Setting up your first Google campaign

If your business has a website, you’ve probably thought about how to find new customers online. One of the most popular ways to discover potential customers is to advertise with Google Ads (formerly called “AdWords”). If you’re curious about advertising on Google but you’ve never tried it, here are some tips to get started.

Google Ads isn’t like traditional advertising: It lets you target searchers who are already looking for products or services like yours. So, if you manage a flower shop, you can find users in your area who search for phrases like, “flower shop,” “flower delivery,” or “fresh flowers.” And you only pay when a user clicks on your ad, which means you’re only paying for clicks from interested searchers.

Identify keywords and understand match types

The first step in setting up Google Ads is understanding how potential customers might search for businesses like yours online. Google ads are targeted by “keyword” — so your campaign will contain a list of phrases you believe your potential customers will search. Start by brainstorming all of the search phrases you think a potential customer might use to find you

To help optimize your keywords, Google offers a tool as part of Google Ads called the “Keyword Planner.” Simply input your list of search phrases and it will help you identify related terms that you may have missed.

We also recommend becoming familiar with Google Ads’ different keyword match types: broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, and exact match. The match type you utilize will have a dramatic effect on the reach of your campaign, so it’s important to understand the categories before getting started. Hint: typically, we recommend avoiding broad match, if possible.

Geographic area and budget

Next, you’ll want to define your target area and plan your daily budget. If you haven’t already, you should decide which geographic areas you’d like to advertise to.

Then, decide on a daily budget. If you plan for a $10/day budget, you will likely spend around $300 per month. Remember that you will be bidding against your competitors for placement on each search results page, so expect to spend a minimum of $5/day per campaign.

AdWords express vs. Google Ads

Google offers a simplified advertising product called “AdWords Express” —  with an easier setup but if you would like to leverage the full power of the Google Ads platform or hire a professional to help you with your Google Ads campaigns, we recommend using the full Google Ads product instead.

Dive in and use Google Support

After you’ve identified your keywords and have a plan for your target area and budget, you’re ready to set up an account.

We recommend that you use a Google account you have set up specifically for your business.

As you sign up, Google Ads will walk you through the setup of your campaign — from inputting your keywords to writing your ad copy. We recommend creating a campaign to learn — don’t worry, you can always pause the campaign and reach out for help if you need it. If you have questions, try:

• Reviewing Google’s “help” documents for Google Ads — they are more robust than ever, and can certainly help you get started

• Taking advantage of Google’s phone support — Google has greatly improved this service, so businesses can get answers to specific questions

Laurie Macomber is owner of Fort Collins-based Blue Skies Marketing. Reach her at 970-689-3000.

If your business has a website, you’ve probably thought about how to find new customers online. One of the most popular ways to discover potential customers is to advertise with Google Ads (formerly called “AdWords”). If you’re curious about advertising on Google but you’ve never tried it, here are some tips to get started.

Google Ads isn’t like traditional advertising: It lets you target searchers who are already looking for products or services like yours. So, if you manage a flower shop, you can find users in your area who search for phrases like, “flower shop,” “flower delivery,” or “fresh flowers.” And you only pay when a user clicks on your ad, which means you’re only paying for clicks from interested searchers.

Identify keywords and understand match types

The first step in setting up Google Ads is understanding how potential customers might search for businesses like yours online. Google ads are targeted by “keyword” — so your campaign will contain a list of phrases you believe your potential customers will search. Start by brainstorming all of the search phrases you think a potential customer might use to find you

To help optimize your keywords, Google offers a tool as part of Google Ads called the “Keyword Planner.” Simply input your list of search phrases and it will help you identify related terms that you may have missed.

We also recommend becoming familiar with Google Ads’ different keyword match types: broad match, modified…