Advertising on Google is one of the best decisions you can make to expand your reach, find new customers, and grow your business. Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is the world’s largest and most widely used online advertising platform, and by advertising on Google, your business can reach a potential audience of millions.
Let us help you get started with this beginner’s guide to advertising on Google.
How Advertising on Google Works
Google Ads functions as an auction, but unlike a regular auction, it’s not just your bid that matters – the auction takes the quality and relevance of your ad campaigns into account. This means that the playing field is level for everybody, not only those advertisers with the deepest pockets.
The Google Ads auction is centered around the concept of keywords. Advertisers identify keywords that are relevant to their business – and that searchers are likely to use when trying to find something – and bid on them, stating how much they are willing to pay each time a Google user clicks on their ad. This is where the term “pay-per-click advertising” comes from.
The ad auction takes place every single time a searcher enters a keyword into Google, meaning that every single search for keywords you’re bidding on represents an opportunity for your ads to be shown to prospective new customers. And since those prospects are actively looking for what you’re selling, you’ll be showing up at the exact right moment. This is what makes advertising on Google so powerful, and one of the best ways to grow your business.
How to Advertise on Google
Advertising on Google requires a Google Ads account, which is free to create. Once you’ve opened your account, it’s time to figure out how to use Google Ads to grow your business!
The following is a ten-step process for advertising on Google:
- Establish your account goals
- Determine your audience
- Conduct keyword research
- Set budgets and bids
- Build your optimal account structure
- Write high-performing ads
- Create effective landing pages
- Implement conversion tracking
- Grow your remarketing lists
- Make optimization a habit
We’ll provide more tips on how to optimize your Google advertising below.
Optimal Google Ads Account Structure
The first step is to consider your account structure. Although there are many ways to structure an AdWords account, such as mirroring the structure of your website or by product categorization, the most effective and successful accounts all share the same qualities when it comes to organizational hierarchy. The following figure shows an optimal Google Ads account structure:
The account itself is the topmost level. Within each account are campaigns. Some advertisers only run a single campaign at any given time, whereas others run numerous campaigns simultaneously. Each campaign houses various ad groups, each of which, in turn, contain unique keywords, ad text, and accompanying landing pages.
Campaigns are often organized by theme, such as a holiday promotion or back-to-school sale. Within each campaign, ad groups are often organized by products or services, such as Hanukah merchandise or school stationery. Finally, individual products, such as menorahs or notebooks, have their own targeted keywords, unique ad copy, and relevant accompanying landing pages.
The structure of your Google Ads account may not reflect this hierarchy precisely, but organizing your account in this manner will allow you to keep things organized and tightly themed from the outset, factors that can have significant influence on PPC metrics such as Quality Score.
Check out this guide full of best practices & tips to getting started with Google Ads.
Advertise on Google with WordStream
Aside from the technical aspects of setting up and running a PPC campaign using Google AdWords, many advertisers struggle with the time commitment necessary to achieve success with paid search. That’s why WordStream’s software and free tools have proven invaluable to thousands of businesses advertising on Google.
The Google Ads Performance Grader: A Completely Free Audit of Your Google Account
To maximize the impact of your Google advertising campaigns, you need to know what measures are working and where improvements can be made – and WordStream’s AdWords Performance Grader can help you do exactly that.
The AdWords Performance Grader is the most comprehensive, fully featured free tool of its kind. In 60 seconds or less, the AdWords Performance Grader performs a detailed and thorough audit of your AdWords account, identifying areas in which improvements can be made as well as highlighting successful areas of your account and how they compare to competitive benchmarks for your industry.
WordStream Advisor: The Only Online Advertising Platform You Need
Constant analysis, optimization, and attention are required to make advertising on Google as profitable as possible. However, for many small businesses and companies with limited resources, managing a paid search campaign on Google Ads can be a full-time job. That’s why we developed WordStream Advisor.
Our proprietary 20-Minute Work Week system allows you to effortlessly identify areas in which action can be taken to improve results and campaign performance immediately. WordStream Advisor allows you to manage your Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook advertising campaigns from one responsive, centralized dashboard, eliminating the need to track various campaigns through different interfaces – simply log into WordStream Advisor and take control of your online advertising efforts from one place.
