What Are Google Ads? Here’s Everything You Need to Know!

What Are Google Ads?
Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Aug 14, 2021

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People perform an average of 40,000 search queries on Google every second (according to InternetLiveStats). The majority of the pages they are led to include what are known as Google ads. These ads are paid for by businesses, small and big, and are perhaps one of the greatest ways of marketing yourself on the world wide web.

This article will help you to understand what exactly Google ads are, how they work, and why you should run your own as soon as possible.

What Are Google Ads?

Google Ads is a platform that provides paid online advertising.

This service started as Google Adwords and was renamed Google Ads in 2018. It works as follows:

People search for something. They get the results of their search on what is known as a SERP, short for search engine results page. Google picks up keyword(s) from the search and includes a paid advertisement or a few of them based on these keywords on the results page.

You have definitely noticed these Ads before since they show up on the top of the results page. They look almost identical to regular search results, with the exception of a bolded “Ad” at the top left of the result.

This is great for whoever is running the ad since the first few results on a Google search are the ones that typically get most of the traffic.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that upon purchasing an ad from Google Ads, it will surely take the top spot on the SERP. After all, you will be competing with a lot of other markets that utilise the same keywords as yours.

Google Ads is based on the pay-per-click (PPC) model. This means marketers choose a specific keyword for Google and make bids on it, competing with each other.

Your “maximum bid” is basically the maximum amount you are willing to pay for an Ad.

For example, if your maximum bid is £5 and Google determines that the cost per click of the keyword is £4, then you get that ad placement. If it’s more than £5, however, you won’t get it.

Google Ads offers you the option of setting a maximum daily budget for your ad(s). In other words, you can choose not to spend more than a specific amount for an ad per day individually.

As someone who is looking to market themselves using Google Ads, you have three bidding options:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC): The amount you pay when a user clicks on your Advertisement.
  • Cost-per-mille (CPM): The amount you pay per 1000 clicks.
  • Cost-per-engagement (CPE): The amount you pay when a user performs an action on your ad (signs up, interacts with media, etc.)

Google then takes the bid amount and pairs it when their own assessment of your ad. That assessment is known as a Quality Score. It’s basically a rough estimate of the overall quality of your keywords, ads, and landing pages.

The score is between 1 and 10, with 10 being the best possible one. The higher your ad scores, the lower you’ll end up paying for it.

The following factors affect your QS:

  • The relevance of your ad to the Google search.
  • The relevance of your ad to the page it leads to.
  • Overall performance of your account.

And these are some of the advantages of having a higher quality score:

  • Lower costs: Advertisers with a high Quality Score get a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
  • Higher exposure: As an advertiser with a high Quality Score, your ads will show up more often on the SERP.

The fact that you have to pay a small fee every time someone clicks on your ad (pay-per-click) might seem like a rip-off, but it makes a lot of sense. After all, someone who clicks on your ad is more likely to become a potential client, make a purchase, etc.

Types of Google Ads Campaigns

Before you start a paid Google Ads campaign of your own, you have to select between five different campaign types, which are:

Search Ad Campaigns

As the name suggests, search ads are basically text ads that are displayed on Google results pages. For example, a search for “hand-drill” can lead to an ad by you if you happen to run a business that sells or involves hand-drills.

The main benefit of search ads is the fact that they will be displayed in the place where most people look for information once they input a search query.

And there is the fact that Google will display your ad in the exact format as other resorts except for the “Ad” denotation on the side. People tend to see and click on the first results unconsciously, which is great for you.

Display Ad Campaigns

Google has a network of its own that branches into various industries with a wide array of audiences that display Google Ads visually. This is known as the Google Display Network. Its main benefit is that it attracts the attention of the users away from whatever content they are consuming through the use of simple and slick images.

Video Ad Campaigns

These are the ads that show up before or often during a YouTube video. At its core, YouTube is a search engine too. So, the ads that are put on display there do often have a connection with the keywords that users input when looking for videos.

App Ad Campaigns

You can use Google App Campaigns to promote your mobile application through ads shown on the Google Search Network, the Display Network, YouTube, Google Play, and more. You basically run ads that encourage a target audience to install your app.

Unlike the other ad types, you don’t have to design an App ad campaign from scratch. All you have to do is provide Google with all the necessary information about your App and your preferred audience, and they will handle it from there.

Shopping Ad Campaigns

The 5th and last type of Google Ads campaigns is Google Shopping Ads.

These can be displayed on SERPs, YouTube, etc. They usually feature a short but detailed product description such as product imagery, pricing, and more.

One way of running a Shopping Campaign is by using Google Merchant Centre. There, you can input specific information about your product that Google can work with to create your ads.

So, instead of marketing your business or brand as a whole, Shopping ads are meant to promote specific products and product lines. This is why when you search for a particular product on Google, you can see ads of specific products by numerous brands on top of the SERP and on the sides.

What Are Google Ads: Other Terms to Know

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR is the number of clicks your ad scores in comparison to the number of views it gets. A higher than average CTR indicates that your ad properly matches the keywords and searches.

Conversion Rate (CVR)

The conversion rate is a measure of how many forms are submitted in proportion to the number of total visits on your ad’s landing page. A high CVR means that your landing page delivers a seamless experience as promised in the ad.

Display Network

As we’ve mentioned before, Google ads will either show up on search results pages or through Google’s Display Network (GDN). It is a network of websites that have spaces on their web pages for Google Ads. These ads can come in the form of text or image ads.


Ad extensions give you the ability to add additional information to your ad at no additional cost. These are Site Link, Offer, Location, Call, and App.


When someone looks up something on Google, the search engine picks up on certain keywords in their search query and matches them with the appropriate ads.

For example, a person might search for “how to clean the hood of a car,” and the ads he’ll get on the results page will relate to keywords such as “hood of the car” and “clean,” showing them products that can deal help with this process for example.

Negative keywords: These are the keywords that you don’t want to rank for at all. They are semi-related or non-related terms that fall outside of what you are aiming for. Google pulls you from the bid on these keywords at your request.


PPC, short for pay-per-click, is when you are expected to pay for each click on your ad. Google Ads uses this model, but it’s not exclusive to them. Many other online advertising solutions implement it too.

Talk with a PPC Specialist

Google Ads is a great platform to advertise your business. It offers businesses all the tools they need to run successful ads. Still, the platform tends to be a tad bit complicated in comparison to other options. Many businesses struggle with having to commit a decent amount of their money and time to properly set up their Google Ads.

Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us, and we’ll get you in touch with a PPC specialist in Birmingham who can take your business to the next level through Google Ads.


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