Businesses have seen big success with Google Ads (Adwords). Taking that first step seems like an easy choice, but many stop short when they see the requirements. You have to bid on keywords, set a budget, create campaigns and use extensions?

Here's the thing. Google Ads work, and they can give you nearly-instant results. You can get up and running in less than an hour and if you do it right, you can start generating new sales at the end of the hour.

Google Ads is a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) system that allows your brand to appear in search results when people look up information relevant to your products or services.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use ads on Google to get more visibility for your business. Here is a clear guide on how to advertise on Google.

What's up ahead:

About Google Ads

Part 1: Get Started with Google Ads

PART 2: Improve your Google Ads Campaign

About Google Ads

We love SEO, but it's a slower process. Think of Google Ads as your way to go for more immediate results.  Before we jump into the Google Ads tutorial, here are a few stats that highlight the power of Google Ads:

  • 64.6% of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online (Wordstream)
  • 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused (Google)
  • Businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. (Google)

Google AdWords vs Google Ads

We've said "Google Ads" a few times, and if you came looking for a Google AdWords tutorial, you are in the right place.

In summer 2018, Google renamed its AdWords platform to be Google Ads. They chose the new name to spread out over more features than just text ads on Google searches. The full platform helps you advertise through product listings, display, and even video integrations on YouTube.

So while many people are more familiar with "Google AdWords," we will use the name Google Ads from here out.

There will be many lessons in this article that you can carry over to display and video ads. However, the main focus of this tutorial will be Google Ads search campaigns.

Examples from the Google Ads landing page

Familiarize yourself with the most helpful tips to know before you start a Search Campaign.

How Does Google Ads Work?

Google's advertising system is like an auction, with a few small differences. As an advertiser, you choose any search terms you'd like your ad to appear on, and you set a maximum bid of how much you're willing to pay when someone clicks through on your ad. That's where the term "cost per click" (CPC) comes in.

The amount of that bid (compared to others bidding on the same term) will help determine how high up on the page Google places your ad.

In most auctions, the highest bidder wins the prize and everyone else goes home. With Google Ads, the bids are mostly secret, and the highest bidder doesn't always get the top spot. Other  factors like quality score determine which advertiser gets the edge. If your quality score is high enough for a certain keyword, Google might not even charge you the full amount of your maximum bid.

Your quality score is a combination of how well your landing page matches the search term you're bidding on and how well you can deliver on what the user was searching for. The more relevant your ad and landing page are to the search, the more likely you are to pay less for the ad and get the click.

It might seem like you have to account for thousands of search variations to earn that high ad position and click. In a way, you do, but there are easy tricks in Google Ads to make it simple and nearly automated. For example, match types and ad groups help you separate your messages so that they match the user's intent more closely. We'll cover those more in-depth a little further in this tutorial.

Part 1: Get Started with Google Ads

This will be the biggest segment of the tutorial. You'll create your Google Ads account first, but then there's some preparation to do with keyword research and deciding what makes good ad copy for your product/offer.

Create your Google Ads Account

You can set up your Google Ads account at:

They have a guided setup where you answer questions like your email address and website that you will be sending your ads to. You will also set your country, time zone, and currency.

The setup is pretty straightforward. There are some options and extensions for your ads that take a little more consideration, and we can walk you through that in the “Advanced” section on this page.

Tip:  If your budget allows, take advantage of Google’s support. They have a choose-a-path feature that offers different options depending on which stage you are in with your account:

Note that once you have a Google Ads account set up, you can import that into a Bing Ads account as well. That will post your ads on Bing, Yahoo, and AOL searches.

Here’s What You’ll Need Before You Start:

  • A website (better: landing pages on your website)
  • Keywords — search terms you want to advertise on (better: organize those keywords into groups)
  • Ad copy and headlines — The messaging of your offer or service

Choose Your Keywords

When you see “keywords” in reference to ads (or maybe “paid keywords” to be more precise,) think of these as the phrases people search in Google, and your ad would appear in front of them as a possible solution.

Keywords will be the building blocks of your ad campaign. You will research them and learn intermediate to advanced keyword strategies in a short amount of time. We'll even elaborate later in this tutorial on long tail keywords, but for now, let's cover the basics.