WordStream Advisor customizes its recommendations based on your current campaigns, account history, and other elements individualized to your AdWords account. You will receive action items with specific, actionable recommendations and prescriptive workflows allowing you to make changes to your account in mere minutes that will have an immediate and powerful impact on your account performance. You can track changes over time, and see improvements in your account with our intuitive visual reports.
Try WordStream Advisor today with a free, no-obligation trial and see how we can help you succeed with advertising on Google.
Google AdWords is a pay-per-click online advertising platform that allows advertisers to display their ads on Google’s search engine results page. Based on the keywords that want to target, businesses pay to get their advertisements ranked at the top of the search results page. Since the platform runs on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you have to pay only when a visitor clicks your ad.
The Google AdWords marketplaces work like an auction where people bid for clicks. However, it’s not necessary that the highest bid wins. Apart from money, Google also considers the quality score to ensure that the people clicking on the ads have the best possible experience.
What this article covers:
What Is Google AdWords?
Google AdWords is one of the largest online advertising platforms that helps businesses reach customers across the globe and grow their business. Through this pay-per-click network, advertisers pay Google to target users based on their keyword search, the country and device type and deliver their ads to users who are interested in their products or services.
Here’s what an ad may look like:
What Are Google Ad Networks?
Google AdWords allows businesses to target users on two main networks – the search and the display network.
On the search network, advertisers bid on the relevant keywords. This gives them a display their advertisements to users who enter those keywords into Google as part of a search query. The paid search results are usually displayed on the top and bottom of the page have a small ad icon next to them.
The display network, on the other hand, offers advertisers the chance to display their banner advertisements on the websites that are a part of Google network.
What Is Ad Rank?
The Google AdWords system is principally a live auction where advertiser places a ‘bid’ in the AdWords system to secure a particular ad position. Depending on the competition and price bid by other advertisers, the advertiser either gets the desired position or related to a lower position.
Your actual ad position is, however, determined by two factors, your maximum bid multiplied by your quality score.
While maximum bid is how much you’re willing to pay when viewers click your ad, quality score refers to how well an ad is optimized, the quality of landing page, your expected click-through rate and the relevance of your ad to the searchers. The better your ad rank, the higher your ad is displayed in the google search results.
High-quality ads and well-performing AdWords campaigns are also rewarded by Google with discounted per-click costs, higher ad ranking positions and are more likely to show in top placement above organic listings.
How Do I Use AdWords?
To use Google AdWords, follow the steps below:
- Establish your account goals. For example, if you are using your Google Ads for brand building, the account structure and the features that you use will be completely different if you use ads for lead generation
- Develop audience personas by determining who your ideal customers are, what they do, what are they searching for and on what device
- Conduct keyword research by using keyword tools, such as SEMrush, to discover, cost, competition and volume for the search terms at every stage of your search
- Structure your AdWords account into different ad campaigns and ad groups, each featuring relevant keywords and ads
- Once you’ve listed the keywords relevant to your business, you can place your ads in the search results by bidding on the keywords. If the competition is high for the keywords, your Cost Per Click (CPC) would be too high to bid. In this case, it’s better to get granular and bid for long-tail keywords that are relevant for business
- Create the ad copy. Make sure that you include relevant keywords, a compelling headline, a clear call-to-action and ad extensions
- Design a mobile-friendly landing page that focuses on the benefits and features of the product or service that you’re trying to sell, has good-quality images, a form and a clear call-to-action
- Place a Google Analytics code on the website for conversion tracking
- The key to a successful ad campaign is routine optimization and A/B testing all your ad copies and landing pages
How Does Google AdWords Charge?
The amount that Google AdWords charges advertisers depends on what they are advertising.
Since Google AdWords is a pay-per-click advertising program, your ads are displayed for free and you’re charged only when someone clicks on your ad on Google search results page. Also, the AdWords system is a live auction, therefore, the click prices are determined by the amount of competition, and how much they’re willing to pay for a click.
When done correctly, Google AdWords can drive high-quality traffic to the website at costs that are much more competitive as compared to other forms of advertising.
