Are Google Ads Worth It? 6 Fatal PPC Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them!)

Getting Started

If you’re in the web industry, whether you own an online business, write a blog, or manage an eCommerce store, you’ve heard of Google Ads.

It’s the largest and most commonly used pay-per-click advertising platform, used by large enterprises and local businesses alike to drive traffic to their websites.

But Google Ads can be a big commitment financially, especially if you’re a small business or you’re just getting off the ground.  At one point in time, you’ve probably asked yourself, are Google Ads worth it? 

It’s no secret that the online marketplace is becoming highly saturated, and rising above the noise of the paid search space is becoming more and more difficult.  

Do Google Ads Really Work?

Many people want to claim that Google Ads don’t really work, or that they don’t bring in the “right kind” of leads.

That couldn’t be further from the truth!

But many people make big mistakes when launching and managing their Google Ads campaign, and miss out on some of the enormous benefits.

In today’s blog post we are going to outline some of the major benefits of using Google Ads, and answer the question, “Are Google Ads Worth It?” 

We will also address some of the common mistakes that could be devastating to your new Google Ads campaign, and show you how to avoid them!

Are Google Ads Worth It?

The short answer to this question is, YES!

But let us share some of the incredible benefits of Google Ads, and a few of the ways it can help you grow your online business and your reach. 

A Brief History Of Google Ads

Google Ads is an advertising service created by Google which allows businesses to show clickable ads in Google’s search results.

These sponsored links are used on a pay-per-click payment system, which means advertisers are only charged for how many clicks are generated through their ad. This method of advertising allows you to bid on specific keywords for which you want to appear in the paid search results. 

This advertising model has become incredibly popular, because it’s a “self-service” advertising program, which gives advertisers total freedom and control over their target audience and their chosen keywords and related content.

With this platform, it’s easy to see immediate results that are fully measurable with a built in analytics system.

Disclaimer!

We do want to preface this blog post with this disclaimer: we love Google Ads, and think they can work. We really do.

But we are also huge advocates of diversifying, and we always recommend a healthy balance of marketing channels.

While Google Ads can often see a high ROI, it can take awhile to get used to. It’s important not to neglect other marketing platforms and methods, such as organic search rankings with SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing, to name a few.

The Benefits Of Google Ads

1. Flexibility

One of the main advantages of Google Ads is the all-around flexibility.

The options and customizations available are virtually limitless. You have the ability to hyper-target the audience you most want to reach through a variety of methods.

You can choose specific keyword matches. You are able to narrow your audience by location, time of day, device

 

type, language, or browser. You can even set your desired daily budget based on your advertising goals and the average amount you’re comfortable spending each day. 

A great benefit to Google Ads is that there are no contracts or deadlines: you can start and stop anytime

If you are going through a busy season and can’t handle all the leads being generated, if your budget is a bit tighter and you don’t want to allocate a budget for Google Ads, or if you simply decide that Google Ads aren’t for you, you can pause or cancel your Google Ads at any time with no added fees or penalties.

2. Immediate Exposure And Results (Faster Than SEO!) 

One of the biggest downsides of SEO is that it can take time to see the full result of all the time and energy you’ve invested into your SEO strategy.

Sometimes it is months before your website is able to “prove itself” through gaining authority, backlinks, and by generating keyword rich content. 

Google Ads is an incredible resource for brand new businesses, because you don’t have to wait for months in order to appear in Google’s search results.

While you start developing and investing into your website’s new SEO strategy, you can still be appearing in Google’s search results and gaining clicks and impressions through a well-planned Google Ad campaign.

Not only will this bring in some revenue right off the bat, but you’ll also be able to analyze how effective your keywords are, and make use of those analytics in your new SEO strategy.

3. Reach Potential Customers Right Inside Their Inbox

In September of 2015, Google integrated Gmail ads with Google Ads, making all Gmail advertising space available to any Google Ads advertisers.

This is an incredible benefit to using Google Ads, because it allows you to reach potential customers through their email inbox. 

