Google Adwords for Beginners

Phew! That was long. I’m talking about the number of questions that came up at the ‘Google AdWords for Beginners’ webinar session and all the answers we had to write! But I’m glad they did and I hope all those of you who attended it, found value in doing so :)

It was the webinar that broke all records and created history in terms of webinar registrations in LeadSquared! Presenter and AdNabu CEO, Salil Panikkaveettil was rather nervous at the start but eased his way into it like a pro.

So enough of the meandering. Let me get straight to it.

If you missed the ‘Google Adwords for Beginners’ webinar, you can watch it here.

If you want to access the Q&A, you can find that below:

Google Adwords for Beginners (FAQ)

1. Does your bid increase if you exclude search partners?
Ans. No. Your scope decreases, as the reach decreases. So, to generate an equal number of clicks, you would need to spend more.

2. Can you elaborate on the Interest Category called In Market?
Ans. In market segment are people aggressively looking for a product or service as identified by Google.

3. Is it possible to get a list of sites that are a part of the Double Click Ad Network?
Ans. Check out this linkIt includes the list of sites that are a part of the Double Click Ad network.

4. Does the price for recharging accounts matter or it impacts the ad quality score or importance of a particular campaign, if we recharge the Adwords accounts by low cost/amount?
Ans. No, it doesn’t matter.

5. Is there any difference between running AdWords by our own individual account or by vendor MCC account?
Ans. MCC helps you to access multiple AdWords accounts at a time. But in terms of performance, it makes absolutely no difference.

6. Under PPC ad extensions, can you explain ‘structured snippet extension’?
Ans. Structured snippet extensions are similar to call-out extensions, as in they allow you to list extra features/benefits in your ad copy. However, unlike call-outs, in the case of structured snippets, you have a “Header,” where you need to define what you are listing. It can be either Brands/Courses/Destinations etc. so you just have to make sure you know what you want to list there. For instance, an Education company would list out its courses, and would choose “Courses” as the header.

7. What are your thoughts on premium products and services? With Google Search, one gets several junk leads, i.e., users who cannot afford your product. Facebook gives better results. Any views on that?
Ans. It varies from industry to industry. But it depends on a lot of other things as well like, what are the keywords you are targeting? When you see that a particular keyword is constantly getting you junk leads, then you stop bidding on that keyword, and instead invest more on another better keyword. Every source will give you junk leads if you aren’t monitoring it properly. So, you need to analyze and change constantly.

8. What is the minimum time we should continue running the ads to really conclude whether they are working for us?
Ans. You should continue until you get at least 10-20 conversions. If your conversion ratio is really bad and you are not getting any conversions, maybe you should work on the landing page or on your website.

9. How to we upload our products on Google Merchant Center? Any specific do/don’ts to take care of?
Ans. You can do it manually or by using some tools like Shopify. I would recommend tools as it will help stay updated.

10. How do topic targeting options work? Is it really worth it?
Ans. It is good for brand building. You can get more inputs about how it works, here.

11. How is the goal of lead capturing and transaction based, different?
Ans. Essentially, it is the same. For transactions, one can optimize on the transaction value. Generally, if you are generating leads for nurturing and converting them later, you would use lead gen goal, and if monetary transactions happen through your ads, then you would use transaction. Even if you are generating leads, and you have calculated how much money each lead means to you, you can define a transaction value.

12. Can we define topics?
Ans. For topic-based targeting, you can’t use your own topics. You would need to select from those suggested by Adwords.

13. Some examples of interests?
Ans. Interest targeting consists of three different targeting categories (as shown below)

And I’d suggest you take a look at this insightful presentation by AdWordsGreaterChina (below) to understand what they are:

14. Can we have different landing pages for different ad groups?
Ans. Yes, you can.

15. Can I put video ads in Display Network?
Ans. Yes, you can.

16. How far are AdWords better compared to other advertising campaigns like Facebook?
Ans. Getting started with Facebook ads is easier than with Google Adwords. If you are talking about Display, people have seen good results for Facebook Display because you get a lot of information about the user. You can target your ads pretty well also. However, when it comes to Search and Facebook, Search works consistently better than Facebook. Don’t just look at it from the lead generation stage. Always look at the final conversion.

