How Does Google AdWords Work?

Header image for How Adwords Works

Google AdWords is a simple and effective way to increase relevant traffic to your website.

A successful AdWords campaign can increase unique visits to your website and encourage visitors to follow your ‘call to action’. This might be to purchase a product, enquire about a service or sign up to receive your e-newsletter. But, just how does Google AdWords work? Hopefully, this post will give you some insights!

Google AdWords: Search and Display

Google AdWords can be used to expand the reach of your website via two routes: Search and Display.

When somebody types a query into a search engine, in addition to the natural search results, there will also be some ‘sponsored’ Google AdWords links on the right of the screen and sometimes at the top of the page. Your ad appears if your chosen keywords match the search words the user has entered.

The Display Network operates in a different way. Google places your advert on its own websites and that of its partners. The websites will be places that your potential customers visit, although there is no guarantee they will be looking for your products or services at the time they visit the site.

For instance, as you search on YouTube for kitchen design ideas, an advert for an online appliance shop may appear at the side of the page. The Display Network still offers a valuable way to connect with new customers, but your marketing approach needs to be different from your ‘search’ advertising.

If you’re new to AdWords, it’s better to turn ‘display’ off until you've got to grips with ‘search’ advertising. Whatever you decide, keep search and display campaigns separate as they work in different ways.

Keywords and Quality Scores

You bid for your chosen keywords by setting up a maximum bid per day, or per keyword, via an automated real-time auction. Although the amount you bid on a keyword has a strong bearing on how high you appear on the list, Google also calculates a Quality Scorefor each of your keywords. This takes into consideration factors including the relevancy of your keywords to your advert text and a user’s search query. Google also calculates how successful your ads have been to date, so if more people click your ad you will find it appearing higher up the list, even if you weren’t the highest bidder for a keyword.

Google carefully monitors relevancy, so being specific with your keyword choice is important. Individual keywords are grouped into two categories by Google: ‘no problems’ and ‘poor’. It’s your aim to use words that come under the ‘no problems’ state, as these help customers find your site and allow you to create successful campaigns that in turn means you pay a lower cost for each click. ‘Poor' keywords, on the other hand, make it more difficult for people to find you as the words aren’t relevant to potential customers. This may be because they are too general. They are likely to increase your costs, and your advert may not even show up.

Google has a keyword and placement diagnosis tool to help you identify problems with keywords.

How Google AdWords Helps You Create Targeted Marketing Campaigns

Google AdWords offers a flexible marketing solution that allows you to create, test, tweak and monitor campaigns. Any company that does business online should consider using Google AdWords.

If you would like to know more about how Google AdWords works, here are a few links to help get you started:

What is Google AdWords? A Guide for Small Business Owners

Google AdWords Advice


Leave a Comment