Google Ads tutorial for beginners 2021

Wait! Don’t just go to the Google Ads website and create a Google Ads campaign without reading this Google Ads Tutorial.

If you are new to digital marketing and searching for Google Ads tutorials for beginners, you will get answers to all your questions here.

Taking time to learn the basics, in the beginning, will help you understand how to use Google Ads effectively, how to choose the right bidding strategy, how to use the right keywords, and how to improve Google Ads performance.

Let’s start from the beginning and understand a bit more about Google Ads

learn google ads

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is online advertising used by advertisers use to promote their products and services on Google Search, YouTube, and other sites across the web.

What is included in Google Ads Tutorial 2021

I am a big fan of SEO and would always prefer SEO over Google ads. Unfortunately, SEO is slow. SEO takes time to show results. No doubt, SEO delivers better ROI compared to Google Ads in the long run.

But what if you need quick results?

Here comes Google Ads.

Google Ads is used by brands and advertisers to generate leads, promote products, increase sales and create brand awareness using paid advertising.

If you are new to Google Ads and struggling to find in-depth Google Ads tutorial, here you will get answers to all your questions related to Google Ads.

This Google Ads tutorial is for beginners and experienced digital marketers and digital marketing professionals.


About Google Ads

Before we jump into the Google Ads tutorial, let’s have a look at some benefits of and highlights of Google Ads:

1) Adwords works faster than SEO

The topmost benefit of Google AdWords is that it works faster than SEO. Both SEO and Google AdWords are search engine marketing strategies to generate more traffic and leads. But, a well optimized AdWords campaign can work much faster for a business to get the much coveted first spot in search.

Here are some reasons why it’s faster and more effective

  • You can focus on multiple keywords at a time.
  • You can turn the campaign on or off whenever you want to.
  • Ads which appears on the top of the page get immediate visibility.

Of course, this does not mean that you should ignore organic sources, as they have more long-term benefits. But with AdWords, there is a better chance of driving more traffic and leads instantly. Additionally, the platform is more transparent, and you know exactly what is happening with the ads.

On the other hand, search engine optimization, though very beneficial, is a long-term process. To rank for any keyword, it requires a lot of perseverance and a lot of well-written articles, and backlinks. And even then, it takes a while for them to gain the necessary authority.

Simply put. ads give you instant visibility at an instant cost, whereas SEO would give you long term success, depending on the effort you put on the quality of your content.

But, I am not here to debate one strategy’s benefits over the other. You need to use both simultaneously, but be realistic about the success time frame, and the effort/money that would be needed for both.

2) Increase brand awareness

Google AdWords, in addition to boosting traffic, clicks, and conversions, is also an efficient way to tell people about your brand. To verify this, Google partnered with Ipsos to run a study across 12 verticals, right from automobiles to retail. It was discovered that search ads lift top-of-mind awareness by an average of 6.6%.

3) Reach more customers through their Gmail Inbox 

One of the most used marketing strategies in every business is email marketing, which is why gmail ads can be helpful as well. In September 2015, Google integrated native Gmail ads with Google AdWords and made it available to all advertisers, which means you can reach more prospects through their gmail inbox.

Usually, Gmail ads appear on the promotion tab, but sometimes you can see it on the social tab too. These ads run on both desktops and mobiles. Since Gmail ads generally cost much less than search ads, if you have a small budget, then you can try Gmail ads as well.

5) Measure your performance consistently

It is very difficult to measure the outcome of traditional advertisements like newspapers, radio, broadcast television, cable television, outdoor billboards, brochures etc. Also, they are much more expensive than Google AdWords. You can’t control your own budget and spend. Additionally, you wouldn’t know the source of the leads coming from these media, unless your customer chooses to divulge it. As a result, it would be very difficult to calculate ROI from traditional media.

But, AdWords, on the other hand, would tell you exactly what happened with the campaign. You would know:

  • Who clicked on your ad.
  • How many leads have been generated.
  • How much traffic you have got from AdWords to your website.
  • Which keyword generated the most traffic and leads.
  • How much does it cost you per lead.