However, when you don’t know how to expertly manage the process, costs can rack up fast while you potentially drive low-quality traffic. The key to running a successful AdWords campaign is to understand the factors that play into how much each click costs you.
- Keyword competition
- Maximum bid and bid position
- Your average monthly budgets
- Click-through rates
- The quality score of your keywords
If you’re targeting high-volume keywords with lots of monthly searches, you could be paying a hefty amount for that traffic, which can be anywhere between a few cents to over ten dollars for each click.
To manage your AdWords costs, set a daily budget at the campaign level. You’re free to make changes to this when you like. Ideally, beginning advertisers should start small with a low budget. Based on the insights and the quality of leads, you can determine whether you want to boost your budget or stop a campaign.
Do Google Ads Really Work?
Google Ads can work for all types of businesses – big and small. It’s an affordable form of advertising that can target qualified, in-market prospects when managed correctly.
- The key to making Google Ads work for you is to understand the ins and outs of paid search, bidding strategies, keyword research, account structure etc.
- Map out what you’re able to spend on each campaign, set your daily budget accordingly and keep track of the spend
- Do your keyword research and bid on the phrase and exact keywords at higher bids to get more relevant clicks
- While creating ads make sure they are relevant and enticing enough for the viewer to click
- Optimize your landing pages by running A/B tests to try out variations of a page
- Try remarketing to reinforce your brand
If you’re still wondering if Google AdWords is worth the money, it’s best to start small, adjust based on results, and double down if your campaigns are generating affordable and profitable sales.
Discover How To Advertise On Google By Using The Google AdWords Platform
This course will show you how to advertising on Google using Google’s AdWords Platform.
You’ll discover, step-by-step, how to become successful with your Google ads.
In Video #1: You will get a detailed introduction to the course so you know what to expect.
In Video #2: You will learn what Google AdWords is all about and you will learn where Google ads are shown as well as how to get started with Google Ads.
In Video #3: You will understand several reasons you should use Google AdWords for your business. You will learn some amazing benefits that will compel you to start using Google Ads right away.
In Video #4: You will learn about the Top 5 Google AdWords Automation Power Tools. Here you will be able to see several power tools and services dedicated to help you get the most out of Google AdWords.
In Videos #5 to #11: You will watch our over-the-shoulder methods for setting up profitable ad campaigns from start to finish.
We cover – in detail:
Creating an AdWords Account
Creating your first campaign
Creating your first ad
Creating your first keyword list
Entering your Billing Details
Getting familiar with your AdWords Account and
Going Mobile with AdWords.
In Video #12: You will discover 10 Proven Google AdWords Tricks you should start using today. Tricks that you can apply and definitely see great results in your Google AdWords Marketing efforts. These tricks have been used by experienced marketers to obtain awesome results.
In Video #13: You will learn the 10 dos you must have with AdWords. These are exact things you should remember to practice so you can succeed on Google AdWords.
In Video #14: You will learn the 10 warnings you should be aware of on Google AdWords. Miss them and be prepared to be disappointed in your Google AdWords Marketing Efforts.
In Video #15: You will get the chance to look at several exciting Google AdWords Case Studies. These are actual examples that show you how well Google AdWords can work so that you can have complete confidence in your ability to achieve your own business success story with it.
In Video #16: You will learn how to use Google AdWords as an Internet Marketer in order to make money online. These include strategies that you can apply to see great results in your Internet Marketing efforts. These Strategies have been used by experienced internet marketers to get awesome results.
You’re interested in marketing your small business online, but you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Google’s online advertising program, Google AdWords, allows you to place an ad in front of customers searching for products/services you offer. You can create an Adwords account with as little as $5. Google AdWords is a pay per click model, so you’re only charged when a user clicks your ad. But how do you compete with big companies with the budgets to match? What if you only have $100 a month to spend on online advertising?
The key to advertising with a small budget is to narrow your campaign and be as targeted as possible. Having a targeted campaign will limit how many potential customers see your ad, and how many can eventually make a purchase. However, it will provide the most sales potential at the lowest cost. Here are five of our favorite Google AdWord tips that’ll get the most bang for your small budget:
1. Google Search
Businesses with small advertising budgets should only advertise on Google Search. While Google Search Partner and Google Display Network can produce some leads for your business, they tend to be less qualified and less efficient than Google Search. Therefore, we recommend you start with Google Search first.
