's common knowledge that most people don't look past the first page of search of results on Google. So if your ad is not landing on the first page, it's likely not getting seen at all. If your Max CPC bid is below the first page bid, Google will tell you:

You now have a decision to make. You can either bid $3.60 per click or more, or you can find another keyword to target.

What you're willing to pay comes down to a variety of factors. You might be will to pay $5 per click, and $20 per opt-in, if the leads are converting to a sale.

Conversely, if clicks and leads are NOT converting, Spending $1 a click might be too high.

That's It!

The  setup and tracking process is basically the same even if you get more sophisticated with targeting or use different ad types:

Set Up Campaign > Create Ads > Adjust Bids / Track Results

You'll want to keep an eye on your Adwords account to see how much your spending and how many clicks you're getting. And you'll want to watch your LeadSite backend to make sure your you're capturing those leads.

Tags: pay per click, ads, Google ads, Facebook ads, ppc, how to set up an ad


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