Are Google Ads Worth it

Are Google Ads Worth It?

The simple answer is yes. If somebody needs a product or service immediately, chances are they’re going to open up their internet browser and search on Google to find what they’re looking for. 

There’s really no substitute for Google ads because they allow advertisers to precisely target the correct audience based on their location and the specific search queries they enter into Google. 

With Google dominating over 90% of the search engine market, there’s just no alternative advertising platform that lets you target such a large audience.

Google generated over $237 billion in ad revenue in 2023. If their ads weren’t worth it, they wouldn’t have a business. 

But whilst Google ads are an incredibly profitable advertising channel for most businesses, there’s still some very careful considerations you need to make to ensure you don’t end up burning through those valuable advertising dollars and seeing no return on your investment.

We’ll walk you through all of the pros and cons of Google ads, along with the common mistakes and pitfalls we see beginner advertisers making on the platform.

Why Google Ads Are Worth It - The Pros

These are all the reasons that we think pretty much every business owner should at least consider Google ads.

Cost of Google ads and if they're worth it

1) It Delivers Results Fast

Other forms of digital marketing are notoriously difficult to start seeing results.

SEO (search engine optimization) can take years of hard work and investment into content in order to start yielding results, and even then there is absolutely no guarantee that SEO will drive your business target traffic or leads. 

Likewise, developing a social media marketing strategy can take a very long time to get traction - You need to slowly build up a following and have a very consistent content strategy that resonates with your potential customers. And even then, it’s very hard to get the ‘right’ people to follow you that are looking to purchase your product or service.

With Google Ads however, you can start getting targeted leads to your website in a matter of days - there really is no substitute for that speed. 

2) Google Ads Levels The Playing Field

Google ads completely level the playing field across advertisers.

That means even if you’re completely new to your industry and just launched your business, you can start driving leads immediately. 

Google does not discriminate based on company age, size or  history - if your Google ads have a solid ad rank, then they’ll show up regardless.

3) Precise Targeting

Precise customer targeting by location

Google Ads uses AI driven automation to help you find new customers & conversions. 

Their algorithm is literally designed to get you new customers, and it’s by far the most sophisticated advertising platform in the World besides Facebook in this regard.

The technology behind the scenes of Google ads works to learn more over time as you feed it more and more data. Once it reaches a critical point, Google’s algorithm begins to understand exactly what type of people are clicking on your adverts and converting into customers.

At this point, their machine learning takes over and helps to drive more and more conversions to your business, as it also takes into account thousands of data points like devices used, time of day and even a user’s previous search history. 

This is why Google ads are so impressive - Once you start seeing some modest success, you can begin scaling your advertising efforts with even more success.

4) Google Technology & Automation

Google Ads uses AI driven automation to help you find new customers & conversions. 

Their algorithm is literally designed to get you new customers, and it’s by far the most sophisticated advertising platform in the World besides Facebook in this regard.

The technology behind the scenes of Google ads works to learn more over time as you feed it more and more data. Once it reaches a critical point, Google’s algorithm begins to understand exactly what type of people are clicking on your adverts and converting into customers.

At this point, their machine learning takes over and helps to drive more and more conversions to your business, as it also takes into account thousands of data points like devices used, time of day and even a user’s previous search history. 

This is why Google ads are so impressive - Once you start seeing some modest success, you can begin scaling your advertising efforts with even more success.

5) They're Scalable

We recommend that beginner advertisers on Google start with exact-match keyword campaigns and a limited budget to test the waters.

But once you’ve seen success, Google ads has released so many options to help you scale advertising as well.

Here are just a few of them:

  • Remarketingwhere you show ads to people who already visited your website
  • Gmail Ads
  • Google Display Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • Local Service Ads 
  • Performance Max - where Google takes over and distributes your ads across its entire network on autopilot

6) Experiments

testing google ads ppc

Google also has a very comprehensive experiments hub within their advertising platform.

This allows you to very easily test various factors within your adverts to see which has a better performance.

For example, you can experiment with sending customers to a different landing page, or test different images or headlines within the advert itself. 

It’s also very accessible for novices to pick up quickly, so you really don’t have to be a Google ads expert to run these experiments. 

See more PPC testing ideas here

Why Some People Think Google Ads Aren’t Worth It

Of course, Google ads are not for everyone, and after being in digital marketing for over 15 years, we’ve seen many instances where businesses rightfully have concerns about the viability of Google ads.

In fact, there are even some instances where we recommend businesses should avoid using Google ads. 

The Cons of Google Ads

  • Budget Management: Google is good at spending your money, and if you turn on a wrong setting you can end up exhausting your budget without results. They also now have a ton of auto apply recommendations that can alter your settings and increase your spending.
  • High Keyword Costs - Some businesses see extremely high costs for their keywords, which makes it difficult to justify the spend and get a positive return on their investment. 
  • Ongoing Maintenance and Monitoring: Google Ads requires constant monitoring and adjustments. Frequent notifications and updates mean that businesses must stay proactive to avoid negative impacts on their campaigns.
  • Sometimes Questionable Value: Many businesses are skeptical about the value of paid ads in general, especially if they have other channels like word of mouth that are generating much better yields & more sustainable results.
  • Competition - Some industries are very competitive and saturated with advertisers, which puts new advertisers off competing because they make the assumption (sometimes correctly) that it’ll be hard to get noticed. 

