A Beginner-Friendly Guide to Google Ads for 2024

A business not harnessing the power of online presence feels like a store with lights off in the dark outback. No one sees where you are. Thankfully, Google Ads is here to make your business known! It's touted as one of the most powerful tools in the digital marketer's toolkit

But here comes the big question: how do you get started with Google Ads. Don't worry, we're here to cover all bases with our comprehensive guide to Google Ads

Let's crack open the basics, from crafting click-worthy ads to targeting the right audience with laser precision. By the end of our guide to Google Ads blog, you'll not only understand Google Ads but be ready to launch campaigns that will turn your online presence into a conversion magnet, bringing in sales across all directions! 

What’s Inside this Guide to Google Ads? 

A guide to Google Ads always starts with the basics—understanding the dynamics of Google Ads. 

For starters, Google processes over 8.5 billion searches per day. That's a staggering amount of potential customers looking for products, services, and information just like yours. With Google Ads, you can reach these individuals right at the moment they're searching for what you offer. It’s a game-changer for visibility and engagement, making it a must-have in your digital marketing strategy.

Working on a bidding system, Google Ads is one of the most effective advertising platforms which covers several types of ads, such as search engine ads, video ads, banner ads, and YouTube ads among others. 

Google search has helped customers find their preferred items to buy. With Google being one of the prime search engines worldwide, its presence across multiple platforms is undeniable. And that proves big for your business reach! 

How Do Google Ads Work?

You know Google Ads by words, and now you're curious about how it all works. Welcome to your essential guide to Google Ads, where we'll break down the basics in a way that's easy to understand and even easier to apply.

At its core, Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This makes it a cost-effective way to reach potential customers who are actively searching for what you offer.

How Much Does It Cost? 

We'll break down how to create a Google Ads campaign later, but for now, let's understand the pricing.

Google Ads uses a pay-per-click (PPC) model, so you typically pay each time someone clicks on your ad. But that cost is flexible, as several factors affect the costs. 

  • Competition: How many other businesses are vying for the same keywords? The more competition, the higher the cost.
  • Search volume: How often are people searching for those keywords? High-volume keywords might cost more.
  • Expected reach: How many people do you expect your ad to reach?
  • Timing: The cost can even fluctuate depending on the time of day or year.

So, while it's not a one-click solution, Google Ads offers a flexible way to reach your target audience and grow your business!

How Can You Place Ads? 

Whenever someone searches on Google, an auction happens behind the scenes for that ad space. With Google Ads, you set your 'maximum cost' – the most you're willing to pay for someone to click on your ad, see it, or take another action you choose.

There are three main ways you can choose to pay for your ads:

  • Pay per click (PPC): This is like paying at the checkout. You only spend money when someone clicks on your ad.
  • Pay per Thousand Impressions (CPM): Here, you pay a set amount for every 1,000 times your ad is shown, regardless of clicks.
  • Pay per Engagement (CPE): This payment is triggered when someone interacts with your ad in a specific way, like signing up for a list or watching a video.

So, how does your ad get seen? Google considers your bid along with other factors to decide which ad shows. It's like comparing bids in a real auction. If your maximum cost is lower than what Google thinks the click is worth, your ad might not show. But if your cost is competitive, you're more likely to win that ad space.

Google Ads for Small Businesses

Google Ads can be a powerful tool for small businesses. It allows you to create targeted online ads that reach potential customers exactly when they're searching for products or services like yours. Here's how Google Ads can be particularly beneficial for your small business:. 

Expanded Reach

Using Google Ads allows you to target specific keywords so your ad shows up when people search those terms.


Unlike traditional advertising, Google Ads lets you set a budget and only pay when someone clicks on your ad (pay-per-click or PPC). 

Measurable Results

Track the performance of your campaigns with detailed analytics. See how many people see your ads, click on them, and ultimately convert into customers. 

Targeted Advertising

Reach the right people with Google Ads. It offers powerful targeting options based on your audience's demographics, location, interests, and online behaviour. This ensures your ads are seen by potential customers most likely to be interested in your business.

Multiple Ad Formats

Choose the format that best suits your goals.  There are Search Ads for text-based results, Display Ads for visual elements on websites, Shopping Ads for product listings, and more.

Local Services Ads (LSA)

This is a special option for local businesses.  LSAs showcase your business with a prominent badge on Google Search and Maps, allowing you to connect with potential customers searching for services in your area. You only pay when a qualified lead contacts you.

Do Google Ads Work For Small Businesses?

Unlike traditional advertising with a hefty price tag and limited reach, Google Ads lets you target your ideal customers with laser focus. It brings your business to the people who need it the most, thus, the targeted ads. 

With Google Ads, your business appears on their search results, giving their searchers a chance to learn more about you and potentially purchase your offers. 

