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For a long time, we’ve debated the value of running Google ad campaigns for small businesses. Marketers across the world of agencies have very differing opinions on the form of advertising. Is it only primed for enterprises with large budgets? Is it only valuable for ecommerce? Let’s take a look at these questions and many more surrounding AdWords.

Are AdWords Right For Your Business?

The disparity in the results.  

We’ve run AdWords campaigns for over 200 clients across a myriad of industries, including Search, Display, and Remarketing ad types. Each campaign was managed by a Google Ad Certified expert on our team, to ensure best-practices were implemented.  

While the process has remained consistent, the results have not. There is a normal expectation for results to differ slightly given the spread of products, services, and targeting factors, but the degree of variation between successful and unsuccessful campaigns is puzzling. 

We’ve seen campaigns improve company revenue by as much as 300% and then we’ve seen a campaign run for 3 months with a modest budget and strong KPIs produce next to nothing. 

What’s the cause?  

How can a campaign that is performing well-above industry benchmarks not produce any actual leads or sales? Here are a few commonly debated reasons:

  • The leads aren’t high quality, comprised of a lot of fake bots from Google. 
  • The budget is not high enough to compete with the top performing keywords. 
  • The landing page is not engaging enough to seal the deal.
  • The ads themselves are not optimized properly to maximize conversions. 

While these are all plausible notions, one of the more popular opinions arising is that many buyers are becoming more aware. The average Google user understands that the green text on the search means it is an ad, and it’s not uncommon for most people to be averse to clicking on an ad. 

They understand that these companies are simply the ones willing to pay the most to be front and center, but not actually a verified, high quality provider. This is why 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results. (imFORMZA)

When Google Ads first hit the big screen, they were wildly successful due to users willingness to click on the very first thing they saw. Nowadays, users prefer to do the research and buying themselves.

What do you want out of your Google ads?  

All this to say that Google Ads can still be a valuable advertising channel, but businesses need to ask themselves what the ultimate objective is...Sales? Leads? Awareness? SEO? 

All types of Google Ads are tremendously impactful for SEO and brand awareness because they put your brand in front of hundreds, perhaps thousands of NEW visitors. However, if you’re looking for immediate leads/sales and you’re operating with a small budget of no less than $500/month, you need to examine the opportunity and the keywords you would be competing for carefully. 

For example, if you’re a contact center consulting firm, you’d likely want to target a keyword like “call center technology”. And that’s all gravy until you find out that keyword is going for $37.53 per click, standing atop the highest paid keywords. 

So you could pay the $37.53 per click and wind up with an estimated 13 clicks for the entire month for just one keyword, which would not be wise. (Based on $500/month)

Or instead of betting all your chips on one hand, you could target similar keywords that may still capture the intended audience but at a much lower bid. Whichever way you decide to go, Google AdWords is costly and presents major subjectivity as it pertains to lead generation. 

My advice 

1) Know what you want. 2) Hyper-target the ads. 3) Optimize accordingly. 

As always, thanks for reading and we love comments for or against. 

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