Table of Contents

Google Ads Made Simple: The 2020 Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction to Google Ads

Are you shocked?

I have always shared tips, hacks and techniques with many organizations I worked for, to generate website traffic organically.

So, you probably wondering why now talking about ways to pay for traffic right?

Well, truth being told, if time is of no concerns to you and you can wait for a couple of years for your organic traffic to soar no problem.

You will get there by applying all the tips and techniques I am recommending on my website, videos or social channels.

On the other hand, how many of us can really wait that long until the day comes where your website generates significant enough traffic at a decent conversion rate so that the sale of our products can be sufficient to lay back and relax? (I know, it does not happen this way as we always find another challenge to tackle, it must be in our DNA after all…).


In reality, Search Engine Optimization (AKA SEO) which is what gets you traffic organically and paid search advertising, which is what Google Ads helps you to do, are not incompatible. In fact, they complement each other nicely since they play on different time frames.

Actually Google Ads (Also called Google Ads until mid 2018) can get you instant traffic for a price while you wait for your organic traffic to build up, easy!

But wait!

Is Google Ads a good placement with a decent ROI?

Consider this,

How much does your savings accounts generates every year on average?

1% ?, 2 % ?, 3%?

What about your 401k?

Lucky if you get double digit interest out of it, plus, it is blocked until you retire unless you want to lose 60% of it by taking the money out too early…

Stock market? Sure! If you really know what you are doing you may be able to double your money but you can also loose it all…

Real estate? If you live in Florida like I do, remember 2008 and how thousands of people lost it all and ended up in the street or selling their houses penny on the dollar, sad times…

Your business is to manufacture goods? Either for B2B or B2C, you would be salivating at a gross margin of 50%, and that is not even close to what you take to the bank!

Now consider this, Google Ads can have an ROI (Return on Investment) of 2X, 3X even 10 times if you follow some guidelines I am going to share with you.

Easily said an ROI of 200% ( or 2X) means that if you invest $100 you will generate $200 in sales and therefore double your money. Nice right?

My goal today is to show you how this works and more importantly how you can make it work for you in some very simple steps.

All you need to know is the costs and margins of your products and then to use Google Ads to quickly double, triple or quadruple your ROI.

Hopefully, you now have a smile on your face and are as excited as I am to go through this.

So, let’s take it step by step and start at the beginning.

3 reasons why Google Ads is the best SEM (Search Engine Marketing) tool

Before we get started let’s clarify what kind of advertising you can do through Google.

When advertising through Google, you can place 2 types of Ads:

  • Ads in the search result age of Google Search (this is part of the Google Search Network/GSN).
  • Non-search ads on websites, mobile apps, and videos (this is part of the Google Display Network/GDN).

When I refer to Google Ads being the best SEM tool, I obviously refer to the Google Search Network (GSN) Part

You know now that Google Ads is a quick way to generate traffic, but how fast is it?

Well, unlike any other means of advertising, you should be able to get up and running within an hour or so after you read this guide, amazing right?

But this is not the only benefit.

The reason why Google Ads/GSN is so powerful is because is allows you to target your advertising on what people are looking for online.

More clearly, when people go to Google, they are looking or searching for something.

This is what we call intent. By typing out words around products or services, they’re literally telling you what they want to buy. These are the words you will advertise on ( I will explain further down).

The most important thing is that you will advertise on something you know they want as supposed to you think they might want!

But this is not all!

Not only Google Ads/GSN is crazy fast and focusing on Intent, it is also performance based.

You read right! If no one clicks on your Ad, it does not cost you anything! Do you know another adverting mean that can say the same ? Me neither!

Let me explain, the adverting model used in Google Ads/GSN is called PPC (Pay per Click), it differs from other adverting means that you can reach through the Google Display Network (GDN) where you pay for your Ad to be seen even if no click happens.

Here it is different with PPC, if you do not get any clicks, it does not cost you anything. Nice right?

And this is why Google Ads is so powerful.

So, Google Ads/GSN is like a giant auction house where you can bet on some words your potential customers are searching for to ultimately drive them to your website.

But wait! We all have heard about Google and how enormous it is.

In fact, Google Total revenue is over $136 Billions annually with $116B in adverting revenue alone. And 70% of this is generated by Google Ads!

So, clearly it is not the best kept secret ever and some major organizations are spending some serious money on this.

So, what chance do you have to appear on the first page ( also called SERP for Search Engine Results Page) and to outrank these with your budget?

Actually, a pretty good one if you do it right! (and I will show you how below)

Although Google loves big brands, it also gives you a chance with your smaller budget to appear.

Check out this example:

Marco’s Pizza comes in #2 position over the giant Domino’s Pizza for one of the best keywords in their industry.

So, even smaller players in the industry can duke it out at the top of a SERP, and all it took was… a few minutes (as opposed to months or years with SEO).

So, there is definitely a way to appear on the first page of a search without going through the long process of creating links, relevant content to create traffic organically.

So, the question is, how do we find the most cost-effective keywords?

The keywords that create a lot of traffic, with not too much competition and that convert nicely?

There are plenty of tools available out there to help you with your SEO strategy, some are free and some not (which we’ll dive into shortly).

Just know that Google Ads itself provides you with some info to help you make your choice as standard.

How does Google Ads determine your position on the SERP?

The Google Ads marketplace works as an auction. People bid money on keywords for clicks.

But, as you have seen above, the highest bid doesn’t always win. This is because Google values tremendously the user experience.

Therefore, to decide what will rank high on the SERP Google Ads combines your bid amount with the following factors to determine your quality Score:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR) which is the % of people viewing your Ad that actually clicked on it.
  • The relevance of each keyword to its Ad group.(Meaning are people finding what they are looking for when they click on the Ad)
  • Landing page quality and relevance.(This is the page people will land on once they click on your Ad)
  • The relevance of your Ad text.
  • Your historical Google Ads account performance.

A significant amount of research has been conducted on the weight of these factors in the Quality Score algorithm.

WordStream once found that CTR and Quality Score were directly correlative.

Similarly, AdEspresso found that increasing Ad relevance and CTR drives down the cost per click (CPC), signaling a Quality Score improvement.

Adalysis found that Ad relevance and CTR make up 61% of the Quality Score algorithm.

Your Quality Scores affects the cost and effectiveness of your paid search campaigns.

It is a little like your credit score that can affect whether or not you qualify for a loan and how high your interest rate is.

In a similar fashion, Google Quality Score affects how your PPC Ads perform and how much you pay for each click also called CPC (Cost per Click).

Quality Score X your Bid = your position on the SERP

WordStream has developed the great graph below that represents the impact of quality score on CPC.


All right, ready to start with Google Ads and make your web traffic soar?

Let’s get started with the basics and with a few words of advice:

Google Ads is easy to use but can get overwhelming at first.

I recommend you stick with the very basic options first until you get more comfortable.

Keep in mind that you do not need to spend a lot of money at first as the learnings with be exactly the same if you spend $50 a month or $5000.

How to set up a Google Ads Account in 5 Easy steps

Step 0 - The Prep Work

Before we get started, here’s the definition of a few terms you will see appearing on the Google Ads dashboard.

Keyword: a word or phrase the user searches for and then sees your Ad. Your Google Ads will show up for the keywords that you pick.

Impressions: the number that tells you how often your Ad has already been shown when users searched for that keyword.

CTR (aka Click-Through-Rate): the percentage of users who land on your advertised page because they clicked on your Ad. Very useful as it is a good indicator of which Ads are working and which ones are not.

CPC (aka Cost per Click): the mount you pay each time someone clicks on your Ad

Bid: The maximum amount you are willing to pay for each click. Since this is auction based, Google will show your Ad if you bid more than your competitor for the same keyword assuming you both have the same quality score.

Google won’t spend your maximum bid. It optimizes impressions and bids based on your competitor which means you may end up paying less per click than your Max CPC.


Conversion rate: Technically, it is the number of visitors that are taking action divided by the total amount of visitors. It can be anything like for example asking to subscribe to a newsletter but in our case and since I am here to help you make money, the conversion has to be the Sale of your product or service.

One more thing before I talk you through the process of opening a Google Ads account.

 You also need the following prior:

  • A product or service that you will sell on your website, a painting maybe?
  • Your profit per sales and your conversion rate.
    • For example, if you sell your painting for $500 and your cost is $200, your profit is $300.
    • Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who actually order when they arrive on your painting sales page. If for every 1,000 views of the page, 10 people buy, that’s a 1% conversion rate.
    • If your website is brand new you probably did not connect it yet to google Analytics and therefore you do not know what conversion rate to use. Be conservative and start with an assumption of 0.5%. You will be able to readjust later based on your own history in GA.
    • To get your website connected with Google Analytics start here.
  • A website that SELLS! therefore the conversions need to be sales of a product, in order to quickly regain the money that you spend on Google Ads. Your site needs to be :
    • Relevant, meaning covering the subject matter related to the keyword(s) you are about to bid on.
    • Easy to navigate, where information can be found quickly.
    • Well built, with strong landing pages that compel visitors to take action (also known as conversion). I will come back to this later, but let’s face it if you do not convert your traffic into paid customers, what is the point…If your landing pages are cluttered, lack relevant information or do not facilitate a conversion, you’re throwing money away and your paid search efforts will be in vain.
    • You can find more help and advice on how to build a landing page in this section.
    • You are prepared to commit to this for the long term.
    • It takes time to learn and establish a strong structure, expand keyword lists, identify negatives and test Ads/ landing pages. Also, remember your CPC depends on your Quality Scores. It takes typically 4-6 weeks to establish “street credits” with google and for your quality scores to improve and lower your CPC, so be patient.
  • You are ready to spend some overtime to learn for the next few weeks.
    • Like anything new, it will take a little time to get used to the new tool even if you keep it simple at first. You can of course set the system on autopilot, but this is not the best way to learn not to manage well-earned dollars.
    • If you want to learn quicker, you could even get certified directly with Google or other online training courses. I know that if you are a LinkedIn Premium customer, they have some pretty good courses there also.

