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Tips for Google Ads beginners

CEO Holger Schulz has been optimizing Google Ads accounts since 2003. A few of his tricks and tips for Google Ads optimization are published here.

This is the revised version of the Google Ads Beginner Tips, originally published in the official Google AdWords Help Forum in 2012 (now closed).

Create your own Google account for online marketing

You may later want to hire someone else in the company to manage Google Ads and / or the other Google services (Analytics, Google My Business ...). If you've set up your own Google account for online marketing services, that's no problem. If, on the other hand, your own e-mail correspondence also runs through this account, you probably don't want to give others access to it.

It is important to distinguish between a Google account and a Google Ads account. Like Gmail, Analytics etc., the Google Ads account is a service within the Google account. You also log into your Google account and then have access to Google Ads - as well as Gmail etc.
TIP: You can create a Google account to use Google Ads, Google My Business (formerly Google Places), Analytics etc. WITHOUT having to set up a Google Mail address - unless you are using an Android smartphone, then you have to unfortunately set up a Gmail address for a Google account, even if you don't want to use it.

The online marketing Google account should be opened with an email address that is not personal. For example: [email protected] or [email protected] This is how emails go to this email address, which can always be forwarded to a suitable personal email address.

Avoid Burning Money

It is relatively easy to advertise for a few keywords. However, if you do this without really understanding that e.g. for the defined, largely matching keyword 'green pants', advertisements for the search query 'yellow jacket' may also be placed, the budget is quickly burned and the frustration is high. Google Ads has become a very powerful and therefore complex marketing tool that needs to be learned to use. Google offers many sources of information (see links below), and personally I would buy a book to get started.

Even if Google helps you to create your first campaign, you should keep an eye on where the advertising is profitable and where (quickly) improvements should be made. Google offers start-up help on request, but cannot provide individual optimization for each new customer.

For online marketing prospects who do not want to deal with Google Ads in detail, but still simply want to place regional advertising for their business themselves, Google has the Smart Campaigns - formerly AdWords Express - on offer. The setup is particularly simple here, but it also offers no real control over what the budget is spent on. I have no experience with it myself, but I assume that with a manually optimized account you can use the advertising budget in a more targeted and profitable way (you can of course accuse me of working for a Google Ads agency😇).

Familiarization with Google Ads

The biggest and most common mistake in connection with Google Ads is undoubtedly to underestimate the complexity and professionalism of its competitors. Google Ads has become extremely complex over the years. In addition, some of your competitors have been optimizing their Google Ads campaigns for years. This means that you may already be paying significantly lower click costs than you are now at the beginning and have already optimized your campaigns in the profitable area. It is completely normal that you have to pay hardship at the beginning, i.e. the campaigns are not yet profitable at the beginning. You first have to find out what is profitable, where you burn money, what appeals to the target group and which commandments make sense. It doesn't matter whether you optimize manually or use one of the smart campaigns or bid automation.

That's why it's extremely important to get used to Google Ads BEFORE you run ads!

See: Learn Google Ads

Checklist: Todos before setting up your Google Ads account

Once you have completed the checklist, you can start opening and setting up your Google Ads account.

✔ Set up your own Google account with your own email address (recommended)

✔ Gives an overview of the possibilities that Google Ads and other Google services offer

✔ Google Places, Google Merchant Center, Google Analytics set up if necessary (can also be done later)

✔ Read in how to

- set up a Google Ads account

- when to create campaigns for what

- how to optimize your Google Ads account with ad groups, keywords, placements etc.

- which reports are available and how you can use them to optimize your Google Ads account

coupon secure

Google repeatedly publishes vouchers for new Google Ads customers in different places - see Google Ads vouchers.

Set up Google Ads

As a most basic rule, I recommend creating separate campaigns for the Google Display Network and the Search Network. When creating the new Google account, I recommend skipping the campaign setting at the beginning. Otherwise, Google will be happy to create a smart campaign - but you can also deactivate it later.

⇒ Set up your first Google Ads campaign / set up a new Google Ads account (recommended)

Define goals for Google Ads and monitor success

I personally recommend setting up conversion tracking first. If there are clear goals on the website, such as a completed order or registration for a newsletter, etc., you can set up Google Ads conversion tracking directly. If, for example, it is a pure information page (company profile), I recommend creating goals in Analytics - e.g. "at least 3 page views. This destination can later be accessed in Google Ads if there is enough data.

In any case, you shouldn't run Google Ads blindly if possible, but rather be able to see in the Google Ads statistics what is going well and where money is still being burned. Unfortunately, the fact that you keep finding advertisements that you don't want, and which of course happens more often at the beginning, cannot be entirely avoided. Although we have a long list of negative keywords like “free”, “free” etc., which we often add immediately to new Google Ads accounts, far more negative keywords emerge over time for each Google Ads account individually.

Set up ad groups

Keyword, ad text and landing page always have to go together. This can mean that you need a lot of different ad groups. The work that is saved here can be reflected in significantly higher click prices. The price to be paid per click on an ad depends on the bid AND the quality factor!

Ongoing control and optimization

Now it's time to regularly evaluate the Google Ads reports and optimize the Google Ads account - it's a process, not a one-off activity! One of the most important and neglected measures is to exclude inappropriate and unprofitable keywords / placements.