If a business sold balloons for special occasions, their keywords might include:

  • Helium balloons
  • Mylar balloons
  • Send a birthday gift
  • Kids party supplies

That's the basic premise. But no strong Google Ads campaign runs on just a list of products, because people don't always search that way in Google. You have to use a wider net to catch people who have an idea of what they want, and your services can help. That's where match types come in.

Keyword Match Types

Using the example above, their ads would serve people looking for helium balloons and kids party supplies. There's a lot of territory to cover, though. Translation: a lot of keywords. Our seller might be tempted to cut corners and just go with any "balloon" search. That would be a poor choice. It opens to door to bad matches. Consider this kind of balloon search:

Hot air balloon rides

This has nothing to do with their business, but they would end up losing money on any of their ads that people clicked. Choosing the right keyword match types is a major part of running an effective campaign.

And while you can't predict every possible variation of how people search on Google, you can come pretty close with keywords and how closely their search lines up with those keywords. Check out these different match types and how they work.

Exact Match: [helium balloons]

This should match searches with only this term as you typed it — without additional phrases tacked on before or after. The words have to stay in order.

Returns your ad on searches for helium balloons

Special note: It also returns your ad on “close variants,” and that includes misspellings like helium baloons.

Phrase match: “helium balloons”

This keeps your phrase together as you entered it (and in order),  but other words can come before or after (just not between) your words.

Returns your ad on searches for: buy helium balloons, helium balloons delivered

Special note: Won’t return ads on helium filled balloons

Broad Match: helium balloons

This will return variations (similar to what you saw with exact match), but it doesn’t have the limitations of whatever comes before or after it.

Returns your ad on searches for helium balloons for parties, inflatable balloons

Modified Broad Match: +inflatable +balloons

This adds a touch more control to broad match. Like exact match, it returns on variations (misspellings, abbreviations, plurals, and stems (like turning “inflate” to “inflated” or “inflatable”)

Returns your ad on searches for balloons inflated with helium, best balloon inflation techniques

One of the important things to note about broad modified is that it does not trigger for synonyms like broad match does. This is often times misunderstood. Broad modified is more like using exact match with a wild-card.

As of February 2021, Google announced that it will be phasing out Modified Broad Match type. Advertisers can continue to add modified broad match keywords through July 2021, and after that, you can expect to see changes in match type behavior.

Anything, that had been created as modified broad match will be treated like an updated phrase match. This includes variants on a word (plurals, verb tense) but will still respect word order, especially when it affects the meaning of the query.

This can open the door to multiple duplicate keywords that had previously been modified broad match. Keep your eyes open for any variations you need to pause.

Tip: Keywords are not case-sensitive. Pay more attention to spaces and plurals. Also, avoid non-standard characters like: & @ % *

Start with the Best Keywords for Your Campaign

Since you pay for any click that your ad gets, you want to match your ad to the most relevant searches possible.

You can brainstorm keyword ideas, but there’s a short cut. We recommend these steps to find the most profitable, effective keywords for your campaign.

Find the Best Longtail Keywords for Your Market

Should I Bid on My Own Branded Terms?

Bidding on your own branded terms is actually an easy win. If you're quickly crossing branded terms off your list to save room for other keywords, go back and reconsider.

It fights off competition.

Once others recognize your brand as a competitor, they will start targeting your keywords. This is especially true if your competition is more experienced. You don't want to leave your brand unguarded. Even if you feel covered with organic results, it's smart here to play it safe.

The ad might even reinforce your organic result.

It's relatively cheap.

Your quality score on your own branded terms should be high. Similarly, less competition (compared to high-volume nice terms) means that your cost per click should remain manageable. Combine that CPC with a high quality score and these could be very affordable clicks for you.

Double up the message

Having an ad on your branded terms gives you space to reinforce your message. Your home page is likely to rank for your brand name, so searchers can skim the meta description (or at least the one that Google chooses) before clicking. Your ad lets you control that messaging and get more specific.

Should I bid on my competitor's branded terms?

It's tempting, and there's no clear cut answer. After all, people searching for your competitors by name are more likely to be part of your target market. You might have even seen competitors advertising on your branded terms (more on that in a bit) and stealing clicks and sales.  

However, there are cautionary tales about bidding on your competitor's branded terms. Be sure to consider the consequences of advertising on those keywords.