This would help marketers understand what worked and what didn’t. Using this information, you can then tweak your campaigns until you achieve optimal results.

6) Explore more using your ads

Confused with the title?  As I said, there is a lot more to explore when you link your Google AdWords account with your Google Analytics account. AdWords is a great platform but it won’t let you know what people do after clicking the ads. But, Google analytics would help you understand,

  • How long a visitor stayed on a page
  • How many pages have been visited
  • Bounce rate of your landing page
  • Details about new visitors and returning visitors and much more.

By linking them together, you will have a lot more data in your hand.  An advertiser can measure the complete performance of the Google ads. He/she can pause the non-performing keywords/campaigns/ads and try different variations to boost your results. This data would also help in writing more articles/posts using keywords that performed best for your business. Using those keywords you can rank better for organic search as well.

7) Tackle your competition better

When someone searches for something related to your product/services online, and you aren’t running ads, but your competitors are, then that means trouble for you. You’ll lose business almost instantly.

You need to keep an eye on them to see how they are promoting their business, what kinds of ads they run etc. The transparent system of Google AdWords helps you do this. Grab the opportunities that come your way and make yourself stand out from your competition.

Now you have reasons to advertise on Google AdWords. But let’s discuss if this platform makes sense for you at all.

Bonus: Who can use Google AdWords?

You shouldn’t start using Google AdWords just because your friend found success with it. You need to know first if it makes senses for you and your business, and if it does, what types of ads would work best for you.

Google AdWords would be the answer for your business only if you meet these criteria:

    1. Is your audience online?
    2. Are the keywords related to your business being searched online? Use Google’s Keyword Planner to research this. On a personal note, I would prefer bidding on keywords when the minimum search volume is more than 500 per month, and this search volume shows an upward trend.
    3. Are online magazines and bloggers publishing articles related to your industry or service?
    4. Search for your keyword online to see if Google throws relevant answers.
    5. Are your competitors investing online (paid or unpaid channels)?
    6. Use keyword tools like Adwords keyword plannerWordStreamMOZKeyword Tool and more to gauge the traffic & bid for your keyword. These tools would also suggest other related keywords which would help you experiment more.

So, do think you meet the criteria?


What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is a paid advertising platform by Google. Basically, it’s an online advertising service by Google.

Google Ads is made up of the Google search engine, search partners, Google Display Network, audiences, websites, YouTube and mobile apps.

Google Ads can be used for creating search ads, display ads, YouTube ads, shopping ads and app download ads.

Google Ads was previously known as Google AdWords and still many people call it Google AdWords only.

In this guide, I will cover everything about Google Ads and different types of ads we can create using Google Ads platform.

Getting started with the Google Ads Basics

Google Ads can be used for:

  • Lead generation
  • Brand awareness
  • Product promotion
  • Retargeting

Types of Google Ads and campaign type:

  • Search Ads: text ads that show when searchers type keywords into Google search (or Google search partners) or on Google maps. The benefit of search ads is that search ads are displayed on Google search results page.
  • Display: image, video, and text ads that show on other websites you visit. Have you ever noticed those ads that follow you around after you have visited a website? Those are often Google Remarketing ads, which is one type of Google Display ad.
  • Video ads on YouTube – if you have videos you can run ads on YouTube in very targeted ways. Remember that YouTube is the second largest search engine. With YouTube, you have many advantageous targeting options – based on keywords people are using to search for videos, placements – specific YouTube channels you know your audience visits, or even retargeting people that have previously visited your website.
  • App: you can drive app adoption as well using this ad type – with this campaign goal, you can increase app adoption and in-app usage as well.

Ad Campaign Types: Search, Display, and Video

You can select from one of three campaign types on Google Ads: search, display, or video. Let’s cover the optimal uses for each and why you might choose one over the other.

Examples of Search Ads

Here is an example of a search ad for pizza near me

Google Search Ads Example

Examples of display ads

Display Ads Example

Google Display ads example

Responsive Display Ads Example

Responsive Display Ads Example

Another example of a display ad

Banner ads Example

Understanding Google Ads concepts

Before you start with Google Search Ads, it’s important to understand a few concepts of Google Ads.

