The most successful ads don’t feel like marketing. They’re so relevant to your interests and aspirations you welcome the value they provide.

Unlike traditional banner ads and pop-ups that consumers might scroll past on a website, Google Ad campaigns have proven effective in helping brands show up in the right place at the right time.

When someone types into its search engine, for example, they’re hoping to find a list of links that will take them where they want to go. Google Ad campaigns go beyond these basic search results by showcasing brands that relate to each query. If you’re serious about selling online, they’re a critical tool.

Google Ads: What they are and how campaigns work

Originally launched as Google AdWords, Google Ads is the search engine company’s platform for powering online advertising across its flagship site, partner sites and YouTube. It offers ads in a variety of formats depending on a brand’s needs such as text, video, display and banner ads.

Google also offers some proprietary options such as Google Shopping Ads, Performance Max ads and Responsive Search ads.

Launching Google Ad campaigns requires bidding for placement based on keywords and the search volume they get, when the ads will run and the expected reach.

Before getting into the details of bidding and running your ads, however, you’ll have to set up a Google Ads account first.

How to create an account in Google ads

You’ll need a regular Google account for your business to set up an account in Google Ads. You might have a personal Gmail account already, but for marketing purposes start by visiting Accounts.Google.com and choose the option “to manage my business” when you’re asked why you’re signing up.

Once that’s done and you’re logged in, visit Ads.Google.com. You’ll be asked to create a Google Ad campaign right away, but look towards the bottom the screen and click on “Switch to expert mode.” This gives you more time to find your way around the Google Ad Manager dashboard, learn about developing a successful campaign and other Google Ads best practices.

How to create a campaign in Google Ad Manager: 5 steps to follow

With the right planning, you can use your Google Ad Manager to get your products seen by more people who are ready to make a purchase:

1. Enter the Google Ad Manager Dashboard

Once you’re inside Google Ad Manager, you’ll see a link that says “Create New Campaign” on your dashboard.

2. Choose your marketing objective and campaign type

Some brands use Google Ads to encourage e-mail signups, initiate phone calls or live chats and download other forms of content. If your focus is on eCommerce, you should select “purchases” as your campaign goal.

From there, you’ll select the type of campaigns that put you in the best position to reach your goal. Familiarize yourself with as many kinds as possible. There are details on some of the most common ad formats in the next section below.

3.  Choose your Google Ad bidding strategy

Remember that running a Google Ad campaign means you’re competing with others brands that might be interested in targeting the same kinds of customers. That means you’ll have to determine what kind of budget you’ll allocate towards bidding and whether the money will be spent on how many people see your ad vs. how many people click on it. We’ll delve into the pros and cons of each choice later in this guide. Google can help optimize much of the bidding process if you’re new to these campaigns.

4. Set up your Google Ad target audience

Precision marketing is all about serving ads to the most appropriate people. Google Ad Manager https://support.google.com/admanager/answer/6022732?hl=en offers many ways to get granular in how you set up target segments. You can focus specifically for those searching for women’s apparel, for instance, as well as country-specific locations like Italy or the U.S. and language. Make sure not to set your parameters too narrowly until you’ve gotten more experience with these campaigns.

5. Develop an ad that converts

You’ll drive more purchases using Google Ads when you have compelling content that creatively combines text and images. Take advantage of freely available generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools to assist with writing strong titles, body copy and optimizing product and lifestyle imagery. Once you’re done, your Google Ad campaign can begin.

Types of Google ads campaigns

People consume information in a variety of formats, so think about A/B testing with a couple of different approaches depending on what you’re selling and what your audience needs to see in order to move forward:


Google has an extensive network of partner sites where it can run display ads that predominantly feature images or videos. This can be a good option for when you’re trying to build initial brand awareness and introduce your company and its products to the market.


Customers want the basics before they buy. This includes the product name, the price and the seller, all of which are presented through Google Shopping Ads. Having product feeds that can send data directly from your product catalog are essential in order to have Google Shopping Ads perform as expected.


This is only so much space on a smartphone screen, which means consumers are becoming more discerning about what they install. Google app ads can use a mix of images, video and text to get the downloads you need to grow your business, especially if your app makes it easy for customers to place and track their orders.

Local Inventory Ads

One of the biggest opportunities in eCommerce is to market products based on where customers can easily go and pick them up in person. Local inventory ads (LIAs) ensure you only promote what’s in stock near your audience’s current location. A strong product feed management solution is critical here, too.

How much does Google ads cost? Find out the minimum budget to launch your campaign

The budget you’ll need to run a Google Ad campaign will vary depending on the industry you’re targeting, average search volume and many other factors. These costs will change over time, but as of early 2024 the average cost per click for a category such as fashion retail, for instance, was US$1.42.


Paying on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis means your budget is going directly towards driving activity to your product pages and eCommerce engine. This can be a sound strategy when you’re focused on short-term revenue goals. In other cases, paying on a cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) basis can allow you to build your reputation among your audience, which can be important for bigger-ticket items that have a longer buying cycle.

What is Google Ads Keyword Planner and how to choose the most effective keywords

Google recognizes that not everyone is highly versed in running online ad campaigns. Its Keyword Planner is a tool that provides rich data such as search volume for particular combinations of words, forecasts and much more.

You can look up individual words or upload a CSV file with all the relevant keywords in your industry to identify what you’ll use in your Google Ads.

Choosing the most effective keyword is really a process of putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and imagining what they would type into a search engine when they’re looking for their next purchase.

Managing Google Ad campaigns: the Highstreet.io solution

Running Google Ads can involve meeting highly specific requirements, which is not something you’ll want to manage on your own.

Highstreet.io’s product feed management platform makes it easy to tailor your product data to whatever channel you’re using for marketing purposes. This includes a range of Google Ad formats such as Google Shopping Ads, local inventory ads and more.

Working with Highstreet.io means you can not only tackle product listing ad feed management but set up ad retargeting feeds that increase your conversations and get more return on investment (ROI) from your campaigns.

Mastering Google Ad campaigns happens a lot faster when you partner with the experts. Book a demo with Highstreet.io and let us show you how to save time, reach more customers and sell more online and in-store.