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How does Google Ads work?

Google Ads

The Google Ads marketing tool, formerly known as Google AdWords, allows companies to promote their brand with just a few clicks. By creating Google Ads campaigns, advertisers can showcase their products, services and business operations by displaying them in initial results from the Google search engine. A campaign SEA consists of advertisements (textual or visual) broadcast in the SERPs, but also on Google's partner network (Display) and its related platforms (Gmail, YouTube, etc.). 

While a Google Ads campaign can be launched with just a few clicks, in order for it to achieve its objectives, a number of parameters need to be mastered. In this article, we explain in detail how Google Ads works and how to optimize your paid search engine optimization campaigns. 

The different formats of Google Ads ads 

To fully understand how Google Ads works, let's first look at the formats of these Ads Precisely: 

The Google Ads text ad

It is often referred to as the "classic" Google Ads ad and it is without a doubt the best known ad. It is the one that appears in Google search results, either at the top or bottom of the results. 

The Google Ads advertisement outside of search engines

This type of ad is displayed on Google platforms such as Gmail and YouTube. 

The Google Ads Display ad

This ad is displayed on the Google Display network, i.e. Google's partner sites that display Google Ads ads on their platform in exchange for payment. Display ads often take the form of banners, video or text. 

If you are not familiar with how Google Ads works, you can rest assured. This marketing tool is particularly easy to use. You just need to take the time to study the following criteria:

Learn more about this tool, find our Google Ads guide.

The strategic choice of keywords

Do the keyword choice represents a real challenge for advertisers. Define the keywords that are relevant to your business and searched for by your target. Help yourself to the Keyword Planning tool present within Google Ads. You will find essential information on your keywords: volume of searches per month, competition index, cost per click, etc... 

We advise you to avoid choosing keywords that are too generic, as they may not provide you with qualified clicks. On the contrary, well-targeted keywords increase the conversion rate. 

The broadcasting network 

You must now choose the broadcasting network for your ads:

  • search network 
  • Display network 
  • Google Shopping
  • video network

You can set up one display network only or several at a time. Do not forget to choose the type of device also: mobile, tablet, desktop. 

Following this step, you will have to choose the total budget you need to allocate for your campaigns as well as the amount of your bid. We go into more detail about the auction strategy below. 

The Google Ads auction system

Google Ads works at Pay-Per-ClickThe French version of the Cost Per Click is also available. This implies that your campaign will only be charged if Internet users click on your ad. In a way, the display of your advertisement is free while allowing you to benefit from a great visibility on the web. 

You must set a maximum CPC for each of your keywords, which will allow you not to waste your budget too quickly. To help you, Google shows you a CPC estimate to optimize your SEA campaign, however you are free to follow these recommendations or not. 

How to write a Google Ads ad? 

You will now move on to writing and optimization of your Google Ads ad. To do this, you must write a : 

  • the title of the ad: a first title of 30 characters, separated from a second title by a -
  • the description of the advertisement: can contain up to 200 characters 
  • integrate URL of the landing page 

What are the criteria that make a Google Ads ad successful? 

Your Google Ads ad must work on the targeted keywords and incite clicks in order to generate visits on the destination page integrated. Above all, your ad must deliver clear information to your target in order to trigger the act of purchase. 

Before launching, we advise you to check that the embedded URL corresponds to the landing page targeted by your campaign.

How does Google Ads work?
How does Google Ads work?

Why use Google Ads?

If you have an e-commerce site, the question should not even arise as the advantages of this marketing tool are numerous. Indeed, Google Ads gives a immediate visibility to a site, a business transaction, or a product master record, for example. SEA campaigns are online within the hour once they are validated by the advertiser. Here are the many advantages that Google Ads offers for companies and brands: 

Customized settings 

There are few marketing tools that offer this level of customization of parameters. Indeed, with Google Ads, you can personalize your campaigns on all points: your target, its location, the type of device used, the days and hours of broadcasting desired, etc. 

Full control of the bugget

This tool is highly appreciated by advertisers, because it allows total control of its expenses. You determine the budget of your Google Ads campaign and its use. You can follow its evolution in real time, decide to slow down your spending by modifying your campaigns. It is therefore the opportunity for you to maximize your ROI by having control over your expenses and the income from your investment. 

Precise performance monitoring 

Google Ads offers a detailed performance monitoringto enable advertisers to maximize their ROI. In addition, further refine the accuracy of your KPIs by linking your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account. 

A tool that adapts to advertisers

As we have seen previously, Google Ads is a very easy to use tool that allows a high level of customization in terms of features. In addition, it is a tool that gives advertisers a free hand to modify or even stop the SEA campaigns they have launched. Google regularly upgrades its marketing tool so that the grip is very flexible with its customers, its advertisers. 

What you need to know before you start 

Of course, not everything is rosy with a marketing tool. You have to be aware that certain criteria can impact your campaign. First point, as an advertiser, you do not control the location of your ad. It is therefore essential to choose your keywords carefully according to their competition index and their relevance for your business. 

Beware of keywords with a low CPC: your ad may not appear on the first page of search results. 

Also, keep in mind that your first campaign may not bring you the ROI you were expecting. Indeed, an ASP campaign builds on previous campaigns that have improved its performance. By testing, you will be able to see what works and what doesn't work with your target audience. It will also allow you to familiarize yourself with the tool first, and then explore further parameters later. 


Google Ads is a powerful marketing tool that allows brands and companies to quickly gain notoriety. This is particularly the case during a product launch, a new brand or a new site. Google Ads allows a near-instant visibility to his target.

Finally, we advise you to use a paid SEO strategy always in addition to a natural SEO strategy to fill a possible weakness on certain keywords. 

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à propos de l'auteur.e : Ludivine Mazzotti

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