AUGUST 2, 2021

7 tips for creating effective Google Ads: a beginner's guide

7 tips for creating effective Google Ads: a beginner's guide

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“Google.”  It’s become a verb.  Everyone uses it.  All the time.  

It’s because of Google’s far reach that it’s imperative for your company to not only be found on Google but to be successfully present on Google. 

One way in which you can do this is by using Google Ads to run campaigns. But, to do that, you’ll also need to create effective, engaging content that speaks to your unique target audience.

When done right, Google Ads campaigns can be a powerful addition to your marketing strategy arsenal, filtering new leads into your sales funnel. 

In this article, we share seven simple tips to get you started with creating great Google Ads:

  1. Choose the right campaign type(s).
  2. Customize and optimize your  content for each campaign.
  3. Write amazing headlines.
  4. Keep it short and focused.
  5. Choose your visual elements carefully.
  6. Make your call to action clear and compelling.
  7. Listen to your audience and your analytics.

So, let’s get started with looking at how to create effective content for your Google Ads campaign.

1. Choose the right campaign type(s)

Yes, Google Ads is made up of several different campaign options, and you’ll need to choose the ones that make the most sense for you and your business. 

In short, Google offers several different campaign types you can choose from:

Search campaigns

These are text ads appearing in Google search results and are commonly referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

Display ad campaigns

These are image-based ads appearing on websites. These ads are not restricted to Google search results and can appear on Google’s network of affiliate sites.

Video campaigns

These are video ads appearing on YouTube. Yes, you too can be one of the companies whose product is featured in the middle of a YouTube clip!

Shopping campaigns

These campaigns make use of featured product listings on Google, helping to ensure your product gets out in front of your audience.

App campaigns

These campaigns are designed so you can promote your app across multiple channels, such as YouTube, Search, and Play.

Local campaigns

These campaigns are designed to drive traffic into a physical location. Google will share your ad across channels, making use of Search, Display, Google Maps, and YouTube.

Smart campaigns

If you opt for this campaign type, Google will have you create some ad options and will then optimize your campaign for you. This is another PPC approach to advertising.

So, how do you know which campaign types to choose for your business? 

First, you’ll want to weed out the campaigns that don’t apply to you. The reality is that some of the campaign types will be irrelevant to you and your business. 

For example, if you’re a service-based company, you likely won’t need to worry about product listing. And, regardless of your industry, if you don’t have an app that you’re trying to market to the general public (instead of exclusively to your existing clients or customers) you can likely disregard the App campaign option. 

Then, once you’ve narrowed it down, you’ll want to determine which of the remaining campaign types are most likely to reach your target audience and help you achieve your goals. 

To do this, however, you will need to have a clear understanding of who your target demographic is and how to reach them, along with clear, measurable goals.

For example, are you trying to drive traffic to your website, to your social media channels, or to an in-person store? Should you really be focusing on filtering new leads into your sales funnel, or would it benefit your company more to focus on nurturing the leads you already have? If your audience could be reached through multiple campaign channels, how do you choose which ones to focus on? If multiple campaign types would benefit you and your business, how do you allocate your budget? 

Ideally, you would have your marketing team or a freelance marketing consultant assist with answering these questions, but you can also try to get clear on these answers yourself. If you’re not sure of how to get started with finding the right digital marketing strategist for your business or if you’d like to talk a bit more about your needs, you can get in touch with us at any time for a free, no obligation consultation.

Google also has a wide array of instructional videos and helpful articles that detail how to put together your Google Ads campaign as a beginner. If  you’re a solopreneur or don’t have the budget right now to work with a digital strategist, we recommend starting with Google’s resources, then turning to additional online resources and tutorials as needed.

Once you know which campaign types you’ll be running, you’ll then need to plan out and craft awesome content that speaks to your target audience.

2. Customize and optimize your content for each campaign

Now, unfortunately, not all campaign types make use of the same content. What this means is that you’ll need to craft content geared towards the specific campaign type you’re running. 

