Google AdWords: a beginner’s guide

If you are new to Google Adwords but would like to know how to use AdWords, this article will definitely of help. Paid search expert Stephen Kapusta talks in his article about basics of working with the world’s biggest PPC system AdWords.

Pointer image from Shutterstock 

 So before you start any campaign in AdWords  it is necessary for you to define 4 things:

  • Product or service you would like to advertise
  • Advertising budget
  • Website and landing pages
  • Conversion goals

Then proceed to account creation in Google AdWords (you need to have mail box to be able to do that).

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How does Google AdWords work?

Advertiser ask Google to show their ads in the paid search results for such keywords, which would take user to the relevant landing page of the website, so that user could find it useful and would be able to make a purchase, create account, etc.).

Advertiser compete with each other in the Google AdWords auction for advertising place in Google search result page.

Ads may appear at the top of the page above the organic search results or on the right side.


Google AdWords auction is based on two main elements: keywords and cost per click rate (AdWords cost per click — CPC).

Advertisers bid on search queries relevant to the product or service they sell.

Cost per click is a maximum price advertiser is ready to pay for each click on the ad.

Google AdWords account structure

To understand how Google AdWords system works lets study the account structure. Google AdWords could be compared to car engine with a lot of moving parts. Each part, which consists of many other smaller details, performs the main function. All engine elements work together to reach the common final goal.

Google AdWords account may have one or several advertising campaigns. Each campaign also features one or several ad groups. In AdWords advertising each ad group contains one or several keyword and one or several ads.


Google AdWords account has all the settings for managing the bids, users access, handling payments and sending notifications.


Setting budget, targets and lots of other functions are performed on AdWords campaign level. For every campaign you need to set a daily budget — amount of money you ready to spend per a day. Here you can tune the targeting settings on campaign level (by device, geographical location, language and other parameters).

Ad groups

The main function of ad group is to organize your keywords and ads related to them into small groups. This ensures that the ad is connected to the most relevant keywords.

The cost per click you set for the ad group is applied to all keywords from this ad group.


Ads are shown for the keywords specified for the certain ad group. They consist of heading, two lines for description, URL which is shown, and target URL with link to the necessary landing page.

When developing ad text you should follow strict Google AdWords policy.

Ads are your product or service main presentation, so text should contain keywords which will be able to catch user attention. Additionally, you ad text should reflect your landing page content telling the user what he will find if clicks the ad.


Keywords or phrases chosen by advertiser participate in the auction. Keywords should have connection with advertiser products or services. When the user types in Google search query containing keywords which match the ones you chose, the ads from your ad group are displayed.

Google AdWords has 5 types of keyword match — each of them defines how broad will be the audience to which your ad will be shown.

Exact Match corresponds to the smallest coverage. This match type narrows the probability for your ad to be shown, as it will be displayed only if the keyword you defined and user’s search query will be absolutely identical.

Exact match keywords are written in square brackets, for example [keyword].

Phrase Match. Ad will be shown in response to search queries with the keyword exact match, the same words order. However, in this case other words or phrases could appear before or after the keyword – but not in the middle. Such keyword match type is marked with the help of  quotation marks, for example “keyword”.

Broad Match Modifier will trigger the ad if the user’s search query contains any of the word your keyword has. Other words may appear before, after or within the phrase. This way you can increase the number of types Google shows your ad.  To identify Broad Match Modifier “+” symbol is used. This symbol is placed before each word in the keyword combination. For example,  +keyword +combination.

Broad Match gives the most flexibility. If you choose the Broad Match type, your ad will be shown for all variants relevant to your keyword (including synonyms, singular, plural, misspelling, words with the same root and similar queries). Broad Match is assigned to keyword by default if other type is not specified (exact, phrase match or negative keywords).

Broad Match keywords have no special symbols and are written just like this: keyword combination.

Negative Keywords are used if you don’t want your ad to be shown for search queries containing certain word or phrase. Negative keywords are marked with “-“ symbol before the first word of a phrase. For example,  — keyword combination.

Please note that AdWords negative keywords work according to exact match principle.

It is important to understand when selecting keywords for your ad, that not all search queries which will seem promising to you will drive the quality traffic. That is why you should choose keyword match option based on your company goals.

If you would like to learn more about how AdWords works, check out AdWords help section.




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Google AdWords: a beginner’s guide

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