It also depends on the industry.  You have to see it this way – Adwords allows you to be in front of people who are actively looking for what you have to offer (in case of search), while Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter allow you to be in front of people who are interested or not interested right now, but have expressed an interest in what you offer, or fall into your target demography. Facebook is the cheapest, Google Adwords second. LinkedIn and Twitter are highest in terms of lead gen cost.

17. What should be the optimum CPL for cloud telephony in B2B sector?
Ans. It depends on what keywords you are targeting. Check the approximate CPC for your keyword. Take into account the conversion percentage – 12% to 15% should be good. So, if you get 100 clicks, there would be 15 conversions (15% conversion rate). If the CPC of the keyword is Rs 100, then your cost per lead should be (CPC*Number of clicks) / No. of leads = Rs 667. Because the CPC is overestimated, your cost per lead would be lesser than this.

18. We have moved some of the campaigns to a new account, hence, we would be adding a new conversion code on landing pages. Can we have 2 Tag Manager snippets on the same page or should the old snippet be removed first?
Ans. Even if the old snippet is there, it wouldn’t matter because the conversion number would increase in the old Adwords account. But ideally, remove those conversion pixels if you can. It’s not compulsory but it’s a good practice.

19. I am just wondering why it is not good to target the first position. Although you may be in the second or third position, isn’t the probability of getting a click higher when in the first position?
Ans. It depends on what you are optimizing for. If the objective is more clicks, bid high for the first or second position. But if it is conversions, bid only if you can afford them by looking at historical conversion ratio.

20. Is it a good practice to have multiple AdWords accounts? This happens mainly when you are in a process of finalizing the agency to run campaigns.
Ans. Well, it’s not recommended. What happens is that Google allows only one ad from a domain to the auction. So if you have multiple ad campaigns running across multiple accounts, there will be a lot of competition between them.

Maybe if you could separate these campaigns into different categories; let’s say you give Agency A a different category and a different category to Agency B, and not make them compete with each other, then it’s okay. Otherwise, try to keep everything in a single account. But if you are a big company, then multiple accounts is also fine, but be very clear about not duplicating a campaign between these accounts.

21. I want to know a bit about project-based real estate lead generation methods. 
Ans. This post will give you insights on real estate lead gen methods.

For further reading, take a look at this ebook on Decoding the Home Buyer’s Journey.

22. Does the design of landing page affect conversion ratio as well?
Ans. It really does matter. In a landing page, if you are able to convey what you are selling to the users, as fast as possible, you have a very high chance of converting them. Have landing pages that are mobile responsive. Have landing pages that clearly highlight the offering. Have a clear form and call to action, like ‘Get a Free Call’ or ‘Get a Free Consultation’.

Also, your landing page should match the ad copy that you put up. If somebody comes looking for ‘expertise on Google Adwords’ and they end up in a completely different website or landing page, then obviously they are not going to end up converting. Additionally, if you offer an extra freebie like ‘free consultation’ or ‘free ebook’, then the conversion increases. For more tips on landing page conversions, check out this post.

23. If you are a lead generation site, how do you track conversions once they land on the website?
Ans. For a lead generation website, the best way is to redirect the lead to a thank you page after the lead is generated. So the user comes to the website, fills up the form, then goes to the thank you page and an Adwords conversion pixel is triggered there. You can easily keep track of the conversions happening in Adwords also.

There is another complicated way of doing it if it’s a single page. It involves using analytics and creating a goal out of the form signup and then importing it into Adwords. However, I wouldn’t recommend this.

24. What are Product Listing Ads?
Ans. Product listing ads refer to Google’s paid shopping ads program. They are image ads that show up when you search for products on Google.

They are very useful for e-commerce businesses.

25. Can you please show an example of Structured Snippet Extension? How is it different from Sitelink Extensions?
Ans. i. Sitelink extensions are links (they can be directed to other important pages of your website, other than the landing page), like pricing page, packages page etc.

ii. Structured Snippets is a relatively newer extension, where you can list the type of products/features/courses etc., that you have. They are not clickable. CPC is charged for sitelink extensions.

