Often I’m talking about the mechanics and philosophy of using Google Ads and how to get the best out of your account, but this month I thought I’d tackle a more fundamental question:
“Should I be using Google Ads?”
You see, in many ways, this is the foundational first question that we all need to seriously consider before we decide to use any media.
It might surprise you to learn that I’m not biased to any sort of media.
I work with Google Ads because I know that for the right businesses, it can be more effective than anything else out there.
But equally I know that for the wrong business, it can burn through cash and deliver no results.
It’s for that reason that I regularly turn businesses away that I don’t think Google Ads is right for, and in this article it’s my intention to explain the process I go through, and that I think we should all go through when deciding whether Google Ads is a correct media to use.
But before we do that, let’s just quickly go over the basics. Here’s how Google Ads work:
You go to Google and carry out a search.
It could be you’re looking for a “Hairdresser near me” or “local Dog Groomers” or even “I need PPC Management Services”.
Once you’ve carried out your search, Google will look on its database for companies that best match what you’re looking for.
So let’s say, you are looking for “PPC Management Services”, you’ll see something like this:
The PPC ads are all the listings with the green AD box next to them. Based on the information you see as a searcher, you just need to decide which ad is right for you.
From an advertiser’s perspective, each time your ad is clicked, the advertiser will pay.
The cost ranges massively from industry to industry and product to product and clicks don’t start at £0.01.
There will be a minimum click cost per industry/product/service and it’s really important to understand that before even starting to build a PPC campaign.For instance, if you’re sitting there now, thinking “I’ve got £150 spare a month I can put to an AdWords account” but your minimum cost per click starts at £7.00, then £150 is not going to be enough to consider a campaign.
Okay, that’s the bare basics, let’s move onto whether or not Google Ads is right for you.
The reality is that there’s no easy equation you can do to understand whether Google will get you what you need, but by answering these questions, you’ll give yourself the very best chance of getting results.
Back to these questions, they may not give you a definitive answer, but I reckon you’ll be a little closer in understanding if it could be an option for you now or in the future.
- Are people searching for your product or service?
This is the most fundamental question to understand. If people aren’t searching for your product and service, then engaging with Google Ads is likely to be a waste of your time and energy.
With that in mind, I recommend taking time to research whether people are looking for what you sell – this process will also help you get a ballpark figure of what you could potentially expect to pay in your specific industry, which is vital. If people ARE searching for what you sell, but the cost per click just isn’t sustainable for your business, Google Ads won’t work for you, regardless of how many people are searching for what you do – we’ll dig into this issue a little more in the next question.
- Is the value of what you sell significant enough to make Google Ads a worthwhile investment?
Let’s say you sell mouse mats and you know people are searching online for them.
On paper, Google Ads could be a decent way for you to reach your target customer, but it’s not as simple as that.
Say you make £3 profit per mouse mat sale (before considering Google Ads) but a Google Ads click costs you £2.50.
It doesn’t take a scientist to work out the Google Ads cost won’t work. And, you’d need to sell a mouse mat per click to still make profit (even £0.50).There is no minimum product price for advertising on Google Ads but my advice would be to stand back and look at your business independently. D
Don’t compare what success you could get on Google Ads to the success others are getting.
You’ll need to analyse your own figures and work out if any of the profit you make on a product can be taken and used to drive more sales via Google Ads.
- Can you absorb the cost of your Google Ads spend for at least 3-6 months?
If you sell something that is relatively low-value and the time it takes from search to purchase is very short, this question might not be relevant for you, because you’re recouping your investment before you’ve even paid the bill for your Google Ads spend.
But for a majority of businesses, this isn’t the case. If you’re selling something that’s high value or has a long lead-time from enquiry to purchase, then you’ll need to consider how quickly you need to turn your advertising spend into a sale.
I work with a business where the purchase (that started as a lead via their Google Ads campaign) can take anything up to 6 months.
If the click that led to the lead happened in the September, this prospect may not turn into a buyer until the Jan/Feb of the following year.
If you’re a business that cannot afford to sustain Google Ads investment over a time frame where leads may not immediately turn into sales, then it’s worth the question “Is Google Ads right for my business?”.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some businesses I work with where the lead comes in on day 3 and the sale has happened by day 15, but their account, budget management and other associated things with Google Ads are built around their own customer journey.
- Can you clearly define your product or service with words?
Do your prospects know what they’re looking for?
If you answer ‘No’ to this, there could be a few challenges when using Google Ads.
For a start, you may have to contend with low search volumes that in turn could result in a limited amount of traffic coming through and in addition, it may difficult to pinpoint what keywords you need to bid on to get in front of the right people.
For example, if you’re a dog groomers, it’s pretty straight forward to understand what people are looking for, but if you provide a service that you know businesses have a problem with, but cannot define how they may go about searching for the solution to the problem, it could leave you struggling to match up your solution with what people are physically typing into Google.
- Are you being swept away by tales of success?
The truth of the matter is that every Google Ads campaign is different. Different products, different sectors, different prices, different…well, everything.
And what that means is that it’s impossible for you to listen to John in your networking group who has had roaring success with Google Ads and then easily replicate that success, because there are so many variables that contribute towards success of a campaign.
Now, I’m not trying to put myself out of business here, but what I do want to do is explain that you need to think carefully before using Google Ads – get it right and you’ve got a very good chance of getting great results, but get it wrong and you’ll be losing money hand over fist.
Which leads me onto my final question:
- If you haven’t used Google Ads or you are and are not sure if it’s doing what it should be, do you have someone you can trust to give you the right advice?
You can listen to John in your networking group and get your hopes up based on the success he’s had, or you can do an online course and take a leap of faith into the word of PPC (along with juggling all the other things that a business owner needs to do), or you can find a trusted source, who is an expert and lives and breathes the topic.
That’s me, in case you hadn’t guessed. I work with Google Ads in two different ways – ‘done for you’ and ‘done with you’, and they do pretty much exactly what they say on the tin; I either work hand-in-hand with you to get results, or do the whole thing for you.
I am happy to chat with anyone who is unsure about whether Google Ads is right for them, and – if you’re already using it – I can offer you a free account audit that’ll tell you where you’re going wrong and where you need to improve. To book yours, just email me at email@example.com and we’ll get a date in the diary.