Just two years after Google.com, the most well-known website in the world, Google Ads was introduced. The advertising platform was launched as Google Adwords in October 2000, but after some rebranding in 2018, it was renamed Google Ads.
Given Google’s vast reach, chances are you’ve seen (and probably clicked on) a Google advertisement… Your potential customers have done the same.
If you’re thinking about spending money on ads to reach your target audience, you should spend it wisely.
Before SEO Agency gets into the specifics, let’s go over some of the general advantages and disadvantages of Google Ads.
An Overview of Pros and Cons of Google Ads
Google Ads Pros
Here are the most important advantages of Google Ads you have to know:
Because you’re using Google Ads to target keywords, you can get in front of people when they’re most likely to buy. Not to mention that 91% of buyer trips begin with a search engine.
2) Rapid outcomes
While SEO services are critical for any business, gaining traction on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) can take so many weeks or even months. Paid search advertisements, on the other hand, appear instantly.
Not only do search ads appear at the top of the SERP, but search engines are also the most popular channel for consumers conducting online brand research.
By far the most popular search engine among consumers is Google. It controls 92 percent of the search engine market. As a result, advertising on Google is a good way to get in front of people who are looking for brands—whether yours or your competitors’.
The Google Ads platform, like most forms of digital marketing, provides quantifiable results, allowing you to see which ads, offers, keywords, and landing pages are performing the best.
5) Various formats are available
While most people associate search ads with Google Ads, there are a variety of other formats to consider, and each ad channel plays a unique role in your marketing strategy.
Because of the nature of the Google Ads auction, you must pay the lowest possible price for a click on your ad. This is because the cost per click formula takes into account the maximum bid of the ad that shows up below yours, plus one cent. Of course, you only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. PPC, on average, returns $2 for every $1 spent, and Google (take this with a grain of salt) claims that Google Ads actually returns $8.
Google Ads Cons
Here are the most important disadvantages you have to know:
1) Low prices cannot be guaranteed
Continuing on from the previous point. Paying the lowest price possible for a click on your ad does not imply a low price. You’re paying the least compared to your competitors, and some keywords can be quite costly. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that Google Ads is one of the most effective marketing channels. The greater the number of people who use Google Ads, the more competitive and expensive it becomes.
The amount you pay for your campaigns is determined by a variety of factors, one of which is how successful you are at optimizing your ads. Managing a Google Ads account properly entails properly structuring your account, conducting keyword research, and actively monitoring and adjusting as data accumulates.
3) Hands-free does not imply automation
Yes, Google is doing a lot of machine learning, but you still need to know how to work with automation and the new information it provides. And, in general, auto-applying recommendations isn’t, well, recommended (by us).
4) The learning curve
The evolution of the Google Ads platform is a bit of a paradox: the more features and capabilities it adds to make the platform easier to use, the more difficult and confusing it can be to use—or at least learn. While there are many excellent free Google Ads training courses available, you cannot avoid the learning curve. Furthermore, having so many useful features makes you more vulnerable to mistakes in Google Ads.
Factors influencing the cost of Google Ads
A more detailed analysis of these factors can be found in our blog on how much Google Ads costs, but here is a quick rundown.
Because consumers’ purchasing behaviors differ depending on the product or service they seek, each industry has a unique set of average click-through rates and conversion rates, resulting in a unique cost per click and cost per lead profiles. However, keep in mind that many industries with higher costs have a higher value relating with a conversion.
2) The customer lifecycle
Similarly, customer lifecycles differ by industry. Some buyer journeys last a single day, while others last months or even years.
3) Economic developments
Whether it’s inflation, a pandemic, a supply shortage, or something else, these trends cause changes in consumer behavior that affect your Google Ads results.
4) Other channels
Other channels, such as SEO and social media, can increase brand awareness while indirectly influencing the effectiveness of your Google Ads.
5) Account administration
As previously stated, whether Google Ads is worthwhile for you will be largely determined by how attentive you are to your account. Those who conduct regular audits, keep their ads and landing pages relevant, stay up to date on platform updates, and test and make data-driven optimizations are the ones who succeed.
Is Google Ads worthwhile for your company?
As previously stated, the above are only the most basic, surface-level advantages and disadvantages of using Google Ads. Now we’ll delve a little deeper into these factors. As previously stated, we cannot provide a blanket answer for all types of businesses, but the tips below can serve as a guide in determining whether Google Ads is truly worth it for your specific business.
- What are you hoping Google will do for you?
- What is your profit forecast?
- What are your start-up expenses?
First and foremost, what do you want Google to do for you?
We must begin with the end goal in mind because there are many things Google Ads can do and many things it cannot.
What Google Ads aren’t capable of:
- Ensure sales or leads.
- Ensure that the sales or leads you receive are profitable.
- Take advantage of your competitors’ customers.
- Place your ads on the websites of your competitors.
- Improve your site’s organic ranking.
The first 3 are by far the most common things I hear people ask Google Ads to do, and while they can be done, they are not guaranteed. The fourth is determined by external factors. The last is something it simply cannot do.
What Google Ads are capable of:
- Assist you in appearing when people search for your brand, products, or services.
- Assist you in appearing when people search for your competitors.
- Get in front of potential customers by using audience and persona targeting.
- Promote your physical store to those who live nearby.
- Assume you are in the realistic expectations camp and want to use Google Ads to do something in one of these groups.
Let’s now discuss whether it’s worthwhile to try these strategies.
What is your profit forecast?
There are a variety of profitable scenarios that you can encounter with Google Ads, regardless of your goals. Your specific case is influenced by a variety of factors, some of which you can influence and others which you cannot. Some of these factors include industry competition, cost per click, website conversion rate, and so on. You will almost certainly end up in one of the following situations. Depending on the situation, you may be able to quickly determine whether Google Ads is “worth it” or not:
Profitable on the spot
What this means is that in this scenario, you are earning more money from Google than you are spending on the platform.
Is it worthwhile to invest in Google Ads? Yep. This is an obvious choice.
Don’t forget to factor in any management costs (internal, external, or your own time), but you’ll probably want to keep using Google if it’s making you money.
What it means: There may be some tracking issues or your attribution process is a little murky, but you can tell Google Ads is making money because turning it off…you stop making as much money.
Is it worthwhile to invest in Google Ads? Yes, most likely, even if the numbers on the platform don’t show it.
Cleaning up your tracking is a good idea. It’s not always easy, but resolving conversion tracking issues is critical not only for determining whether Google Ads is worth it for you, but also for obtaining the data you need to make performance-enhancing and cost-cutting optimizations.
Make a profit
What this means is that we are making the same amount of money as we are spending on the platform.
- Is it worthwhile to invest in Google Ads?
- This is where you make a decision:
- Is the added value assisting your company in moving product?
- Are your margins high enough that even if your ad costs are breakeven, your overall ROI is positive?
- Is it worth the extra effort for fulfillment?
- Do you get a lot of repeat customers? I.e., given the user’s LTV, could this first break-even sale end up being highly profitable?
Tip: Just make sure you include all total costs and aren’t underestimating yourself because it’s not clearly profitable through the platform alone.
- What it means: The answer for these two groups lies more in what your desired outcome of Google Ads is.
Is it worthwhile to invest in Google Ads? Well…
- Do you only want to make money? If you’re not doing that, Google Ads may not be worth your time.
- Do you want to be sure that you only appear in local searches? Depending on how unprofitable you are, it may still make sense to advertise on Google in order to raise brand awareness.
- Are you attempting to gain an advantage over your competitors? These campaigns are almost always unprofitable (directly and often indirectly), so as long as you’re okay with losing money for this conquest, Google Ads may still be a viable option for you.
Targeting competitor keywords can be costly. Joe Martinez’s series on low-cost alternatives can be found here.
I can’t tell you whether Google Ads is worth it for your company, and I can’t tell you what your profit scenario will be. The only way to find out is to begin and see where it leads.
What are your startup costs?
Regarding financial, brand, and long-term implications of Google advertising, it’s also important to factor in the account’s startup costs into your “worth it” calculation. There will be startup costs regardless of how much you bootstrap. They might not be as financially secure right away.
Here are some common scenarios to consider, along with some pros and cons to help you decide which is best for you.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer
If you intend to manage your Google Ads account on your own, your initial costs will be primarily focused on time and the performance learning curve. Google Ads is a complex platform, and while Google claims that it is designed for the small business owner who can do it all, it can quickly become out of control if you don’t know what you’re doing.
That is not meant to scare you away, but rather to provide you with a healthy understanding of the time and effort required to ensure you are not wasting your own money. Remember that all Google ads cost money, so if your advertising skills aren’t up to par to ensure you’re driving quality traffic, you’ll be wasting your time and money.
If you hire someone from outside
In this case, you will not be using your own time to learn and set up your campaigns; instead, someone else will do so. Instead, you’ll pay a higher upfront monetary cost to pay that person to create and manage your campaigns for you. There will still be a performance learning curve, but you will be in the hands of an expert (assuming you have thoroughly vetted them) and will be able to spend your time doing what you do best.
If you hire someone from within
You can also hire someone internally to manage your campaigns. Based on the scale of your business and your needs, this may be out of the question for some, but it may be appealing to others. Especially if this new marketing hire can manage Google Ads campaigns as well as other marketing needs.
My only caution is to avoid overburdening that individual. Too many times, I’ve seen a company hire someone to do “marketing,” only to overburden them with the job responsibilities of 2-5 people, basically making it impossible for this person to succeed. This option includes the monetary costs of hiring someone, their salary, and benefits, as well as the performance upstart phase.
Is it worthwhile to invest in Google Ads?
Overall, there are numerous factors that can influence whether Google Ads is “worth it” for you. I would venture that nearly every business can benefit from it in some way, but I also want you to fully understand all of the components that go into developing, implementing, and managing a successful Google Ads strategy. For more information, contact SEO Agency Dubai.