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What is Google Ads, and how does it work?

Display your business at the top of search results with Google Ads.

As a website owner, you want to get noticed online by the right target audience. An effective way to get seen is through advertisements with Google Ads. But what exactly is Google Ads? How does it work? And how do you create a good campaign? You can read the answer to these and other questions in this article.


Brief Summary


Google Ads is an online advertising platform where you can create ads that will appear in the Google search results. This way, you can reach potential customers who are searching for specific products or services on Google.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is an online advertising solution allowing you to promote your products, services or business to your intended target audience. You can show ads in Google’s search results and on YouTube and other sites using Google AdSense.

Is Google Ads the same as SEA?

Google Ads and SEA (Search Engine Advertising) are often used interchangeably. Yet they are quite different. 

SEA refers to all forms of advertising in search engines. You can also create ads for Bing and Yahoo. Google Ads is for the Google network only. You can only advertise for Google, YouTube and other sites that use Google AdSense.

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3 types of Google Ads

Within Google Ads, there are 3 types of ads:

  1. Google Search
    Ads are displayed at the top of Google Search based on a keyword. The ad can be a text or an image.
  2. Google Display Network
    The Google Display Network displays (visual) ads on websites or apps relevant to the target audience.
  3. Video campaigns

These are ads before or during a YouTube video or in YouTube’s search results.

How do you recognise a Google Ads advertisement?

You can recognise a Google Ads advertisement differently, depending on its placement. You can recognise an ad in Google’s Search via the bolded word ‘Sponsored’. They also appear at the top of the search results. You often recognise an advertisement on a site using Google AdSense by an image in a banner. And on YouTube, you will usually see video ads before or during a video.

Why do you want to use Google Ads?

Google Ads allows you to reach your intended target audience online. You can place targeted ads with a budget you set yourself. Below, we have listed the main benefits and disadvantages for you.

The benefits of Google Ads

  1. Targeted advertising

You can target ads specifically to a keyword or audience. The ad is more likely to be relevant, so people convert.

  1. Targeting options

In Google Ads are many targeting options available. For example, you can create ads based on location, language, device, time of day and target audience.

  1. Measurable

With the extensive measurement and reporting functions, you can easily analyse the performance of the ads. The reports give insight into which ads are working well and which need improvement.

  1. Flexible

You can set and manage your budget flexibly based on performance.

  1. Simple and quick

Within just a few minutes, you can place an ad online. Creating an ad with traditional media, such as TV and radio, takes more time and money.

The disadvantages of Google Ads

  1. High competition

Your competitors are also using Google Ads. If you operate in a market with a lot of competition, showing your ads can take time and effort.

  1. High cost

Google Ads can be expensive because you pay per click on your ad. If the keyword is expensive or someone is not interested in your business, the cost per click adds up quickly. 

  1. Ad blockers

Ads are not visible if someone blocks ads via an ad blocker.

  1. Depending on Google

You can only advertise on the Google network. If Google changes its terms or algorithm, it will directly affect your ads.

Is Google Ads challenging to use?

Google Ads can be difficult at first, primarily if you have not worked with the platform before. So it is essential to take your time to learn the platform. Fortunately, you can find plenty of resources online to help you better understand Google Ads. Do Ads too difficult for you, or do you have little time? Consider hiring a Google Ads specialist. This person will create and optimise the ads for you.

How does Google Ads work?

Google Ads works with a bidding system. You first create a campaign containing several ad groups and select the keywords you want to use for each group. Next, you write relevant ads for them. Then you decide how much you want to pay each time someone clicks on the ad. Based on the quality and price, the position of your ad is determined. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

How does Google determine ad placement?

Google determines the location of an ad based on an auction. 2 factors are essential: the quality score and the bid. You can read more about both aspects below.

The quality score

The quality score is a score from 1 to 10 based on previous ad impressions of a keyword. The score determines the quality of your ad compared to other ads of the same keyword. The higher the score, the better the ad performs in the auction. The quality score takes into account the following 3 points:

  1. What is the probability of someone clicking on the ad?
  2. Does the ad match someone’s search intent?
  3. Is the landing page relevant to anyone?

More information on how quality score works can be found on this page from Google.

The bid

Besides the quality score, Google looks at the bid. What amount of money are you willing to pay if someone clicks on the ad? Your ad takes precedence if your offer is higher than a competitor’s. But beware, in a competitive market; the amount can increase considerably. The more specific the keyword is, the lower the click cost.

3 valuable features of Google Ads

Google Ads has valuable features. 3 of them we would like to highlight: the Keyword Planner, remarketing and the admin environment. You can read more about the features below.

1. The keyword planner

You can find keywords for ads through the Keyword Planner in Google Ads. It is wise to use relevant and specific keywords so your ad matches the target audience as closely as possible.

In addition, you get insight into how the keyword is searched for in a given period. But also what the estimated price of an ad click is. You can easily save the keywords for later use.

Tip: The Keyword Planner also helps find the right keywords for SEO.

2. Remarketing

Remarketing allows you to reach your target audience through ads in the Google network. Say someone has visited a website page but has not made a conversion. With remarketing, you can show an ad containing information about the page the person visited.

