A Guide to the Google Ads Settings You’re Confused About

by | Feb 9, 2023 | Digital Advertising, Digital Marketing

Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) is one of the most popular pay-per-click advertising platforms available. Online advertising can be a cost-effective way to promote your business, with plenty of different options for customizing your Google ads campaigns. However, with so many ways to choose your settings, it can easily become quite overwhelming. There are multiple ways to tailor each campaign in Google Ads, and they can be confusing to look at and understand.

If you need some help navigating Google Ads and the best ways to dominate search engines for your desired keywords, this ultimate guide will give you some quick tips on how Google Ads work to get started.

Navigating Your Google Ads Account

Navigating Your Google Ads Account

Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) is a way to advertise on the internet. With a Google Ads account, you can create different ad types using keywords and targeting settings to reach the people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. Your paid ads will appear on websites across the internet, and you’ll be able to track how many people see it, click on it, and buy from it.

Before you explore all of the settings in your Google Ads account, it’s helpful to know how to navigate it and change the settings. You can change both campaign settings and account settings from the Settings tab on the left-side menu. When you click on the settings for campaigns, it will show you your current campaigns, which you can then click on to view your current settings and change them.

Types of Google Ad Campaigns

Types of Google Ad Campaigns

Google Ads campaigns are ways of advertising your products and services on Google’s network. There are different campaigns to choose from, like:

  • Search Campaigns: Also known as PPC (pay-per-click), this is a text ad on search results that lets you reach people while they’re searching on Google for the products and services you offer. It’s great for driving sales, leads, or traffic to your website, as you can show your ads to people actively searching for your products and services.
  • Display Campaigns: Lets advertisers reach a relevant audience with visually engaging display ads as they browse millions of websites, apps, and Google-owned properties, such as YouTube, to achieve their marketing objectives. Google display campaigns are a great way to expand your reach and stay top of mind with an audience beyond just Google Search. You can also create a Display campaign that uses your data segments to show ads to a specific audience of people who’ve visited your website or have used your app.
  • Video Campaigns: Lets you show video ads on YouTube and other websites. Some of these campaign types can help you boost general brand awareness, while others drive conversions or encourage people to shop on your website or landing page.
  • App Campaigns: This helps you find new app users and increase sales within your app. This campaign type uses information from your app to automatically optimize ads across Search, Play, YouTube, Discover, and over 3 million sites and apps.
  • Local Campaigns: Helps you bring people to your physical stores and venues. Your ads will be automatically optimized to appear across Search, Display, Google Maps, and YouTube.
  • Smart Campaigns: Among the easiest ways to automate your campaigns and get your ads up and running. Enter your business information and create a few ads, and Google finds the best targeting to get you the most for your time and money.
  • Performance Max: Is a goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. Performance Max helps you drive performance based on your specified conversion goals, delivering more conversions and value by optimizing performance in real-time and across channels using Smart Bidding.
  • Shopping Campaigns: These are product listings that are ideal if you’re a retailer looking to sell your product inventory. Shopping ads appear on search results and the Google Shopping tab. Store owners can also use local inventory ads to promote products available at their physical locations.

A campaign allows you to promote on Google’s vast network of search results, websites, videos, mobile apps, maps, shopping listings, and more. You’ll choose a campaign type based on your advertising objective, brand strategy, and how much time you’re able to invest.

Google Search and Other Networks

When you select your campaign type, whether you choose responsive search ads, Google display campaign, or YouTube ads campaign, it will limit you to specific networks. The Search network will show Google search ads on a search engine results page and with Google partners. The Google display network shows banner ads across the web, and the Shopping network allows an advertiser to set up ads for products and services to deliver on a Google search results page. The Video network is for Youtube ad campaigns and video ads on other partner sites. App ads are shown on Android and iOS apps.

Campaign Goals

Campaign Goals

When you create a Google Ad campaign, you set goals to help you decide how successful it is. Your goals could be things like getting new customers to visit your website or getting more people to subscribe to your email list. You can measure how close you are to reaching those goals to help you decide if your ad campaign is working or not.

You have the choice of a number of different goals when you set up a campaign. There’s some argument that these don’t really matter if you use Google Ads properly in other ways, but they can be useful to look at.

