How to Advertise on Google

What this guide explains and who is it for

This guide is for those who have never used advertising on Google and aims to clearly explain how Google can increase sales of a company that sells products or services on the Internet or in a physical store.

If you can not explain it simply, you have not understood well enough.
— Albert Einstein

Note for those who already know AdWords: This guide is designed for those unfamiliar with AdWords, so I’m not always using technically correct terms to describe all the concepts. This way of writing in done intentionally to make the guide understandable by anyone. Things are slightly more complicated as explained here.

What does it mean to advertise on Google?

For a person working with Google for years, the statement “advertising on Google” is not very clear. Google has many advertising products that can be used.

Example SERP with Google ads. Link to full resolution image.

What is Google Adwords?

Google Adwords is the principal tool by which advertisers who want to advertise on advertising channels offered by Google are setting up their campaigns.

The main panel of Adwords. Link to high-resolution image.

Advertising Channels purchasable through Google Adwords

This guide focuses on the explanation of advertising campaigns on “Search Network only,” simplifying, the Google results page, also called SERP.

  • Page of the search results of Google Partners (other search engines)
  • Youtube
  • Gmail
  • Google Products
  • Millions of websites, through the Google Display Network

Type of Advertisements purchasable through Google Adwords

This guide focuses on the explanation of the text ads.

Example of an Adwords Text Ad
Example of an Adwords Call-only Ad
Example of an Adwords Video Ad
Example of an Adwords Google Shopping Ad.

Google Docs Tutorial

I created a Google Sheet (a kind of Online Excel Spreadsheet) that contains all the essential data required to set your Campaign. As you read this guide, you can fill it out and then transfer all of AdWords later. Link to the sheet:

How to set the Adwords Campaign

Below I will explain how to set the Adwords campaign step by step.

Step 0: Structure of an Adwords Campaign

Before you start you need to understand the structure of an Adwords campaign.

Structure of an Adwords Campaign. Link to full resolution image.
  • Ad groups (or Groups, or Adgroups): they include two interrelated elements: Ads and Keywords.
  • Keywords: When the users search on Google these keywords (phrases), Adwords shows the Ads contained in the Ad Group on the search result page. It is important to understand that, in principle, when a user enters one of the keywords, any of the ads in the group can be seen. So basically, all the keywords in the group must be relevant for all the group’s ads.
  • Ad: this is how your announcement partially graphically displays on the Google Search result page. I wrote “partially” because in the Ads section you do not set the “Ad Extensions.” That is a different thing that changes the appearance of your Ad.
  • Ad Extensions: these are additional elements that can enrich your Ad giving more information to the potential customer. It is VERY IMPORTANT to use all of those applicable to your business. The Extensions increase a lot the clicks on your ads. In the chart above I have included Extensions at Group level, but they can be at the Campaign level. Campaign Level means that the Extension will appear for all ads of all groups.

Step 1: Map your services/products → Define Adgroups

The first step is to create a clear list of services or goods that you want to advertise. Having a clear and comprehensive list is important. Whether you have ten products/services, or if you have 10.000.

Step 2: Write ads → Define Ads for each Adgroup

For each Text Ad you should write the following things (see image):

  • Headline 1: the first part of headline
  • Headline 2: the second part of the headline.
  • Displayed Url: Write an Url that is clear to read and understandable by the user.
  • Description: Write 1 or 2 sentences that are related to the headline.
  • Different Headline 2
  • Different Descriptions
  • Diverse Final URLs
  • Different Shown URLs

Step 3: Choose keywords → Define keywords of each Adgroup

Keywords are the phrases that you write in the Google search bar. For example in the image below, the keyword is “new york.”

Keyword Example
  1. Is the keyword synonymous of the product? If yes, the go to question 3. If no, you can add the keyword.
  2. Is it possible that the customer is familiar with the synonymous only and NOT original product/service used in the ads? If no, then you can add keywords. If yes, then you have to duplicate the ad group, substitute the name utilized in the Ads with the synonymous, and treat this Adgroup it as if it were a different product/service. Possibly even the Landing Pages must reflect the synonym and not the product name used before

Step 4: Ad Extensions → Define Extensions of each Adgroup.

The Ad Extensions expand the information provided by your Ad. It’s important to use all those are relevant to your Ads and business.

Example of Sitelink Extension in Adwords
Example of Call Extension in Adwords
Example of Price Extension in Adwords
  • Snippet
  • Structured Message
  • Location
  • Affiliate location
  • Review
  • For App

Step 5: Optimization

Good news: you have finished setting up your Google campaign.

  1. A depth knowledge of the business you are advertising


I hope to have been clear enough. Google Adwords is my daily bread, so I may have omitted details that a person who has never used AdWords might have considered necessary.

  • If you have any questions, please contact me via Email or via Twitter.
  • I have earned the Adwords Certification issued by Google. I am qualified to help you grow your business on the web using Google AdWords.
  • You can find more information about me on my personal site,
  • You can find an Italian version of this article here.

Software Product Manager.

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