In this part of our Google Ads tutorial, we will learn fundamentals and Google Ads concepts

These common terms will help you set up, manage, and optimize your Google Ads. Some of these are specific to Google Ads, while others are related to PPC in general. Either way, you’ll need to know these to run an effective ad campaign.


Your AdRank determines your ad placement. The higher the value, the better you’ll rank, the more eyes will fall on your ad, and the higher the probability that users will click your ad. Your AdRank is determined by your maximum bid multiplied by your Quality Score.


Google Ads is based on a bidding system, where you as the advertiser selects a maximum bid amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. The higher your bid, the better your placement. You have three options for bidding: CPC, CPM, or CPE.

  • CPC, or cost-per-click, is the amount you pay for each click on your ad.
  • CPM, or cost per mille, is the amount you pay for one thousand ad impressions, that is when your ad is shown to a thousand people.
  • CPE, or cost per engagement, is the amount you pay when someone takes a predetermined action with your ad.

And, yes, we’ll review bidding strategies below.

Campaign Type

Before you begin a paid campaign on Google Ads, you’ll select between one of three campaign types: search, display, or video.

  • Search ads are text ads that are displayed among search results on a Google results page.
  • Display ads are typically image-based and are shown on web pages within the Google Display Network.
  • Video ads are between six and 15 seconds and appear on YouTube.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Your CTR is the number of clicks you get on your ad as a proportion of the number of views your ad gets. A higher CTR indicates a quality ad that matches search intent and targets relevant keywords.

Conversion Rate (CVR)

CVR is a measure of form submissions as a proportion of total visits to your landing page. Simplistically speaking, a high CVR means that your landing page presents a seamless user experience that matches the promise of the ad.

Display Network

Google ads can be displayed on either search results pages or a web page within Google’s Display Network (GDN). GDN is a network of websites that allow space on their webpages for Google Ads — these ads can be text-based or image ads and are displayed alongside content relevant to your target keywords. The most popular Display Ad options are Google Shopping and app campaigns.


Ad Extensions allow you to supplement your ad with additional information at no additional cost. These extensions fall under one of five categories: Sitelink, Call, Location, Offer, or App; we’ll cover each of these ad extensions below.


When a Google user types a query into the search field, Google returns a range of results that match the searcher’s intent. Keywords are words or phrases that align with what a searcher wants and will satisfy their query. You select keywords based on which queries you want to display your ad alongside. For example, a searcher that types “how to clean gum off shoes” will see results for advertisers that targeted keywords like “gum on shoes” and “clean shoes.”

  • Negative Keywords are a list of keyword terms that you do not want to rank for. Google will pull you from the bid on these keywords. Typically, these are semi-related to your intended search terms but fall outside of the realm of what you offer or want to rank for.


Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a type of advertising where the advertiser pays per click on an ad. PPC is not specific to Google Ads, but it is the most common type of paid campaign. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of PPC before launching your first Google Ads campaign.

Quality Score (QS)

Your Quality Score measures the quality of your ad by your click-through rate (CTR), the relevance of your keywords, the quality of your landing page, and your past performance on the SERP. QS is a determining factor in your AdRank.

What is Google Search Network?

The Google Search Network is where your search ads will appear. It is made up primarily of the Google Search Engine and a large group of websites with search engines that will display Google search ads.


A Glossary of PPC terms you should know

  • CPC – Aka Cost Per Click: the amount you pay for a click on your ad.
  • Searcher – A person who performs an internet search using Google.
  • Visitor – A person who visits your website after performing a search.
  • CTR –  Click Through Rate: The percentage of searchers who see your ad, click through on the ad, and end up on your landing page.
  • Landing pages – The destination webpage you direct searchers to after they click on your ad.
  • Lead – A searcher or website visitor who takes action which communicates interest in your product or service. For example, filling out a web form or calling a phone number to learn more about your product or service.
  • Sales Funnel – A sequence of marketing or sales material designed to attract an audience and turn them into customers. For example, a sales funnel using paid advertising might encourage a searcher to call your business. Then when that lead calls your business, your sales team attempts to convert that lead into a customer. Your ad and the sales call are both steps in your sales/marketing funnel.
  • Session – A unique visit to your website that includes at least one pageview.
  • Keywords – The words or terms searchers use on Google to retrieve information.
  • Conversion – A conversion occurs when a website visitor performs the action intended by your ad. These actions usually involve buying a product or filling out a lead form.
  • Quality Score – This is Google’s quality rating score for your advertisement. The score is based on the relevance of your keywords to your ads to your landing page and is calculated automatically by Google. A perfect quality score is a 10/10.