Choosing one can help you to get good guidance on everything from keyword match types and ad spend, to bid strategy. Your goal options include sales, leads, website traffic, and more. Pick one that matches the main thing you want to achieve with your campaign setup.

Ad Groups

Ad Groups

Making good use of ad group setup and naming will help you organize your campaigns. Ad groups are helpful for separating different groups of relevant keywords and ads so that you can get the most accurate results. Your ads will find the right audience types when you put them in different groups that you can adjust.

Before adjusting your ads, check your ad rank and relevance. Ad rank is the position of your ad on Google Search compared to other ads. Google calculates other factors such as the competitiveness of the auction, the ad rank thresholds (your ability to compete in an ad auction), and who the user is (based on geographic location, device, and past searches). In other words, the more likely Google thinks a particular user will engage with your ad, the higher your ad rank will be, but this can change from user to user. Ad relevance, or keyword relevance, refers to how closely your keywords relate to your ads—making ad relevance another reason why keyword research is so important.

Keyword Settings

Keyword Settings

When it comes to keyword targeting, there are plenty of different settings to consider. Choosing search terms is one of the most important parts of setting up your campaign.

Match Type

The keyword match type dictates when to show your ads based on how close to your chosen search term the search result is.


  • Broad Match: This match type will trigger ads for broad keywords that match yours (often not recommended for the best results).
  • Phrase Match: With phrase match, your ads get to the right users without the creation of an extensive list of keywords and phrases.
  • Exact Match: This match type shows your ad when search terms OR search intent matches your keywords.
  • Negative Keywords: These are keywords that you don’t want to trigger your ads, focusing on only the keywords that matter to your customers.
Budget and Bidding Strategies

Budget and Bidding Strategies

For many people, setting up their ad spend budget and bidding strategy is a crucial part of adjusting their Google Ads settings. You can use automated bidding strategies to make things easier or a manual bidding strategy to gain more control.

Automated Bid Strategy Options

Google Ads automated bid strategies are tools that can help you set your bids for the ads you run on Google. It uses data about the searches people are making, the types of ads other people are running, and your own budget to decide how much you should bid on each ad. That way, you can make sure you get the best results from your ads without having to adjust them every day, and your bids constantly adjust to make certain you’re getting the most value for your money.

Your strategies for automated bidding include:

  • Target CPA: Target CPA sets bids for you to get as many conversions (customer actions) as possible. When creating the target cost-per-action, you set an average cost you’d like to pay for each conversion.
  • Target ROAS: Target ROAS is the average conversion value (for example, revenue) you’d like to get for each dollar you spend on ads. Keep in mind that the target ROAS you set may influence the conversion volume you get. For example, setting a target that’s too high may limit the amount of traffic your ad may get.
  • Maximize Clicks: This strategy sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget.
  • Maximize Conversion: Using maximum conversion helps you optimize towards conversions.
  • Maximize Conversion Value: This strategy attempts to generate the most conversion value for a given budget. It may bid higher for auctions that would result in greater conversion value than auctions with lower conversion value.
  • Target Impression Share: This sets bids with the goal of showing your search ad on the absolute top of the page, on the top of the page, or anywhere on the page of Google’s search results.

Automated strategies use historical data to optimize your bid adjustments, so it’s a good idea to start with manual bids before you move on to automated bidding.

Google ads auction is another option to get people to see your ads and is set up just like a regular auction you would go to to buy a car. The highest bidder wins. You set your price at $1.00 for the ad to appear in front of someone. Another company with the same keyword chosen has its highest bid at $1.10; your competitor just won, and their ad will show.

Targeting Options

Targeting Options

Don’t forget to explore the many options for reaching your target audience. You have a number of choices for audience targeting, which allow you to choose targeted locations, devices, languages, interests, and more internet users. This requires you to know your audience if you want to reach relevant people and give your targeted audience the right ads.


There is a lot to consider when you’re choosing settings for your Google Ads campaigns. Using Google Ads together with Google Analytics and other tools can help you to secure the best results. If you’re not sure where to start, speak with one of the experts at The Social Firm.

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