Keep these points in mind

  • You cannot include their brand name in the ad copy or headline.
  • You might run into retaliation
  • Your quality score won't be very high, costing you more per click

Fortunately, Google Ads makes it easy to cut your ads immediately if they do pose a problem. If you've weighed the risks and want to test the waters, you should be able to do it without too much risk.

Write Strong Ad Copy

Once you are ready to create your ads, follow these best practices for writing headlines and ad copy.

We've summarized the strongest points from our full guide on How to Write Strong Ads for PPC in this next section. And when you are looking for ideas to pull into your ads, try strong ad copy messages that your competitors have tested. We compiled our best techniques into this video.

Watch this 2-minute video for a guide to writing ad copy for your business.


You have 30 characters to grab someone’s attention. Your searchers are now “browsers,” skimming the page to see what might answer their search.

02 Headline

Your headline should be attention-getting (but not misleading), relevant, and clear. Every headline has the same single objective: make them read the next line.

Create headlines with the actual searches in mind. It’s tempting to use an umbrella term like “A wide selection of ink toner” for all ink toner products, but you’re missing out on a feature that plays in your favor.

Google often bolds the words in a headline that match what the user searched. If the user searches HP cyan refill, a better headline is “Cyan refills for HP printers.”

Tip: Consider dynamic keyword insertion. It automatically drops the exact keyword into your headline, and it’s best used in your highly-specific ads for products or services that you offer.

When the ad on a “print your own t-shirts” search tells them that they can indeed print their own t-shirts, you can expect a qualified visitor clicking through to your site.

Ad Body

Be enticing and clear about what you can do for the reader. The team at Google Ads refers to this as the "Description," but when you read about general writing and advertising technique, this is the "ad body." You have 2 lines (of 90 characters each) to describe your offer.

03 Ad

Your ad body copy is your shot at getting someone to understand what you offer and then click through to learn more or to take advantage of that offer. Anything vague or mysterious can only waste your money on clicks from high bounce rate visitors.

When you are setting up your account, be prepared with ad variations for different keyword groups. This might be a product line or different services. For example, your ads for “print your own t-shirts” would be different from your ads for “custom kids t-shirts” since the reader has a specific product in mind.

Landing Page

High-performing ads get customers to your site, and you pay for them whether or not the visitor buys (or signs up). That means to be successful overall, your ads need to point to a strong, relevant landing page that delivers on what the ad promised.

The great thing about the display URL is that it does not have to be the actual landing page URL. You can take advantage of this and use it to your marketing advantage, by creating a display URL like (Any matching keywords in the URL usually get automatically bolded in the results, too!)

Most sites do keep the same domain in the display URL as in the actual destination URL. It’s a good practice.

04 URL

Adjust Default Settings

We usually accept default settings as the easiest path when starting something new. In Google Ads, they aren’t always in your campaign’s best interests and could cost you money.

Before you launch a new Google Ads campaign, you might want to turn some of those off (or edit). Here are the most important tips to remember.

Don’t go for the combo deal.

Google suggests that you start with a package deal -- search and display advertising.

The display setting will eat through your budget before you’ve had a  chance to find your groove.

Choose "All Features"

Once you select the search network, it turns on the Google Ads Campaign Default Settings. Added-on features like these can cloud the process when you're just starting. We suggest that, here, you turn on “All features.”

This will give you a few more choices that make sense at this stage.

Expand your extension options

The hidden extensions are a bit more advanced and probably used more once you’ve got a campaign underway. I can see Google’s reason for cutting potential distractions, but they might be a good fit for you. Decide for yourself. These are the options you would otherwise miss:

  • App - This shows up on mobile and tablet searches, letting you connect your ad to your app.
  • Reviews - Your ads can include customer feedback from 3rd party review sites.
  • Callouts - This is additional information to highlight a unique service like “free shipping” or “price matching.”
  • Structured Snippets - Pull details about a product or an offer from your landing page into your ad.
  • Site links extensions offer extra real estate for your ads and help your ads stand out a bit more. Also, they provide links to possibly more relevant content

Advanced settings

Here are more options that come available when you turn on “all features.”