OK—here are the steps to follow to get going:

Step 1: Sign up for Google Ads

Go to the Google Ads Page and click the blue Start Now button.

You’ll need a Gmail account to get started. You can either use an existing account or create a new one. Next, enter the name of your business and a link to your business’ website. Click continue to move on to the next step.

First Google will try to guide you based on your objectives. For now, let’s assume that you want more traffic on your site, isn’t it why you are ready this?

Select “Clicks”, then “Search” (To enter the Google Search Network) and finally enter your website.

You will notice that if you ever wanted to venture on the Google Display Network /GDN) this is where you would select “Display”.

Depending on the selection, your campaigns settings will be more or less extensive.

Step 2: Select your first campaign settings

There are 4 main sections to go through here and it can get confusing but follow along, that’s why I am here to guide you. You would have a different amount if you selected different settings that I just showed you prior.

They are General Settings, Targeting and Audiences, Budget & Bidding and Other Settings

No need to worry about spending money, nothing will be charged until you’ve finished creating your account and Google Ads has approved your first Ad (which you’ll create during this step).

General settings

First let’s talk about all the different types of campaigns you can run on Google Ads.

So, far I mentioned “PPC advertising” which technically is referred by Google Ads as advertising on the Search Network. This is the text-based results that show up directly on after you perform a search.

For the purpose of this guide and for the very benefits mentioned previously (Intent, Performance based) we will be focusing on this in the search. It does perform better than the Display Network.

The Google Display Network does not focus on Search Intent. Instead it displays banners on other sites but Google’s. This network composed of over 2 million websites no matter the size allegedly helps you reach 90% of internet.

So, why not use it?

It is all about what your goals are.

The Google Display Network is good to improve branding and visibility within an industry but it is not focusing on conversion/sales like search is.

And since I am here to show you how to generate traffic that turns into customers quickly, the Search Network is the way to go.

Also, at the General Setting frame you have the option to show more settings.

Select it as you probably want a set up and an end date to your campaign. If you do not, Google will keep spending your daily budget until you stop it manually…

“show more settings” also gives you access to a feature called DSA (Dynamic Search Ad).

It is truly only useful for advertisers with well-developed website or a large inventory, so stay away from it for now.

And in case you want to know how this works, Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) target relevant searches automatically based on your website, then use headlines automatically customized to people’s actual searches. This setting determines what domain, language, and targeting source to use for your DSA.

Pretty neat right? But since we are trying to learn we need to start by the foundations and know how to create an Ad ourselves before we ask google to create it for us.

Targeting and Audiences

Next, tell Google Ads where you want to advertise (e.g., New York City), the networks you want to advertise on (e.g., the Search Network), and the keywords you want to target (e.g., men’s basketball shoes).

Locations is where you select or exclude people based on where somebody is searching from or level of interest in your targeted location.

By clicking Advance search, you can narrow it down as much as you like to either target or exclude zones.

Every time Google gives you a reach number, which is an estimate of how many people are in, or interested in, the location you select. It’s based on the number of signed-in users visiting Google sites.

DO NOT forget to save to selections at the bottom of the screen.

You can also target a location and select a zone around it where your Ad will be shown.

Quite a useful feature if you want to target people going to a special event like a conference where you know a high density of your target audience would be.

Languages is where you select the languages your customers speak. Your Ads show to the customers with these language preferences, or on sites with these languages.

Audiences is an advanced Feature and I would not recommend it to beginners although extremely powerful to use once you get more experience under your belt.

For those of you who still want to know more, Audiences are groups of people with specific interests, intents, and demographics.

This can be set up using Audience Manager ( Search it on Google) and you can select to only show your Ads to this/these audiences (“targeting” option) or show to all but monitor what your Ads would do if they were targeting these audiences only.(“Observation” option).

Bid adjustments is not a stand-alone bidding strategy like the Audiences, Languages and Locations. Instead they allow you to show your Ads more or less frequently based on where, when, and how people search.

There are 7 bid adjustments available for the Search Network.

Here we will focus on the 4 most common and easiest ones: Locations, Demographics, Ad Schedule and Devices.

I know some of these terms are confusing since they seem redundant with some of the strategy settings mentioned previously but keep in mind that they are further enhancements and not a duplication.

For the purpose of clarity, I will keep mentioning them below as Adjustments.

The good news is that they all work the same way. They allow you to create ‘rules’ that raise or lower bids.

Also, beware! These adjustments are not accessible when you first set your Ad but later on from the Google Ads Dashboard as shown below.

Locations Adjustment : Use location bid adjustments to show your Ad more or less frequently to customers in certain countries, cities, or other geographic areas. They can be used at Campaigns level and each location can be adjusted from -90% to +900%.

For example, if you identified that Chicago converts more than the rest of your targeted location, The United State; you might want to adjust the bid so that Chicago is shown your Ads more frequently than average.

Important note: You have previously set up a Maximum CPC. So, that we you do not get surprised, the way Google increases the frequency of your Ads showing to Chicago is by increasing your Max CPC nu the selected % when your Ad is shown to Chicago area.

So, in this example if your Mac CPC for your campaign was $1, google will increase the CPC to specifically of Chicago to $1.25 ( 25% more as per the adjustment chosen below).

Demographics Adjustment lets you reach customers who are likely to be within the demographic groups that you choose. You can show your Ads to customers according to their age group, gender, household income range or parental status (in the combination tab as shown here).

Ad Schedule bid Adjustment is if you want your Ad to show whenever a customer is searching online. Or perhaps you only want to show your Ad on certain days, or during business hours when you’re there to handle customer inquiries.

As an example, suppose you run a dog-sled touring business in Alaska. By viewing your “Day and Hour” performance on the Ad schedule page, you’ve noticed that your Ads get the best results between 8 and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, when Extremely Cold Places is playing on television. You decide to adjust your Ad schedule so that on Tuesdays, your Ads only appear during that time.

Devices bid Adjustment shows your Ad more or less frequently for searches that occur on specific devices: computers, tablets, or mobile devices.

You can use the use them at Campaign and Ad groups level and adjust from +900% to -100% (-100% is the setting to use to opt out completely from the device).

Data shows that more people are accessing the internet on their mobile devices than on Desktop. That means more people are searching on their mobile, too.

HOLD ON! Do not rush out and drop everything you do related to Desktop!

This doesn’t mean that conversions follow the same trend and since are focusing on making a sale here, traffic is great but conversion is also critical.

If you look into it, conversion rates on desktop still tend to be higher than mobile.

How is this useful?

Pro Tip: You might want to create a few different Ad groups, some optimized campaigns for mobile and focused on driving awareness or visibility. Some other conversion-driven campaigns for when people are back at the office.

Budget and Bidding

To determine your daily budget, you are prepared to spend follow these easy steps.

In order to know how much you can comfortably spend, you just have to work backward.

If we take our example in the Prep work section we discussed above of the paintings. If you recall, we had established that the profit per sale was $300 and decided on a conservative conversion rate of 0.5%.

Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who actually order when they arrive on your painting sales page.

If for every 1,000 views of the page, 5 people buy, that’s a 0.5% conversion rate.

Of course, advertising on Google costs money, and you have to decide how much you are willing to give Google for their cut.

Let’s say that you are comfortable making $200 of profit after google commission ( 33% of your profit) it means that you are OK giving Google a commission of $100 or each successful conversion through Google Ads.(roughly 33%).

Let’s now put it together to calculate your maximum CPC.

Max. CPC = your profit x commission for Google x your conversion rate.

In this case, that would be $300 x 0.33 x 0.5% = $0.50

That means you can spend $0.50 per click on Google Ads and still make $200 per sale (given your conversion rate stays the same).

How easy was that? You would be surprised how many organizations I worked with that were not doing this simple calculation prior to my arrival and were selling their products at a loss…

Now, we just need to determine our daily budget.

For this, let’s assume once again that your site is brand new and that you have no data yet as you did not connect to Google Analytics.

Just pick a low number that will represent a reasonable daily budget ( remember we play small first until we learn the ropes).

What about 20 clicks a day? Not a bad place to start and you can readjust in time as you get more data from GA ( Google Analytics).

At our maximum CPC, that would cost us $10 per day, tops. You can run a campaign for 10 days and just spend $100.

That was not difficult was it?

Especially that if you get 20 clicks per day for 10 days, this would have brought 200 clicks ( 20 x 10).