If you’re worrying about its possible running costs, here’s something to cheer about–Google Ads allows you to set a budget that fits your comfort zone, so you're in complete control of your advertising spend. No money is wasted, and it pays you back beautifully with an audience that resonates with your brand. 

Types of Google Ads

Google Ads come in various types and forms, all designed to achieve one goal: to give your business more exposure online. However, it's important to remember that there are specific Google Ads tailored to different business campaigns. In this guide to Google Ads, we'll explore the different types of Google Ads and explain how and when you can best utilise them.

Search Ads

These text-heavy ads appear on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) when people search for terms related to your business. Great for driving traffic when people are actively looking for what you offer.

Display Ads

Meanwhile, these are banner ads with images, text, or video appearing on websites and apps across the Google Display Network. It's good for building brand awareness and reaching a broad audience.

Shopping Ads

Product listings with images, titles, and prices that appear on Google Shopping and other surfaces. Ideal for e-commerce businesses to showcase their products directly to potential buyers.

Video Ads

These video ads can run before, during, or after videos on YouTube and other partner websites. Effective for grabbing attention and engaging viewers.

App Ads

Promote your mobile app across various Google properties and partner networks. Useful for driving app downloads and user engagement.

These are just a few of the options. The best type of Google Ad for your business will depend on your specific goals and target audience.

What Is A Google Ads Certification? 

If you believe it's best to leave your Google Ads management to the experts, you might wonder who these professionals are. The ideal candidates are those with a Google Ads certification. So what is it? 

Google Ads certification is a professional credential offered by Google to individuals who pass exams demonstrating their knowledge and skills in using the Google Ads platform.  Earning a Google Ads certification signifies your online advertising proficiency. 

There are various certifications available, each focusing on a specific aspect of Google Ads, such as Search Ads, Display Ads, or Video Ads. Additionally, these certifications ensure you know how and when to use these ads for your business campaigns. 

Best Google Ads for Businesses

Guide to Google Ads - Best Google Ads for Businesses

90% of your consumers say that ads have a huge role in their buying decisions. It’s no wonder why so many businesses turn to Google Ads to boost their visibility, drive traffic, and increase sales. But with so many options available, what are the best Google Ads for businesses?

Our guide to Google Ads, explores the most effective ad types to help you achieve your marketing goals. No matter your business, these several types of Google Ads can hit your campaign goals and target audience.

Search Network Ads

Best for: Reaching users with high purchase intent. These users search for products or services like yours, making them more likely to click and convert.

Use them when: You want to target users based on their specific search queries. For example, an ad for 'best hiking boots' could appear when someone searches for that term.

Display Network Ads

Best for: Brand awareness, retargeting past website visitors, and reaching a broad audience with visual content.

Use them when: You want to showcase your brand visually or reach users who have yet to actively search for your product but might be interested. 

Shopping Ads

Best for: eCommerce businesses or companies with a large product catalogue.

Use them when: You want to showcase specific products and encourage direct purchases. These are ideal for users who compare shopping options online.

Video Ads

Best for: Telling a story about your brand, showcasing product demonstrations, and engaging users with a more emotional connection.

Use them when: You want to grab attention with a captivating video message or dynamically highlight product features.

App Ads

Best for: Driving app downloads and increasing user engagement.

Use them when: You have a mobile app and want to reach new users or encourage existing users to interact more with it.

How To Use Google Ads Effectively

We're down to the most crucial part of this guide to Google Ads, and that is knowing how to use Google Ads effectively for your business. These are the key considerations you shouldn't skip:

Target The Right Audience

Use Google's powerful tools to pinpoint exactly who sees your ads. This means reaching potential customers most likely to be interested in what you offer.

Craft Compelling Ad Copy

Write clear, persuasive messages that grab attention and encourage clicks. Highlight your unique selling points and what makes your business stand out.

Optimise For Conversions

Design your landing pages to convert ad clicks into sales or leads seamlessly. Ensure a smooth user experience that motivates visitors to take action.

Track And Analyse Performance

Regularly monitor your ad campaigns' performance. Use Google Ads' built-in analytics to see what's working and what's not. This allows you to constantly refine your campaigns for better results.

Set Realistic Budgets

Determine a budget that aligns with your overall marketing goals. Google Ads offers flexible budgeting options to help you stay in control of your spending.

Wrapping up our Guide to Google Ads

You've made it through our beginner-friendly guide to Google Ads for 2024. By now, you should have a solid understanding of how Google Ads works, how to set up your first campaign, and the strategies needed to optimise and succeed in the ever-evolving world of online advertising. With the knowledge you've gained from this guide to Google Ads, you're now equipped to navigate this powerful tool with confidence and skill.

If you're looking for professional support, Elephant in the Boardroom is here to help. Our team of experienced marketers can provide personalised strategies and insights to ensure your Google Ads campaigns reach their full potential.

Let's take your business on a wild ride to success!  Contact us here today and let's turn those online viewers into converting customers!


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