Google Ads – worth it?

Google ads is an extremely effective platform for sending highly relevant visitors to your website. The advice below, although by no means exhaustive, will guard against Google emptying your bank account. Like any ad spend, Google ads should result in a healthy return on investment (ROI).

Google are constantly trying to make their ads platform easier to use, if you follow the “easy path” prescribed by Google, you will end up paying more than you need. If lucky, you will get a decent ROI but when was luck ever a reliable KPI in business?

Fail to plan, plan to fail….

From pencils to property, there’s a Google ad for everything but is it for you?

Google ads can work wonders, delivering hungry consumers to your website day in day out, but is your website converting those visitors into phone calls, enquiries, leads or sales?

There are two sides to an ad campaign on Google, what happens before the click and what happens after the click. If you can’t or do not want to work on the destination (after the click) do not use Google ads, you will be wasting your money. If you are willing and able to put thought and effort in, read on, and plan your campaign. 

The plan, in a nutshell

  • Before the click
    • Structure your ad campaign correctly, learn as much as possible about the Ads platform
    • Understand your prospect – get in their head, think like them, KNOW how you can help them. What are they trying to achieve, if they are looking for information, don’t try to sell, if they are looking to buy, help them buy!
  • After the click
    • Give them what they want
    • Answer all their questions
    • Put yourself in their shoes, would you buy from you?
    • Get an unbiased opinion, ask “if you clicked on this ad would this page make you take action”
    • Make it easy to buy, enquire or call you

Set your goals before you start

Ultimately you want to get a return on investment (ROI) so the goal should be to generate leads, make sales or get prospects into your marketing/sales funnel.

Set up conversion tracking

Conversions are the actions you want your website visitor to take, linked to the goals above. These would primarily be completed checkouts on e-commerce sites, lead form completions or phone calls to your business. All of these can be tracked and reported back to google ads so you can keep a track on your ROI.

Start small and build on success

Focus on your most profitable product or service and if possible, the one with the least competition on Google ads. Do not set it and forget it, check in regularly to see how the campaign is performing, remember the goals? Fail fast, if it is not working stop, get an expert to look at your campaign, I do this for free and do not mince my words, I work for you, not Google! (Google may call you offering their advice for free. Please politely decline. Would you let the fox guard the chickens?)

Budgets and CPC (cost per click)

Every time someone clicks on your ad you pay google for the click; this cost is defined by your maximum CPC. Google will not charge you any more than this. However, some bidding strategies recommended by Google allow their AI to determine the CPC, which can result in unexpectedly high click costs. Practice extreme caution when using automated bidding, if in ANY doubt use manual CPC bidding.

Google ads use daily budgets, set a budget you can afford. If you set a £1000 per day budget, there is every chance Google will spend it. Also be aware that the purpose of the campaign is to generate website visitors, so you need to find a balance between sufficient clicks, conversions, and cost.

Learn the system!

Finally, and this is critical, you must learn the system before the click and after the click. It may sound like a big ask but please don’t think you can “wing it”. I have spent the last 14 years in this domain and still learn new things on a regular basis. If you have the time to study this yourself, get the following books.

Damien O'Dwyer
Latest posts by Damien O'Dwyer (see all)

Damien O'Dwyer

Damien is a business growth and internet marketing expert with 22 years’ experience in the industry and has a technical IT and sales background. Damien, with his wife and business partner Danielle, possess a myriad of skills and knowledge across the spectrum of internet marketing and business growth in general. Their primary reason for being in business is to help my clients make more money from their business, using the internet.