1. Step 1: Get A Google Ads Account
  2. Step 2: Select Your Main Advertising Goal
  3. Step 3: Choose The Type Of Campaign
  4. Step 4: Set Up Your Campaign
  5. Step 5: Choose Your Ad Schedule
  6. Step 6: Specify Location, Language & Audience
  7. Step 7: Set Up Budgets, Bidding & Ad Extensions
  8. Step 8: Set Up Ad Groups And Keywords
  9. Step 9: Write Amazing Ad Copy
  10. Step 10: Enter Billing Information
  11. You've Got The Candy!
  12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you feel like a lost child in a candy store when trying to set up your first Google Ads campaign, don't worry; you've come across the right article! Setting up a Google Ads campaign, especially your first time, can seem a bit overwhelming with all the different options and settings available. But fear not; with this article by your side, you'll be well on your way to getting the candy you want.

Step 1: Get A Google Ads Account

Your very first step will be to get a Google Ads account. To start with this account, you'll need to create a Gmail login if you don't already have one. Once you've done that, head over to the Google Ads website and click on the "Start Now" button.

Step 2: Select Your Main Advertising Goal

Once you're all signed in, you will reach a page that asks you to select your main advertising goal. The three options you have are:

  • Get more calls
  • Get more website sales or sign-ups
  • Get more visitors to your physical location

If you pick one of these options, Google will take charge of your ad settings to help you reach your goal. That's not what you want - you want to be in control. At the bottom of the same screen, you'll find a tiny link that says, "Switch To Expert Mode." Click on that.

Step 3: Choose The Type Of Campaign

Now that you're in expert mode, you'll be asked to choose your campaign goal. The options presented to you on the screen are sales, leads, website traffic, product and brand consideration, brand awareness and reach, and app promotion, or you can choose to create a campaign without a goal's guidance.

We recommend that you click on "create a campaign without a goal's guidance" to avoid Google taking over.

Now, you need to choose the type of Google Ads campaign you want to create.

There Are Six Different Campaigns To Choose From:

  • Search: search campaigns show text ads on the SERPs (Google's search engine results pages). These ads pop up when users type in certain search queries. You can target these search queries by choosing relevant keywords.
  • Display: display campaigns show banner ads on websites within Google's ad network. You can target specific interests, topics or placements to reach the right audience.
  • Video: YouTube is the second largest search engine apart from Google. Video campaigns let you show ads on YouTube and other Google partner sites.
  • Shopping: shopping campaigns are great for e-commerce businesses. They allow you to advertise your products directly on Google's search results pages, with images and details pulled from your product feed.
  • App: If you want to promote an app on Google Ads, app campaigns are the only way to do it. You can advertise your app on many Google properties, including Search, YouTube, Display Network and Google Play Store. An added bonus here is that it is fully AUTOMATED!
  • Performance Max: Also referred to as a P-max campaign, this campaign is the newest addition to Google Ads. It allows you to create ads that can reach multiple channels. With Google's real-time knowledge of customer intents, paired with your audience signals, this campaign promises to deliver optimal results.
  • Smart: With smart campaigns, you do not have much control over the account; Google does it all for you. It uses machine learning to optimise your ad delivery and targeting based on your business goals.

For the purpose of this article, we are going to click on a search campaign.

Step 4: Set Up Your Campaign

In this section of setting up a Google Ads Campaign, you're going to select two general settings. The general settings include the campaign name and networks.

For the campaign name, you cannot go wrong! Pick something that clearly identifies the purpose of your campaign, such as "Summer Sale Text Ads". This will help you keep track of your campaigns and their performance.

When selecting networks, you have two options: Google Search Network and Google Display Network. As this article focuses on Search campaigns, select Google Search Network. This will show your ads on Google search results pages next to or above the organic search results.

Step 5: Choose Your Ad Schedule

Running an ad at 02:00 in the morning would not be a great use of your budget unless you are selling something relevant to someone's sleep cycle.

So, in this step of setting up a Google Ads campaign, you are going to select the specific time and days that your ads will show.

To do this, click on "show more settings" and choose the start and end dates of your campaign. You can also select specific days and times for your ads to run.

Step 6: Specify Location, Language & Audience


Do you service a local area? Or do you service a national or international area? It's important to specify the locations that your ads will target.

Under locations, you have the option to:

  • Select a pre-set location
  • Add another location
  • Use advanced search

To target specific areas within a country like Gauteng Pretoria, you're going to click on advanced search, as pre-set options don't always include the specific areas you want to target.

Under advanced search:

  • type in the area or postcode
  • click add to add the location
  • click save!

To go a step further, you can also use radius targeting. Radius targeting is useful if you offer a service or product in a specific area, such as a restaurant.