And, of course, if you’re planning to make use of multiple campaign types, you’ll need to craft unique content for each campaign. 

Some general tips for creating Google Ads content are as follows: 

  • Search campaigns are text-based, so your content will be comprised solely of text — i.e., words. To help get your ad noticed, you’ll generally want to keep your text short, direct, and full of relevant keywords that will speak to your ideal customer’s needs. 
  • Display campaigns rely much more on the visual element, so you will want to use crisp, optimized, brand-appropriate visual content that will catch your audience’s eye. From there, you’ll want to use concise, meaningful words that prompt your audience with a clear call to action. 
  • Video campaigns call for both a professional, engaging script and captivating, brand appropriate visuals. Depending on your industry, brand messaging, and product, you may also want to leverage catchy auditory elements, such as jingles or other unique audio cues. 
  • Shopping campaigns usually benefit from a clear, enticing photo of your product, combined with an accurate product name, a compelling price, and a very brief description that leverages buzzwords your customers will find appealing. 
  • App campaigns benefit from many of the same rules as a visual campaign: you’ll want to ensure that your image is crisp, clear, and appealing, and you’ll want to use concise bits of large text completed with a direct call to action. 
  • Finally, for local campaigns, you’ll want to ensure you have a variety of assets put together: you’ll need clear, compelling photos of your products or that otherwise align with your brand, SEO-mindful headlines, concise, catchy text, and one or two compelling videos related to your business. 

For more tips for writing great copy for your digital marketing ads, you can check out our beginner’s guides to effective copywriting: Part 1 can be found here, and Part 2 can be found here. 

3. Write amazing headlines

Headlines are super important. The reality is that most people skim — we skim menus, we skim articles, and we skim search results. And, when we’re skimming, we’re usually focusing on headlines, headings, and subheadings. 

So, to ensure that your Google ad is maximally effective, you want to ensure that the ad headline is written in such a way that your audience won’t be able to resist. 

To do this, you want to ensure that you are keeping it short, clear, and direct. Your headline is not a place to be ambiguous or to go into too much detail about what you’re offering.

Focus on keywords and buzzwords — think about what your audience will be searching, watching, or reading when they come across your ad. What kind of person are they? What sort of headline would get them hooked? 

Because that’s what your headline is: it’s the hook that pulls your audience into your sales funnel, giving you a shot at closing the deal. 

So, never “keyword stuff” your headlines, but do use keywords and buzzwords that are truly relevant to your target audience and that will help them understand what your product’s actually about. And be sure to always be clear, concise, and honest.

4. Keep it short and focused

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, this can be especially challenging because you know all the amazing things about your products and services. And, understandably, you want your audience to come to know about them, too. 

Unfortunately, the reality is that trying to tell your audience too much about your product can often work against you. 

It can also work against you if you focus on telling your audience the wrong things about your product or service. After all, what you think is most relevant or valuable may not be in alignment with your customers’ desires, needs, and expectations.
These are some of the reasons why it can benefit your business to work with a professional copywriter and digital marketing strategist: these individuals will be better able to help you identify which product details are most relevant, what your unique value proposition (UVP) is, and how you can communicate your UVP most effectively

5. Choose your visual elements carefully

Not all photos and videos are made equal and not all of them will be suitable for your digital marketing strategy or campaign. 

To ensure that your visual assets complement your Google Ads strategy, you’ll want to:

Choose the right aspect ratio

Using the exact same photo across various advertising locations is often a recipe for disaster, as different platforms and ad types call for differing aspect ratios.

In simple terms, the “aspect ratio” of an image or video is its height x width. 

If you choose the incorrect aspect ratio, your photo can appear blurry, stretched, cropped, or otherwise distorted.

Choose the right resolution

Basically, the resolution of an image determines how clear and detailed it is. The higher the resolution, the higher the quality of the image.

If you choose a photo with too low resolution, it can appear blurry or unprofessional, which may cause your audience to disregard your ad.