26. Can you explain in detail about Google Sponsored Promotion (GSP)?
Ans. GSP is a unique ad type that shows up only in personal Gmail boxes (it does not show in Google business apps email boxes) in the promotions tab. Like other impression-based advertising media, such as Facebook ads or Google Display Network targeting, you narrow down who sees your ad to those you deem most likely to be interested in your offerings. Here’s an example:

27. What do you mean by multiple targeting groups in the same ad?
Ans. It means multiple targeting criteria in the same ad group. This is for display, where you show ads only for people satisfying the multiple criteria.

28. How can we know the price that we need to bid on a particular keyword or an ad group as total?
Ans. So, it always makes sense to know the industry also, not only the competition. Let’s say, your conversion ratio is around 10% and you want leads at Rs 500. You automatically have a bid in your mind. Let’s say Rs 50 is the bid. Out of 10, one converts and you get a lead cost of Rs 500. Run it for a few days. See what the average position is. If the average position is really low, it’s less than 4-5 and you are not getting enough scale, then increase the bids. But usually, what the keyword planner says (especially for a market like India), is very very off. The CPCs can be artificially higher in keyword planner but you might be able to get off at a lower cost.

29. As we are into B2B product, we are trying to get more conversions. We are trying to promote through social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. What would be the best strategy for getting good conversions for B2B company?
Ans. Targeting the right keywords is an absolute must. For a B2B company, the challenge is higher compared to a B2C company because not too many searches might be happening for that product.

Identifying the right keyword is a start. Since you are a B2B company, you can afford to bid a little higher. Don’t bid too low, like Rs. 5, then you’ll never be in the competition. Bid a little high. Think about what the lead is worth. If the lead is worth Rs 1000 and the conversion ratio is 5%, go for the bid of 50 or 60. It will help you in the long run.

Remember that for conversions to happen, your ad copy and your landing page both have to deliver what the user is looking for. Typically, when the lead clicks on your ad and doesn’t convert, it means that your ad copy and your keywords are doing well. However once he reaches the landing page and does not find what he is looking for, he will not convert.

So tweak all these elements to ensure that your click converts.

  • Adwords – Ensuring the quality of impressions and clicks is high. This is by keywords, and constant monitoring to weed out negative keywords.
  • Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter would depend on your targeting, the clarity of your ad / attractiveness of your offer. Linkedin is the best to find professionals because the details of the people are complete there.

30. Are AdWords geographically segregated or AdWords’ bids are global or region specific?
Ans. Bids are highly regional.

31. I work for a gym ( and I only see generic keywords. How do I stand out against the competition?
Ans. Figure out what are the longtail keywords people search for. Let’s say people are searching for “Best Gym In Indiranagar” and you are a gym located in Indiranagar. People are not bidding too aggressively on these longtail keywords. If you can find these longtail keywords and they are highly converting for you, you can actually get these clicks at a lower price, and have great conversions from them.

32. I’m from Acron Developers ( We are having SEM campaigns running for our real estate properties in Goa and now our company is launching a new project in Mumbai. What are the things we need to consider while launching our new SEM campaigns for this new project?
Ans. First and foremost, you need to define a good landing page. Since you are in the real estate industry, you might have a very specific web page in place. (It’s an absolute must – to have a landing page specific to that project). You can learn a lot from your SEM campaigns, which are/were currently running in Goa. Do not target really broad keywords. If it’s a good brand, if people know about the brand, maybe you could target the brand search queries because the other keywords are very high. Usually, aggregators have a better chance of converting those people. Stay away from more generic keywords. Focus on those brand keywords.

33. “Starting on 25 March 2016, any ads, keywords, or sitelinks still using Destination URLs will stop showing and be removed. Upgrade your URLs today to keep your ads running.” What does that mean?
Ans. The URL structure in Google AdWords changed last year, so there will be no destination URL anymore. They will have upgraded final URLs. I think the upgrade would happen automatically, but you might lose data if you don’t upgrade from your end. You can find more details here.

