Google Advertising Fundamentals

Google Advertising Fundamentals
Google AdWords budgets and delivery options

If you have ever considered earning a Google AdWords Certification, the you are likely aware that you need to pass the Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam and one of two advanced exams.

In order to better understand the concepts that are covered on the Google Advertising Fundamental exam, the Google Partners team hosted a Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam – Refresher Hangout.

Refresher Hangout: Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam

The Refresher Hangout: Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam is designed to help experienced Google AdWords practitioners to prepare for the first step in achieving certification.

What Are Google Ads and Where Do They Appear

Ads Appear on Google Search Results

Believe it or not, many Google users are unaware of which links are organic (natural) search results versus the paid link, or Google AdWords ads. The screenshot below shows clearly which areas of the Google search results are typically where paid links (ads) appear.

Ads Appear on Google Search Results
Ads Appear on Google Search Results

And Millions of Other Websites

But Google Ads are not limited to showing up only in the search results. Some Google ads will show up on partner websites that are part of the Google Display Ad Network or what is sometimes referred to as GDN.

Google Ads Appear on Millions of Other Websites
Google Ads Appear on Millions of Other Websites

and the best part is that…

Advertisers are in Control

Google AdWords benefits:

  • Control the costs with budgets
  • Decide where the ads appear with targeting
  • Edit ads and keywords (anytime!)
  • Measure profitability and ROI

Align Advertising Goals with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

The key to success in Google AdWords  is to focus on the right metrics for your goals

Goal KPIs Account Elements to Focus on
Increase Site Traffic Clicks, CTR Keywords, Search Terms
Increase Sales or Drive ROI Conversions, Conversion Rate Landing Pages
Raise Brand Awareness Impressions, engagement, reach and frequency Ads
Google AdWords is the Largest Auction in the World
Google AdWords is the Largest Auction in the World

How AdWords Ranks Ads

  • AdWords is an ad auction, perhaps the largest ad auction in the world.
  • Advertisers bid on keywords to win a position on Google.
  • AdRank is determined by a combination of quality score and bid.


What is Quality Score

Given that Quality Score is one of two factors that determines how Google AdWords ranks ads, let’s examine some of the components that factor into an ads quality score.

A simple definition of the quality score is

An estimate of how well Google expects a keyword to perform

Let’s take a look at what this might look like graphically:

Google Quality Score components
Google Quality Score components


As we can see from the graphic above, the Google Quality Score has 3 components:

  • Relevancy – relevancy of keyword to Ad
  • Click-through rate, both estimated and over time, realized
  • Landing page relevancy to search, keyword and advertisement

Google uses all three of these components to calculate a quality score for each advertisement.

Bids and Budgets

Now let’s take a look at bids and budgets:

  • The bid, or the Maximum Cost Per Click (Max CPC) is the Maximum amount you are willing to pay for an ad click
  • In addition to bids, daily budgets control overall costs.
Managing Google AdWords Budgets
Managing Google AdWords budgets with bids and daily budgets

Different Ways to Bid

Advertisers can choose a bid model that best fits their goals. Below are bid models available within Google Advertising:

  • CPC: Cost Per Click
  • CPM: Cost Per Mille ($ per 1,000 impressions)
  • eCPC: enhanced CPC – Google varries your bids based on the likelihood of a conversion
  • Flexible Bid Strategies

Let’s take a look at which bid strategy is recommended for each advertiser goal and at which level that bid strategy can be applied:

Bid Strategy by Business Goal

Bid Strategy Goal Level
Maximize Clicks More Site Visits Campaign, Ad group, keyword
Target search page location More ad visibility Campaign, Ad group, keyword
Target CPA More Conversions at Target CPA Campaign, ad group
Enhanced CPC More Conversions Campaign, ad group
Target ROAS More Return on Ad Spend Campaign, ad group, keyword

Bid Modifiers

With bid modifiers, advertisers can automatically change their bid for different segments. Campaign-level bid modifiers include:

  • Location
  • Devices
  • Ad Schedule

Ad Group-level bid modifiers are limited to Devices. If an advertiser has a device bid modifier at the ad group and campaign level, the more granular one takes precedence. In other words, if there is a difference, the device bid modifier at the ad group level will be used.