  • The schedule setting is a budget stretcher. It helps you reach people at the right time. It also starts and ends your campaign if you need to run your ads across specific dates.
  • Ad delivery/ad rotation - You can run multiple ads for the same search. It lets you try new messaging or spread out what you want to say. (See more details below.)
  • Dynamic search ads - This is a unique setting for websites that may have different pages promoting the same or similar products/services. (Bed Bath & Beyond might have pages for Dorm Room Needs and then for Luxury Bedding with both of them offering sheet sets.) Google Ads will serve up pages that it thinks are most relevant to the user's search.
  • Responsive search ads – You'd pack the possible headlines and descriptions for an ad and give Google the flexibility to serve up different combinations. This can help you reduce the number of ad groups you manage, by allowing Google to pick the the ad copy that works best for each user.
  • Campaign URL options - Give you flexibility to add tracking codes to your URLs.

A word about ad delivery/ad rotation

There is some tricky language in the ad rotation options that could give you a false sense of confidence.

Unless you have a short amount of time to manage this campaign, avoid the auto-optimize options. They’re tempting, but you need objective data to really know what is working well. Remember, testing is crucial to your business success.

Rotate your ads evenly until you have enough feedback about click through rates, conversions, and costs to choose a winning message.

Target a location

The default setting captures a broad group. If you have location-based products or services, a targeted location is a good way to save money from clicks that aren’t likely to convert.

If you don’t want to show ads to anyone outside of your geographic coverage area, be sure to choose “people in my targeted location.”

Don’t scroll past this one. It’s shown as “Location Settings (Advanced).”

Understand Who Search Partners Are

Google turns on “Search Partners” by default. It’s important that you learn more about where your ad might appear outside of a Google search result page.

Other than YouTube, Google doesn’t clearly state the full list of their search partners, but it mentions that there are hundreds of qualifying sites. That includes sites that use the Google search tool on their page as well as other search engines like AOL and

That expands the potential reach of your ads, and click through rates on those sites do not affect your overall Quality Score. However, Google leaves room for adjustment when it states that your ad might appear on "other pages related to the person's search."

Google continues to update and grow its ad platform, so--even if you are creating your third, tenth, or 20th campaign--review the default settings with a bit of scrutiny. They aren’t always in your campaign’s best interests.

Lesson Learned: Prepare for a Ramp Up Period

Here's a real-life scenario. It seemed like Google never even wanted our money. We chose keywords and put together ads, set bids and pushed the magic button. And then very little happened.

It's not as though nothing happened. Had that been the case, we would have looked for what was broken. Instead, flat activity on our ads just reinforced our (wrong) assumption that this wasn't going to bring in much business.

Clearly, this quick break from instruction is going to veer into a story, but I promise it's as valuable as any other part of this Google Ads tutorial. Especially if you are just starting a PPC campaign, this info is vital.

When you first start a Google Ads campaign, you will need to account for a "ramp up" period. It takes a good month to reach stable, testable results.

In SpyFu's early days, we ran a few AdWords text ads and sprinkled in some display. The biggest surprise was how little we ran through our budget. In our eyes, there just weren't enough clicks to be had. What we didn't realize was that Google was cautiously testing us.

Once an experienced CRO (conversion rate optimization specialist) took the reins on our Adwords campaign, we saw a major turnaround. He pushed hard on our budget and increased spending like flooring the gas pedal in a car. That flipped the switch.

What's going on?

During the first 2-4 weeks of any new campaign, Google is watching how your ads match the traffic they send to you. You don't have enough history yet to show a reliable click-through rate or a bounce rate, and Google leans on those metrics to determine if you're relevant enough to earn more traffic.

It's a good move for Google to protect itself and others in the mix:

  • This protects existing advertisers so they don't lose out on relevant clicks
  • This protects searchers from an onslaught of flash-in-the-pan ads
  • This protects you from runaway ads that cost you money without converting

Our advice

Don't take it personally. With an optimized campaign built on strong, relevant keywords and ad copy, you'll get past this obstacle easily. There are a few things you can do to speed that up.

Budget is key. Power up your first two weeks by spending at a higher rate than what you would have planned--both in total budget and in cost per click. Google is testing your ads and making sure that you won't just fizzle. Their objective is to put the most relevant ads in front of searchers, so they need for you to hold up your end of the deal. This time frame (2-4 weeks) depends a bit on your daily budget. Lower budgets might stretch this out.