2. Keyword Selection
Selecting keywords for campaigns on a small budget is important. The most obvious keywords to target are your branded keywords. These branded keywords include your company name, your brand plus the products/service you offer (i.e., Klimisch Inc, Klimisch Autobody, Klimisch auto repair shop, etc.). Branded keywords are low cost per click (CPC) and drive the highest conversion rates. Already rank in the top position in Google organic search? A study by Google has shown that even with a #1 rank in organic search, PPC ads still provided 50% incremental clicks. These incremental clicks were not replaced by clicks on organic search when the PPC ads didn’t appear.
Also, you can try to target long tail keywords instead of generic head terms. Long tail keywords are keyword phrases that’re more specific and targeted to a given business. For example, the keyword “restaurant” would be considered a generic head term, as there are many types of restaurants in many different locations. Even if you narrow your keyword list to “Japanese restaurant,” that might still be too broad since there can be a lot of different Japanese restaurants in a given city. You want to include your city/area/zip code and specific products/services that you offer. Long tail keywords for a Japanese restaurant in say, Palo Alto, California that services ramen and yakitori could be “Japanese restaurant in palo alto ca,” “Japanese restaurant near 94305,” “Japanese ramen restaurant in palo alto,” “Japanese yakitori restaurant near 94305,” etc.
Google allows advertisers to show PPC ads only to users that are searching from a specific location. You can target by city, zip code or even radius targeting by mile/km around your business location. This ensures that you only show ads to users near your business service area.
You could also use geotargeting to only target users outside of your city or immediate area. You could test sending coupons or special deals to these users to provide them an incentive for going out of their way to buy/use/dine at your business.
4. Day Parting
Day parting equates to showing your ads only at specific times and/or days. If your business hours are only from 9am-9pm, then you may want to turn off your ads during non-business hours. There are also more advanced uses for day parting including only running/stopping ads during peak hours or slow times/days. You may want to run ads during peak hours because conversion rates will be highest at that time. Conversely, you could turn off ads during peak hours because you already have more business than you can handle during those hours. For slow hours/days, you could offer coupons or specials only during those hours to try to drum up business.
5. Device Targeting
Google allows you to target desktop/laptops, mobile devices, and tablets separately. We recommend splitting up mobile device targeting from desktop/laptop and tablet campaigns. Desktop/laptops and tablets are similar enough that you can keep them together. Mobile is different because of the smaller screen and the ability to make a call. Mobile device targeting is very important for brick and mortar businesses. Users searching for a service/product on their mobile phone are more likely to be interested in buying something instantly. For example, a user searching for restaurants or tire repair on their mobile phone is more likely to buy or make a reservation at that moment.
Google also allows advertisers to include a telephone number in their ads, so users can click and call your business directly. Another reason to target mobile devices separately is the limited real estate available on mobile phones. On desktop/laptops and tablets, Google will show up to 10 ads (3 on top, and 7 on the side) on a given search results page. On a mobile, there’s only space for around 5 ads (2 on top, and 3 on bottom). Therefore, it’s much more important to get in the top 2 spots on a mobile device to ensure users see your ad.
Google AdWords is a great way to dip your toes in the Google advertising waters to grow your business and drive sales. You can start with as little as $5, yet reach millions of customers searching for your products/services on Google each day. Remember, you only have to pay when a user clicks on your ad. By using these Google AdWords tips, you’ll get positive results and increased sales.
© 2013 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.
So, you are thinking of using Google Ads (previously Google Adwords) to advertise your marijuana or cannabis business online. If this is the case, I have some good news and some bad news for you. I’ll give you the bad first.
The bad thing is that technically, it’s against Google’s TOS to advertise marijuana or marijuana-related businesses on Google.
The good news is that it is still possible to advertise on Google Ads with the right methods.
What are Google Ads (Adwords)?
Google Ads are Google’s auction-based advertising system that allows you to display ads for common search keywords in Google. You can tell Google Ads results by the little green ad label next to a listing.
