How to set up a free Google Ads account
Google Ads always delivers on their revenue goals. There’s a reason that they’ve consistently grossed billions of dollars, year after year without fail – their platform is easy to use, can gain insane web traffic for advertisers and can be cost effective. There’s a lot of buzz about Google in the news lately, since they’ve recently started letting merchants list for free with Google Shopping.
The reason question you might be asking is how can you get started using Google for your own ecommerce (or other) business? It’s important to understand how to navigate through the many facets of Google’s marketing platform. You’re going to come across a bunch of features and inter-network platforms that might be confusing. This article will explain how to get started with a free Google ads account. We hope this will help you get started with Google ads for good!
Different versions of Google Ads
When you’re looking through Google’s many potential advertising locations, you may come across Google Ads or Google AdWords Express. It’s important to understand that these are vastly different, and choosing the wrong platform for your advertising campaign could hinder your campaign and overall results.
Firstly, Google AdWords Express is a simplified and automated version of the popular Google Ads.Google does much of the work for you – but this is only currently available to ecommerce businesses or local businesses that have physical stores. This can already be quite limiting if your business doesn’t fall into these categories – but you can read all about why you should move into ecommerce if that tickles your fancy.
Essentially, AdWords express is geared towards users who are new to the PPC (pay-per-click) advertising method, who have limited time/ resources, and who prefer a passive approach to earning income as a result of already owning a store of some kind. In general, this is an over-simplified and restricted package that doesn’t pack the same punch as Google Ads.
Google Ads can look intimidating and confusing, but it’s a powerhouse and includes many unique features for your ecommerce store. However, please note that because Google is a pay-per-click advertiser, you can’t advertise for free – but you can create a GoogleAds account for free.
In order to set up your free account, go to the Google Ads website here and click on ‘Start Now’. Once you come across the Campaign creation page, you’ll see a lot of factors that you can customise to suit your needs. These include budget, target audience location and network, specific keywords, bids and an example of what you ad could look like. Some of the main reasons for using Google Ads include driving a growth in website traffic, customer contact and overall visits for your store, regardless of if it’s physical or online.
One of the many benefits to using Google as an advertising platform is that it is very easy to set a budget for your campaigns and ads, which can be simplified into per-day spending and you can even add a budget cap to make sure you don’t run over your allocated funds. Google has also made it easy to predict the likely amount of traffic that you can expect relative to your budget, in terms of clicks. This can help you best create a specific advertising budget that can yield direct results for your business. It’s important to know that you can stop or start an ad campaign at any time, in case you need to make any tweaks or want to change your ad entirely.
One of the many benefits to using Google is that it has an insane amount of targeting options, ensuring that you, as a business owner, only display ads to potential customers. This occurs through audience filtering, on the basis of location, age, keywords and more. You can get your campaign set up so that you only run ads during business hours – this could maximise your ad spend.
GoogleAds Tips for Beginners
Don’t panic! If you come across any glitches along the way, make sure you follow every step in Google’s simple sign-up guide.
For total newcomers, we suggest starting with a small budget, which can then be adjusted at a later stage if desired. Secondly, remember to choose locations that are pertinent to your business. Don’t choose worldwide if you’re only offering your services in one city or town! You want to make sure that the people that matter will see your ad promptly.
When entering keywords, focus on specific and unique keywords that strongly relate to your business. For instance, instead of writing ‘furniture store’, you could write ‘antique wooden furniture store’ – remember that you want to capture customer queries that are extremely individualised and which can set you apart from your competition. If your query is too vague, you risk getting lost against many competitors, and the price of this bid could be too high. If you’re new to keywords, you can also let Google set your keyword bidding initially. This won’t impact your budget, so don’t worry about this being an expensive option!
Now, you’ll need to write a basic text ad. Depending on your display settings, this could be shown in the Search Network or larger Google Display Network, which includes Youtube and Google Shopping. As a general rule, try to select as many networks as possible for visibility – this can always be changed at a later time.
After this, you’ll need to pay. Once you’ve paid up, your ad will be live! Still confused? Take a look at Google’s comprehensive guide to understanding Google Ads, or one of our other articles about marketing with Google.
There are some key points that you should take into consideration in order for your campaign to be as successful as possible. These are often overlooked, but could greatly contribute to your campaign or ad performance – even if this only impacts your next campaign.
- Use Google Analytics. This is a way of tracking your campaign, and includes reports and other quantitative data that can shape your decisions moving forward. The point of this is to draw comparisons between organic/social search (ie. unpaid traffic that happens naturally) and paid search (ie. the ad you just paid for). This amazing tool can also interpret call-based data, if this is something you are interested in. To easily connect this, go to your linked accounts section in the toolbox of Google Ads and select the Google Analytics option. You can follow the on-screen instructions from here to finalise the link.
- Learn about UTM codes and start using them. UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module, and is a link format that Google uses to examine unique details within a regular URL. Some of the things that UTMs can track include keywords that drive traffic, campaigns, groups of ads and much more. Think of this as a bank for specific data that can help you understand your traffic better, including where it is coming from. You can find more information by looking at Google’s UTM tool here.
- Consider your website design. You may think that this isn’t something you need to control, but you’d be wrong. If your website isn’t set up to help you get results, your marketing efforts could end up fruitless – and we don’t want to happen!
Some things you could do to help your website include: putting information at the top of your page (this makes it easy for people to find the st important content quickly), featuring images or video (this grabs attention and can be effective in engaging with customers, but you should limit these so that your website loads quickly), optimising for mobile devices (don’t only consider computer screens when designing your website as there’s tons of mobile traffic these days), and making it easy to use (limit pop-ups and navigation links). There are other things you should consider too, such as writing clear copy, providing useful links, including a clear call-to-action, and making sure your site loads fast so people don’t leave before they find what they want!
- Consider your customers’ perception of your business. You can boost confidence in your business by including reviews from other customers and making it easy for customers to get in touch with you.
- Set up a recovery email or phone number for your Google account. You could also enable two-factor authentication or 2FA to make sure that your account is secure, if you’re ever worried about being locked out. This is especially important if you’re running Ads for your business, as you don’t want to let yourself fall victim to a compromised situation.
Now that you’ve started using Google, you can look forward to a host of perks. These include a clear path to reaching your marketing goals. You now have a checklist that you can utilise for each of your campaigns. These include writing and perfecting your keywords, specific audience and demographic targeting, location-specific ads, measuring your campaign performance with Google analytics and other metrics,and inspiring customers to take action by doing business with you.
Need advice with sorting out Google Ads for your own business? Get in touch with ShoppingFeeder, a specialist in helping you maximise your returns on multi-channel marketing for ecommerce business. We can help you build a unique brand by promoting your brand efficiently.