At a very conservative 0.5% conversion rate this means 1 Painting sold ( 200 clicks x 0.5%) which is $200 of net profit after advertising! Not bad!

It is also important that you define your monthly budget accordingly. ( I will explain shortly)

Easy! Multiply your daily budget by 30.4 (average number of days in a month)

In this example:

20 (clicks per day) x Max CPC x number of days per month = 20 x $0.50 x 30.4=$304 per month

The reason we need this number is because of the following note from Google. So, do not be scared, you daily budget can be over spent 2 folds but your monthly budget will not go over $304. Some daily budget will be lower than your Max, that’s all.


You can view the various options by clicking as indicated below.

Manual CPC is the best way to keep control over your campaigns. Essentially, each keyword or Ad Group would have the same bid that you select manually. It is the safest option on a tight budget as it guarantees that Google will not raise your CPC without you realizing it.

Automatic Bid Strategies is an advanced bidding setting to save you time it takes for you to manage each campaign. In these, bids can be raised or lowered automatically. Automated bid strategies set bids for you based on your business goals.

  • Target cost per action (CPA): This is very similar to Manual CPC but in this case Google Ads sets automatically the bids to achieve an average CPA (the action being a conversion) equal to your target across all campaigns using this strategy.

Some conversions may cost more than your target and some may cost less, but altogether Google Ads will try to keep your cost per conversion equal to the target CPA you set. In this case, you will need to set the conversion tracking also so that Google Ads knows what your Action/conversion is.

  • Target return on Ad spend (ROAS): It works similarly to CPA but first requires you set a value to your Action/conversion and a desired ROAS %, meaning for each dollar you spend, what % you want to generate in sales. Your bids are automatically optimized at auction-time, allowing you to tailor bids for each auction.

Here’s a great example provided by Google Ads website.

  • Maximize Conversions: This will maximize your conversions and will spend your entire daily budget instead of targeting a specific CPA that might result in some part of your daily budget unspent.
  • Maximize Conversion Value: This will maximize your conversion value and will spend your entire daily budget instead of targeting a specific ROAS.
  • Enhanced cost per click (ECPC): This automatically adjusts your manual bids to try to maximize conversions. It’s an optional feature you can use with Manual CPC bidding. Since it relies on Google’s own historical data to help you predict where and when to adjust bids in order to drive the best results.

For example, if a campaign’s performance looks promising it will automatically raise bids to ‘capture’ more results (for less money). Similarly, it will also drop bids if necessary to help you save on wasted Ad spend if performance starts to slide.

Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximize Conversion Value, and Enhanced cost per click are all also named Smart Bidding Strategies.

The benefit of Automatic bidding is that it can compensate in the short term for a drop in impressions and would raise the bid to make sure that your Ads still continue to be seen.

The downside is that you can’t set a max CPC bid on different keywords and therefore your daily budget can get out of hand pretty rapidly if you do not keep a close eye on it.

CPM bidding applies only to the Display Network (along with remarketing campaigns, too). Here you pay a cost (like a few cents or dollars) per one thousand impressions. Since you should have deselected this option earlier on in General settings, this option should not appear here.

As a reminder, with CPM bidding, you’re paying for eyeballs instead of clicks or conversions which means that in this case, your goal is primarily awareness.


More settings

If you select and maximize this menu at the bottom of the page you will see some additional features such as Conversions (we discussed this previously for some automatic bidding techniques), Ad Schedule and Ad Rotation.

Outside of the Ad Schedule, I suggest you leave the other settings alone until you get more comfortable with Google Ads.

This means that the conversion tracking is not set and that the Ad rotation is left on “Optimize”.


This is an advanced feature.

Ultimately, this is an important feature as you gradually become more experienced and moving towards Smart Bidding techniques.

The way Google tracks this is by looking at a Tag placed on your website that you will put on the “thank you” page that follows the “landing page” where you directed the people seeing your Ad to.

infographics of usage of Google snippet

To set it up, go to “Tools” and then “Conversions.”

Click “+ Conversion.”

Now, choose “Website.”

Add the info, basically just a name and the value of the conversion.

The attribution model is left on last click, different models are available and might be worth investigating at some point if you decide to run multiple adds at the same time to see how they all contribute to the final conversion. For now, leave it on Last click, which means that 100% of the sale is attributed on the very last Ad people will see and click on.

Hit “Create and continue.” Then. you’ll select the way you want to Ad your tag.

For the purpose of the exercise, I will be choosing the “Install the tag yourself” option, which is more complicated than using Google Tag Manager.

You will have to install 2 tags on your website

  • The global site tag on every page of your website (this is why Google tag Manager is quicker).
  • The Event snippet to install on your “Thank you” page.

That’s it!

It’ll say unverified in your dashboard, at first, but that will change after a few hours or a day.

Ad schedule

Limits when your Ads can run. Keep in mind that it is based on the time zone you are located.

If we take the example of our painting, if you want Google Ads to appear before or after people start their work for the day, you might select this option so that your campaigns are most aggressive outside of normal business hours.

On the other hand, if you want to show responsiveness to a potential customer and want to contact them as soon as they reach out, setting a Schedule for an Ad to show while you are asleep might not be ideal either.

Ad rotation

This is great if you have multiple Ads within an Ad group, your Ads will rotate because no more than one Ad from your account can show at a time. “Optimize” setting prioritizes Ads that are expected to perform better than other Ads within an Ad group.

These are all advanced techniques you can use to refine things once you’ve got a little experience under your belt. But let’s leave it there for now in order to start setting up your account.

All right, you have your daily and monthly budget and selected some basic options? Excellent! Here’s how to find profitable keywords for this amount!

Step 3: Set up your Ad groups

Understanding Match Types

Caution! If you forgot to select the Search Network only as indicated previously, you might see different options than the ones I will talk you through below.

An Ad group contains one or more Ads and a set of related keywords.

You first select its Type to determine the kind of Ads and targeting options you can have within your Ad group and then the name of the Ad group.

You can select either Standard where Text Ads are written by you are served based on the keywords you select or Dynamic where Text Ads are generated automatically based on your website content.

Stay with the Standard Type for now and then enter your default Bid which is the maximum cost-per-click (max. CPC) bid for this Ad group.

Note, this is difference from the Max CPC you set up at a campaign level as you can have multiple Ads within a campaign.

Finally type a keyword or group of keywords (one per line).

You can also copy and paste from another source.

You have multiple options when typing your keyword: these options are called match type modifiers.

They refer as different ways to enter your keyword.

Here’s a great example from Google Ad, showing where your Ads would show based on searches in and the way your keywords are entered.

Keyword match type summaries


Match type Special symbol Example keyword Ads may show on searches that contain: Example searches
Broad match none women’s hats Close variations of the keyword, related searches, and other relevant variations. The words in the keyword don’t have to be present in a user’s search. buy ladies hats women’s clothing women’s scarves winter headwear for women 
Broad match modifier +keyword +women’s +hats All the terms designated with a + sign (or close variations of those terms) in any order. Close variations include terms with the same meaning. Additional words may appear before, after, or between the terms. women’s scarves and hats winter hats for women hats for stylish ladies
Phrase match “keyword” “women’s hats” Matches of the phrase (or close variations of the phrase) with additional words before or after. Close variations include terms with the same meaning. blue women’s hats buy hats for women ladies hats on sale
Exact match [keyword] [women’s hats] Exact matches of the term or close variations of that exact term with the same meaning. women’s hats ladies’ hats hats for women hats women

As you enter your keywords, Google automatically gives you an idea of many clicks per day, average CPC and cost per day you can expect from these keywords. I will share with you my keyword search strategy to follow later. For now, I am just showing how to enter them in you Ad group.

Note, the circled frame is Google attempt to suggest keywords and estimated reach volumes based on either your website address or a description of your business if you enter any of those information.

Leave both blank, there is a sharper way (coming below shortly).

Once you have done this you can add as many Ad groups as you want, each of them with their sets of keywords and related Ads.

Choosing the right Ad group Strategy

Note that all your Ad Groups will fall under your campaign, you can of course create multiple campaigns based on your strategy.

Each of the campaigns would fall under your account.

Generic Google Ads campaign structure

We mentioned previously as we covered in Audiences and Targeting section that separate Ad Groups for Mobile and Desktop might be an option.

There are a few different approaches that are being used to structure the various Ad groups under each campaign, each of them with Pros and Cons. Find the one that feels the most natural to you.

Match Type strategy

Match Type, is where you create an Ad group for each match type.

Google Ads campaign structure by SKAG

Pros: Good for small budgets as it quickly identifies performing keyword individually so you can focus on them.

Cons: Might become too complex based on your size.

Brand/Product strategy

Brand/Product, is where you create an Ad group for each Brand or Product you manage.

Google Ads campaign structure by brand

Pros: Easy to focus on the Brand or Product you chose.

Cons: Difficult to assess individual keyword performance and make adjustment.

Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAG) strategy

SKAG (Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAG), is where you create an Ad group for each key word.

Pros: It automatically solves for Quality Score and message match and since each Ad is laser targeted for a single keyword, you have perfect control over how you spend your money on a keyword.

