Google Ads Guide for Small Business

Welcome to the FutureProof Digital Google Ads Guide. I'll keep this as simple as possible, because Google Ads can be overwhelming, especially if you are new online, or you are launching a new business/website. This Google Ads guide isn't particularly detailed, like some, it's for beginners. It will give you a start, get up and running with your first campaign and your first ads.
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Google Ads Guide

A well managed and organised Google Ads campaign is a key ingredient of it’s success. There are differing opinions on the best way but we know how to set-up our campaigns, and we know it works. I’ve set-up a new Google Ads account for this Google Ads Guide to walk through the process with you.

Google Ads - Campaign Level

Campaign is the second level in Google Ads, above this is your account, but you will only use this level if you have 2 distinct businesses. There are many ways to configure your campaigns but for most businesses CAMPAIGN = LOCATION & BUDGET. Where do you want your ads to display and how much do you want to spend on Google Ads in that location.

If you are a service business, working in your own county, select that county and name the campaign accordingly. If you also work in a neighboring county, providing the same services there, duplicate the campaign once the set-up of the first campaign is completed. Simply change the location.

For an E-Commerce website select all the locations that you sell to. You can adjust your budget for high performing locations or areas where your expenses might be high.   

Google Ads Guide for Small Business - FutureProof Digital

This is what your Google Ads Campaign Dashboard looks like. In most cases what you will see is a list counties, towns and cities, because that’s what you have named your campaigns. We haven’t created any campaigns yet so this page is empty. Click “New Campaign” to get started.

Google Ads Campaign Type

First, choose the goal of the ad campaign you will run. You will know the best route to take for your business and you may wish to try some different campaign types. But for today’s example I’m going to select “Create a Campaign Without a Goal”  it will help you understand the set-up process better.

Google Ads Guide
Google Ads Guide for Small Business - FutureProof Digital

Google offer numerous advertising options; Display Ads (adverts on other websites), Shopping Ads (products displayed at the top of search and image results), Video Ads through YouTube and App Ads in the Google Play Store. For this example we will still with basic Search Ads.

Your business model might require phone calls, this option is specifically designed for mobile ads. If so select this option and try it out for yourself. For today’s example we’ll select “Website Clicks,” enter our URL and hit “Continue.”

Google Ads Guide for Small Business - FutureProof Digital

Google Ads Guide - Campaign Settings

Campaign Name

Make sure you give your Campaign a name that can be easily identified. You might only have one campaign now but in a years time it could be 50. My preference is the location and the campaign type, that way there should never be an overlap.


Display Ads are a discipline all on their own, and we’re not going to get into them today. If you run a website you can allocate space for Google to display adverts, they call this the Display Network. For most small and medium sized businesses I would recommend Search Ads, that’s what we are looking at here.


This is a really important step. Choose your locations carefully. I set up campaigns based on location, as I outlined above. So for this demo campaign I’ve chosen Roscommon and Athlone.

If I was a start-up I might create this as my first campaign and then make an exact copy to expand into Galway for example. The keywords and adverts would be the same, I would simply change the location target and budget accordingly.

Languages – pretty self explanatory.

Audiences allow you to choose particular types of people. For a beginner, I would leave this alone. The keywords and phrases people use to search is more than enough detail.

Budget & Bidding

Now for money. Enter your budget… sorry, I can’t help you with that. Remember, you should be spending between 10 and 15 percent of your overall turnover on marketing. It’s a daily amount so just divide your monthly budget by 30.

What do you want to focus on? For most businesses, and especially beginners, choose clicks. 

I would leave the Max CPC blank and let Google set the bid to maximize you click rate. You will need to manually adjust the bid on each keyword as time goes on. Start low. 

Google Ads Guide for Small Business - FutureProof Digital

That’s all the important settings of the campaign in place. You’ve set the locations that your ads will show in and you’ve set a budget of how much you want to spend on ads each day. Next are Ad groups, here you set-up the keywords and phrases that will trigger your ads.

Google Ads - Ad Group Level

Within your campaigns there are Ad Groups. The accepted wisdom states a maximum of 7-10 ad groups per campaign with approximately 20 keywords and 2-3 adverts per ad group. When you look at your Ad Groups think AD GROUP = WEB PAGE. If you are service business each service has page, E-Commerce websites have product and category pages. Your Ad Group contains a list of keywords that people might use to find the products and services they need.

