How To Set Up Google Ads and What to Expect When Setting Up Google Ads Account

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If you are thinking of setting up some Google ads but are wondering what to expect when setting up a Google ads account then this blog will guide you on what you need to know! Google Ads is one of the most powerful ways to attract customers to your business. However, you need to know how to set up Google ads effectively in order to know what a successful campaign might look like, to maximise the return on investment from your advertising spend and to avoid costly mistakes.

The other thing you will need is patience. Google will need to collect a substantial amount of data about your business and services, to effectively serve your ad to the right audience. It will take at least three months to maximise your potential and up to 12 months to develop a strong, optimised campaign. As such, it’s important to adopt the mindset that this is a long-term strategy, rather than a short-term one.

With much to consider, where exactly should you start when setting up your Google Ads?


How well your campaigns will perform all comes down to a few key factors:

  • Your goals
  • Your budget
  • Who are you targeting
  • The keywords you are targeting
  • The level of saturation of your industry

Before you create your Google Ads, you really need to understand your goals. Typically, this means deciding what you consider as a ‘conversion’ (this could be a sale, an enquiry, a download, etc.). Once this is determined, you can start to create a strategy. The importance of having a strategy cannot be overstated. At the very least it’s essential to understand the priority of your products/services, for example, what one brings in the most revenue, and the specifics, in terms of locations.

You will need to narrow down your goals, competitors, target audience and determine a budget in order to know how it’s best to set up your campaign and what results you will start seeing.

How Long Do Google Ads Take To Work

Now like I’ve said above this isn’t a quick fix. This is a long term plan rather than a short term one. Now that doesn’t mean you wont be getting a ROI or making sales it just means don’t expect to become a millionaire overnight. So let’s break down the key time period for your ads…

The First Seven Days 

When you first activate your Google Ads account, it typically takes 24-48 hours for Google to review and approve your account. So don’t panic if you see no data for this time period, it just means Google is approving all. After you receive approval, Google takes another seven days to:

  • Gather vital data about your business
  • Learn about your desired topic
  • Examine your target audience

Depending on the size of your business or how complex your audience, this process can take longer to complete. Now let’s move onto breaking down Google ads and everything you may need to know about them before you start thinking about how to set up Google ads. 

How To Set Up Google Ads

Google ads have many layers and it’s all about allowing you to make things manageable and specific and we will break down those layers below so you know exactly what to expect when setting up Google ads. 


This is your top level where you would decide what you want to advertise, what budget you may want on it and the strategy. Now, this is the very bones of your ads. If you are a business that has lots of products or services and want to promote them all then my recommendation is to set up a campaign per product or service. 

The reason for this is because it allows you to better allocate budgets and switch things around. It could be that you have some products or services that sell better than others so you may want to put more budget into those. Or it could be that some products you ship worldwide where others you don’t so again in the campaign level you can choose the locations you want to target. 

This top level is where you are really able to map out and manage your ads for the best success. It helps you manage things better in terms of pausing and so forth, such as if you have a product or service that has a better ROI then doing a campaign for each allows them to have their own budgets for success. 

Ad groups 

We then have ad groups as the next level. Here is where you would start to break your campaign down to specifics. So for example, if you are like me in a marketing business you might have your top level (campaign) as a marketing service you offer (Google ads) and then within your ad group you will start to possibly break down the things people may search. So we could create an ad group for:

  • Google ads support
  • Done for you Google ads 
  • Google ads agency 
  • PPC specialist 

Once we start to think about the top level searching what people may be looking for, we can then start to look into the keywords that will get these ads to show up. 


So from your ad groups we then want to start looking at keywords. This is a key part to your ads success when it comes to how to set up Google ads as it will really be the thing that helps Google to know what to show your ads for. 

Each ad group needs keywords to get them to show up so here is where we would use Google Keyword Planner to decide if there are the keywords needed out there to make these ad groups. 

But before we show you how to use the keyword planner, let’s talk on the 3 types of keywords you can use as this will factor into the below.

1. Broad Match 

This is the broadest keyword and the one that’s least specific meaning your ads show in search results for keywords that don’t necessarily contain the exact terms.

For example, if your keyword was SEO support you could show up for any search that has SEO within it. So you can see from this if you are using this keyword to get enquiries, showing up for something like SEO may not be relevant. This type of keyword is best used for niche industries or if you’re not too fussed on the intent of the search and want to be found.  

A broad keyword match helps you reach a wide audience, but your visitors are unrefined as the terms they search for are related to your keyword. 

2. Phrase Match 

Now the next keyword allows you to become a bit more specific the the keyword/search. A phrase match surfaces your ads in queries that have the same meaning as your keyword or more specific forms of your keyword. Words can be added before or after your keyword, but not between. So for example, if your keyword was SEO support, your ads could show up for things like help me with SEO support, SEO support near me and so forth. 

