For many small businesses, Google Ads (formerly AdWords) can seem like the golden ticket to providing instant visibility, securing leads, and increasing sales. Set up an ad, wait for the leads to pour in, and watch sales skyrocket – kind of like dropping a hook into the ocean and waiting for the fish to bite. But just like fishing, if you’re using poor quality bait, fishing in the wrong spot, or you’re surrounded by fishmen with better gear, then you could come up empty handed.
When they’re properly set up for suitable businesses, Google Ads campaigns can be a very powerful tool in your marketing toolkit, but all too often business owners deploy a campaign without having first planned a supporting strategy – or even taken the time to understand the costs or the basics of how Google Ads work.
It's a common scenario and one that’s totally understandable. As a small business owner, it’s likely you’re often chronically short-staffed and struggling to keep pace with growth – a good problem to have! You may also be lacking the time, knowledge, or experience to think and act strategically about your marketing. Unfortunately, this could mean you’re missing out on major growth opportunities.
Who should be using Google Ads?
You’ve probably been in the situation where you’ve needed a tradesperson or professional service promptly – a plumber to fix your hot water heater, for example. You Google a few keywords relating to what you need, research the top results, and make some enquiries. The key here is that when you start researching a service provider, you want to immediately know that the solution for your specific problem is available – to trust that the plumber you’ve clicked on has expertise in fixing hot water heaters. When this is done well, Google Ads can work brilliantly. But in many cases, this is also where a lot of small businesses come unstuck. In fact, there are several sticking points within the Google Ads set-up process that can result in money spent without providing any sort of return. Poorly written adverts, mismatched keywords, and links that lead to pages that are not primed to convert are all common mistakes that end up wasting time and money.
The cost-per click conundrum
Another common mistake is creating ads where the cost per click outstrips the value you’ll receive from a sale. A recent example is when a tutoring business asked me to set them up with Google Ads. For every tutor booked through their platform, they made a percentage. I looked at the cost per click for their ads and asked them how much per tutor they would earn. The commission was barely more than the ad cost.
This can happen often when small businesses use a Google Ads agency – they’re more than happy to set you up with a campaign and charge you for it without asking the right questions. This can lead to the all-too-common scenario where a business pays thousands of dollars in Google Ads but gets two enquiries, neither of which converts.
Even when the cost per click is relatively low, you need to be aware that a click doesn’t guarantee a customer – even the best-performing ad campaigns convert at around 15%, which can make Google Ads an unprofitable way for some businesses to attract leads.
That’s not to say agencies don’t have their place – but you need to be aware that their role is to set up campaigns on your behalf, don’t expect them to do the homework or strategy that will give you the best bang for your buck. That’s where Creative Content can help.
Success starts with strategy
Whatever platform you choose to market your business, and Google Ads is just one, it’s vital to have a strategy in place that not only defines the goals and outcomes, but also dives deep into the feasibility or viability of that approach.
The most effective digital marketing recommendations will be bespoke – made after a thorough yet time- and budget-conscious analysis of everything about your business from the ground up.
At Creative Content, we take the time to get to know your business inside-out. Your strengths and weaknesses, your competition, your goals, what makes you unique, and most importantly, what makes your customers hit the ‘buy’ button.
One of the big benefits about using a strategic marketing agency like Creative Content is that we’re completely unbiased toward any platform or provider – our only goal is to provide you with strategies that will serve your business. That could mean social media promotion, SEO tactics, a well set-up Google Ad campaign, email marketing, or a combination of approaches. But for optimal results, we always start by getting to know you and your business followed by a strategy session and an actionable and measurable marketing plan.
To find out more about whether Google Ads is right for you – and if so, how to maximise its benefits – or to talk through your digital marketing strategy, contact us today. We make it easy, we make it effective, and we always get results.