Here is an example of some Google Ads:
They show before organic results and sometimes on the right side depending on which device you are searching on.
How Does Google Adwords Work?
Google Ads were on an auction-based system. You bid a set amount on where you want to show up among competitors (if any). This bid is set on a cost per click basis… that means you are willing to pay $x amount per click to your website.
Let’s say the highest cost per click (CPC) for the keywords ‘marijuana SEO’ is $1.00. If we wanted to show up in the first position, then we would need to set a minimum bid of $1.01. Then, if someone clicks on the ad, we would get charged $1.01.
But Google also looks at a number of other factors like the click-through-rate of the ad, the landing page experience, and the ad text relevance. If your ad has a good click-through-rate for certain keywords, your ad will show more with a reduced cost per click because Google thinks its a good ad and is providing a good experience to their users.
Here is a simple graphical explanation of how it works, from Wordstream:
There are many other factors and inner workings of the Google Ads system but this is basically how it works. But how much does it cost to advertise on Google Adwords?
Well, it can range but if you have keywords with a lot of competition, you can pay a hefty price per click.
How Much Do Google Ads Cost?
To show ads on Google, you will pay anywhere between $0.01 and upwards of $100 per click.
Depending on the competition, niche, service, and cost of the product, the CPC can vary widely. In the marijuana and Cannabis niche, it’s pretty low since there is basically no competition because it’s again the Google TOS to advertise for marijuana.
In our experience, we have seen an average CPC of $1.50 but in some ancillary businesses like CPAs and Insurance providers, we have seen upwards of $10 per click.
Marijuana & Google Ads TOS
Cannabis and Marijuana fall into Google’s advertising policy, Dangerous products or services. Which states that recreational drugs are not allowed to be advertised for on Google Search or Display. Here are Google’s exact words:
This doesn’t necessarily reference any ancillary businesses that provide services like cannabis accountants, marijuana insurance or even marijuana marketing but if you are to try and create ads, it’s likely they will get disapproved.
But why is this? There are plenty of other marijuana businesses out there advertising on Google:
Well, its somewhat of a process, but it is possible to run ads in Google for marijuana businesses. We do it for a number of clients and are seeing some good success.
Cannabis & Approved Google Ads
Getting Google to approve your cannabis or marijuana ads can be tricky. Their algorithm is very good at finding ads related to recreational drugs and taking them down. But we have figured out this algorithm and have some great ways to advertise for marijuana dispensaries, delivery, doctors, insurance providers, P.O.S. providers and more.
Ad Text & Headlines
Getting your cannabis ad to be approved on Google Ads will require picking the right ad text and headlines. If you use certain keywords in your ad text or headlines you may get flagged instantly. This means using keywords like:
You have to be somewhat careful what you choose as the algorithm has certain words that it automatically finds and disapproves your ad.
As with the ad headline and text, you will want to be careful when choosing the right keywords to advertise for on Google. Using the above keywords may get your ad or keyword flagged and inactivated. A good tip is to use keyword modifiers instead of basic keywords. This means using keywords like:
If your ads get disapproved to often, then the Google Ads algorithm will ‘flag’ the URL or domain that you are using to send the traffic to. This means that when you try to create another ad with that URL, they will automatically ban it. This happens often when you are advertising in this space because technically, it’s against their TOS.
When this happens, you will either need to create a new domain or set up a landing page to redirect the traffic. We do this often for our clients and charge 20% of your monthly ad spend to keep the Ads going.
Google treats aged accounts with more leniency than if you create a brand new account. If you have access to an older account, you may have more luck getting approved on Google for advertising. If you have a new account that gets disapproved too much, they will simply suspend the account, but if you have an aged account they will just disapprove your ad and URL.
Optimizing Marijuana Ads
Now that you have ads running, its time to optimize, optimize, optimize.
Why run ads if you can’t get a good ROI on your investment?
Installing Google Analytics and Adwords Conversion tracking will help you find the best keywords and the best performing ads. Once these are installed and set up, you can track how much you spent and how much you made through each keyword and ad.
This type of information is vital to getting a good return on your ad spend for your marijuana company. If you are spending a lot, but not getting results it could be due to a bad landing page, low ad rank or bad keywords.
