Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is the largest SEA online advertising network in the world. It is a product of the US American company Google LLC.
Companies of all sizes and from all industries can use Google Ads to promote their products, services, brands or other content in the form of text-based ads, banners (display advertising) or product listing ads (Google Shopping).
There are a number of country-specific guidelines and restrictions regarding the content (e.g. adult-only content) and products advertised (e.g. firearms, tobacco). However, as long as these guidelines are respected, the advertiser may advertise basically anything.
Keywords that a user searches for are used as triggers for the ads. Keywords can be either one word or a combination of words, arranged in a sentence or without a specific order. Google compares the keywords with its database and checks whether other advertisers want to display ads for the search term. If so, a type of auction begins, in which the advertisers’ offers are compared. The AdWords platform is therefore based on a bidding process. Using several key performance indicators (KPIs), such as click-through rate, quality factor, relevance and maximum price offer (maximum CPC), ads from three to four advertisers are displayed on the search results page.
The ads paid for by the advertisers are displayed on the Google search results page between the search bar and the organic (unpaid) search results (see also: SEO). Alternatively, they may appear on the right side or below the organic search results.
The ads are billed based on different models. The most simple and common billing method is Cost per Click (CPC; cost per click). The cost of an ad is only incurred by the advertiser once the user actually clicks on the ad.
The prerequisite for placing ads on Google is a Google Ads account, which can be created free of charge. The ads account is structured in hierarchical order according to campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. At the campaign level, targeting criteria and the budget are stored, among other things. Each campaign, in turn, includes at least one ad group. In this way, ads can be sorted thematically. In addition to the ad groups mentioned above, video ads, dynamic search ads or click-to-call ads can be selected. The next step is to store keyword lists for these ad groups. For each ad group, images in various formats and product information can also be uploaded to your Google Account and be controlled online.
Google Ads offers various analytical and reporting tools to evaluate campaign performance. Furthermore, the advertiser has the possibility to create a connection between Google Ads and Google Analytics. In this way, a holistic and transparent multichannel overview is enabled thanks to the data transfer.