Choose the right type of image or video

Should you use an image or video of your central product? Of your team hard at work? Of the outside of your office? Of your company logo? 

You will want to ensure that the type of visual asset you choose to work with makes sense within the context of the campaign type(s) you have chosen, as well as within the context of your broader digital marketing strategy. 

Here, it will be especially important to think like your target audience. What type of image do they want to see? What will get them interested? What will most effectively communicate to them what you’re all about and why they should care?

Choose the right one

Then, once you know what type of image you should use, you will need to choose the perfect asset. 

So, for example, let’s say you chose a product image as the type of image you’ll be working with. Now, you need to choose the exact image you’ll move forward with. 

Or, perhaps, you want to run some A/B testing. In which case, you’ll want to choose more than one. 

In any case, you’ll want to make the selection with your personas in mind.

Optimize and edit your images and videos as needed

Then, once you’ve found the visual assets you’ll be working with, you’ll need to determine whether they need to be optimized, enhanced, or otherwise edited. 

Not sure how to optimize and enhance your photos? Our designers are happy to help, and you can get in touch with us here for a free, no obligation quote.

6. Make your call to action clear and compelling

This is especially important for visual and video ads, and you’ll want to ensure the landing page for your Google Search campaign also has a very clear, effective call to action. 

And, for you to craft the perfect call to action, you first need to know exactly what action you want your audience to take. 

For example, let’s say you’re making a video ad. What action do you want your audience to take after seeing your ad clip? Do you want them to visit your website? 

Do you want them to call your store or sales line? Do you want them to sign up for something? Do you want them to use an email form to obtain a free quote? Or do you just want them to keep your product in mind the next time they’re at the grocery store? 

Once you know what action your ad is intended to drive your audience to take, you can craft the perfect call to action. For example, you could end your video with something along the lines of “call 1-800 ________ today for a free, no hassle quote.”

7. Listen to your audience and your analytics

The reality is that digital marketing is largely about collecting data and careful analysis. Rarely should a professional marketing strategy involve guesswork. 

If you pay careful attention to your audience’s responses, feedback, and the data pulled in from your analytic software, you will be able to see where your ad content or digital strategy may be falling short. You can then correct your strategy or otherwise pivot to ensure you’re both serving your audience as well as you can while driving your own profits up.

In general, people love to talk about themselves and share their feedback, so, don’t be afraid to do preliminary research that involves your target demographics. For example, you can use available online data sources or get more personal and leverage your social media channels to conduct polls that are relevant to your broader digital strategy. 

And, of course, if your data is showing that your ads aren’t performing as you expected and you’re not sure why, this may be a sign that it’s time to turn to a marketing professional. If you’re already in need of some guidance or have questions about what a digital marketing strategist can do for you, you can get in touch with us for a free, no obligation consultation here.


Your company wants to utilize the biggest search engine there is, but Google Ads is more varied than many people realize.

Google is huge, with many different offerings, and you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle.  

So, remember, it is not ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to writing copy for your company and its relationship with the biggest of all search engines.

To make Google Ads work for you and your business, you’ll want to be as smart about your ad campaigns as possible, which starts with choosing the right campaign types. From there, you’ll want to adapt your ad content to the particular campaign types you decide to use, ensuring that each element of your ad is carefully crafted to suit your unique goals.

So, whether you’re creating a video or a straight-text PPC ad, you’ll want to make sure you put the time and effort into writing your copy, choosing and optimizing your visuals, and communicating a clear, direct call to action to your audience.

For a free, no obligation consultation for our content proofreading and editing services, you can get in touch with us here

Or, for more guides and resources, you can check out our blog here.

Jessica Blackwell

Jessica Blackwell

Jess is the founder of Lumida Ltd., a passionate environmentalist living a low-waste life, and a lifelong writer. When she isn't helping our clients make their writing shine, Jess can be found working on her writing projects, experimenting in the kitchen, or taking nature walks.

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