How To Get Started with Google AdWords

Google AdWords is the biggest digital advertising service in the world and lets you display ads on Google's billion-dollar-generating global ad network. This is a great way to showcase your products and services online — on search engines, blogs, websites, etc. — and generate a steady stream of traffic to your store pages. It's cost-effective, too. You pay only when a customer clicks on one of your ads — a process called pay-per-click advertising, or PPC —and you can even set your own budget for your ad campaign. Here's how to get started with Google AdWords.

Sign Up for a Free Account

It's free to register for a new account with Google AdWords. Just head over to https://adwords.google.com/um/Signup/Home to get started. Enter the email address that you want to associate with your AdWords campaign and the website address for the online business you want to advertise. If you want other people to access your ad campaign, invite them to your AdWords account, too.

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Choose a Geographic Region

Once you've registered for an AdWords account, click on the "create your first campaign" button, then "campaign settings" and then "audience." Here, choose the geographic area that you want to target. Remember, local advertising lets you reach customers in a specific geographic region and generates lucrative results. More than 60 percent of consumers use local information in ads, and local searches drive 50 percent of mobile visitors to online businesses.

Determine Your Budget

With Google AdWords, control how much money you spend every time someone clicks on one of your ads. This is known as your cost-per-click bid limit. The average cost-per-click is between one and two dollars, though you can adjust this amount depending on how well your campaign performs. Control your ad spend in the "bidding and budget" tab in your campaign settings.

Create Your First Ad

Creating your first ad is simple. Click on the "create your first campaign" button and follow the on-screen instructions. First, enter an ad title, one or two lines of text and the URL of your website. Try to summarize your product or service in a few words and use a snappy title to attract attention. Next, choose the keywords that you want to target. Then, review the information you've entered and click "save and continue." Before your ad is published, you'll need to enter your billing details.

Monitor Your Ad Campaigns

Monitor your ad in the "campaigns" tab. Here, you'll find a wealth of analytics and real-time insights that pertain to your ad campaign, including your quality score — a variable that influences the cost and effectiveness of your ad — and click-through percentages.

Analyze Your Ad Performance with Report Editor

AdWords's Report Editor lets you view valuable data through interactive graphs and charts. Discover trends that drive consumers to your website, for example, or track the devices — desktops, smartphones, tablets, etc. — that generate the most traffic. You can filter metrics and create custom data sets, too.

Google AdWords has proven to be lucrative for online businesses. Desktop ads in the first position on Google's search results page have a 19.3 percent click-through rate, while mobile ads in the first position have a 27.7 percent click-through rate. Follow the tips on this page to create a compelling AdWords campaign that will provide you a hefty return on your investment.

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