Cons: It can be very time consuming if you have a lot of keywords and you also need to already know which keywords you’re targeting before setting these campaigns up.

Having said this the SKAG strategy is one of my personal favorites for Small Businesses as it has a major positive impact of both CTR and Quality Score. Awesome for us focusing on PPC Ads!

In Fact, an experiment run by Wesley Parker Founder of Clicteq, shows that a SKAG strategy can increase your CTR by over 28% and improve your quality score from 5.56 to 7.95 (out of 10).

So, why is SKAG so effective?

Let me explain further.

When you set up an Ad and start typing your keyword, Google suggests additional keywords in the center frame. In fact, Google usually suggests that you add 10-20 keywords per Ad group.

The issue with this is that it’s very difficult to write Ads that are highly relevant to all of the keywords within your Ad group.

This very reason is why you cannot achieve the high Quality Score you need to rank high with your Ad.

Let me use Wesley’s example to illustrate.

If you followed Google suggestion of using multiple keywords per Ad, this is what would happen.

Let’s say you enter all the following keywords for your Ad.

Since you have too many of them to write an Ad that is highly specific to all of those keywords, you would select Google to write it on your behalf.

All the keywords above could trigger the following Ad.

You can see right away that Google Ad is not actually all that relevant to all of the keywords.

To show you how this translates, here is Google’s search results page for the term “women’s red dresses.”

You see here that the only advertiser that has written a highly specific Ad is asda, who has the search term (“women’s red dresses”) right in the headline and in the display URL, making it appear the most relevant.

And relevance matters to Google and should to you as well.

With the SKAG strategy, there is only one keyword that can trigger your Ads, so you don’t create generic Ads that lack relevance.

Your relevant Ads will in turn trigger an increase of your CTR and Quality Score and lower your CPC!

Awesome right?

Now, this is how to implement s SKAG strategy step by step.

How to implement A Single Keyword Ad Groups Strategy when you already have run Ads

If you run Ads previously and followed some Google keyword recommendations, it is more than likely that you already rank for hundreds of keywords.

Since it is recommended that you create at least a couple of Ad variations for each keyword to test which one performs best, you can see how the entire thing can be extremely time consuming.

So, how do you choose the most impactful keywords to create your Ad from?

This is where the Italian engineer, sociologist and economist Vilfredo Pareto, comes to the rescue with his famous concept of Pareto efficiency also commonly known as the 80/20 rule!

This rule applies to everything (no really!), but applied here, it means that 20% of the keywords your site ranks for, generate 80% of your conversion.

And to prove to you it applies to everything, check out your closet and look around, you will see that you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time…scary right?

Let’s now find out the highest converting keywords you are ranking for.

Step 1 : Run a search terms report

Go into your Google Ads account, click on the Keywords tab and select the Search terms tab.

Step 2 : Filter your search terms using your conversion column

It is unlikely that the conversion column will appear by default.

Select the column Icon.

Select conversion.

Your conversion will now appear in this list, move it up or down depending on where you want the conversion column to appear by clicking, holding and moving up or down the “=” icon next to the name.

Confirm by selecting Apply.

Finally click on the conversion column and it will rank all your performing keywords.

Step 3 : Add all three match types

Add the keyword in three out of four match types (i.e. exact match, phrase match and broad match modifier) to the single keyword Ad group. See the example below if you do not recall the way to type them.

Step 4 : Create Ads that are highly specific to your keywords

Here is an example for a training course provider that is selling “3D studio max training”

Here, has included the exact keyword in the headline and the display URL.

Further down, I will share with you my 12 tips to stop wasting money while writing an Ad.

How to improve the performance of single keyword Ad groups

Creating the highest performing Single Keyword Ad group is an iterative process that requires you test different Ad copy variations, just like any other PPC strategy.

The only way to see which Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and Call To Action resonate with your audience the most is to run a test to see which combination improves CTR and Ad relevance the most.

Wordstream analyzed data from 30,000 people and found that only one Ad in 100 has a CTR six times higher than the average.

It also found that only one in 20 Ads have a CTR three times higher than the average.

Image source: WordStream

This means that, to achieve CTRs that are three times the average, you will need on average to test 20 different Ad copies before you find the right one.

When Wesley improved his Quality Score from 5.56 to 7.95, he tested 24 Ads in the process.

So, where do you start to test?

Start by making major changes

The trick is to start by making significant changes to your Ad copy. Change your entire USP for example.

This can take a little longer but will point you in the direction that has the best potential overall.

At this stage, go big, no small changes like changing only one word in your headline. We will do this later.

Choose your three to four strongest USPs and test each one to see which one performs best with your audience.

Here is a good example of a wide USP test.

Ad Copy 1: This focused on the advertiser’s strong customer satisfaction rating.

Ad Copy 2: This focused on their 18 month class retake offer.

When testing, your Ads should look something like this:

Comparing the results

When you perform tests on Ad copies, before you can decide which one performs best, you need to check that the results are statistically significant. Sometimes your sample size is too small for the results to be meaningful which can lead you to make the wrong decision.

Based on how many Ads you are dealing with, you can check the relevance either manually and automatically.

Manually for smaller accounts

If you have a smaller Google Ads account with a few hundred Ads, then manually would probably be the best option be for you.

Brian Teasley has created a tool, SplitTester, which lets you enter the number of clicks and the CTR for the two Ads you want to compare. It will then tell you the confidence with which you can determine if one Ad is a winner.

It will then tell you the probability that your Ads will have a different long-term response rate.

This way you will know which USP to use that will have most likely a big impact on your CTR.

There are of course other manual tools available such as AB testguide.

For a full list of relevance test tools available, check out my Tool section.

Automatically for larger accounts

If scale is the concern and you have too many Ads to work on, you have access to tools that will automatically do this analysis for you and create reports for you.

This will save you a tremendous amount of time.

For a full list of A/B and Multivariate test tools available, check out my Tool section.


Keep a record of your test

When you run many tests, it is important that you keep track of what you ran at the risk of running tests twice.

An easy way to do this is to pause (instead of delete) the previous Ad copy variations so that the Ad test data will be stored within Google Ads.

Changes can also be seen within the change log in your account. This can be accessed by clicking Change history from the left-hand side menu in Google Ads, as shown below.

Make small changes and tweaks

Since you have done Major change tests, you have a good idea which offers works best and gets you the highest CTR.

Let’s now focus on smaller changes.

The impact on your CTR will not be as drastic as with major changes but will help you refine it instead.

Here are a few things you may consider testing:

  • Use seasonal headlines.
  • Capitalize the first letter of every word.
  • Modify the punctuation.
  • Use localized keywords.
  • Try dynamic keyword insertion.
  • Use Power words.

The list can be very long but if you apply some of my 12 Tips I will share with you later, you should be all set.

Conclusion on SKAG

Single keyword Ad groups are an incredibly effective method for increasing both your Ad relevance and CTR, which are two of the most important factors in the Quality Score algorithm, making up over 60% of it.

And when Quality Score improves, your CPC decreases.

Here is a summary of the five steps to follow if you want to set up single keyword Ad groups:

  1. Find your top performing keywords.
  2. Add the keywords in all three match types to single keyword Ad groups.
  3. Create specific, targeted Ads for each single keyword Ad group.
  4. Start by testing by making significant changes to your Ad copy (e.g., your offer, USP).
  5. After that, start testing with more minor factors your Ads that performed best after your major changes (e.g., punctuation, capitalization).

The Customer Journey / Marketing Funnel

No matter what Ad group strategy you adopt, it is important to consider at what stage of the customer journey you will show your Ad.

The customer journey is also often referred to as the Marketing funnel.

The customer journey simply refers to the various stages in the purchasing process your potential customer is in and can be identified by the kind of searches they perform that will show you a different level of intent.

Check out these three search queries:

  1. TV reviews ( This phase is called Top Of Funnel: TOFU)
  2. TV discounts (this phase is called Middle Of Funnel: MOFU)
  3. Buy 70 inch TV (This phase is called Bottom Of Funnel: BOFU)

They’re all related. But each person is looking for something different. The intent changes.

Someone looking for the first phrase might just be starting to look for a new TV and comparing different reviews to get educated on the latest technologies and consumer reviews so that they are ready to buy during Black Friday sale.

But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy right away, they may just be interested in staying up to date on the latest toys.

The second phrase means that the individual is closer to a purchase as the price is already in mind. They’re looking around for the best deal.

The third and final one is somebody who’s ready to buy a 70-inch TV. They have made up their mind on the size of the screen and actually tell you through their search that they want to Buy.

The important thing here is that if you decide to run a campaign Ad at each of these different levels of the funnel, each keyword to attract them will be different and therefore so will your Ads.

The choice is yours at what phase you want to play but keep in mind the higher in the funnel you play, the bigger the reach, the lower the Cost per lead but also the lower the conversion.

If you are on a tight budget and conversion (in our case sale) is your focus, I would consider targeting potential customers that are in the BOFU zone.

If you are interested in knowing more about the latest version of the Marketing Funnel called the Marketing Vortex, you can click here.

All that’s missing now is the Ad.

Step 4: Write your first Google Ad for the Google Search Network

Now that you know you want your maximum keyword price to be in the $3 range, it’s time to determine some keywords.