Also, don't forget that smart competitors have you on their radar. In watching for emerging competitors they can easily adjust their bids up to keep from losing impression share and clicks to your new campaign. This bidding war can leave you out if you're holding back on your bid amounts.

Eliminate low performing keywords. At this point, you need to run a lean campaign. Any fluff will drag you down. Take out keywords that aren't getting many searches, and pull the ones that hardly get clicked as they will count against you.

Reconsider your ad copy. If your lower performing keywords are strong for your competitors and match your business, your copy could be at fault. Review the dominant message and tone that works well for your competitors, and update your copy with a stronger, clearer call to action.

How to See your Ad Data in Google Analytics

If you connect your new Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account, you can measure and improve your ad performance. It lets you import metrics like bounce rate and pages per session into your Google Ads account, and it opens the door to remarketing campaigns.

Follow these steps to link your accounts:

Log in to both Google Analytics and Google Ads with the same email address (that you use for both accounts).

You'll need the proper access for both tools:

For Google Ads, you need admin level access. Go to Tools and Settings > Account Access to confirm.

Check access level under Tools & Settings

For Google Analytics, you need Edit permission.

According to Google, you don't need these permissions permanently. "These permissions are only required for the linking process. After you've created the link, the permissions can be modified or removed entirely."

In Google Analytics, open Admin> Property User management. You need to have at least Edit, Read & Analyze access.

While still in Google Analytics, return to the Admin view and look down to the Product Linking section below "Property."

Choose "Google Ads linking."

As long as you're logged in, you should see your Google Ads account ID carried into the list with a check box. Check the box and continue.

Name your account (using Link Group Title) and choose the views that you'd like to pull data from.

Tip: Autotagging is an option for a more turnkey approach, but we leave this unchecked. That allows us to rely on UTM codes that give a little more customization and control over what you see inside the analytics results.

Finally, click "Link Accounts" to finish.

PART 2: Improve your Google Ads Campaign

Expand keywords by reviewing what works for your competitors

Your competitors have already road-tested an approach with the same audience you’re targeting. Learn what worked and also from what didn’t.

Watch for patterns and consistency. When a competitor runs an ad on a keyword, that’s notable. When that same competitor bids toward the upper range for this keyword and does so month after month, that tells you that the keyword is promising. Pay attention to the keywords they buy repeatedly–as well as the ad copy they run with it.

To find your competitor's keywords that they advertise on, type the domain name into SpyFu's search bar, and look for "PPC Research." The menu gives you an option for "PPC Keywords," and that will list every keyword search we've seen your competitor advertise on.

You can filter and export the list, or click through to keep researching a single keyword. Branch off from there into related keywords that might be more focused or specific. That lets you create more relevant ads for a higher quality score.

Tip: Here are 6 ways to create an effective Google Ads strategy

Once you establish core topics that work for you, it’s time to explore longer search phrases that stem from them. Use your more successful keywords and brainstorm ways that people would ask specific questions about them. Use locations and situations for inspiration.

Core Keyword Long Tail Suggestion
Find a plumber Licensed plumber for water heater repair
Screen shot software Screen shot software for iPad
Photography Online digital photograph course

Using long tail keywords gives you a 3-step boost:

  1. The visitor is already tuned in to what you’re offering.
  2. You can be ultra-specific with your landing page, giving your quality score a boost.
  3. Strong quality score leads to lower CPC and better ad position, which means more clicks for less money.


There are keyword tools to help you find more effective long tail keywords for your campaign. We’ve listed a few.

SpyFu Type a ”starter keyword” idea into SpyFu’s search bar, and select the Related Keywords tab. SpyFu finds the results from competitors who buy the core keyword and also looks at similar keywords those sites buy month after month.

Uber Suggest If you start with a root word like “coffee” the tool serves up longer variations that might inspire new keyword ideas for you–“coffee shops near me.” You can ask the tool to suggest keywords tied to universal search types like images, shopping, YouTube, and news.

WordStream Similar to SpyFu, enter a keyword and get new ideas for expanded, similar terms. It tacks on the search volume with few other results to help limit distractions.

Google Auto Suggest Type some of your keywords into Google, and note the phrases that Google suggests. These suggestions are updated in real time and sure to generate some traffic, since they are based on actual user searches and not a word bank.