The Biggest Mistake New Google Advertisers Make

We’ve worked in the PPC marketing space for years, and there’s one very simple yet game-changing mistake that most people make when considering the ROI on their marketing spend…

👉 They buy the sale, not the customer.

If somebody comes along and buys a product for $100, they make the incorrect assumption that only the first sale matters.

Instead, they should be taking into account the lifetime value of that customer.

According to this report on apparel brands, the average order value (AOV) is $120.

However, the total customer lifetime value (LTV) is $218. 

Think about it - If you like Adidas clothing, chances are you’ve bought numerous different items from that brand over the years. When Adidas are calculating how much they’re willing to spend to acquire a completely new customer, they take your lifetime value into consideration!

Once you start factoring your customer LTV into your calculations, then you can start to see the long-term viability of Google ads. 

That’s why we always encourage new advertisers to bring a long-term mindset to Google ads. You should be thinking of every new customer in terms of the amount of revenue they will pay you over their lifetime, not just the first sale.

Profit > ROAS.

Profit over ROAS for Google ads

How To Succeed With Google Ads

At our Google ads agency, we consistently see the same things working for our clients time and time again. 

Here are the most important factors for success in Google ads:

  • Margins - Only businesses with a strong understanding of their margins should use Google ads. 
  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) - you must deeply understand this metric
  • Cost Per Conversion - you must estimate what range of price you would be willing to pay if you land a new conversion.
  • Landing Pages - You must have a well-designed landing page in order to boost your conversion rates and actually generate leads from your ad campaigns. If you don’t get this part right, Google ads will never work.
  • Sales Efficiency - If you’re a service-based business especially, you need to have a phenomenal sales process in place so that you’re maximizing conversions from your new inbound Google ads leads at the highest possible rate. 

Common Mistakes We See

Here are the classic mistakes we’ve seen new Google advertisers make:

  • Starting too broad - They’ll throw money at broad campaigns and include advertising on Google’s display network. 
  • Bad performing landing pages - They simply don’t have pages that make customers want to convert. The experience doesn’t match the advert.
  • Taking too long to reply to leads - Some businesses just don’t have a good enough sales process in place to delight customers, especially ones that may be shopping around multiple options. 
  • Not understanding sales cycles - For people running Google ads in B2B in particular, there’s typically a much longer sales cycle which leads to new advertisers losing their nerve when they first make an investment into Google ads.

Get Expert Help

If you’re interested in testing Google ads but don’t know where to start, we strongly recommend seeking professional help from experts in the space.

Our PPC agency specializes only on PPC marketing, including Google ads and Facebook ads.

The Potential For Amazing Results From Google Ads

Google Ads Lead Generation

We’ve seen countless examples of the incredible power of Google ads to help scale businesses and provide them with a consistent source of high quality leads.

In particular, Google ads can be extremely effective for lead generation in service-based businesses, especially where the revenue from a single job can cover the ad spend for that month!

High-ticket businesses are generally a perfect match for Google ads.

✅ Here are a few examples of industries we’ve seen thrive with Google ads:

  • Group Travel - We’ve seen cost per conversions of $30 leading to over $500 in profit per conversion.
  • Roofing - Most roof replacements will cost in excess of $10,000, and such high-ticket services are the perfect match for Google ads.
  • Flood Damage Repair - Again because this is such a high-ticket service, even if margins aren’t high you can afford to pay a lot of money for leads.
  • Web Design Agency - Many web designers will charge thousands of dollars for a single project, and often get repeat work from their customers. We’ve seen customers in this niche pay $300-400 for new conversions from Google ads, but generate over $20,000 lifetime revenue from those customers.

Alternatives To Google Ads

We’ve put together a huge list of different PPC advertising platforms here, but I’ll run through some of the topic alternatives quickly:

  • Facebook & Instagram Ads - Most business types have success with Facebook ads, in particular because their advertising algorithms are so advanced and adept at finding you the right customers. However, these rely heavily on strong creatives! 
  • LinkedIn Ads - Fantastic advertising platform for B2B businesses in general, since it’s acknowledged as pretty much the only ‘professional’ social media network. 
  • Thumbtack - A platform for home services businesses. It’s specialized and people are looking for top quality contractors and trades professionals here.
  • Angi (formerly Angie’s list) - This is another top source of leads for home-service businesses. 

Are Google Ads Worth it? Our Conclusion

The answer is a resounding yes. Google gets paid the most advertising dollars out of any company in the World for a reason - Google ads work.

Additionally, the flexibility involved with Google ads is so enticing for business owners - You can start, stop and pause campaigns at will and adjust your budget whenever you like.

However, we do recommend that beginner advertisers on Google remain cautious with their budget initially, and stick to high-value keywords such as exact-match and local search terms that are tried & tested to be effective.

All being said - We’ve seen countless examples of new businesses achieving tremendous growth and profitably from Google ads, and we’re confident that with the right strategy, it’s a channel that can deliver incredible results. 

Stewart Dunlop

Stewart

CEO