34. Which ad is more beneficial, display or search?
Ans. Search usually.

35. I am using Google PPC ads for my e-commerce site ( I am not getting too many conversions from the ads. How should I choose my keywords? My domain/products are cosmetics for women. Also, I use Google shopping ads, but most of the time my site doesn’t show up. Is it because other sites have higher bidding or my product descriptions do not meet the matched search?
Ans. You need to have a really good description. Be very descriptive about the product. The other reason might be because of bidding. Increase the bids if you are not getting clicks. Limit the budget but increase the bids and see what’s happening. Typically, for e-commerce websites, the product listing ads convert at a much higher ratio than normal text ads. Continue doing product listing ads, increase the bids. But if you think that it will eat away your budget, then reduce the budget.

36. Which is better? PPC or CPA?
Ans. I’m assuming you are talking about bidding strategies. If you have the time and can really put in an effort, go for manual CPC. But if you cannot, then go for target CPA.

37. Should we automate the bid?
Ans. It really depends on the campaign performance. This post will give you more insights.

38. What’s the difference between new keywords using a phrase, website search and search for volume data and trend in a keyword planner?
Ans. There is no major difference. They are used in different ways to find keywords for your business. Read this to know more.

39. How reliable is the search results shown in keyword planner?
Ans. It is not very reliable.

40. How do the ads perform in shopping sector?
Ans. I found some good insights for the shopping sector in this post. You might want to take a look at this Google Adwords Benchmark Report to know the performance of ads in the shopping sector.

41. I am trying to run ads but the sector I am dealing with is tech support and Google does not allow ads running on tech support. How do I overcome this? Also, if you can tell me an alternative?
Ans. Legitimate tech support ads are not being stopped by Google. Take a look at this write-up. You might also want to go through Google Adwords policy guidelines just to be sure that you are adhering to their policies.

42. How does Gmail targeting work in Display network? What is the process?
Ans. Gmail Ads would show up on the ‘Promotions’ tab (shown below) in your Gmail inbox. These ads can be targeted using keywords, topics, interests, customer match and demographics.

When you advertise on the Google Display Network, select ‘All Features’ to show your ads in Gmail. While setting up the campaign, when you create the ad, select ‘Ad Gallery’ from the dropdown and choose ‘Gmail Ads’ to start advertising there.

43. What do you mean by ‘in market’ audience in Gmail ads?
Ans. One cannot target them.

44. I have been running a campaign for a fertility site, for a year. The campaign was performing well with good clicks, impressions, and conversions. However, in the last two months, I have seen a sudden  drop in conversions. It was hardly 3-4 for the entire month compared to an average of 30 per month in the previous months.
Ans. There could be a couple of reasons.

Have your clicks and impressions also dropped? Look at your AdWords reports to check this. If the impressions and clicks have dropped as well, it might mean that the ads are not being shown to enough people. Maybe there has been an increase in competition which is affecting the visibility of your ads. In that case, you might have to increase the bids.

However, if the number of impressions and clicks are constant, then the problem might be with your website or landing page. Have you changed the structure of the landing page, is it now harder to find the products on the website? If that’s the case, you’ll need to improve the landing page or the website flow.

To find what’s affecting your conversion rates, you actually have to figure out which metric has dropped, in addition to conversions. Once you have identified that, you need to take an action

  • Drop in impressions and clicks – increase the bid/make sure that the keywords are proper
  • Drop in clicks, but no drop in impressions – Improve your ad copy/increase the bid
  • No drop in clicks or impressions, but only in conversions – improve your landing page

45. Could you explain keyword vs search terms?
Ans. Keyword is what you choose to bid for on Google Adwords. Search terms are what users type in Google network.

46. Can you explain “Ads with sizes” section?
Ans. “Some placement only allows a specific size of ads”. Placement refers to locations on the Display Network where ads appear. You can find all the acceptable image size format, especially for desktop & mobile, here.

Some placements have specific space for advertising. Let’s say you have created an image with size 336*280, but the placement you are targeting has a specific size of 120*600. In that case, your ad will not show up on that particular placement and you would lose that opportunity.

