Google Ads Account Overview and Step by Step Creation Guide

What Is a Google Ads Account?

A Google Ads account is a platform provided by Google that allows advertisers to create, manage, and monitor their online advertising campaigns. It provides access to various advertising options across Google's network, including search ads, display ads, video ads, and app ads.

Before we delve into the Google Ads account, let’s briefly discuss Google Ads.

Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform that enables businesses to promote their products and services across the Google Network.

The Google Network comprises two main groups:

  1. Search Network: This allows you to advertise on Google Search and other search platforms like Maps and Shopping.
  2. Display Network: This lets you advertise on the Google Display Network (GDN), which includes millions of websites, apps, and videos.

Here’s an example of a search ad:

And here’s an example of a Google Display Network ad:

To create and manage ad campaigns, you need a Google Ads account. This account also provides access to various tools and features for creating customized campaigns for specific audiences and measuring their performance.

How to Create a Google Ads Account and Set Up Your First Ad Campaign

Creating a basic Google Ads account is quite simple.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A standard or business Google account. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for it.
  2. A business website.
  3. A specific landing page that you wish to promote (this is necessary for creating campaigns).

Here’s a step-by-step process to set up your Ads account. 

1. Sign In to Your Google Account

To begin, log in to your Google account and navigate to the Google Ads homepage. Click on “Start Now.”

Google will verify that you’re using the correct account for ads. If you are, click on “New Google Ads Account.”

At this stage, Google will typically prompt you to start entering your business information. However, sometimes it may ask you to create a campaign immediately. If you’re not ready to set up a campaign yet, simply click on “Skip campaign creation.”

For the purpose of this guide, we’ll proceed with setting up your campaign, starting from step three.

2. Enter Your Business Information

Provide your business name and click “Next.”

Note: We are setting up this Google Ads account using Google’s “Smart Mode”—default settings. This is a simplified version of Google Ads designed to help new users create automated campaigns quickly.

However, if you’re an experienced marketer, you can click on “Switch to Expert Mode” to access more features and have greater control over bidding strategies.

Next, enter your website URL and click “Next.”

After entering your website URL, you’ll see a preview of your site for both mobile and desktop.

Review these previews and then click “Next.”

3. Define Your Advertising Goal

Now, let’s begin creating your first ad campaign.

Choose your primary advertising goal from the provided options and click “Next.”

Note: In “Expert Mode,” you can set custom goals when creating ad campaigns.

The workflow will vary based on the goal you select. Since we chose “Get more website sales or leads,” we also need to select the desired outcome for our campaign.

Select the options that best align with your conversion goals and click “Next.”

4. Compose Your Ad

In Smart campaigns, Google Ads automatically generates ad copy, headlines, and descriptions. You can edit them to suit your needs.

For this demonstration, let’s review the preview of the auto-generated ad and click “Next.”

Next, you’ll see keyword theme suggestions. Select the relevant ones and click “Next.”

5. Set Ad Location and Budget

The next step is to set the target location for your ad. You can choose to target a specific area around your physical store or a broader region that includes multiple countries.

Once you’ve set the target location, click “Next.”

Next, you’ll need to select your daily ad budget. If you’re creating a dummy campaign for demonstration purposes, you can select any budget option since you won’t be running this ad. Then, click “Next.”

6. Review Your Campaign and Confirm Payment Details

Finally, review your campaign details and click “Next.”

Make sure to select the correct billing country and enter accurate payment details because Google Ads won’t allow you to change the currency once you’ve created your account. Then, click “Submit.”

Your Google Ads account and campaign are now set up. If you’ve created this campaign for account setup purposes, you need to pause it. Otherwise, it’ll go live within 24 hours, and you may get charged for it.

To pause the campaign, click on “Explore your campaign”

Then click on “Pending” and select “Pause campaign.”

Now that you’ve set up your Google Ads account, let’s dive into its key components in detail.

Understanding the Components of a Google Ads Account

The structure of a Google Ads account is composed of three main layers: account, campaigns, and ad groups.

Here’s an overview of each component:

Account

The account serves as the foundational layer of the Google Ads account structure, acting as a central repository for all your business and PPC ad information.

Here, you can configure fundamental Google Ads account preferences that impact your entire account. These settings encompass details such as your account name, time zone, billing information, language preferences, and more.