Google Ads for Marijuana Businesses
If you run an online dispensary, ancillary business, grow-op or even manufacturing, we can help you get approved with Google Ads. We have been advertising on Google for over 10 years and can help you generate more leads and sales with Marijuana PPC advertising.
Whether you can’t get approved, don’t have the time or just want highly experienced professionals to manage your ads, contact us today.
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In the digital age, many, if not most, readers begin book searches on the Internet. And while tuned-in bibliophiles know about book-specific sites like Goodreads, many others begin their searches at what is, for all intents and purposes, the central command of Internet discovery: Google.
[Note: this article was originally published in March 2015 and was updated on Dec. 1, 2016.]
Fortunately, Google—like Goodreads and other popular book websites—offers indie authors a means of catching readers at this key moment of discovery. With Google AdWords, the company’s primary advertising platform, self-published authors can publish text ads that will appear on search results pages, targeting those ads to the users who will find them most relevant. And, since Google AdWords works according to a pay-per-click—or PPC—model, users are only charged for each click their ads receive.
Indie author and blogger Rachel Thompson used Google AdWords to advertise all four of her humor books, and notes that the search giant’s audience is much larger than those of author platforms. “AdWords got me on Amazon lists with much higher rankings.”
And while authors of all stripes have made use of AdWords, book marketing veteran Dana Lynn Smith notes individual results will vary, often across genre lines.
“I think Google pay-per-click ads are best suited to how-to books, especially those in specialized niches,” she says. “Because the competition is so high on Google, the pay-per-click rate tends to be pretty high, so it works best for higher priced books or for authors who have other higher priced products to sell, in addition to their books.”
Google offers two iterations of its program: the original AdWords platform and an express version. The express option takes you through all the same steps as the original, but in a slightly different order intended to make the process quicker. On both platforms, building an ad is a five-step process.
In the first step, indie authors will specify how much they’d like to spend. Like other advertising services, such as those operated by Goodreads or Facebook, Google asks users to set a daily budget. This number will determine the number of clicks and impressions authors are estimated to receive in a given time period. The AdWords website creates estimates as users enter different figures, which makes it easy to experiment and find the amount that works best for a given campaign. In one example, a $10.00 daily budget generated an estimate of 48 clicks and 4,000 impressions per day — without specific date range factored in.
Indie authors should keep in mind that most ad campaigns take place over a number of days—with Google Analytics, users set their own start and end date—and that, as the site says, “actual daily spend may vary.” More information on budget-setting is available on Google’s support site.
Mapping Your Audience
The second step in the process asks users to specify the geographical reach of their ads. Users can choose from an array of options—U.S. only, U.S. and Canada, specific cities and/or regions, etc.—and Google will calculate a new estimate for clicks and impressions for each.
If a book is likely to interest readers living in a specific place, it may be worth limiting the reach of an ad to that region, even if it ends up getting fewer clicks and impressions.
The third step in the process asks users to input keywords related to their ads. This step, according to Thompson, is the most important. “Be sure to do your keyword research,” she says. “Otherwise you’re wasting your time.”
Typically, Google will generate some words based on the website the ad will direct users to. Users can take or leave these, and add other keywords as well. Next to each keyword input, users will see a green meter and a number measuring the popularity of each keyword. Test out different versions of terms (e.g., “YA novel” or “Young Adult novel”) to see which works best. Also keep in mind that certain keywords may change the reach of an ad. As before, users will be able to see these changes in real time as they input and delete keywords.
The next step asks users to determine their bid, which is defined as “the most you’re willing to pay for a click on an ad.” Google recommends having AdWords automatically set bids, and, unless users have a solid understanding of e-marketing and analytics, it’s probably sound advice. If users want to learn the basics of manual bidding, Google’s support site offers an overview.
The last step—writing the ad—is also important. Each ad is composed of a link, a headline, and two lines of text. When writing the ad, keep in mind the context—in this case, an already text-busy search results page. Concise, informative calls-to-action work best. For tips about writing ad copy for AdWords, check out Google’s support site.