Getting Started

Let’s go to the Google keyword planner.

And select Discover new keywords.

Type 3 to 4 keywords.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

If you were looking to buy oil paintings online, what would you enter into the Google search bar?

Type in exactly that for your keywords.

FYI, I am using our original example of the paintings.

Note that my keywords are not one word only. They are between 3 to 4 words each. They are called long-tailed keywords.

Long-tailed keywords have much lower reach but are also much more focused and convert way better. Actually, it is estimated that 70% of your conversion come from Long-tailed Keywords.

Also, note that I am focusing here on BOFU where my potential customers are clearly looking to buy.

Keep “include brand names results”. These are the easy, ‘low hanging fruit’ terms that are already associated with your company. That could mean the name of your product or service.

These terms will help you net easy conversions from people who’re already looking for you by name.

The downside of that, though, is that we’re talking about a pretty small market in the scheme of things. Instead, you need to go after bigger terms from people who haven’t heard of you yet.

Narrow down the language of your potential customer and their location.

Enter your domain, to filter out services, products, or brands that you don’t offer.


Make sure at the top of the page that your search network is for Google so that to exclude the network (these are sites that show banners etc.).

You can see here the keywords you entered as well as the related monthly search volume, Bid range as well as some other keyword ideas from Google.

From the example above, you can see that the monthly search for “buy oil paintings” is 10 times higher than “buy oil paintings online” but that the top end of the Bid Range is only $2.05 vs $3.51.

So, “buy oil painting’ might be the best one to add to your keyword list.

That’s if the competition index was not so high (some more info below on this). But if it was not, you would add the keyword, tick its box and select either Add to plan or Add to Ad group.

The level of competition for each keyword is useful and it can be valuable to add a column called competition index. For this, select the column icon at the top right of your page and select the Competition by index value.

This is a very useful feature as it allows you to find some niches to target like the keywords with an index of 35 or less.

Another great tool you can use is Google Trends.

There, you can also look at a keyword based on:

  1. What’s trending – To see if specific places, locations or related topics are gaining steam in the mainstream media.
  2. Seasonality – Around big events that are taking place in the next few weeks.
  3. Site search – Google Analytics will tell you what people are searching for already on your site. So, You just need to find it and give it to them.

So, now you know how to use Google keyword plan feature and select keywords, let me share some more advanced and smarter ways to do it!

They are some tools that have additional features that can speed this process up by identifying right away keywords that have good enough volume and low competition indexes for you to target.

You can then export them and copy and paste in Google Ads.

Moz, SEM Rush and Ahref keyword research tools

They are all paid tools but offer some free trials and are worth the investment if you are an agency or with significant portfolio of products to manage.

Moz’s Keyword Explorer.

A very useful tool. Start with one search term and it’ll provide performance indicators like monthly volume, Difficulty score (similar to Competition index in Google keyword planner), An organic CTR and a Priority score (a combination of the others parameters, a sweet spot of high volume, organic CTR and lower difficulty, the higher, the better) and a list of recommended suggestions that you can sort by both relevancy and search volume.

If you select See all suggestions, you will be able to filter these by high volume as well.


Works the same way but you can also use it to spy on your competition!

You can see who else is bidding on these same terms you’re researching, and even what Ad copy they’re using to target this phrase.

So, if you type in “Marketing consultant” for example, you can also export their Ad copy to think ahead about what other relevant terms might be appropriate.


Similar to Moz, its interface is really friendly and also offers multiple features including a backlink analysis. Check it out!

The keywords you pick are important. But you also need to consider their match types too.

The importance of selecting the correct match type

We already covered the various type of match types in a previous section and also discussed how to use them in a SKAG strategy if this is the option you prefer.

So, you know that a broad match will pull in the widest amount of people possible. While exact will pull in the smallest.

You typically need a balance of Broad, Phrase and Exact match types in order to get the best bang for your buck. Too few, and your reach will be too small. Too many, and you’re overpaying for junk clicks with no conversion.

To use the example from my SKAG strategy, So, here’s how you would write each keyword related to the blue socks for Men I am trying to advertise for with PPC.

CAUTION: the punctuation is very specific for each type, make sure you get it right

  1. Broad: +men’s+blue+socks
  2. Phrase: men’s blue socks
  3. Exact: [Men’s blue socks]

Using a mix of these match types will make sure that you get a good cross-section of search terms.

Why is this important? This is important, because while you’re bidding on keywords, what you are in fact paying for is search terms.

Search terms are the words people are using when they type into Google and your Ad gets displayed.

If you did not use the proper match types before, you probably started to get some random search terms that were not that relevant.

How do you check, what search terms you are paying for? Under the “Keywords” tab, select “Search Terms report and see all of the terms you’re currently paying for.

Surprising right?

The good news is that, if you see search terms that you do not like, simply select them and choose “add as negative keyword“. Easy!

And this basically tells Google never to show your Google Ads for those again.

This list of negative keywords will get better over time which means that your ROI will also.

All right, now you know the basics about keywords and I know it can be overwhelming so let me go through with you in detail about one of my favorite strategies to select your optimum keywords and ideal Ads to create: check out your competition!

PRO Tip: Check out the competition

The idea is simple, why reinvent the wheel when you can reverse engineer what your competitors do best?

Writing an Ad is easy, writing an Ad that performs well right away without having to spend countless hours and thousands of dollars to find the right one is hard.

This is how to save you time and money!

Go to, one of my favorite tools for the job.

As an example, let’s take our original painting business where we identified that “Buy oil Painting” was an interesting one for us.

Enter “Buy oil Painting” in the search box.

You will see some valuable info like volume, CTR, Main advertisers as well as keyword difficulty and main search platform.

When you scroll down, you can see the biggest advertisers for this keyword as well as some more relevant information like their monthly budget, total keywords used, Ad position etc…

Click on one of your competitors, in this case “”, they spend only $6.99k per month across 622 keywords.

Now you can see listed by keywords, when “” advertised and what Ads they used.

The color change in the icon does not represent better or worse but rather a change from the previous Ad, so if you see that the icons are changing color month after month, it probably means that the advertiser found an Ad that was working for them and worth you looking at closely.

On the right side of the frame, you also have the Top Ads the advertiser runs, SpyFu ranks by frequency from the highest to lowest.

Using also the filter, you can also restrict the Ads to those using the keywords most relevant to you and in this case the entire screen update accordingly.

How do you like this? You now know the best Ad that has been written for your relevant keyword without having done any setting of your own! What a savings!

Nothing is stopping you from being heavily inspired from this Ad to create your own!

Great, right?

Even better, you can check out all the keywords “” is betting on in more detail by clicking on the PPC Keyword tab.

Of, course SpyFu is not the only solution out there you can use. You can also do similar searches with SEMRUSH, Ahrefs, MOZ and Ubersuggest for other matured solutions.

I also made available to you my Digital Marketing Tools that cover all you will need and more. Check it out.

Competitive intelligence is widely used in many industries. I myself worked for organizations whom entire strategies were to be “quick followers” with tremendous success and where the focus was to legally use other companies work and reverse engineer it, hence saving millions in innovation and advertising.

It is a strategy I more than often apply as a Marketing Consultant and if you need help with one of your Marketing projects, feel free to reach out!

Needless to say, you now have a pretty clear idea of what Ads you want to create, these are the steps to create your Google Ad.

Create your first Google Ad

Recent changes

Google recently made changes to text Ads so that you have more room to convey your message to customers. Now, you can:

  • Add a third headline
  • Add a second description
  • Use up to 90 characters for each description

You now have 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.

Headline 3 appears after Headline 2 at the top of your Ad and can be up to 30 characters. It will be separated from Headline 2 by a pipe symbol ( | ), and on mobile devices it may wrap to the second line of your Ad. Headline 3 may not always show.

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
Table of allowed number of characters in fields of a google ad

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.

Top 12 tips to stop wasting money while writing a PPC Ad

Tip #1: Have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

It consists of one headline that is the end-benefit you’re offering in one short sentence. Make it an attention grabber.

If you are struggling to find your USP, remember, you don’t need to be unique to the whole world, just in the customer’s mind. A great article from Anthony K. Tjan in Harvard Business Review indicates some value propositions ideas that always work such as Best quality, Best bang for the buck, Luxury and aspiration and Must-have.

Tip #2: Use similar headline copies on both your Ad and landing page. ran a study that showed that conversion rate increased by over X2.5 when the landing page was capturing some of the headline of the Google Ad. Check it out!

Tip #3: Mirror the visitor’s end goal

Johnathan Dane founder of KlientBoost, showed that applying this technique resulted in 30% increase in CTR in conversion.

Here the searcher is trying to sell his car.

This is what Jonathan tested to answer this search: “Need To Sell Your Car?” (control) versus “We’ll Buy Your Car Today” (variation).

TIP #4: Use countdown timers to trigger loss aversion.

It is based on the knowledge that we’re more readily motivated by the idea of losing out than the idea of gaining something. Google has recently come out with a simple countdown timer you can set within your text Ads.

Clarks America saw a 32% increase in CTR and a 3% increase on conversion rates from using the countdown timers.

TIP #5: Keep your Ads current.