Gmail Ads appear on both the “Promotions” and “Social” tabs, and can run on both desktops and mobile applications.

Gmail Ads are generally less expensive than Google Ads, but are just as customizable, and see almost the same amount of ROI as a normal Google Ads campaign. 

The benefit of having Gmail ads, is that you can target an audience that hasn’t even actively searched for your keyword phrase. Google combs email accounts for data and places the most relevant Gmail Ads in their inbox. 

With over 1.2 billion active monthly users, by using Gmail Ads you’ve just tapped into an unlimited resource of potential customers.

4. Reporting And Analytics Built In

 

Compared to other more traditional methods of marketing, Google Ads is one of the most measurable forms of advertising. 

Other methods of marketing, such as SEO and social media marketing, can be more difficult to nail down the exact actions that led to your increased or decreased rankings.

With Google Ads built in metrics, they provide an incredible amount of transparency, which enables you to see a detailed perspective of what campaigns are working and offering a positive ROI, and which campaigns haven’t been generating the leads and conversions you desire to see. 

5. Easy To Budget

When you’re setting aside funds for your marketing plan, it can be difficult to know your budget.

Most other forms of marketing like social media marketing and email marketing will take time, resources and energy.

Google Ads is a life-saver in the budgeting department, because you can set a maximum cost per day for your campaign.

The only downside to setting a limited budget is that your leads will decrease as your budget gets lower.

But the peace of mind knowing you’re only spending as much as you feel comfortable spending can save you hours of worry. 

As always, your budget is flexible and scalable. If you are experiencing great results and seeing a huge ROI on your Google Ads campaign, you can increase your budget at any time. If you feel you’re not seeing the results you desire at the desired pace, you can lower your budget or even pause your Google Ads campaign at any time. 

These are just some of the great benefits of using Google Ads. But there are lots of business owners who aren’t seeing Google Ads work for them the way they’ve heard it work for others, and they’re stuck asking themselves “Are Google Ads Worth It?” 

So read on as we dive into some of the basic mistakes that Google Ads users make, and how you can avoid them! 

6 Fatal Mistakes People Make Using Google Ads

1. Keywords Are Set To Broad Match 

Setting your keyword match type can be one of the most confusing parts about setting up your Google Ads campaign.

There are so many different match types to choose from, which is best? Broad match, broad match modifier, exact match and phrase match are just a few of the options you have to choose from. So we’re here to lay out what will work best for your advertising campaign.

Here is a list of possible match types, and a quick explanation of each:

And here’s a chart straight from Google to clarify the types a bit more:

Here’s what you might be tempted by: a broad match type seems like it will get you the most clicks and results, because it will match with basically any form of your keyword, including misspelled searches and related searches.

It might seem like the right choice to try to interact with every user searching for something even vaguely related to your product or service, but in reality this strategy could really damage your advertising campaign. 

It’s better to create and test your search ad campaigns on exact match keywords. With exact match keywords you will be able to tailor your ad copy for an exact query, which will reach a more targeted audience, leading to higher conversion rates. 

You can read a lot more about the benefits of exact match keywords on this in-depth blog post by Neil Patel

2. Not Making Use Of Extensions

 

One of the best benefits of Google Ads is how customizable it is!

But if you’re not taking advantage of the many opportunities it offers, you could be missing the whole point of a Google Ads campaign. 

One of the biggest mistakes many Google Ads users make is not making use of the ad extensions that are available for your campaign. Google Ad extensions are the key ingredient to making your Google Ad stand out among your competitors. 


Ad extensions are free built-in features that will help increase your visibility, and can increase your click-through rate by several percentage points. 

There are lots of different types of extensions, such as call buttons, location information, links to pricing pages, free demo pages, or other landing pages on your site, additional text, and more.

These extensions are all hyper-linked and clickable, which visually draws more attention to your ad. They also provide your audience with a call to action, encouraging them to not only look at your ad, but interact with it and end up at a landing page on your site.  These extensions can be vital to the success of your Google Ads campaign, and shouldn’t be ignored. 