3. The Admin environment

In the Admin environment, you manage campaigns and ads. You will find statistics and data about the following:

  • The number of clicks on an ad;
  • The number of ad impressions;
  • The average click-through rate (CTR);
  • The average cost per click (CPC);
  • The number of conversions;
  • Et cetera.

How much does Google Ads cost?

How much Google Ads costs depends on your budget, goals and bidding strategy. You do not need a minimum budget, but Google Ads is not free. Moreover, it is possible to set a limit, so you only pay what you want. You can also adjust or stop ads to save costs. In addition, you only pay if someone does something with the ad, such as clicking on it. 

4 ways to pay

There are 4 ways you can pay for ads. We explain them below.

1. Cost Per Click (CPC)

CPC is a payment method by which you only pay if someone clicks on the ad. So you do not incur any costs if someone does not find the ad interesting. 

2. Cost Per Action (CPA)

With CPA, you pay when someone has clicked on the ad and then performs your intended conversion, like making a purchase or filling out a form. 

3. Cost Per View (CPV)

CPV is a payment method by which you pay when someone views a video ad. The ad does not necessarily have to be visible on the screen.

4. Cost Per Mille (CPM)

With CPM, you pay for every 1,000 impressions of your ad in the Google network. Someone does not necessarily have to click on the ad before you have to pay.

What is a reasonable budget for Google Ads?

What a reasonable budget is for Google Ads varies. For instance, you have to consider how much competition you have and your goal. There is no specific reasonable budget to mention.

However, you can choose a budget that is feasible for you. Choose a budget you feel comfortable with. Have you just started your business? A few hundred euros a month will suffice. Are you running a big business? It is recommended to increase the budget to thousands to tens of thousands of euros per month. In doing so, keeping a close eye on your ads and adjusting the budget if necessary is essential. So you make sure the money is spent in the best possible way.

How do you get started with Google Ads?

Do you want to get started with Google Ads? You first need to create a Google account or use an existing one. After creating an account, you create an ad and follow the steps in the configuration environment.

How to create a good Google Ads campaign?

You want to set up a good Google Ads campaign to achieve your goals. But how do you create a good ad? Here are 8 tips:

  1. Choose a USP.

Determine what the key points of your product, service or business are. What makes you better than your competitors?

  1. Make the ad relevant.

Ensure the ad is relevant to the keyword, target audience and landing page.

  1. Use action-oriented language.

Use words that should make the target audience take action. For example, ‘buy now’, ‘receive now’ or ‘register now’.

  1. Give something away.

Stand out by, for example, promoting a temporary offer or naming unique benefits.

  1. Write clearly and concisely.

Keep the text short and to the point, so the message comes across well. After all, you can only put a few words in ads.

  1. Use extensions.

Give ads more information via extensions, for example, links and prices.

  1. Test various ads.

Create different ads to find out which ones work best. For example, test various headlines, descriptions and landing pages.

  1. Use a relevant landing page.

Choose the landing page that best matches the ad. A relevant page will increase your chances of conversion.

Setting up a Google Ads campaign in 10 steps

Now you know more about Google Ads, it is time to create an ad. Are you a customer of one.com? You can set up Google Ads via your personal Control Panel. To do so, follow the steps in this guide.

Do you still need to become a customer of one.com? Use the 10 steps below.

  1. Go to Google Ads

Create an account or choose an existing account.

  1. Define the purpose of the campaign. 

What do you want to achieve? For example, more website visits, more sales or a lead.

  1. Choose an ad type.

Among other things, you can choose from a text, image or video.

  1. Define the target audience. 

Who do you want to reach with the campaign? You choose the target audience based on demographics, locations, interests and keywords. 

  1. Choose keywords. 

Which keywords are relevant to your campaign?

  1. Create an ad group.

Select the keywords and ads that match each other.

  1. Create the ad. 

Show what makes your product, service or company unique. You can also use extensions for this purpose.

  1. Choose your budget. 

What amount are you willing to pay? You can set a budget limit so you never overpay.

  1. Set bids.

Choose the amounts you want to pay. Be realistic.

  1. Put the ad(s) online. 

Monitor your performance. The performance gives you insight into how your ads are performing and allows you to make adjustments if necessary.

How to delete a Google Ads account

Have you tried Google Ads, but it’s not for you? Or do you have another reason to quit the platform? It is possible to delete your Google Ads account. Your ads will no longer be displayed within 24 hours. You can find more information about how to delete your accounts on this page from Google.

Deleting your Google Ads account:

  1. Log in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click on the tool icon at the top right.
  3. Under ‘Settings’, click on ‘Preferences’.
  4. Click on the ‘Account status’ section to expand it.
  5. Click on ‘Cancel my account’.


Google Ads is a convenient platform for getting noticed online through ads. It is an effective and quick tool to be more successful than ads through traditional media. Google Ads requires some knowledge and practice, so take your time to discover the platform. With the tips in this article, you will succeed. Good luck!

Do you still need to get a website and want to start with Google Ads? Start today with a domain and web hosting at one.com!

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