Using phrase match puts your ads in front of a smaller audience, but they are only shown in searches that include what your ad is for, so audiences are more refined. 

3. Exact Match  

Then we have an exact match and this is the complete opposite to broad. This type of keyword means you will only show the exact meaning or intent of the keyword. This can include singular or plural forms, misspellings, abbreviations, and accents.

With this type, you’ll get more refined visitors to your site, but you’ll have less reach. However, it means you will spend less on wasted clicks and get the right people coming to your site. Also if you are in a competitive market where clicks are expensive this is your best way to keep costs down. 

Now that’s all great on knowing what types of keywords but how do you tell Google which you want to use? 

To tell Google which you want to use you need to put symbols in front. The below video shows you this or you can see the table below. And when setting up your ad group level this is where you will be implementing your keywords and the type you want to use. 

More on the 3 types of keywords can be seen here or with the example below. 

Keyword Type Keyword  Shows For  How To Implement 
Broad  SEO Support  Searches related to your keyword so can show for just SEO No symbols so implement as: SEO Support 
Phrase SEO Support  Searches with the same meaning so like SEO support near me  Use “ before and after the keyword like “SEO Support”
Exact SEO Support  Searches with the exact meaning or intent like SEO support  Use [ before and after like [SEO Support]

Let’s do step by step on finding those keywords. 

First head to Google keyword planner and  start typing the keywords that you think are possibly relevant to your ad group. Here you can add up to 10 keywords and then once happy with what you’ve put, click get results.

how to set up google ads using google keyword planner step 1

Here will then be a list of all the keywords you’ve put in along with recommendations which allows you to keep refining your search. Then from this the main thing you want to do is look at the search volume and the cost to be at the top of Google, to then start to think about what your daily spend may need to be. It’s important to note from earlier if you are targeting a specific location at the top you need to change this to make the data true to what you may get. You can do this as circled in red below. 

keyword planner step 2 on setting up google ads

Now by this point you may be thinking well what does my budget needs to be, but another great thing about keyword planner is it can guide you. You will see here top of the page bids, you can also do a forecast following the steps below: 

So what you need to do is start ticking the keywords you want to target.

using the google keyword planner when setting up ads

This will then bring up the above blue bar where you can create the name of your ad group and so forth and then add to create a plan. Once you’ve done this for all the ad groups you feel you want on the left hand side you will see forecast (as below)

how to set up google ads with forecast planner

What to Expect When Setting Up Google Ads Account

In here you will then be able to play with the data from saying what type of strategy you want to then seeing what results you may get from this in terms of clicks, conversions and so forth. If you from this feel happy with your results you can go ahead and even create the campaign from here meaning all the heavy work is done! 

Now For the Google Ads Creation 


Now we know what campaign, ad groups and keywords we want now to curate the copy. July 22 Google recently brought out responsive ads and the benefit to this is you don’t need as many running due to having more headlines to play with. My recommendation would be to start with 1 for the first month (depending on performance) and then add another in to test between. 

So when it comes to your content for headlines you have 15 at 30 characters each and also 4 descriptions at 90 charters each, you can see there’s a lot to play with BUT the key is to make it relatable. If your keyword is SEO then dont be talking about Google ads. 

You want to have everything relatable so with this you want to be having some headlines as the keywords chosen or similar and then also some as call to actions as well as ones that will relate to your target audience’s pain points. 

So as an example if I was to run ads for my SEO services i would have headlines like 

  • SEO support 
  • Cut back your time 
  • Outsource today 
  • Done For you SEO 

Inside your ad also is where you put the URL you want to send them to and again make this as relatable to the topic as possible. 


These are your powers. Below you can see two ads, one with and one without and as you can tell the one with stands out A LOT more, meaning you are increasing your chances of being clicked. There are lots of benefiting extensions you can add but the main three you should include are:

  • Structured snippets 
  • Call outs 
  • Site links  

Standard search ad:

Google search ad example

Search ad with extensions:

Google search ad example

Ready to take on Google Ads?

Now this is the breakdown guide on what to expect when setting up a Google ads account and the things to know on how to set up Google ads, plus my tips on structuring them for success. 

I hope you have found it useful and I know there is a lot to take in and that’s why I have created a Google ads checklist to help you, and you can download this below. 

If you are ever in need of support you know i’d love to help, whether that be strategy, helping on set up, auditing your ads or running them for you please do reach out here. Oh and PS stick around to find out more on Google ads, will soon be chatting optimisation tips, so sign up to my newsletter to know when. 

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