Guides and Templates

Google Ads strategy guide

How to get a better ROI from your Google Ads campaigns

How will this guide help me and my business?

Use this guide to review your approach to paid search and improve the ROI you can achieve from Google Ads campaigns - all in seven practical steps.

Marketers from many companies have tried using Ads to gain more leads and customers. But sometimes they have struggled to make it work.

Our guide provides a do-it-yourself approach to review your own tactics, or alternatively, if you use an agency for managing ads, you can ask them the tough questions to improve their efficiency. We don't just show you how to set up your account and explain all the features as Google does in their documentation, we also show you all the key areas of your Ads campaign that you need to manage, to get more profitable results.

Our practical, in-depth guide covers:

  • How Google has designed the Ads system to maximize their revenue and how you can take advantage of this by improving your understanding of Quality Score
  • How to increase ROI by improving your account setup, match types, bidding and creative
  • Use the latest Google Ad Extensions to get an edge
  • Exploit the power of the Google Display Network
  • Test and review your copy to get better results
  • How to troubleshoot and optimize your account using Ads campaign reporting and Google Analytics
  • Use the new mobile advertising features in Ads

Who is this guide for?

The Google Ads guide is aimed at:

  • Owners and managers of small to medium sized businesses who are taking their first steps into the world of paid search.
  • Digital marketing managers who are responsible for delivering new sales or leads through Google Ads.
  • Search Marketing Specialists involved with setting and executing a paid search strategy.

How is the Google Ads guide structured?

Our practical guide is structured around the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework, which will help you think about how to make better use of Google Ads:

  • Step 1: Identify and select your target keyphrases
  • Step 2: Set goals for your paid search
  • Step 3: Improve your campaign structure
  • Step 4: Improve your targeting
  • Step 5: Improving your offer and creative
  • Step 6: Get your bidding and budgeting right
  • Step 7: Optimizing paid search to increase ROI

Latest updates

  • Updated screenshots for newest Google Ads interface
  • Rewritten section about Display Network targeting
  • Updated information about average position and added details of the new top impression percentage metrics
  • Added details about responsive search ads
  • Added details about in-market audiences for search
  • Added explanation of the difference between keywords and search terms
  • Improved information about keyword matching
  • Updated statistics throughout

Resource Details

About the authors

Google Ads consultant David Miles has recently updated this guide, whilst Joel Chudleigh contributed to the original guide.

David Miles

David Miles

David Miles is a digital marketing consultant, trainer, and published author. Since 2004, David has owned and run digital marketing agencies and training businesses large and small across the UK and Europe. Currently, David is the founder and CEO of The PPC Machine, a boutique agency that helps mortgage brokers, IFAs, and other financial services professionals grow their businesses using pay per click advertising platforms.

Connect with David on LinkedIn.

Joel Chudleigh

Joel Chudleigh

Joel Chudleigh is the Founder of Deep Footprints who are a digital marketing agency focused on paid search and inbound marketing. They focus on helping small and medium sized businesses to grow sustainably for long-term success. You can read his latest blog updates here.

Dr Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyDave is co-CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, e-books and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our premium members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing.

For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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