Ad Rank Example

To help bring some points together, let’s take a look at a an Ad Rank Example. In this example, Judy and Rob have the same quality score, but Judy has a higher bid. How much does she pay for a click?

Advertiser Max CPC Quality Score Ad Rank CPC
Judy $1.00 7 1st Place $0.50 + $0.01
Rob $.50 7 2nd Place

In general, advertisers will pay 1 cent more than what is required to have the same rank as the advertiser below them.

Now let’s take a look at  Google AdWords account structure.

Account Structure

Google AdWords - invite others to access this account
Google AdWords – invite others to access this account

To use Google AdWords, you will need a Google Account to login. If you have a gmail account, you have a Google login. Here are some considerations when creating your Google AdWords account.

  • Pick a time zone (cannot be changed once selected)
  • Pick a currency (cannot be changed once selected)
  • Setup billing
    • Pre-pay
    • Post-pay
    • Bank account, credit or debit card
  • Grant access to other users including administrative, manager standard, managed read only and email only access.

My Client Center

My Client Center provides agencies with a a single login for agencies who manage many AdWords accounts. The following figure illustrates who a My Client Center may be configured for an Agency organized around B2B (Business To Business)  and B2C (Business To Consumer) clients.

My Client Center to Manage Multiple AdWords Accounts
My Client Center to Manage Multiple AdWords Accounts

The My Client Center, or MCC for short, is an extremely useful tools for agencies who directly manage many AdWords accounts on behalf of their clients.

Campaigns and Ad Groups

It is very important to understand the relationship between campaigns and ad groups as each has certain options associated with them. For instance, budget, targeting and bid strategy are set at the campaign level.

Ad Groups are comprised of Keywords, Ads, and Device Bid Modifiers. The following figure adds some additional details.

Google AdWords Campaign Ad Group Organization
Google AdWords Campaign Ad Group Organization

As can be seen from the diagram, campaigns can and typically do have a one to many relationship with Ad Groups. In other words, one more more Ad Groups are part of or comprise a campaign.


Google AdWords budgets and delivery options
Google AdWords budgets and delivery options

There are different aspects to an Ad Words budget, including:

  • Daily budget: the amount, on average, you’d like to spend every day
    • Overdelivery: Some days you may see 20% extra delivery cost to make up for slower days that underan daily budget
  • Budget Delivery oOtions
    • Standard (spread evenly through-out the day)
    • Accelerated (spent as quickly as possible)
  • Shared budgets can be set across multiple campaigns

Location and Language Targeting

Language Targeting

  • Target User Interface Language

Google AdWords Target by Interface Language
Google AdWords Targeting by Interface Language

Location Targeting

  • Target where the user is
  • Target the location the user is searching about

Google AdWords Location Targeting
Google AdWords – Targeting by Location

Location Targeting by Specificity

Google AdWords Location Targeting by Specificity
Google AdWords Location Targeting by Specificity

Location targeting can be performed for several levels of specificity in the Ad Words interface. For example, location targeting can be done at the following levels:

  • Country,
  • DMA/Region,
  • City, Zip Code,
  • Radius

As different locations are selected in the targeting interface, they become highlighted int the map so the user can see clearly the locations where their ads will be delivered.

Ad Extensions

Google AdWords Sitelink Extensions example
Google AdWords Sitelink Extensions example

Google Ad Words has a number of Ad extensions that can be used to influence Ad Rank while driving down cost per click. Ad can include one or more of the following ad extensions:

  • Social Extensions (i.e. including circle count)
  • Location extensions for business with multiple locations
  • Sitelink Extensions (can also be set at the ad group level)

As can be seen from the sitelinks example, an ad may have multiple ad extensions displayed on a single ad. These site extensions can enhanced ad performance while driving down cost per click.


What is a Keyword?

A Keyword in this context is a word or a phrase that can trigger an ad. What is a good keyword?

  • Specific to the product or service that you sell
  • Close match to the searchers query
General keywords = Lower click through rate = Few customers

What Are Keyword Match Types?