When you are analysing the performance of your campaigns this structure makes it easy to identify what’s working and also the areas that need attention. 

Below is your Campaign Dashboard. As you can see, we have one campaign. It’s named “Roscommon Search Ads.” As I outlined above it’s important the set up your campaigns correctly and get into naming convention habits; these ads will show in Roscommon in the search results.

Google Ads Guide for Small Business - FutureProof Digital

Clicking on this campaign will take you to the ad group dashboard. Click “Create Ad Group” to continue. 

Google Ads Guide - Ad Group Settings

Ad Group Name

Stick to the naming conventions that you’ve already adopted. Include something about the campaign. So this Ad Group will be shown in Roscommon and Athlone, set at campaign level, and it’s going to send traffic to my web design page.

A second Ad group in this campaign might be named “Roscommon, Athlone – Facebook Ads.” and send traffic to my page advertising that service.

Advert Text & Link

Test, test and test some more. Create two or three ads. and see which one performs the best. The headline I like features the name of the service, the location and USP/tag line; here I’ve gone with “100% Irish.”

For the description, again testing is important. But get in as many of the features of your service as you can and why it’s better than your competition.

Try and put the URL as it appears on your site.

Under the advert in the preview window are ad extensions. They are set at campaign level and we’ll take a look at them later in this Google Ads Guide.

Google Ads Guide for Small Business - FutureProof Digital

Congratulations !! You’ve created your very first advert. Click “Save & Continue” because it’s time to tell Google what keywords and search terms you want to trigger your ad.

Google Ads - Keywords and Ads

In simple terms; what words and phrases do your potential customers use in a Google search? Your advert contains these words and phrases and your web page should already be optimized for these as well. Every aspect of your campaign needs to work in tandem to give your business the best return on investment. That’s what our PPC Advertising Campaigns focus on.  

Google Ads Guide for Small Business - FutureProof Digital

Google Ads Guide - Keywords & Matching

This is the list of keywords I’ve selected to send traffic to the web design page on my website. These are not set in stone; if you find that some are not performing well you can delete them, if you think of other keywords add them. And over time Google will give you recommendations for new keywords and search phrases, manually approve these where appropriate.

The square bracket indicates that I wish for my advert to trigger only when these exact words are search for. I would recommend this for beginners so that you get a feel for how Google Ads works and the data that you get back.

If you were to choose broad match then you can never know exactly what searchers are typing when they end up on your website.

As you can see Google gives you the option to use the page linked to in the ad to generate keyword ideas as well as entering the name of the service itself.

You can use the Google Keyword Planer or another keyword tool, the WordStream Keyword Tool for example to research the right keywords. The list of keywords above will give you an idea of where to start.

[web design]
[web design roscommon]
[web design athlone]
[website design]
[website design roscommon[
[website design athlone]
[web designer]
[web designer roscommon]
[web designer athlone]
[website designer]
[website designer roscommon]
[website designer athlone]
[web developer]
[web developer roscommon]
[web developer athlone]
[professional web design]
[professional web design roscommon]
[professional web design athlone]

Click “Save & Continue” and that’s it !! Your first Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword Set and advert is up and running. In further posts I will cover manual bidding, quality score and ad extensions. In these posts I will cover managing and optimizing your campaigns in the weeks and months that follow, after Google has given them a score and set a bid for each keyword. 

Google Ads Guide for Small Business - FutureProof Digital

Manual Bidding

Remember will didn’t set a max. CPC for the campaign, well Google is going to set that amount for you in order the get the most amount of clicks for your daily budget. As you collect data on CTR, CPC and your ad position you can manually adjust your keyword bid.

Quality Score

Quality Score refers to your advert AND your website. Google rates how good your ad is, how well it relates to the keyword that triggers it and how good your landing page is. In short, the better you web page and the better your ad the higher up the results page your ad will show. You will also pay less for each click.

Ad Extensions

You can add more info. about your business below your ad. This can include phone number, address, extra service or even extra links to different pages of your website.

Hi, I’m Adam, thank you for being here at FutureProof Digital. We publish regular content including blog posts, guides, reviews and updates on our latest projects. To stay up to date with everything we publish, sign-up for the newsletter.

Adam @ FutureProof Digital

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