Take a look at this video by Surfside PPC with an in-depth look at Google Ad extensions, and how you could be making them work for you and your business. 

3. Forgetting About Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are keywords that you don’t want your ad to appear for, and these keywords can be almost as important as your positive keywords.

In order to run a successful Google Ads campaign, you need to narrow down your

 

target audience to as narrow a margin as possible. This will save you money on clicks, and it will also help you gain more click-throughs from valid and quality leads. 

Negative keywords have different match type sets, so be sure you’re paying attention to how you’ve set your negative keyword match type. 

Again, your best bet is to use the exact match setting, because it narrows your potential audience in such a way that you will be left with quality leads, traffic that is already primed to buy your product or service.

4. Bad Copy

Nothing says “untrustworthy” like bad copy or a poorly designed ad banner.

Consider the times you’ve been searching the internet for something, and come across a website that looked bad, had a confusing message, or the content was inexpertly written.

It doesn’t give you a lot of confidence in the quality of product or service you would receive, should you make a purchase. 

Poorly written ads are going to be a huge turn-off to your potential customers, because it makes it look as though you’re not a trustworthy, professional online business.

The minutiae of Google Ad writing can be a pain, but it’s the first interaction your audience will have with your brand, and you won’t get any click-throughs or conversions if your first impression is a bad impression.

5. Ad Links Back To Your Homepage

If you’re looking to purchase something online, chances are you have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for already in mind.

With this knowledge in your head, your ideal search journey would go something like this:

 

– You search for something specific

– You find an ad that resonates with your search query

– You click on the ad 


– You are redirected to a page that has
exactly what you’re looking for

When you redirect your paid traffic to your home page, you aren’t addressing the user’s search, you’re spitting them out on the one page of your website that contains the most amount of information and options, the fewest calls to action, and it usually doesn’t have anything to do with the keyword or phrase that you paid for. 
 

Not only is this frustrating for your site visitors, but it is also going to cost you conversions. When you redirect your traffic to a page, it needs to have an immediate selling point, and it should directly answer the question or query they searched that led them to your ad. 

6. Bad Post-Click Landing Page Experience

If you’re getting tons of traffic from your Google Ads, but no one is converting, you could have a big problem.

And that big problem might just be your landing page. 

A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for the purpose of your marketing campaign. This is where you send your visitors based on the specific keyword or phrase that they searched that led them to your ad.

 

Landing pages are designed with the single objective of getting your paid traffic to convert. This objective is also called a Call To Action. 

Since your landing page only has one objective, it needs to be formatted in a way that encourages your customers to click-through and complete the purchasing journey.

Some good questions to ask yourself if your click-through rate isn’t matching up to your conversion rates:

– Does my page load fast enough?


– Is my landing page mobile friendly?


– Is my content easy to read?


– Am I using the kind of language that appeals to my target audience, focusing on their wants and needs?


– Does your landing page match the vision and copy of your Google Ad, or do they feel disjointed and mismatched?


– Is your Call To Action clear and easy to complete?

 

Making sure you have a well-functioning and dynamic landing page could be the difference between hundreds of click-throughs with no conversions, and a successful, thriving marketing campaign that creates awareness for your brand and generates big sales.

After you’ve completed all these steps, it’s a good idea to spend some time measuring your Google Ads data.

After you implement the necessary changes, are you seeing a dramatic increase of quality leads and conversions?  

Need Help

Getting Started?

Chances are, if you’re not seeing an adequate return on your investment, you need to re-evaluate your Google Ads strategy.

Double check your Google Ad campaign and make sure you’re not accidentally falling into the trap of one of these easy mistakes that many Google Ad users are making every day. 

 

In order to truthfully answer the question, “Are Google Ads worth it?” with a resounding yes, you need to make sure you’ve implemented a fool-proof advertising strategy. 

If you’re not sure about your Google Ad strategy, we can help! As a digital agency dedicated to building and managing websites that make your business money, we love sitting down with business owners and helping them strategize their next steps. Advertising is a crucial part of any successful marketing strategy, so do it right the first time and start seeing a return on your investment today!