Google Adwords: Getting Started With Google’s Search Network

Are you seeking an affordable advertising outlet for your business? Google Adwords is a good place to start.

getting started with google adwords

In this post we will cover the following:

  • What is Google Adwords?
  • How does it work?
  • Selecting keywords
  • Starting a campaign
  • Tracking a campaign

What is Google Adwords?

Google Adwords is an advertising service offered by Google extending through Google Search, Google’s Display Network, YouTube, Mobile Apps, and more! Adwords is what’s known as a Pay Per Click service – meaning, you only pay for results, making it a viable option for an advertising budget. Speaking of budget, you set your own, so there won’t be any surprises! Though Adwords is extensive, we’ll keep our focus on Google’s Search Network for the purposes of this post.

How does it work?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely used Google Search sometime in recent history. Below is an example of what you would find searching for “adwords”.

google adwords in action

You’ve undoubtedly seen something similar while performing a search recently, and all it takes is relevant keywords or phrases – We’ll go over choosing relevant keywords later. After you have chosen which keywords you would like to use you’ll then choose how much to spend on each word – this is done through bidding. Don’t let that word freak you out, you choose your spending cap, and bidding can be automated. There is a lot more to how this works, but today we’re covering the basics so you can get started!

You may want to hear it from Google:

Selecting keywords

In order to ensure success on Adwords, you’ll need to make a new friend – their name is Keyword Planner (lame, I know). Given the importance of keywords and phrases in…pretty much any Search Engine, you can imagine finding and using the best terms are of utmost importance. With Keyword Planner you can find the most valuable terms for your industry. But wait, There’s more! You can gauge the potential of any given word by its keyword efficiency, competition, and how many searches per month it receives. You can find the Keyword Planner right from your dashboard.

where to find google keyword planner


Once you’ve found your way using the image above, click “Find new keywords and get search volume data”. Enter your product or service, your landing page (the page corresponding to your specific service – for example, mine is web design, so I am using, then enter your category.

Make your targeting as specific as you can, this will help ensure your money is going to good use. Since my ad is entirely in English, I’m going to select that as my only language. Make sure you are only selecting Google, and not any search partners (unless you want to). You can select the date range to get a better idea of search volume in a given month. Finally, under Keyword Filters, set the competition to Low. Save and click, “get ideas”.

On the next screen you’ll want to find words that maintain high search volume, but low competition. At this point, it is important to mention Long Tail Keywords. It will be hard, and expensive to rank for more common keywords, but add a couple descriptive words may help you rank better. For example, rather than trying to rank for “chocolate chip cookies”, you’d have a better chance ranking for “best chocolate chip cookies in [your town]” So, experiment on this page until you’ve found the perfect combination of words that would best describe your product or service, and also differentiate you from the competition.

To the right of the screen, you will see Your Plan. Here you can select your budget and review your estimated monthly clicks and associated costs. You may also choose how exact you want a users’ search to be match your chosen keywords. Click “review plan”, then click “save to account”. Enter a campaign name and your budget, then save and continue, and finally “create ads for your new adgroups”.

Starting a campaign

After following the steps outlined above you will find you will be ready to create a new Text Ad. Put in your web address, and an eye-catching Headline. Make sure you write an excellent description. If you want to know more about what makes a text ad great, check out the video below from Google:

After you have saved your ad it will be reviewed by Google. Once your ad is approved (likely within 1 business day), you are ready to go!

Tracking a campaign

From your dashboard, you can select your campaign from the arrow at the top-left of the screen. On your overview screen, you can get a good idea of your ad’s performance by examining given dates, impressions, and cost-per-click (CPC).  After giving your ad enough time, you can examine performance and further optimize or delete your ad. It’s a good idea to download Google Adwords to your mobile device through Google Play Store, so you can track and manage your ads from anywhere.


Adwords is a great way to reach a larger audience on a budget. The platform is huge and has a lot to offer and with a little practice, you’ll have it down in no time. If you want to see steady growth from affordable advertising, this is for you.

I hope you learned something, and thanks for reading!

Have these tips helped you?

Do you have an advertising success story? What about a nightmare?

Share your story in the comments.

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