This is based on our feeling that certain things are more relevant or exciting when they just happened.

By running these 2 Ads (Control on the left and variation on the right) a law firm saw a whopping 217% increase in CTR and 23% improvement in conversion rates.

TIP #6: Include a Call To Action

The easiest way to get people to click your Ad is to ask them to do so. Seems basic, almost stupid, but it works.

You can even boost your CTA by using Power Words (More on this in the next tip).

TIP #7: Make your Ad personal

There is nothing more personal than using your customer name in the Ad. Unfortunately, this is not possible just yet. Therefore, the second in line is the term: “you”.

“You” is considered a Power Word (More shortly on this) and will have tremendous impact on your conversion if used properly. So, how do we use it?

Which one(s) do you prefer? It seems pretty clear that Shopify and Volusion is doing a great job, but AmeriCommerce could improve.

Although AmeriCommerce may believe that “Awarded “Best eCommerce Solution” is a sign of quality, it does not address what they can do for their customers. There is no use of power words or benefits either.

TIP #8: Use Power Words

No matter what type of content you are creating, whether being an email, a newsletter, social media post, a video, a podcast, some copy on your website, a landing page, a blog, an Ad (like us today), a press release, an article, a webinar or some other kind of visual content…, you will need to use the right words.

All these power words will have a great impact in your conversion. You can download and share my New 2020 list of 965 Power words here.

Power Words play on our psychology and when used properly, are proven to compel people to take the right action increase your content audience and social media engagement.


In the same way, if your Google Ad copy is filled with power words, you’ll build a strong desire for your product or service in the customer’s mind. Your Ad will consequently convert at a higher rate.

In fact, Teespring increased their conversions by 12.7%, just by adding a few power words to their call-to-action!

Here are the main categories of keywords and some examples.

Greed Words

Greed is the natural human tendency to want more stuff than we actually need. These power words can trigger that tendency by playing on scarcity and loss aversion, or simply by making something sound more valuable.

Example 1: Free

Example 2: New

It creates excitement. People are looking for new content all the time. It is also proven that people like to be the first to share new things with their friends.

Curiosity Words

According to curiosity-drive theory, curiosity is a naturally occurring urge that simply must be satisfied. These power words will make your blog post headlines, email subject lines and landing page headlines impossible to resist.

Example: Secret

It generates curiosity within each of us and triggers a desire for knowledge and increases audience engagement.

When you are releasing something new or delivering a new piece of insightful content, this is a powerful word to use.

Copyhackers, who once used curiosity words and increased clicks by 927%.

Sloth Words

Sloth is the avoidance of work: people are not motivated to do more than the absolute minimum work to achieve their online aims. Use these power words to make your lead magnets sound more digestible, to make your products sound more useful, and to make your headlines more enticing.

Example: Easy

With the huge amount of information, we all have access to, and the additional difficulty to understand and absorb it, it is proven that we all tend to go for the path of least resistance. The Easy way!

Lust Words

Lust is usually thought of as sexual, but it’s actually just an intense desire for any item. When we lust after something, we crave it so badly that we stop thinking rationally. Use these tantalizing power words to amplify that craving.

Example: Engaging

Vanity Words

You may not think of yourself as “vain”, however, researchers have found that vanity is one of the chief driving forces that lead to purchase decisions. The fact is, we buy into things because of how we think they will make us look: both to others, and to ourselves. Use these power words to show how your offer (whether it’s a product, service, or lead magnet) will make your visitor look more attractive and more successful.

Example: You

We mentioned it previously, great to personalize

Trust Words

Have you ever stopped to think that trust is really what content and email marketing is all about? Whether you are writing blog posts, creating signup forms, sending emails, or tweaking your product pages, the real purpose behind all of that is to build trust between the consumer and your brand. Use these power words to speed up the trust-building process

Example: Proven

“Proven” strategies mean a significant saving in time and money in testing and guessing. A clear winner!

Anger Words

Anger has a huge influence on our perception, reasoning, and decisions. Stirring up the emotion of anger in your visitors and customers is a bad idea, when it is targeted at your company. However, it can also work for you, if the anger is directed at something else. Think about what makes your prospect angry about your industry. Stir up those emotions with these power words, and then provide the solution.

Example: Waste

Outbrain found that the headlines that focus on threats and mistakes got 69% higher Click-Through Rates than positive ones, while also outperforming them 50%.

When writing an Ad text, switching the CTA from talking about saving money to wasting money might make all the difference.

Going from “Get these money-saving tips now,” to be, “Stop these 5 brain-dead money-making mistakes now.”

Fear Words

Fear is perhaps the most powerful motivator of all. It’s that primal instinct that keeps us safe, that keeps us alive. If you want to inspire your readers to take action, use these power words to make them fearful of what might happen if they don’t.

Example: Hack

All these power words will have a great impact in your conversion. You can download and share my New 2020 list of 965 Power words here.

TIP #9: Make your Ads hyper localized

Did you know that according to WordStream, 43% of all search-related conversions happen over the phone?

You probably target your Ads by location and this is a good thing. You may even have enabled call reporting or message reporting where Google provides a unique phone number that’s displayed with your Ads or extensions.

If a potential customer calls or messages this phone number, Google Ads will route the call or message to your business phone number. You’ll then be able to see detailed reports about calls or messages generated from your Ads.

Whenever possible, Google forwarding numbers will share the same area code or prefix number as your business but not a local number to your customer.

But did you know that having phone numbers with geographic proximity to the visitor can double your conversion rates? Even if you sell worldwide.

Check this out:

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So, if you’re still using the regular Google call forwarding in your Google Ads call extensions, stop it now. It is pretty clear that it will not help with your conversion.

Instead find a call tracking provider and start buying all their local phone numbers that match the areas you will be advertising in. In turn, use these numbers in Google Ads extensions.

This way, when your potential customer, will see in your Ad a local number to them which will increase your conversion.

Tip #10: Use Extensions

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. Use every extension relevant to your business goal.

Some guidelines below from Google:

  • Goal: Get customers to buy from your business location.
    • Location extensions, encourage people to visit your business by showing your location, a call button, and a link to your business details page—which can include your hours, photos of your business, and directions to get there. If you want customers to visit your business location but to call a centralized line (rather than specific locations’ numbers), use call extensions with your location extensions.
    • Affiliate location extensions, help people find retail chain stores that sell your products.
    • Callout extensions, add additional text to your Ad, like “free delivery” or “24/7 customer support.” Callouts can be used to encourage people to convert offline.
  • Goal: Get customers to contact you.
    • Call extensions, encourage people to call your business by adding a phone number or call button to your Ads.
    • Message extensions, encourage people to send you text messages from your Ad. Available globally at the campaign or Ad group levels.
  • Goal: Direct people to your website.
    • Sitelink extensions, link people directly to specific pages of your website (like “hours” and “order now”).
    • Callout extensions, add additional text to your Ad, like “free delivery” or “24/7 customer support.”
    • Structured snippet extensions, showcase information potential customers will find most valuable by selecting a predefined header (like, product or service category) and listing items.
    • Price extensions, showcase your services or product categories with their prices, so that people can browse your products right from your Ad.
  • Goal: Get people to download your app.
    • App extensions, encourage people to download your app. Available globally for Android and iOS mobile devices, including tablets. Learn About app extensions.

It is recommended that you use four extensions, they are free to add and they’ll only show if they’re predicted to improve your Ad’s performance.

Tip #11: Use dynamic text to customize your Ad to each person.

These are your options:

Countdowns: Counts down to a certain event, and have your Ads update based on the current time.

Ad customizers: Adds parameters that change automatically based on any attribute you choose: products, categories, prices, and more. Keep in mind that you’ll only see “Ad customizer” as one of your options if you’ve added business data to your Google Ads account. Learn how to upload Ad customizer data

Keywords: Makes your Ad’s text more relevant by dynamically inserting the keywords that trigger your Ad. Learn more.

IF function: Inserts specific text if a condition is met for any of the following dimensions: device or audience. You can also insert default values if your text exceeds the character limit or when the condition is not met. Learn more.

Tip #12: Keep an eye out for.

You have to be very careful here if the keyword you’re targeting includes the brand name of a competitor.

You need to make sure that you do not include the brand name within the copy of your Ad. Otherwise you are likely to get into trouble for copyright infringement.

All right, based on these 12 tips to stop wasting money while writing your Ad. Let’s see as an example how Volusion Ad matches up.

Here’s the Ad and landing page:

Let’s run through the check list and see how they score:

An excellent final score that ticks most boxes!

You can see, this Ad applied most of the tips we covered.

If content marketing and more specifically copywriting is your thing and you would like to know more about writing powerful and engaging headline outside of the context of just a PPC Ad you can check out these two Free tools to help analyze your headlines:

This free blog post headline analyzer will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.

It is based on making sure you have the right balance of common, uncommon, emotional, and power words in your headlines. This structure makes sure your headlines are readable while commanding attention from your audience.

Your headline is unquestionably the most important piece of copy you use to reach prospects and is a key to successful copywriting.

This will score your headline on its ability to reach your customers in a deep and emotional way.

Now, do you remember we covered the importance of quality score and its potential positive impact on your PPC?

Well, now you have your keywords and Ads created, it might be worth checking your Quality Score to see how relevant your Ads are to the keywords you have chosen. You can also see how relevant your landing page is to the keywords you’ve chosen (more on Landing page shortly).

This is how to do it.

Check out your Quality Score

Your current Quality Score and its component scores can be seen with 4 Quality Score status columns: Qual. Score, Landing page experience, Ad relevance and Expected click through rate.

This is how to find your Quality Score and all of its components.

In the upper right corner of the table, click the columns icon (3 vertical bars) then select Modify columns.

Click the “Quality score” section.

To see the current quality score and its component statuses, choose any of the following to add to your statistics table:

Quality Score Shows you an estimate of how relevant your Ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person who sees your Ad. Higher Quality Scores typically lead to lower costs and better Ad positions.

Landing Page Exper. Estimates how relevant and useful your landing page is to people who click your Ad. It takes into account factors such as how well your landing page content matches a person’s search term, and how easy it is for people to navigate your page.

Exp. CTR Measures how likely it is that your Ad will be clicked when shown. This score is based on the past clickthrough performance of your Ads. We exclude the effects of Ad position, and other factors that affect the visibility of your Ad, such as extensions.

Ad Relevance Measures how closely your keyword matches the message in your Ads. A below average score may mean that your Ads are too general or specific to answer the user’s query, or that this keyword isn’t relevant to your business.

To see past quality score and component stats, segment by day and choose any of the following to add to your statistics table:

Quality Score (hist.). Shows you the last known Quality Score for the reporting period. To see your daily scores, segment this column by day.

Landing Page Exper. (hist.) Shows you an estimate of how useful your landing page was to people who clicked your Ad. This column shows you the last known score for the reporting period. To see your daily scores, segment by day.

Ad Relevance (hist.) Shows you how relevant your Ad text was to people who saw your Ad. This column shows you the last known score for the reporting period. To see your daily scores, segment by day.

Exp. CTR. (hist.) Shows you how likely people were to click your Ad over time. This column shows you the last known score for the reporting period. To see your daily scores, segment by day.

Click Apply.

All right, now you have your Ads lined up with your budget and are ready to go right?

Well almost, one more step remains.

After all the efforts you put into setting up the right Google Ads Campaign, you will convince people to click on your Ad and it will cost you money to do so.

Once they click they will be taken to your landing page, which is a page on your website.

Another page you ask?

Not quite!

It is a standalone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor “lands” after they click on a link in an email, or Ads from Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or similar places on the web.

Unlike web pages, which typically have many goals and encourage exploration, landing pages are designed with a single focus or goal, known as a Call To Action (remember CTA?).

It’s this focus that makes landing pages the best option for increasing the conversion rates of your marketing campaigns and lowering your cost of acquiring a lead or sale.

The landing page purpose is HUGE! It is to convince your visitors to convert meaning to become a paid customer.

After having worked and consulted for so many companies, I can tell you that it is a common mistake for organizations to spend all their money on the Ads and, in comparison very little on their landing pages.

If your landing page is awful, you’ll waste all the money you invested in PPC advertising.

A major faux-pas! Once your customers are in your store (in our case your website), they are already hooked and already interested in what you have to offer.

Isn’t it worth every penny to reel them in and close the deal?

Make sure that you’ve done everything possible to convert visitors, before starting to advertise.

If we use our example of paintings, when you send 1000 people to your landing page through Google Ads and convert at 0.5%, you’ll make $2,500 in sales with your $500 painting.

What if you could convert at 2%?

That’s right! You would increase your sales from $2,500 to $10,000 and this without spending any more money in advertising!

Would you say that this increase in sales is worth a little financial investment in a great landing page?

Easy answer, right?

You get it, your landing page needs to convert!

Make sure your landing page rocks

11 Quick and Easy Landing Page Best Practices

Remember one thing, landing page best practices are a starting point to help you construct your best first attempt at a landing page. After that, you need to experiment and let the customers decide what they think is the best converting page for the job. (see section regarding A/B testing below).

1.Ensure your Ad message matches your Ads

This to ensure you’re sending people to a page that matches their expectations.

If you’re running many Ads with different headlines using the Google Dynamic Search Add feature, why not creating variant pages to match? Unbounce offers such a feature and it allows you to dynamically replace text in your landing page and ensure it matches your Ad message.

2.Use clear, compelling copy

It should be clear and straightforward, with strong headlines and USP, fewer paragraphs, more bulleted lists.

Following this recipe: Problem, Agitate, Solution.

Here’s a self-explanatory example used by Ramit Sethi:

3. Keep the action above the fold

Keep your headline, unique sales proposition, and most importantly, your Call To Action highly visible by placing these elements above the fold.

4. Use directional cues to direct the eye

It is unusual that a landing page stops at the fold so right above it, add some visual clues that will indicate to your reader that there is more to read.

Your Call To Action should stand out. It should look like a button with bold copy and contrasting colors and an easily recognizable button shape.

For example


5. Show your product/service in action

This helps your visitors imagine themselves as your customer. It’s also an effective way to explain how it works or look.

You can use all kind of visual content, graph, image, step-by-step animations, demo videos, visuals can help you to capture and keep their attention.

Your hero image section is a great place to do this.

6. Remove navigation and distractions

A great landing page focuses on a single conversion goal and should therefore not have unnecessary links away from your landing page, site navigation, additional calls to action, or even links back to your homepage.

This is a side by side comparison between a homepage (left) and a landing page (right)

7. Include (authentic) social proof

Testimonials are very valuable and they need to be humanized.

Including personal details, like portraits, full names and titles, or even video.

8. Keep it fast

According to Google, if your pages are taking more than 3 seconds to load on a mobile device, you’re going to lose a lot of potential customers.

Follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) and avoid weighing down your landing page with unnecessary elements that’ll slow it down.

If you want to check your landing page speed and recommendations try this.

There google also gives you access to an impact simulator that you can use to see how much more money you would make if your page was faster: an eye opener!

9. Design for all devices

With most people using their cellphone, consider the smaller screen size that restricts readability and interactivity, and load times are slower than desktop.

To ensure better performance use a mobile-responsive landing page that adapts to any device. This will automatically adapt the layout based on the device. CTAs are made more visible, Menus presented differently, and images can be shrunk or removed entirely.

10. Test and update your landing pages

This is where A/B testing your landing pages is coming into play.

It allows you to test different variations of your landing page and split your traffic to see which one converts the best. It is all data based.


There are many tools you can use for it like VWO and many others. You can check out the entire list in my tools section.

11. Consider using a template

Definitely recommended if you want to take the guessing game out of the equation or do not know where to start.

There are many sites offering these templates like themeforest and they may save you a lot of time. You can also subscribe to services that help you build your own pages quickly like Instapage and LeadPages. Both offer beautiful templates that you can select with a click. And both provide limited customizations so you can get a new landing page up within minutes.

Want a bigger list? Click here.

If your landing page is going to focus on collecting data ( also called lead generation) vs CTA, there are a few things you need to implement also.

Lead Gen Landing Page Best Practices

Here’s a few extra pointers that’ll make a difference in your nurture-based campaigns:

Use multi-step forms

If you must collect multiple information (avoid the urge unless absolutely necessary), spread the fields to complete over a couple of steps and not all on the first page.

Always start with the easiest info on the first page and the more “sensitive” on the second one.

Keep in mind also the more information you request the less people will complete your form(s)

Avoid manual entry

Make it easy on your visitor by avoiding manual entries and either provide scroll down menus to choose options from whenever possible or self-populating forms.

Include your privacy policy

Lead-gen forms gather personal information, which requires a little delicacy. Including a link to your privacy policy will reassure your visitors that their data is safe with you. Its inclusion is also mandated by a number of national and international laws, like GDPR.

Say “thank you”

After completing the form, take your visitor to a different page. There you can say thank you, confirm that their information has been submitted and also use the page to introduce them to additional opportunities.

Step 5 : Confirm your Ad and Billing information

Submit your billing information

Automatic payments: You’re automatically charged after your Ads run, either 30 days after your last automatic charge or when you reach a preset amount (known as your threshold), whichever comes first. You can also make payments at any time to control your costs.

Manual payments: Pay when you want for future costs. With this setting, you make a payment before your Ads run. Then, as your Ads run and you accrue costs, the credit from your payment will decrease. When your payment is used up, your Ads will stop running.

Depending on your country and products the payment options can vary but Google is likely to accept credit cards and debit cards for your region.


Congratulations! You can start growing your business via Google Ads.

Google will first review your Ad, before it starts showing it to people. That’s why it doesn’t make a lot of sense to create lots of Google Ads right away.

Once you receive an email from Google, you can go into your account where you’ll see that the status of your Ad has changed.

Once your Ad has been approved you can start creating more Google Ads by copying your original Ad.

That way, you can avoid going through the approval process all over again. Go to the Google Ads tab.

Select your Ad, in the checkbox and click “Edit,” then “Copy.”

Then, click “Edit,” then “Paste.”

Then, you can click on your copied Ad and modify it.

In order to get results on Google Ads, you always need to test different Google Ads against each other.

