In last month’s column, we discussed the best practices in composing a Google Ads (formerly Adwords). Now what?

There are a few more steps in the process. If you don’t already have a Google Ads account you’ll need to set that up now.

When you go to the first page of Google Ads, you’ll be prompted to specify your main advertising goal. Google will ask a series of questions, including geographic coverage, that helps determine how to best broadcast your message.

Then comes the budget part, which can be the trickiest to understand. There are two things to keep in mind: (1) you don’t pay anything for your Ad unless someone clicks on it. The budget they recommend would be the “cost-per-click”, in other words, what you are willing to pay once someone *does* click on your ad. The next thing to note is that (2) Google will institute a monthly maximum. In other words, if you get an great response to your ad, you will only pay for the number of clicks that your monthly maximum allows. If you reach your maximum, Google will stop playing your ad so you don’t pay more than you set in your budget.

How do you determine your “cost-per-click”? You can see that Google will have some recommendations for you. These numbers are generated from the fact that Google Ads are essentially a bidding system: you are competing against any other company who is advertising the same products and/or services in the same geographic location you specify. The higher you bid per click, the higher on the list you will appear in the ads. Determining an optimum number isn’t easy, because the number of competitors you have and when they choose to advertise changes daily, even by the hour. This is something that you simply have to take a stab at (taking into account Google’s recommendations of course), and then commit to monitoring the results to see if your budget is working for you or not, or needs some tweaking. The great thing about Google Ads is that you can tweak on the fly, whenever you see you aren’t getting the results you want.

Then it’s time to monitor your results. The monitor dashboard includes all kinds of great information like what search terms were used that caused your ad to appear on someone’s search results. You may need to edit your products and services descriptions if you aren’t appearing on the right search results. It’s also necessary to compare the number of “Impressions” (i.e. the number of times your ad appears in someone’s search) versus “Click” (i.e. the number of times they actually click on the ad once it appears). If the ratio of Clicks to Impressions is low, you should revisit the language you’ve used in your ad.

There’s loads more to this tool that I can’t cover in this column, but there are plenty of resources on line to delve further. In addition, Google offers expert advice through their support phone number, so if you are struggling with launching your campaign successfully, it’s worth enlisting their help.

That’s it! Google Ads can have a huge learning curve but eventually you are likely to see some good results.

Happy advertising!