Best Practices for Managing your Google Ads Account

Here are some best practices for managing your Google Ads account at the account level:

  1. Use “Expert Mode” for Campaigns: Utilize “Expert Mode” to gain better control over audience targeting, budget management, and bidding strategy. This mode also allows you to conduct A/B tests for your ads, helping you optimize their performance.
  2. Enable Auto-Tagging: Enable auto-tagging to track how ad clicks are leading to desired conversions such as leads, downloads, and purchases. This feature provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your PPC ads.
  3. Link Google Ads to Google Analytics: Linking your Google Ads account to Google Analytics can provide you with a more comprehensive view of your campaign performance. This integration allows for better tracking and analysis of your ad performance.
  4. Regularly Review and Update Billing Information: Ensure that your billing information is up to date to prevent any interruptions in your ad delivery. Regularly reviewing this information can help you avoid any issues with your account.
  5. Manage Access for Team Members: Grant access to your Google Ads account to team members based on their roles and responsibilities. This ensures that only authorized personnel have access to your account.
  6. Add Data Protection Contacts: If you have a data protection compliance officer in your organization, add their details to your Google Ads account. This ensures that they are notified of any changes Google makes to how they process your data, even if they do not directly manage the account.

Campaign

A campaign in Google Ads is a container for your ad groups, ads, keywords, and bids. Each campaign is designed to achieve a specific advertising goal, such as driving website traffic, generating leads and sales, or creating brand awareness.

Here are some key points about campaigns in Google Ads:

A campaign in Google Ads is a container for your ad groups, ads, keywords, and bids. Each campaign is designed to achieve a specific advertising goal, such as driving website traffic, generating leads and sales, or creating brand awareness.

Here are some key points about campaigns in Google Ads:

  1. Search Campaigns: These ads appear when users search for specific queries on Google.
  2. Performance Max Campaigns: This campaign type allows you to advertise across various Google Ads channels, including Search, YouTube, Gmail, Display, and Discover, using a single campaign.
  3. Display Campaigns: These campaigns include image, graphic, or video-based ads that appear on websites and apps affiliated with the Google Display Network (GDN).
  4. Shopping Campaigns: These campaigns trigger ads on the search engine results page (SERP) and the shopping tab when users search for products.
  5. Video Campaigns: These campaigns display ads on YouTube and other video platforms within the Google Display Network.
  6. Discovery Campaigns: This campaign type features visually rich ads that appear when users browse content on feed-based platforms like Google Discover.

Each campaign type has its unique features and targeting options, allowing advertisers to reach their audience effectively across different channels and formats.

Best Practices for Managing your Google Ads Campaigns

Here are some best practices for managing your Google Ads campaigns at the campaign level:

  1. Start with a Small Daily Budget: Begin with a conservative daily budget and adjust it as you gather data on your campaign performance. This approach helps you optimize your budget effectively.
  2. Optimize for Specific Locations: Tailor your campaigns to target specific cities, regions, or countries based on your target audience’s location. This localization can improve your ad relevance and performance.
  3. Align Bidding Strategy with Goals: Ensure your bidding strategy aligns with your campaign objectives. For example, use cost-per-click (CPC) bidding if your goal is to drive website traffic.
  4. Experiment with Different Campaign Types: Explore various campaign types to find the strategy that works best for your business. Experimenting can help you discover new opportunities for reaching your audience.
  5. Customize Campaign Settings: Instead of sticking to default settings, customize them at the campaign level. For instance, set a custom budget for a specific campaign or add a target cost-per-action (CPA) to your bids. These adjustments can help you better control your campaign performance.

Analyzing your competitors’ PPC strategies can provide valuable insights into the market landscape and help you refine your own advertising approach. Here’s how you can research your competitor’s PPC strategy using SEMrush:

Log in to your SEMrush account,Click on “Advertising” in the top menu, then select “Advertising Research” from the dropdown menu.

Enter your competitor’s domain name in the search bar and click “Search.” For example, if you’re researching Pizza Hut, you would enter “pizzahut.com.”

Ad Group

An ad group in Google Ads is a collection of ads and related keywords that are organized around a common theme or target.

By grouping ads and keywords that share similar targets, you can create more relevant and effective ads that are likely to resonate with your target audience.

Basketball Ad GroupTennis Ad Group
Golf Ad Group

Shoes
RacketsGloves

Wristbands
Shoes
Putter stands

Scrimmage vests
BagsClubs

Braces
TowelsCaps

Ad Groups-Level Best Practices

To create effective ad groups in Google Ads for your sports gear and equipment store, follow these best practices:

  1. Narrow Theme for Ad Groups: Select a specific theme for each ad group, such as “Basketball Shoes” or “Tennis Rackets.” This helps improve ad relevance and quality score.
  2. Create Multiple Ads: Develop two or three ads for each ad group to test different messaging and CTAs. Use the ad rotation setting to ensure all ads are shown in rotation.
  3. Organize Ad Groups Early: Organize your ad groups as you create them to avoid losing important ad performance data later. Reorganizing ad groups can reset performance metrics.
  4. Number of Ad Groups: While there’s no official guideline, aim for 6-10 ad groups within each campaign. However, use your judgment based on your business scale and budget.