Keyword research is just as important for paid ads as it is for organic search. Your keywords need to match searcher intent as much as possible. That’s because Google matches your ad with search queries based on the keywords you selected. Each ad group that you create within your campaign will target a small set of keywords (one to five keywords is optimal) and Google will display your ad based on those selections.

Match Types

Match Types give you a little wiggle room when it comes to your keyword selections — they tell Google whether you want to match a search query exactly or if your ad should be shown to anyone with a search query that’s semi-related. There are four match types to choose from:

  • Broad Match is the default setting that uses any word within your keyword phrase in any order. For example, “goat yoga in Oakland” will match “goat yoga” or “yoga Oakland.”
  • Modified Broad Match allows you to lock in certain words within a keyword phrase by denoting them with a “+” sign. Your matches will include that locked-in word at the very least. For example, “+goats yoga in Oakland” could yield “goats,” “goats like food,” or “goats and yoga.”
  • Phrase Match will match with queries that include your keyword phrase in the exact order but may include additional words before or after it. For example, “goat yoga” can yield “spotted goat yoga” or “goat yoga with puppies.”
  • Exact Match maintains your keyword phrase as it is written in the exact order. For example, “goat yoga” will not show up if someone types “goats yoga” or “goat yoga class.”

If you’re just starting out and don’t know exactly how your persona will be searching, move from a broad match to a more narrow approach so you can test which queries yield the best results. However, since your ad will be ranking for many queries (some unrelated) you should keep a close eye on your ads and modify them as you can gain new information.

How does Google search ads work?

For Google Ads to work, you have to set up a Google Ads campaign. The next thing you should do is choose the most relevant keywords for your ads. These keywords are used by Google Ads algorithm as target keywords to show your ads on the search results page.

When you create a campaign, you basically tell Google that you want to show your ad for a list of target keywords. Now when someone searches in Google for your target keywords, Google ads platform displays your ads along with ads from other advertisers.

Here the rank of your ad will depend on your max bid for keywords, quality score and many other factors like budget, ad rank and competition.

Google ads algorithm is a complex program which decides which ad will be shown from which ad account at which position and how much it will charge for the click.

At this stage, you just need to understand that Google uses a very complex algorithm and machine learning system to calculate ad position, keyword matching and cost per click.

Step 1:

Showing Ads: Google search ads work by showing ads on Google search network when or on Google’s search result page when we search for keywords. Google ads are displayed based on keywords, budget and bid.

When someone will search for keywords you are targeting, Google will show your ad based on competition, keywords and budget.

Remember that Google doesn’t charge for showing search ads. You will be paying only for the click you receive on your ad. This is why search ads are also known as PPC ads

Step 2:

Click on search ads: When someone will click on your ad, Google will charge you for that click. Cost for that click will depend on multiple factors like your maximum bid, bidding strategy, competition and quality score.

[alert-note]We will be learning about bidding strategy, quality score and other topics in the next part of this tutorial[/alert-note]

Remember: Money spend on every click is known as cost per click (CPC)  

Before you get started:

Before you start creating Google Search Ads campaigns, you have to make sure you understand the basics – the bidding process, how Quality Score works, how to set-up Campaigns and Ad Groups, how to create ads, landing pages, and how cost-per-click works.

How Does the Google Ads Auction Work?

How does Google Ads determine which ads will show up when someone starts a search on Google? There is an ad auction that determines in what order the ads will appear. There are two major factors that influence the Google Ads auction: Your bids and quality scores. Google looks at your the bids and quality scores of every advertiser entering the ad auction to determine Ad Rank.