Monitoring the Ad
Once users have published their ads, they are able to monitor performance using a dashboard that’s similar to a Google Analytics page for a website. The dashboard shows how many clicks and impressions an ad has received, as well as the average cost-per-click rate.
Thompson was able to garner a large number of clicks and impressions by making a significant financial investment and continuing her campaigns for extended periods of time. She invested around $8,000 in Google AdWords over the course of 18 months, using the service to advertise multiple books (her campaign also included a video component). In the case of one book, Broken Pieces, her campaign generated 19,500 clicks and 602,000 impressions. She says that, as a result of the campaign, the book “significantly improved in sales and rankings.”
Since Google’s launch of Google Ads in the year 2000 it has grown into a $95 billion advertising platform.
Since Google’s launch of Google Ads in the year 2000 it has grown into a $95 billion advertising platform.
What was once a fairly low-cost exchange for businesses to attract leads and grow revenue, has become a highly-competitive marketplace which is indispensable to many digitally-focused industries.
Google Ads is no longer a place where inexperienced advertisers can go and make a splash by filling in a few forms. It’s a complex ecosystem of bidding, extensions, creative, and targeting, that only PPC experts can truly optimize.
One important lever of optimization for PPC experts is ad location extensions. Location extensions are a feature in Google Ads that allows you to show business location data – such as your address – with your ads to increase the likelihood of someone taking action.
They look like this:
Location extensions are especially important for locally based businesses who are looking to attract customers who may be just around the corner and searching for a local solution to their problem.
But they aren’t only useful for locally based campaigns. You can show multiple nearby locations, if you have them, and increase your ad Quality Score by making the most of additional ad space for communicating value – subsequently increasing click-through-rates.
So, then, how do you start making the most of location extensions in your Google Ads campaigns?
All you need to do is link your Google My Business account with your Google Ads account and activate location extensions.
But aren’t Google My Business and Google Ads one in the same?
It’s easy to bundle these two platforms together, but Google Ads and Google My Business are two separate and equally important business tools.
Google My Business is a free platform that enables businesses to list their key information on Google Search and Google Maps. Google Ads, on the other hand, is a paid advertising platform that businesses can use to attract more awareness for their business across Google’s search and display network.
These platforms are separate in their setup and purpose. Google My Business is an essential tool for just about any business, whereas Google Ads is more of an add-on for growth-focused companies in certain industries.
But, if you are using Google Ads search ads to generate new business, it is important to link your Google Ads account with your Google My Business account so that your potential customers experience a consistent brand across all mediums.
The rest of this article will walk you through exactly how to link Google My Business and Google Ads using location extensions.
Note: If you are doing this for a client you will need access to both their Google My Business account and their Google Ads account.
Step 1 – Make sure the Google My Business email address and Google Ads email address are the same
To find out which email address is associated with the Google My Business account you are trying to connect, login to Google My Business here and navigate to the account “Settings”:
Once you are in the “Settings” area you will see the preferred email address in the second section from the top:
Is this email address the same as the one being used to log into you or your client’s Google Ads account? If it is, then move onto Step 2. If it’s not, then you’ll need to login to Google Ads and provide Admin access to the email address associated with the Google My Business account.
To do so, in Google Ads navigate to Tools > Setup > Account Access:
From the “Account Access” screen, click on the blue “+” icon and follow the prompts to add the email address as an “Admin” user:
Step 2 – Navigate to Ad Extensions in your Google Ads account
Once you have confirmed that the Google My Business account has adequate access to the Google Ads account, log into Google Ads and navigate to the “Ads and Extensions” section:
From here, click on the “Extensions” tab at the top of the screen:
Step 3 – Create a Location Extension
Click the blue “+” button to create a new extension, and choose the “Location” option:
From the popup screen, select the connected My Business account from the drop-down menu:
Note: If you don’t have access to the appropriate Google My Business Account with this Google Ads email address, you can request access at this step by entering the email associated with that account and following the prompts.
Click “Continue” and review the location information to ensure it is correct, then click “Finish”.
You’re all done! Your Google My Business account is now connected with Google Ads and you can use the locations associated with that account as extensions in your ads.
Here are some other helpful resources for connecting your Google My Business account with Google Ads: