How to set up Google Ads for your business

When you’re looking for advertising platforms to grow your business online, Google Ads is by far the largest, most recognizable ad platform in the world. For some businesses, the scale and market dominance of this advertising solution are enough: When you’re looking to grow your business, why not choose an advertising partner that has built the greatest success in its own industry?

But there are other reasons why Google Ads is a valuable solution for your business. For one, its sheer size makes it easy to accurately target even niche audiences relevant to your company. Google Ads also offers strong analytics tools that can help you assess performance, measure ROI, and optimize your marketing strategies over time. The specific ads you can create through Google Ads are more versatile, which lets businesses create customized campaigns that maximize their reach and engagement — which means more value for your advertising efforts.

If you’re new to Google Ads, you can expect a learning curve as you familiarize yourself with its platform and tools, and figure out what works best for your business. To help accelerate that learning curve, we’ll walk you through the basic steps of creating your account, setting up campaigns, and tracking your results as you use Google Ads to grow your revenue and your business.

How to create a Google Ads account

Before you can do keyword research and launch campaigns, you need to make sure your Google account is properly set up.

Setting up your account

You might already have a Google Ads account registered to your business email address and your business website. If so, you can skip ahead to the next step. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to register for a new account. Choose either a business email address or your Gmail address, if you have one.

Follow the prompts on Google Ads’ registration page to complete the setup process. This should take only a few minutes.

Registering for a manager account

Google Ads offers manager accounts, which can be used to manage an entire team, or to manage multiple clients if you’re a marketing agency. In almost all business use cases, a manager account is preferable to an individual account because of the capabilities it offers, and because it simplifies campaign creation and management.

A manager account allows you to add team members and manage their permissions, such as choosing between administrative roles and standard roles for Ads users. If you’re working with multiple companies, you can also easily manage invoicing to those customer accounts.

Once you start the registration process for a manager account, you will be asked whether the primary use of the account is to manage your own business account or to manage the accounts of others.

Choosing basic account preferences

During the account setup process, you will also need to provide basic information related to your business account, including your billing country, time zone, and preferred currency for billing purposes. Once you submit this information, you can access your Google Ads dashboard to take important next steps for creating and launching your first campaign.

How to set up a search campaign in Google Ads

Once you’ve set up Google Ads, you’re ready to create a campaign for your business. You can do this by clicking the “Campaign” tab on the left side of the user dashboard.

One important note: If you’re using this account for your own business as well as other accounts, you’ll need to first create an account for your business under the “Accounts” tab. Then, when you go to create a campaign, you’ll want to select your business account as the owner of that campaign.

Creating your campaign

To get started, you’ll need to make a few decisions regarding the makeup of your campaign. These include:

  • Goal: Choose between driving sales, leads, website traffic, product/brand consideration, brand awareness and reach, or app promotion.
  • Campaign type: Choose from search, display, shopping, video, smart, or discovery.
  • Additional criteria: Based on the choice you make, you will have additional choices regarding the makeup and delivery of your campaign. These can relate to the specific call to action desired, the delivery channel for the ad, or the products and pages you want to highlight.

Optimizing budgeting and bidding in Google Ads

Depending on the campaign goal you select, your business can take the guesswork out of budgeting and bidding by using one of six automated bidding strategies offered by Google Ads.

You can also use Google’s Bid Simulator within the Ads platform. This lets you play around with different scenarios, such as how your impressions might change by making slight adjustments to your bid price. Based on this experimentation, you can choose a bid that offers the maximum value and set a budget that accommodates this ad spend while offering consistent exposure and ROI potential.

Bids and budgets are subject to change based on your results and the data feedback you get from your campaigns, but this is a reliable approach to setting a starting bid and budget that will serve your ad campaign.

Setting up remarketing lists for search ads

If you’re interested in creating a remarketing campaign through search ads, you can accomplish this with a few additional steps during the campaign creation process. Under the tools icon in your dashboard, click on “Shared Library,” then “Audience Manager,” and finally “Audience Lists.”

You can then add a new audience by selecting website visitors, which can then be the target audience for a search retargeting campaign. Set the initial list size based on the number of visitors to your website over a set period of time, or start with an empty list if you would like to retarget future visitors. Finally, set a membership duration — the amount of time you want a website visitor to be retargeted through your search campaign.

Click “Create Audience,” and you’re all done — your retargeting list is ready to go!

How to set up conversion tracking in Google Ads

In order to track conversions driven by your ad campaign, you’ll need to add conversion tracking tags to all landing pages associated with your campaigns. This small snippet is added to your landing page’s code, making it easy to track ad campaigns and referrals as they relate to the desired actions you’re targeting through your ad campaign.

An in-house developer or IT professional can easily help add these tags to your landing pages, but any marketer or in-house professional can handle this action on their own. Just follow Google’s simple instructions for adding conversion tracking tags to any webpage.

Creating the conversion tracking tag

Conversion tags can be created through your Google Ads dashboard. Go to “Tools,” “Measurement,” and then “Conversions” and add a new conversion action to your account. Add in the necessary information, including conversion name and category, to ensure your conversion analytics offer comprehensive data and accurate information.

Once you’ve created the conversion in the platform, you will receive two code snippets to add to your landing pages: the global site tag, which is used for search retargeting, and the event snippet, which is specific to your campaign.

When added correctly to your site, conversion tracking is incredibly reliable. It can help track a wide range of actions, including website conversions, phone call referrals, social media activity, or any other trackable action or event offered through Google Ads campaigns. This gives businesses greater attribution capabilities, helping them accurately measure campaign performance and the value of their ad spending.

Using Google Ads to grow your business

No matter what kind of business you run, what size it is, or how much money you can commit to online advertising, one thing is consistent across all companies: When used properly, Google Ads can help any business expand its reach, achieve its marketing goals, and generate more revenue over time.

The key to success is taking time to build campaigns that speak directly to your customers — and then paying attention to your performance.

Calculating ROI from Google Ads campaigns

Determining the exact ROI for your campaigns can be tricky, depending on the marketing goals you’re seeking. If the goal is driving sales, for example, ROI is easy to calculate: Simply subtract the cost of your ad campaign from the new revenue generated to determine how great of a return you generated from that campaign.

Goals such as brand awareness are a little more convoluted. Consider using an online calculator to estimate the potential value of this performance, or consult with your internal marketing team to identify the metrics that may best reflect the success of your campaign.


New users will require some time before they master Google Ads and develop a set of best practices specific to each individual business. In the meantime, commit to paying close attention to your campaign performance, and explore all the different ways you can use Google Ads to improve audience identification and target specific marketing goals and customer actions.

Looking for more insight on how to use Google Ads to drive phone calls to your business? Request a demo today to learn how Google Ads can be integrated with CallRail.