To avoid this, create campaigns in all sizes and then run them. Thereafter, figure out which image size is giving  more results

47. If I have a database of phone numbers, can I target this particular set of people with Google Adwords?
Ans. No, you can’t.

48. What would be ideal RULE set for analyzing day to day campaigns, if my goal is form signup?
Ans. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Check your search terms for each and every ad group.
  • Mark irrelevant search terms, which triggered in your ad, as negative keywords.
  • Find new opportunities from search and create a new ad group for that and test it.
  • Pause the keywords which are not giving results and increase the bid for high performing keywords.
  • Check the bidding for your keywords every day. It should not go below “estimated first page bid,” otherwise your ad won’t show up on the first page.
  • Check the impressions, CTR and conversion rate.
  • For impressions – keywords are the main key and also the average position of your ad. CTR – Search term, Average position and quality of ad copy, Conversion rate – again search term, average position and landing page quality.
  • Check the quality score of the keywords. Improving quality helps in increasing the average position of the ad by triggering more clicks.
  • Add ‘Ad Extensions’ to your ad and analyze metric of the same.
  • Always check the ‘Opportunities’ tab in the Adwords notification.

In Google AdWords, all the metrics are interconnected so we have to check all the metrics individually.

49. Does age of domain and CTR matter for AdWords ranking?
Ans. If you have a campaign running for a long time, it really helps. If you have a really high CTR for the quality score that you are targeting, your quality score will definitely climb for the keyword. But most important is the CTR rather than the age of the domain. Domain does not have that much of an impact but a good ad can really do wonders.

50. I have paused my AdWords campaign for the last two months. Is it possible that the ‘quality score’ would have dropped by now?  
Ans. There is no correlation between the ads being paused and the quality score going down. Ensure that when you start, you have the proper ad setup and so on. But this should be absolutely fine.

51. How to increase conversions in spite of having quality ads, keywords and first position bid setup?
Ans. By having well-optimized landing pages. This post will help you get started.

52. Can you increase your daily budget on the go? For example, if it’s going to exhaust today, can you give a boost of couple hundred more just for today?
Ans. Yes, you can. Let’s say you exhausted your budget of Rs 5000 at 4pm today, and you want to run it for some more time, you can just increase the budget and it will run until the new budget is exhausted.

53. Our (education) season is starting up in April. Do you think, it’s possible to run a campaign on AdWords successfully or should I aim May 2016?
Ans. I think you should go ahead with the campaign right away. You can create top-of-the-mind awareness with your prospects and reach out to more students.

54. Any ideas on the education industry conversion ratio?
Ans. This awesome Google Adwords Benchmark Report by WordStream will give you an idea of the conversion ratio in the education industry.

55. What is an ideal conversion rate for software industry?
Ans. It definitely varies a lot. If it’s a lead generation type of a thing, the conversion ratio is usually high. A lead generation website should ideally strive for at least 10% conversion ratio, provided you are targeting the right keywords.

It’s the same for a software industry. If it’s a free trial page, ideally you should get a conversion rate of 10%.

56. I want to know if I can show my ads (text or display ads) to geo locations restricted to a city?
Ans. You can. There is an option to target cities. There is also an option to target an area around a point. Let’s say you have a store in a particular location and you only want to show ads to people who are in a 10-mile radius of your store. You will be able to just target them.

There is pin code level targeting also. But I wouldn’t suggest pin code targeting because it’s not really perfect. If you are really concerned about not being able to service people, go for radius location targeting or city-wise location targeting.

57. What’s the ideal budget for a lead generation campaign for mobile app company?
Ans. It would depend on the number of leads you are aiming to get every day.

We recently had a webinar on app marketing. You might find some useful tips there.

App Marketing

58. How to select keywords from keyword planner and how to select bidding?
Ans. For keyword selection,

  • Compile a list of words and phrases that you think your target demographic would use to describe your content, products, and services.
  • Upload your own keyword list or enter one by one; Keyword Planner will return suggested keyword phrases that are similar to your original phrase request.
  • Based on the relevance and average monthly searches, select keywords for your campaign.