1. Bids

You have to set your bids and tell Google the maximum amount of money you agree to pay for a click on your ad. Google Ads has developed smart bidding strategies like Enhanced CPC, Target Return on Ad Spend (Target ROAS), and Target Cost-Per-Action (Target CPA), which allows advertisers to set automated bids that are focused on conversions and conversion value.

2. Quality Scores

Another thing that has an impact on the auction is the quality of your ads. This quality is summarized in your Quality Score. Quality Score is made up of your Ad Relevance, Expected Click-Through Rate, and Landing Page Experience. Essentially, Google Ads looks at the overall quality and relevancy of ads and landing pages based on a user’s search query.

Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Once you’ve set up your ad campaigns and have tracking in place, it’s time to start bidding. Remember, your ability to rank in Google Ads depends on how you bid. While your bid amount will depend on your budget and goals, there are a few strategies and bid settings you should be aware of when launching your paid campaign.

Automated vs. Manual Bidding

You have two options when it comes to bidding on your keywords — automated and manual. Here’s how they work:

  • Automated Bidding puts Google in the driver’s seat and allows the platform to adjust your bid based on your competitors. You can still set a maximum budget, and Google will work within a range to give you the best chance at winning the bid within those constraints.
  • Manual Bidding let’s you set the bid amounts for your ad groups and keywords, giving you the chance to reduce spending on low-performing ads.



Search Ads Anatomy

Text ads on the Search Network show above and below Google search results. It has three parts: headline text, a display URL, and description text.

search ads anatomy


People are most likely to notice your headline text, so consider including words that people may have entered in their Google search. Your text ad consists of three headlines where you can enter up to 30 characters each to promote your product or service. The headlines are separated by a vertical pipe (“|”) and may show differently based on the device someone is using when they view your ad.

Display URL

The display URL, usually in green, shows your website address. This display URL is made up of the domain from your final URL and the text in the optional ”Path” fields. These fields are designed to help people who see your ad get a better sense of where they’ll be taken when they click it. Your path text doesn’t have to match the exact language of your display URL.


Use the description fields to highlight details about your product or service. It’s a good idea to include a “call to action”—the action you want your customer to take. If you’re an online shoe store, your description might include “Shop now” or “Buy shoes now.” If you offer a service, you might want to add something like “Get an instant quote online” or “See pricing.”

Length limits

Field Max length
Headline 1 30 characters
Headline 2 30 characters
Headline 3 30 characters
Description 1 90 characters
Description 2 90 characters
Path (2) 15 characters each

In expanded text ads, the length limits are the same across all languages. Each character in double-width languages like Korean, Japanese, or Chinese counts as two towards the limit instead of one.

To see what your ads look like on the Google search results page without affecting your ad statistics, use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool.


You can provide more information about your business, like its location, phone number, or additional deep links into your website, by adding extensions to your text ads. Learn more about ad extensions

You can also use dynamic text to customize your ad to each person. Learn more about how to create text ads with customized text

Using special characters with your ads

Most non-English characters, including tildes, umlauts, and cedillas, will appear correctly in your ads, including within the display URL.

Get Started with Google Ads

To start with Google Ads, you will need Google account. If you don’t already have Google account, you can create a new Google Ads account for free.

Remember: You can start Google Ads account for free. You will have to set up a payment or make add balance to start showing ads.

Step 1: Creating your Google Ads Account

You can set up your Google Ads account at:


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)
  • Google Analytics – Google Analytics will help you track traffic and details like bounce rate, page views etc.


I have covered all the basic elements of Google Ads in this article. This Google Ads tutorial would have helped you understand fundamentals and getting started with Google Ads and search Ads.

Now you can move to Google Display Ads Tutorial – 

Bhavesh Gudhka

Bhavesh Gudhka is an entrepreneur, digital marketing consultant, trainer, author, and founder of Optron Academy. Bhavesh has more than 12 years of experience in IT, Web Development, Digital Marketing & SEO.

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