Match Type Ads show on Searches For Your Keyword Ads Can Show for These Search Queries
The words or phrase plus variants, in any order Alaska Cruise
  • Alaska Cruise
  • Cruise AK
  • Alaska Vacation
+Broad Match Modified
Each word with a plus symbol must match or be a close variant like a misspelling, singular/plural form, abbreviation, acronym or stemming. +Alaska Cruise
  • Alaska Cruise
  • Alaskan Cruise
  • Alaskan Vacation Deal
The word or phrase plus close variations in this order. Can include additional words before and/or after. “Alaska Cruise”
  • Alaska Cruise
  • Alaskan Cruises
  • 10-Day Alasks Cruise
  • Alaska Cruise Luxery


The word or phrase plus close variations, in this order. Cannot include additional words. [Alaska Cruise]
  • Alaska Cruise
  • Alaskan Cruises
None! Ads cannot appear when this word or phrase is included in the search query -Cheap-Jobs-Tom Cannot show for:

  • Alaskan Cruise Cheap
  • Alaskan Cruise Jobs
  • Tom Cruise in Alaska

Use the Keyword Planner Tool to Generate Keyword Ideas

The Keyword Planner Tool is available in the AdWords interface and can be used to generate a list of keywords to create ads on.

Use the AdWords Keyword Planning Tool to Generate Keywords
Use the AdWords Keyword Planning Tool to Generate Keywords

To use the Keyword Planner Tool, start by entering in a keyword or phrase that is relevant to the products and/or services you sell. Next, checkout the keyword ideas to see if there are relevant keywords that you would like to add to your campaigns.

Use The Search Term Report For Ideas

Another great source for keyword inspiration is the Search Term Report. Use this report to find out what users actually typed into Google search when your ads where shown.

Use the Search Term Report for Keyword Ideas
Use the Search Term Report for Keyword Ideas

This report shows the actual user queries that triggered the display of your ad. There may be common search terms that you can discover this way that can benefit your campaigns.

Google AdWords Search Ad Specifications
Google AdWords – Search Ad Specifications

Google Paid Search – Text Ad Specifications

Ad Title

  • 25 characters max including spaces

Two Description Lines

  • 35 characters max each including spaces

Display URL

  • 35 characters max each including spaces


  • 1024 characters max 

What Makes a Good Ad?

The following are characteristics of a well designed Goolge paid search ad:

  • Relevant to the keywords in the Ad Group
  • Garners a high click through rate
  • Stands out from the competitors and their ads
  • Includes a clear call to action
  • Meets Google review policy requirements such as
    • No excessive punctuation such as !!!
    • No generic calls to action such as “click here”

Landing Pages Link Ads to the Best Webpage

It is important to make sure your landing page is relevant to the search that triggered the advertisement(s) that are linked to it. The goal is to preserve the scent (or intent) of the users search query.

Landing Pages Link Ads to the Best Webpage
Landing Pages Link Ads to the Best Webpage

That means that when a user does a search, they have just told Google exactly what they are looking for. Advertisers want to reflect those same works in the Ad Text to make it immediately clear to the user that your ad is going to help them with what they were looking for.

Then when they click on the ad and are taken to the landing page that lets them do or buy whatever it was that they were looking for. If you take them to the homepage then they have to search again it makes it easier to hit the back button than search for what they were looking for. Linking ads to the homepage also creates a negative user experience an impacts conversation rates/ROI.

 Tips for Ads

  • Create mobile preferred Ads
  • Chose the right ad rotation option
    • Optimize for clicks
    • Optimize for conversions
    • Rotate evenly for 90 days
    • Rotate evenly forever


Ad Preview and Diagnostic Tool

This is a good tool to see which of your ads are running without negatively  influencing CTR by triggering your ads within Google.

Google AdWords Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool
Google AdWords Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool


Google AdWords provides businesses large and small, access to the largest online ad network in the world. In the hands of a skilled marketer, Google AdWords can help advertisers reach customers along different points during their buying journey.

If your business prefers to outsource you online advertising, make sure that any media partners demonstrate their proficiency in Google AdWords through their Google AdWords Certification.

Ready to Speak to a Google AdWords Certified Marketer to Jumpstart Your Online Promotions?

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Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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