Google AdWords is an advertising service run by Google that enables businesses to display ads on Google and its advertising network. Companies set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click on the ads. The service is based on keywords.

In short, AdWords allows business owners to place search engine results for their website on a search engine results page by paying for them. They no longer need to wait for their sites to organically work their way up the rankings. It provides immediate results; plus, the service is quite simple to use and rather inexpensive compared to other means of advertising.

Companies can use AdWords to create relevant ads using keywords. These keywords work as triggers. Whenever a user types the keyword into the Google search engine, your ad will be shown; typically at the top, bottom, or on the side of a search engine results page. These ads look more and more like organic results. Currently, Google only places a small yellow “Ad” label on them. Whenever a user clicks on the ad, they are directed to your landing page.

The basic principles of AdWords

Advertisers pick a few relevant keywords representative for their business. Based on those keywords, they create an advert that will appear on the search engine results page. However, it’s unlikely that your company will be the only one who wants to serve ads to users searching those particular keywords. Rival companies will be interested in the same terms. To make your ad more visible, you have to bid against other marketers on how much you will pay AdWords every time someone clicks on your advert. The more you are willing to pay per click, the more your ad will appear among search results.

Your bid is only one of the factors that will affect your ad performance though. Google also uses a quality score when determining when and where you ad will be shown. The search engine analyzes how relevant and useful your ad is to the user. It looks at how many clicks it previously received (the click-through rate) and at how relevant your landing page is to searchers.

As an example, let’s say your company sells young adult books and the searcher types “YA books” into Google. Your ad will appear, probably something in the lines of “buy YA books here.” When the user clicks on your ad, they need to be directed to a page featuring young adult books for sale. If they are directed to a generic homepage, your quality score will plummet; and you don’t want that. Even if your maximum bid is lower than a rival’s, your ad will still appear above theirs as long as your quality score is better.

What sets AdWords apart from other advertising platforms is that it allows you to reach people at the exact moment they’re searching for what you have to offer. It’s a great service for businesses that don’t necessarily need millions of visitors via browsing; instead, they want to reach specific, targeted visitors who are more likely to take action.