Will Google Ads Work For My Business?
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from small business owners is, “Will Google Ads work for my business?”
I can understand why. It is an investment both in time and money that is often complicated. There are also a lot of horror stories out there about spending tonnes of money and getting no results. This can be a risk, especially if you don’t manage Google Ads accounts for a living.
While it is effective for many businesses, especially small businesses, there are a few elements outside of the technical campaign management that contribute to a campaign failing. Let’s explore the reasons why I would tell a business owner to steer clear of Google Ads.
Google Ads might not work for your business if…
1. Your website won’t convert the traffic
This is a pretty common reason why Google Ads won’t work. Your offering may be spot on, you may have a fantastic deal, and your customers may be looking for you. But, if your website is hard to use and isn’t optimised for conversions, then you just won’t be able seal the deal.
I see many websites that:
- fail to list their phone number or contact forms in prominent places,
- don’t have clear calls to action, and
- have a very confusing checkout process.
In many situations, these websites and businesses have tried search ads and seen it fail. It’s easy to blame Google Ads for this, but usually, the traffic wasn’t the problem.
It’s like owning a physical store and hiring a promoter to stand outside and encourage people to come in. Say the promoter is great at engaging people and brings exactly the right sorts of customers into the store. Now, let’s imagine that your store is a mess. Nothing is logically where it should be, prices aren’t clear, the cash register is hidden at the back of the store, and the staff are all out the back having a coffee. How long would you stay in a store like that? Even if you were originally interested in what the promoter said?
Remember; it doesn’t matter how great the quality and quantity of your traffic is if they won’t convert when they get there.
2. Your business offering is so niche and specific that there isn’t enough search volume
Sometimes a business will come to me wanting to start Google Ads, but their offering is either so specific or so new that no one even realises there’s a solution out there like it. There are a few reasons why an offering is niche. The first is that the public just isn’t aware of the problem you’re solving, and sometimes people don’t know what they’re missing until they get it.
Or perhaps people are aware of the problem, but your solution is so far out of left field that they wouldn’t think to search for it. I once had a client who had come up with a water saving solution for showers. This isn’t a new concept, but at the time, the product was so different to the other solutions that we were limited in our keywords. It also made the value proposition a little harder. We needed to go back to basics and educate customers about the existing water saving solutions and their downfalls, then sell the new product to them. This was a situation where Google Ads didn’t work, so we began content marketing and social media marketing instead.
In some cases, it isn’t even your product or offering that is the niche thing – sometimes it’s the area of operation. I once had an enquiry from a plumber who was based out in an incredibly rural part of Australia. While Google Search Ads are absolutely something I recommend for plumbers, his location meant that there wasn’t enough search volume for the paid ads. I suggested that he market locally and do some local SEO instead.
3. Your industry is so competitive that your cost per click is too high, and therefore, Google Ads aren’t profitable
Some industries are incredibly competitive when it comes to Google Ads. Now I’m not saying that competition on paid search is a bad thing. In fact, if some keywords are a bit competitive it often means that they were profitable for other businesses and have the potential to be profitable for you too. However, Google Ads is all about getting conversions through at the right price. After all, there’s no point in getting a lead for $100 when that lead is only worth $10 to your business.
This is usually determined on a case-by-case basis, but some commonly saturated industries include insurance, finance, and even solar power services. These can still be profitable – as long as leads are worth a lot to you in the long term and you have a decent chunk of money to invest. That being said, if a lead costs you more than it’s worth, then you need a drastic strategy change in your Google Ads account – or it may be time to shut it off.
Still wondering if Google Ads will work for your business?
If you’re not sure if the above scenarios apply to you, don’t worry! We can help evaluate your data, website, and industry to find the most suitable marketing channels for you. Want to ask us? Get in contact!
Written by Gemma Renton