Bidding is based on goals like getting clicks, impressions, or conversions. Figure out which strategy is best for your business. Ideally, if you are running a campaign for branding purposes, you can select CPM bidding. If you want to generate traffic to your website, go for CPC. For lead generation, opt for CPA.

(For LeadSquared however, using CPC to generate leads is working better. So try both, CPC & CPA and figure out which is working better for your business.)

59. Please explain Broad Match Modifier (BMM).
Ans. Broad Match Modifier is a keyword match type. You would have to add ‘+’ symbol in front of the keywords.
You can read about it here.

60. Why has Google stopped right side ads?
Ans. Read this post to find out why has Google decided to drop ads on the right-hand side of the search results page.

61. Should we put in more keywords in headline or description? Which is better?
Ans. It would be the ‘headline’ because it would be highlighted when the person searches for it.

62. What factors should I keep in mind while deciding maximum CPA?
Ans. If you currently have a good CPA number, start with that and gradually reduce it. I’d assume you’d want to reduce the CPA going further. If your CPA is currently running 200, do not put the CPA target as 100.

63. What does this mean: The web page doesn’t show ads in the format of your ads on the selected device?
Ans. Some placements will only show ads in a particular size or a format. Some sites will only show text ads. Now if you try to target that particular placement with an image or video ad, your ad will never run there. Try to add all the types of ads that are possible and your ad should start triggering.

64. How to do keyword research? Should we use any tool for that or should we depend on Keyword Planner?
Ans. Well, you can try AdNabu :) If not, start with Keyword Planner. Nobody has the kind of depth that Google data has. A lot of good insights can come from Google Keyword Planner itself. If you have the budget, you can also try other tools like SpyFu; they would tell you what keywords are your competitors bidding on.

65. How do you place product listing ads?
Ans. By using Google Merchant Account. Here’s a tutorial:

66. A week back, my organic bounce rate was 40% against 85% of inorganic. I changed the ad and even changed the landing page. Now the bounce rate for inorganic is 70%. How long will it take to stabilize?
Ans. Bounce rate is the function of your website. It’s not really a function of the visitors or AdWords. If you are going to make changes to the webpage, that might help in reducing the bounce rate but the behavior of users is not going to change. If you don’t make changes to the webpage/website, you’ll continue to see the same bounce rate.

However, since your bounce rate has dropped to 70% after you made the changes, I’d suggest you give it some time. A couple of weeks perhaps? As it’s already dropping, it means that something improved, so it should drop further.

67. What’s the average bounce rate for paid AdWords campaigns in health care industry?
Ans. Bounce rate is very subjective to a particular website. If people find what they are looking for in the first page itself (maybe information), then they will leave the website thereafter as they have found what they were looking for. You have 100% bounce rate in that scenario.

But is that a function of how good or bad your website is? Absolutely not.

68. I am a distributor for construction chemicals ( of various brands. How can I go for AdWords for a specific area and specific target group?
Ans. You can target specific locations, and then target keywords relevant to you. In the case of Display, you can target various categories, like interest, websites etc.

69. Can we track conversions for readymade sites like from KartRocket (, etc?
Ans. Yes, you just need to place the conversion pixel.

70. Should I have any integrations in place to put the conversion code?
Ans. No, you’ll get it from Adwords, and you can place it on your website in the body tag.

71. What should I do if one of my very relevant keywords shows, ‘rarely shown due to low quality score’
Ans. Low-quality score happens because of two reasons.

  • Your landing page is not optimized for that particular keyword. If any work needs to be done on the landing page, I’d suggest you do that.
  • Is your ad clearly reflecting what the user is searching for? Try to be as close to the keyword as possible when writing ads.

These suggestions should help you get out of the ‘low-quality score’ bracket. Once this is taken care of, you’ll start getting clicks. Increase ad relevance, change landing page. If all fails increase bids.

72. Do we need separate user accounts for search and display?
Ans. No, you don’t.

73. Which is better, broad match or phrase match?
Ans. It depends on the objective. Phrase will give more targeted users, broad will help you get more reach.

74. How do I capture search words?
Ans. You can check out search terms in Google Adwords itself.

Visit our blog for more tips on PPC marketing, past webinar recordings and other marketing blog posts.

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