Step-by-step starter guide to get your business online

Simply follow these 7 steps to get started with your online advertising with AdWords.

During the process, you will need to provide a valid email address and billing information.

Step 1: Create a login

This step takes: 1-2 min

To create your AdWords account, you just need to provide a valid email address and create your password.

You can then sign in to your AdWords account any time to change your settings or see how your ads are performing.

Step-by-step instructions

  • Click on Start now.
  • Follow the instructions to enter your email address and choose a password.
  • If you're creating a new Google Account, you'll be asked to verify your email address. You'll receive an email from our system with a link to confirm your address. Just click on that link and you'll be ready to go!
  • Sign in to your AdWords account at adwords.google.com.

Step 2: Target a geographic region

This step takes: 1-2 min

Do you have a local business? Don't want to advertise globally or nationwide? Simply choose the geographic area where you'd like your ads to appear.

Step-by-step instructions

  • Click on the Create your first campaign button.
  • Go to Campaign Settings and Audience if you want to change the language settings.
  • If you want to advertise in a specific location only, go to Campaign Settings and Audience to change your targeted location.
  • Simply select the countries, regions or cities where you would like your ad to appear – or just exclude specific regions.

Step 3: Set your daily budget

This step takes: 1-2 min

With Google AdWords, you decide how much you're willing to pay per day. You then only pay when someone clicks on your ad. In other words, you only pay when your advertising works. This approach has allowed AdWords to establish itself as a cost-effective advertising platform for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

You set your budget under the Bidding and budget section of your campaign settings. Your budget should be the amount you're comfortable spending on AdWords advertising each day.

Tips

How high should I go?

If you're not sure how much you want to spend, try starting off with a budget of US$5 to US$10 per day. Increase your budget if you're happy with the initial results or once you've optimized your campaign.

Step 4: Control how much you spend per click on your ad

This step takes: 1 min

Under Bidding and Budget select the Automatic bidding option. AdWords will then automatically adjust your bids to try to bring you the most clicks possible within your budget.

Tips

If you want to control how much you spend per click on your ad, you can set a CPC (cost-per-click) bid limit. We recommend starting out with an amount you're comfortable spending per click on your ad (many advertisers start out with about $1.00) and then continuing to adjust as you monitor your ad's performance. If you enter a CPC bid limit that's too low, your budget may not be used up completely or your ad may not show at all. If this happens, increase your CPC bid limit or add more keywords.

You can change your CPC bid at any time. The best thing is to get started and begin experimenting.

When determining how much to bid for a click on your ad, try to estimate how valuable a click is for your business. Think of "a click" as a person that searches for one of your keywords, sees your ad, chooses to click on it and lands on your website - in other words, think of a click as "a potential customer". How much you are willing to pay for a click will largely depend on how much profit you make from a new customer.

Step 5: Create ad(s)

This step takes: 2-3 min

Creating good ads is important but not difficult. What's more, it's not like creating a newspaper advertisement. A key advantage of AdWords is that you can adjust and improve your ads at any time.

Tips

  • Say how you're different.
    Use terms such as "excellent service, good value, professional, competent, quick", etc. Tell the user what they can expect from your website and your company.
  • Incorporate a call to action in your ad.
    It's better to say "Buy flowers" rather than "Flowers for sale".
  • Use the most important keywords in the ad text.
    If search terms appear in the ad, they will appear in bold. This means that the ad has a better chance of being noticed and will be clicked on more often.
  • Don't know which ad text is better? Use ad variations.
    If you aren't sure what text to use in your ad, just let your audience decide. You can create multiple versions of your ad and then compare them to find out which ones receive the most clicks or lead to the most conversions. Remember: You only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Step 6: Select keywords

This step takes: 5-10 min

Keywords are the words or phrases for which your ad will appear when a user searches for them. It's important to select keywords carefully, as they'll determine the audience that will see your ads -- but don't worry about getting it exactly right the first time. You can always add new keywords or edit or delete existing ones after you've created your first campaign.

Tips

  • Put yourself in the shoes of your customers
    Your keywords should be the words or phrases your customers would use when searching for your product or service.
  • Relevance is key
    If you're selling roses, use specific keywords such as "Buy red roses" rather than generic keywords like "Flowers." Generic keywords may get more searches, but the people searching for them aren't necessarily interested in your specific product. You're likely to receive better results with keywords such as "Red roses delivery" or "Long-stemmed roses."

    To determine the position that your ad appears in, AdWords takes into account how relevant your ad and your website are to each search query. If your keywords aren't relevant, your ad may appear at the bottom of the page or not at all.
  • How many keywords should I select?
    Start off with just 10-20 keywords. You can always add more once you see how your ads perform. It's a good idea to select more keywords in order to attract a larger audience. This means that you don't always have to be in position 1 to receive the same number of clicks and save costs. Remember that the keywords must always be relevant. Quality is more important than quantity.
  • Use the Keyword Tool
    Use the Keyword Tool at any time to find relevant keyword ideas.
  • Refine your keywords after first results:
    Check your AdWords account after your ads have been running for a few days. Find out which keywords are receiving the most clicks at the lowest price, then add other keywords like them.

Step 7: Enter billing information

This step takes: 2-3 min

To take the final step and activate your account, enter your billing information. Choose between one of the following payment methods available in the US:

  • Postpay (automatic payments): American Express, JCB, MasterCard, Visa, Bank account payments (US bank accounts only), and debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa logo
  • Prepay (manual payments): American Express, JCB, MasterCard, Visa, and debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa logo More about these options

The payment options available to you may vary according to the currency you use and the location of your billing address.

Voucher

If you have a voucher, you can redeem it as a new customer when entering your billing information. Remember that you must enter your billing information before your ads can start running. Once the voucher has been used up, you may incur costs depending on the success of your ad. However, you can pause your ads at any time in order to prevent costs from accruing.

Step-by-step instructions

  • Click on the Billing tab and then on Billing preferences.
  • Select a payment method and enter your billing information.
  • Accept the AdWords Terms and Conditions and click on Save and Activate.
  • If you have a voucher, you can redeem it after entering billing information. If you have already entered your billing information, click on the Billing tab and then on Billing preferences. Enter your code in the field under Promotional Codes.
  • Congratulations! You have successfully created your first campaign!

Done! Now your ad should be running

For more information on how to fine tune your account, visit the AdWords Small Business Center.