Lastly! If you want to exclude certain locations:

  • Select advanced search
  • Type in the area or postcode
  • Click exclude
  • Click save!


In this phase of setting up Google Ads campaigns, you're going to select the preferred language (s) that your target audience speaks.

To do this, click on the "language" tab and select your preferred language(s).

Audience Segments

In the audience segments tab, you have the option to target specific audiences based on their age, gender, parental status and household income. This is a great way to narrow down your target audience and ensure that your ads are shown to those who are most likely to be interested in your product or service.

Step 7: Set Up Budgets, Bidding & Ad Extensions

A Google Ads budget will determine how much candy you can have in your jar. Before going on with this step, you need to put together a "daily budget". This is the amount that you are willing to spend on your ads each day.


Fill in your daily budget in the space provided for you. (If you're working with a monthly budget, divide the amount by the number of days per month you run your ad.)


After filling in your Google Ads budget, you're off to bidding. Your bidding choice affects the price for your clicks, so it is important to know how this works. Read this article about Understanding Bidding Basics written by Google themselves to get a better grasp of the concept.

Upon viewing this section, you'll see that Google wants to help you choose a bidding strategy by asking what you want to focus on. The recommendations given to you are:

  • conversions
  • conversion value
  • clicks
  • impression share

However, if you select one of these, Google will assign an automated bidding strategy for you. And by this time, you know that we recommend that you have full control of your campaign.

So, click on "Or, select a bid strategy directly (not recommended)”. After you click on this, you'll see a menu where you can select a few bidding strategies. These include:

  • Target CPA
  • Target ROAS
  • Maximise clicks
  • Maximise conversions
  • Maximise conversion value
  • Target impression share

Beneath all of these, you'll see "Manual CPC". This is the one you want to click on! Google will show you a warning that a manual CPC lowers performance, but don't mind this. You want to have your own bidding strategy with full control.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions allow you to add additional, valuable information to your ad. Set up all three of the primary extension types listed below.

Sitelink Extensions: Sitelink extensions are additional links that show up below your ad. They can bring people directly to specific pages on your site or let them call a phone number.

Callout Extensions: Callout extensions allow you to add extra descriptive text to your ad. You can use these to highlight unique selling points, features, and promotions.

Call Extensions: Call extensions add a phone number to your ad. When someone clicks on the number, it triggers their phone to call you directly.

Step 8: Set Up Ad Groups And Keywords

Ad groups are sets of related keywords. When choosing keywords, have a look at what you're selling. For example, if you're selling digital marketing services, your ad groups might include "SEO services", "copywriting services" and "social media marketing services".

Within each ad group, you'll have a list of keywords that people will use to search for your products or services.

It would be wise if you use Google's Keyword Planner tool to help you find the most relevant keywords. You can also use this tool to get an idea of how many people are searching for those particular keywords and what your expected cost-per-click will be.

Step 9: Write Amazing Ad Copy

Now that your ad groups and keywords are set up, it's time to write your ad copy! This is where you can really shine!

Here is a list of the elements that will be shown to you:

Final URL: A final URL is the page on your website that your ad will link to.

Headlines: Google allows you to show up to three headlines with your ad. Use all three if you can. Just remember that your headlines should address your product or services and include a call to action.

Display Path: This is part of the URL that shows in your ad. Use this field to give customers a better idea of where they'll go when they click on your ad.

Description: This is the main body of your ad. Use this space to highlight your unique selling points, promotions, and features. Keep it concise but informative.

Step 10: Enter Billing Information

This is the final step! Here, you will enter your billing information.

There are several payment options available on Google Ads, including credit card and bank transfer. Choose the option that works best for you.

Once you have entered your billing information, review your campaign settings one last time and click "Submit".

CONGRATULATIONS, you have successfully set up your first Google Ads campaign!

You've Got The Candy!

If you follow this article closely, you'll be well on your way to setting up a successful Google Ads campaign. Remember to continuously monitor and adjust your keywords, ad copy, and budget to optimise your campaign's performance.

If you ever find yourself lost again, reach out to us! Our Google Ads services in Pretoria, South Africa, are designed to help businesses like yours succeed online.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How much does Google Ads cost in South Africa?

There is no definite amount for how much Google Ads cost as it depends on various factors such as your industry, competition, and target audience. However, you have control over your budget and can set a daily cap to ensure you do not overspend.

2. Can I pause or stop my campaign at any time?

Yes, you can pause or stop your campaign at any time by logging into your Google Ads account and navigating to the "Campaigns" tab. From there, you can select the campaign you want to pause or stop and click on the option to either pause or stop it.

3. How do I know if my ads are performing well?

You can track the performance of your ads by monitoring metrics such as clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and conversions. These metrics can be found in the "Reports" tab of your Google Ads account.