Keywords

Keywords in Google Ads are the words or phrases that advertisers use to target their ads to potential customers. When a user searches for a term that matches one of your keywords, your ad may be eligible to appear on the search results page.

Google Ads offers different match types for keywords, which include:

  1. Broad Match: This match type allows your ad to show for searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. For example, if your keyword is “women’s hats,” your ad might also show for searches like “women’s caps” or “hats for women.”
  2. Phrase Match: With phrase match, your ad will show for searches that include the exact phrase or a close variation of your keyword, with additional words before or after. For example, if your keyword is “women’s hats,” your ad might show for searches like “buy women’s hats” or “women’s hats online.”
  3. Exact Match: This match type is the most restrictive, as your ad will only show for searches that exactly match your keyword or are very close variations. For example, if your keyword is “women’s hats,” your ad will only show for searches like “women’s hats” or “hats for women,” but not for “women’s caps” or “hats for ladies.”

Refer to this table for a better interpretation of the above image. 


Match Type
Required AnnotationExample KeywordAppears ForCould Match To
BroadNot requiredbest puppy foodWider variation of search queries
puppy food price,
high-quality puppy meals, etc.
Phrase“…..”“best puppy food”Close and contextual variation of queries
puppy food near me, puppy treats, baked snacks for puppies, etc.
Exact[…..][best puppy food]Queries with the same meaning
best food for puppies, kibble for puppies, etc.

Keywords-Level Best Practices

Here are some additional best practices for managing keywords in Google Ads:

  1. Choose Relevant Keywords: Select keywords that closely match the products or services you’re promoting. For example, if you sell kids’ backpacks, use keywords like “kids backpacks,” “backpack for children,” etc.
  2. Use a Mix of Match Types: Utilize a combination of broad, phrase, and exact match types to reach a wider audience while ensuring your ads are targeted to the right users.
  3. Conduct Keyword Research: Use keyword research tools to find relevant keywords that have high search volume and low competition. This can help you identify valuable keywords to target in your campaigns.
  4. Create a Comprehensive Keyword List: Aim for 15-20 keywords per ad group to ensure you have enough variety to reach different segments of your target audience.
  5. Include Negative Keywords: Add negative keywords to your campaigns to prevent your ads from showing for irrelevant searches. This can help improve your ad relevance and reduce wasted ad spend.

Ads

An advertisement represents the culmination of the steps we’ve covered thus far. It’s the element your customers will view and, ideally, click on to reach your intended page.

At this stage, you can develop new ad content, modify existing copy, or upload preexisting ads.

Ads-Level Best Practices

Here are some additional best practices for creating effective ads in Google Ads:

  1. Include Keywords in Headline: Incorporate at least one keyword from the ad group in your ad’s headline to improve relevance and click-through rate (CTR).
  2. Run A/B Tests: Conduct A/B tests to determine the best-performing ads in your campaigns. Test different ad copy, headlines, and CTAs to optimize your campaigns.
  3. Ensure Relevance to Landing Page: Make sure your ad is relevant to the landing page it directs users to. This helps improve user experience and can lead to higher conversion rates.
  4. Use a Clear and Compelling CTA: Include a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA) that promises the benefits of clicking your ad. This encourages users to take action and visit your website.
  5. Capitalize First Letter of Every Word: Capitalize the first letter of every word in your ad’s headline and body text to capture users’ attention. Test different capitalization styles to see what works best for your ads.

Is a Google Ads Account Different from a Google Ads Manager Account?

Google Ads accounts and Google Ads manager accounts are indeed different. A Google Ads manager account serves as a centralized platform where multiple Google Ads accounts can be linked and managed.

With a manager account, you can:

  1. Manage Multiple Accounts: Access and manage multiple Google Ads accounts from a single location, making it easier to monitor and optimize campaigns.
  2. Manage Other Manager Accounts: Connect and manage other manager accounts, allowing for hierarchical management of Google Ads accounts.
  3. Access Special Tools and Features: Gain access to special tools and features designed for managing multiple accounts efficiently.

While a manager account is ideal for PPC agencies or marketing professionals managing a large number of Google Ads accounts, individual advertisers or businesses with a single Google Ads account may not need a manager account. It primarily caters to those with complex advertising needs across multiple accounts.

Get the Most Out of Your Google Ads Account with Semco

Google Ads can be a highly effective platform for driving qualified traffic and generating leads and conversions. However, without careful planning and strategic campaign management, it’s easy to overspend and not see the desired results.

At SEMCO, we leverage strategies like these to enhance bidding strategies for clients, streamlining campaign management and optimization. We provide insights into competitive strategies, keyword analysis, and performance tracking to refine Google Ads campaigns for optimal results. Get started today with a free website audit.