Google Auto Suggest

Try new ad copy ideas

Have you updated your ad copy since you launched your campaign? If not, small tests can pay off big. Not only does optimized ad copy drive more people to your site (per ad), but a better click through rate leads to higher quality scores. (More on quality scores in the next section.)

Let your current standings guide you:

  1. Set a benchmark with every version of your ad copy.
  2. Compete against yourself. Try to improve your performance over where you are now. Don’t worry about click rates that other businesses or industries get. Start with small wins and build from there.
  3. Come up with variations/changes that are still relevant to that ad group or keyword.

Measure more than just traffic counts.

Be sure to measure wins by their bottom line. In other words, just because ad variation A gets more clicks, ad variation B may get more conversions. And, just because ad variation B gets more conversions, ad variation C may account for higher-dollar sales.

When possible, always measure performance by ROI, or more common among advertisers: ROAS (return on ad spend). By doing this, you are guaranteed to identify the true winners and losers in your AdWords campaign.

Improve Your Quality Score

When you use keyword tools to estimate a search term's CPC, those costs will be estimates. The amount paid varies from one advertiser to another based on many factors like their ad position and how relevant their landing page is.

Google assigns a Quality Score to your ads to determine how much you will pay for any clicks--even though you've placed a bid.

  • Your Quality Score affects your cost-per-click (CPC).

Your Quality Score is a number 1-10 and is determined by your ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected click-through-rate (CTR).

If you can improve any of those three, you can move your Quality Score in the right direction, helping to reduce your overall ad costs. You will have more control over your ad relevance and landing page experience.

Improve your ad relevance by using targeted, helpful ad copy for tight ad groups. Your landing page should reflect what you described in your ad and give the visitor clear direction on how to find what they searched for.

Look at it as an incentive from Google to make your ads and landing pages as relevant to the search as possible. The better they match, the less you might pay. It's a huge oversimplification, but it's helpful direction.

Because while you can get into details of how Google arrives at Quality Scores and Ad Rank, it's important to streamline it in this beginner's guide to Google Ads. This isn't the time to derail you. If you'd like to explore somewhat circular descriptions, look at Google's explanations of Quality Score, Ad Rank, and their differences.

Actionable advice

Once your Google advertising campaign goes live, keep track of how each keyword is performing. Identify keywords with low scores and see if you can increase their relevance. If you can’t find a way to optimize them, it might be best to delete them and try new keywords.

Focus on your score for high-intent keywords. This doesn't always mean "high volume." As we've seen with keywords like "3M Headquarters," Google will show St. Paul MN in the results to satisfy the search. There's not much that people need to click if that's the answer they were hoping to find. High-intent keywords tie to searches where the user is ready to take action by clicking a link.

Advanced Options


Extensions are optional features you can turn on that give your ad more options. They can give the reader your phone number or location. Or, they can show different site links that that you want searchers to see (like About Us, Schedule an Appointment, or Menu).

05 Extensions

There are also automated extensions that pull in site reviews and ratings.

Tip: Along with the cost per click for an ad, you might pay for a click on certain extensions like downloads and calls. Additionally, your ad must meet a minimum Ad Rank to qualify for extension use.

Your Ad Rank is the combination of your bid and the quality of your ad and landing page.

This lets you set your ads to run only during set times of the day. Dayparting, when done well, helps you target your customers when it makes the most sense, and it could drop your ad costs. This might be ads for a lunch special between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. or ads for a weekends-only promo that points to a time-sensitive landing page.

Tip: Find this in Google Ads as a “custom schedule” or an “ad schedule” in the Settings tab.

A visitor comes to your site and browses your sunglasses page. They move on to other websites, and your ad for the same tortoise shell sunglasses that they saw appears while they’re reading a news article or scrolling through videos.

That’s remarketing in action. You can set it up for your display ad to appear on another site through the Google Display network or as a text ad through the Google Search Network.

06 Remarketing

Tip: You will need to get a snippet of code from AdWords and place it on your site. Then, set up lists so that Google knows exactly what the visitor has to see or do on your site before it triggers your ad on another page.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

As mentioned before, using dynamic keyword insertion lets you instantly customize the ad to match what the visitor was searching.

07 Dynamic Insert

You can dynamically insert the search term into the headline or into the ad copy itself.

A word of caution: scour your match types on these keywords carefully, because if you don’t offer exactly what they searched, your ad ends up wasting you a click and frustrating a potential customer.

Example: Phrase matching “soccer cleats” with a dynamically inserted keyword can show up on a search for “youth soccer cleats.” If you have only adult sizes, this isn’t a good ad.

Optional – Use AdWords Templates to fast-track your campaign setup

If all of this seems overwhelming, don't let it keep you from reaping the benefits of a Google Ads campaign. In fact, advertising on Google is pretty straight-forward. So much so that we were able to create some templates that can fast-track your starting process.

The templates are available for download through SpyFu. They act as guides to help you launch a campaign, and each one is customizable.

What’s in the template?

One of the hardest parts of advertising online might be solved with a ready-made Google Ads campaign. Having already-built PPC campaign templates lets you fast forward through the set-up.

Deciding to launch a Google Ads campaign is the easy part. It’s tougher to actually get it running. After brainstorming and researching keywords, you might be looking for reassurance that you’re investing in the right ones. Then, you’ve got to group them and write relevant eye-catching copy and bid competitively without losing too much of your budget.

SpyFu’s multiple tools help PPC managers with all of these steps, but we realize that the project can feel daunting. That’s where these AdWords Templates can help.

At SpyFu, we don’t run PPC campaigns for customers, but we do study millions of them and we’ve created PPC campaign templates from this data. All of that research and knowledge tells us that there are a few components we could fine-tune and put into production.

We rolled those ideas into the design of our AdWords Templates tool.

Our AdWords campaign templates are handcrafted by our expert team. They act like a starter kit that you can take and apply to your business. You can choose your industry from our list and get your PPC campaign up and running within minutes.

drop down menu options for AdWords templates

The template is a file that includes pre-written ads for the most strategic keyword groups in that specific industry. What you get for “Pest Control” will be very different from what you’d get for “DUI Lawyer.”

Each template lets you set up a full, ready-to import AdWords campaign. The PPC templates include:

  • Relevant keywords for that industry, set to exact match
  • Bids — the price you plan to pay for each click — based on SpyFu competitive keyword data
  • All keywords organized into ad groups
  • Attention-grabbing ads: headline and copy for each ad group

How does it work?

Go to the AdWords Templates tab on Select an industry from our drop-down list, and we’ll immediately start the download. (Look for it in your downloads file or on the downloads bar.)

where is my downloaded template

All you have to do with the template is save it so you can import it into the AdWords Editor. The Editor will read the file to fill in the blanks as though you’ve spent hours building a campaign.

Do I need any special software to use it?

  1. Google Ads Editor
  2. An active Google Ads (Adwords) account

The template itself is a CSV file (a lot like an Excel spreadsheet), but you only need to save it. You will need to download the AdWords Editor from Google in order to put the template’s data to work.

Can I make changes?

Yes. The template gets you started, and you add the final touches before making it live. You’ll need to make basic changes like updating the URL for each ad. You can customize the campaign further like adding branded keywords and product keywords with their own ads.

It’s also important that you review the preset bids (and adjust if necessary). These are made to be competitive but skew low. We believe that you should be testing and updating your bids, so we give you room to move up. Overall, it’s important that they fit your budget.

The campaign doesn’t go live until you decide it’s ready. You’ve got total control over the keywords that you advertise on, how much you will bid for each one, the wording of the ads, and even the date that the ads start running.

comparison of required updates to optional updates in AdWords campaigns

You can do as much as you’d like to customize the campaign.

showing a targeted location on a map

Make as many edits as you’d like or keep it simple. Even taking just 5 minutes, you can get a new AdWords campaign off the ground without the tedium or headaches that go with it.

We’ve made them easy to use. There are instructions on the page to guide you along and offer any explanations you might need.

If you don’t see your industry, you can submit a template request and we’ll work on getting that built.

Wrap Up – You're Ready to Go!

When people search on Google, they’re looking for something specific.  They are searching with intent, they are heading to Google to find solutions for their problems. You have solutions. It's just a matter of matching with the right search at the right time.

At this point, you have the tools to start. You can wipe away any hesitation as the speed and nature of PPC lets you react to any parts of your campaign that aren't working and correct the issue immediately. Test and learn from what you found. Then, repeat the cycle.

If you want to take your training further, though, there are multiple PPC training courses--either from Google or from 3rd party experts--that help you dig deeper into Google Ads.