For Business Owners

How To Create A Google Search Ad For Your Small Business

Heather Young
Cartoon representing pay per click advertising, branded with Swipii logo.|Google Search Ad Example AA Breakdown

We all want to have our business visible on Google; it’s the world’s most popular search engine, with hundreds of millions of search queries being entered every day after all. But whilst Google Search Campaigns look great, they can be a little daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing and they can be costly to outsource if you don’t have the time. So we thought we'd create a quick guide to show you how to create Google Ads for small businesses and some bonus tips on how to get your business ranking higher for paid ads on Google Search.

What Is A Google Search Ad?

First of all, when we say a ‘Google Search Ad’, we’re talking about those ads displayed at the top of the page on Google when you type in a query, along with the organic results that follow below. For example, when you search for ‘AA Breakdown’ on Google, the following will appear:

Google Search Ad Example AA Breakdown

The top two results which are highlighted in green are paid search ads. These can be easily spotted by the small ‘Ad’ box on the left-hand side of the ad. The result highlighted in blue is an organic ad and has not been paid for. Organic search results are listings on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that appear because of their relevance to the search query, as opposed to being a paid advertisement. Google decides which websites are the most useful and relevant to the user by using a complex algorithm.  

When running a Google Search Campaign, you can pick the words that you would like to trigger your ad to be shown. These are called keywords. For example, if you only wanted to advertise your hair salon to people local to your business, you can simply choose to show your ads when someone searches for ‘hair salons’ in your city. i.e. Hair Salons Liverpool.

Depending on how well your ad is optimized, and how much you're bidding for your ad, you can influence how high your ad shows in the search network listings. The aim is to always appear in in the top 3 ad results on the page.

Why Should I Have a Google Search Ad?

Search Ads are an excellent way of promoting your business to your target audience, and you only pay when your ad is clicked. We would all love to rank high on the Search Engine Results Page for free - also known as organically- but this takes a long time and a strong SEO skill set. If your website does not rank high on Google’s result page for relevant topics then you may want to consider paid ads (ie. a Google Ad). By running a paid search ad, you can quickly get ahead of the competition and take users to your preferred page on your website. Maybe you have an offer you would like to promote or a new product or service that you would like to generate leads for?

A good ad can take someone who has never heard of your business before to your website where they may decide to make a booking or purchase your product. This means that you have acquired a new customer at a relatively low cost. Please note, you MUST have a website in order to run a Google Search ad, you cannot direct your ad to a social media business page.

How To Create A Google Search Ad

1) Setting Up Your Account

Create a Google Account if you don’t already have one.Head over to: and sign in, then follow the quick step by step guide.

adwords sign up how to

2) Add in Your Budget

Add in your daily budget. We suggest starting small and then increase your budget if you are happy with the results. When running Google Ads as a small business, don't feel pressured to start with a large budget. Set a comfortable benchmark and get going, once the campaign is live, you can start to understand your keywords better and double down on these to maximise the budget you have. For the Network, we would recommend you stick with Search Network if this is your first-ever campaign, to keep things simple. For the location, you can stick with the UK or be more granular. It's likely you'll have a focus area, but your location can be much wider if you're leveraging a particular event or building brand awareness for an anticipated seasonal uplift like summer holiday visitors.

3) Location, Location, Location

If you select the edit option on the Location setting, you will be able to type in your city or town. If the location you are looking for does not appear, try the following:

  • Click Advanced Search
  • Enter the first few characters of the postcode and add a space
  • Add the desired area and press done

Note - you can add multiple locations.

4) Get To Know Your Keywords

Now it’s time to add your keywords! Remember, Keywords are words or phrases that customers would use when searching for your product or service. When a customer types in a keyword you are bidding for they will be shown an ad.This video includes some great tips for creating your keyword list:

Google will recommend keywords to you, based on the content of your website. You can select all of the keywords which are fitting to your business and add in your own keywords.

Word of caution on keyword selection - Google is a commercial business and it’s in their interest to show you a lot of keywords that could generate clicks through to your website. More clicks = more revenue for Google. Do not bulk add recommended keywords before double-checking that they are the right fit for your business and not too generic.

Top tip: Google will be thorough in making sure the keyword you're bidding on is appropriately reflected in the website or landing page you will be sending visitors to, so make sure your have tailored the page to be extremely relevant to your given keyword (don't just bulk add the word!)

5) There's More To It Than Copy & Paste

Scope out your competitors. Have a look at their ad copy and what keywords they are using. Is there anything they are doing that really stands out to you? Is there anything that you could use as inspiration for your own ad?

Google ad Copy Example

Here are some of our top tips for writing an ad that stands out:

  • Create engaging copy that gives the user a clear description of what you offer and how that relates to their needs.
  • Focus on the benefits for the customer. Why should the visit you instead of another business? Perhaps you have an offer that you would like to advertise?
  • Include any awards in your copy. Are you an award-winning salon? Tell them! This helps you to stand from your competition.
  • Start each word with a capital letter and end the first line with a full stop (if it is relevant). This will give you extra points in Google’s book.
  • Include at least one of your keywords in your ad copy to help customers find your brand easily.

6) The Grand Finale!

Now it’s time to add in your payment details and get your new Google Search Ad up and running. Congratulations!

So that’s it, a simple overview of how to create your very own Google Search Campaign. Once you are up and running, Google will continually give you feedback on how to improve your campaign and guide you through any changes. When running Google Ads as a small business, it' important to take into account that in order for these to work, you need to ensure you continually optimise your campaign with this feedback (do I need to spend more? which keywords are working best for my business? is my landing page enabling my overall goal?). If you would like to hone your digital marketing skills for your business, you can take part in Google’s Digital Garage. It consists of multiple free online courses aimed to help you grow your business and learn the basics of online marketing.