If you only run one Ad and you get crappy results, you can’t possibly know what would have been better, because you can’t compare it to anything.

That’s why you should create at least a second Ad on your second day, once the first has been approved.

Remember though, we are talking here about Manual bidding technique. You also have automatic bidding strategies that can adjust the Ad to maximize conversion and are also Dynamic Search Ad that can adjust the wording based on the analysis of your website.

Now your Ads are created, you cannot just leave them like that.

It is important to follow a routine to maintain them especially if there are running on automatic bidding.

This can get out of hands quickly if you do not pay attention, you could be wasting a lot of money.

First 30 days of managing your Google Ads account

I have put together the main steps for you to follow up with for a full month after your first Ad was created.

Many of these steps should become part of your routine even after day 30.

Before you start check that you report is set to show your main KPIs:

  1. Clicks
  2. CTR
  3. Conversion Rate
  4. Conversion
  5. Cost/Conversion

Not all these KPIs should apply to each campaign, instead make sure you decided on each campaign goal and use the relevant KPI.

It is very likely that your KPI will vary depending on where your campaign sits within your Marketing funnel.

If any columns are missing in your report, this is how to add them.

I am taking as an example the “cost/conversion”, same process applies to all other information you want to appear in your report.



Week 1

First 24 hours

Review Bidding for Too high bids

Go to your Google Ads account, if your cost equals your budget, it means you have reached your budget limit. In this case, you should either lower your bidding across all keywords evenly or lower it on your top spenders.

A good way to identify your top spenders is to look at the “Cost/conversion” column.

Review your Ad top and Absolute impressions %

In case you did not know yet, the “Average position” column (aka Avg. Pos.) was removed in September 2019 by Google.

It was replaced by Top and Absolute Top Impressions. You can use these new metrics to optimize your Ad position.

“Impression (Absolute Top) %” and “Impression (Top) %”, describe what percent of your Ads appear at the top of the page and absolute top of the page.

Check out this visual: 

Review your Ad positions

If you have any Ad with a very high Absolute impression %, consider lowering your bid, as long as you have a high Top impression % (meaning in the top 3) you should be ok.

If you have Ads that have a low Top impression %, you probably did not spend your entire budget and need to increase your bids on these Ads by 20% to 40% as long as it keeps you within budget.

To help you in this exercise, multiple columns are available in the Bid simulator of the search keyword section.

You can, for example get an estimated additional clicks per week that you might get by increasing your bid 50% from the amount listed in the “Base max. CPC” column.

Keep reviewing these impression % and make adjustment until you have 10% of your budget unspent every day.

Check that your Keywords and Ads are active

You may encounter the following and need to address them:

  1. Disapproved Ads
  2. Disapproved keywords
  3. Conflicting negative keywords
  4. Keywords below first-page bid amount (the amount you might need to bid for your Ad to be displayed on the first page of Google search results).

This is where to find the first-page bid amount info:

Week 2

Review your Ad positions

  • Your Absolute impression % (aka % in position #1) is over 20%, lower your bids by 25%.
  • If your Top impression % (aka % in the top 3) is high, keep the same bidding rules unless you are exceeding your daily budget on your conversion goals.
  • In case your Top impression % is low, increase your bid to the “estimated first page bid” but only if you have room in your budget.

Check if you exceed your weekly budget

  • Check the cost of your campaign in the last 7 days.
  • If you consistently spent your daily budget, you need to reduce your cost by either reducing your bidding or the keywords you use.

Check your click volume

If you are not getting the amount of clicks you were counting on originally then:

  • Reduce your CPC bid for high-costing keywords.
  • Research new keywords to add that have a lower cost/conversion than the ones you use.
  • Try different variations of your Ad to increase your CTR account wide.
  • Pause high CPC keywords.

Review your conversion

  • Check out your Click Through Rates (CTR), ideally, they should be around 6% to 8% depending on your industry and experience level.
  • Consider either pausing keywords or lowering bids for low performers.

Check out for clear loser rule

  • At this early stage, it is difficult to pause an Ad based on low clicks, but the CTR is a quality indicator.
  • If some of your Ads have a CTR of 10% and others of 1%, clearly you can pause the Ads with 1% CTR.

Delete Low Search Volume Keywords

  • Keywords marked as “Low search volume” are associated with very little search traffic on Google, an indication that they’re not very relevant to most customers’ searches. For this reason, Google temporarily makes these keywords inactive so that they don’t trigger your Ads.
  • Delete them but make sure first that they are not misspelled or in the wrong word-order if you are using phrase/exact match type.

Pause Keywords with very low CTR

  • As we already covered, the Quality score is major and has a big impact on CPC campaign. One of the main contributors to quality score is the CTR. When you start a campaign, low CTRs will slow you down.
  • Pause and label them so that you can come back to them in a couple of months when it is less risky to optimize them.
  • Delete them but make sure first that they are not misspelled on in the wrong word-order if you are using phrase/exact match type.

Add negative Keywords

  • This is where to find them

You can then select the search terms and mark them to be excluded.

They will then appear in the Negative keyword list.

The more you have upfront, the more money you will stop wasting on unrelated words.

Week 3

Look for keywords and Ads with Low CTRs

  • The goal at this point is to build our Quality Score and profit and not necessarily maximize our campaign just yet.

Optimize Ads for Your Goal

  • Optimize your Ads so the Ads that are performing best according to the allocated KPIs are the active Ads in your account.
  • Have you thought about looking at your Ads by location or time of the day? You might find out that they can help you also.
  • Pause any underperforming Ads at this time.

Rewrite and Create New Ads

  • We have discussed already the A/B testing for landing pages. The same technique applies here for the Ads themselves since it is now the time to optimize!
  • If your existing Ad is way behind its KPI, rewrite it completely.
  • If your Ad is only trailing by a little, minor adjustments are the way to go. Create an Add with only a small variation, like one word change only and then compare the results.
  • Try one element at a time until you reach the CTR you are looking for.
  • You can review all the elements you can play with here.

Review Bidding for Exceeding Budgets

  • We already did this and will do it again.
  • The key is to apply good practices so that we do not have to compensate the lack of quality of our work by a bigger budget.
  • This is the cycle we are attempting to establish:

Revise Bidding in alignment with your Goals

After 14 days of conversion data you can now adjust your bidding to adjust your Cost/Conversion.

  • Check your stats for the last 14 days for your Cost/Conversion.
  • Lower your Cost per Click if your Cost/Conversion is too high.
  • If your Cost/Conversion is lower than expected, increase your bid if your Top Impression % is low (remember % of time spent in top 3?). Keep it within budget though.

Pause all Keywords that do not align

At this stage focus on the keywords that perform and pause the ones that do not.

  • Pause and label them so that you can come back to them at a later time.
  • Focus on keywords that are already performing well in your campaign.

Run an extensive review of your negative Keywords

You already know how to do this, simply do it again!

Review for low quality Score

If you do not recall how to use this information, refer to this paragraph.

Identify the low scores and work on the other components that impact your score other than your CTR which you already addressed.

  • The relevance of each keyword to its Ad group. (Meaning are people finding what they are looking for when they click on the Ad?)
  • Landing page quality and relevance. (This is the page people will land on once they click on your Ad)
  • The relevance of your Ad text.

For this, check out my 12 tips to stop wasting money on a PPC Ad

Week 4

Minor or Major Optimizations

  • Redo all the steps from Week 3.
  • Review all the previously paused and labelled keywords and Ads with low search volume that we decided not to optimize in week 3.
  • If they have enough click and conversions, it is time to optimize them.

Beyond Week 4

Start a regular optimization schedule

  • Set up a schedule based on the amount of clicks and conversion in your campaigns.
  • If your campaign is composed of less than 30 Ad groups, try to optimize everything at once.
  • If your account is too big, break up the different components of your optimizations:
    • Bid Optimization
    • Keyword Optimization
    • Negative keyword research
    • Keyword expansion
    • Ad Optimization
    • Campaign structure optimization
    • Ad settings (Ad Scheduling, Ad location, Ad extensions …)
  • Review all the previously paused and labelled keywords and Ads with low search volume that we decided not to optimize in week 3.
  • If they have enough click and conversions, it is time to optimize them.


If you made it to the end of this report, congratulations! You are amazing!

As you can tell so many things to remember and implement.

Let me leave you with a few thoughts:

  • Keep your customer and his/her journey in mind at all times.
  • Have a well build website with strong analytics that you will be able to use to build your Ads.
  • Quality first over quantity if you want to make it in the long term.
  • Keep an eye on your budget.
  • Be Conversion/sales focused.

I will be interested in your comments, please enter them below to allow me to fine tune this document, shall you need more information.

Ultimately, if you need help with a specific project, let me know here how I can consult on your case.

Thank you.

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About Gilles Argivier

picture of Gilles Argivier standing with crossed arms

He is an International marketing expert and visionary entrepreneur.

For over 20 years, he has been entrusted by world class organizations as a driver of top and bottom line growth through transformational business development, brand’s sustainable strategy, product innovation and powerful online customer centric experiences

He owns and operates his marketing consultancy firm out of the US.

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Just enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter and GROW YOUR REVENUE

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Please confirm you would like to hear from Gilles Argivier LLC by:

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