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Are Google Ads worth it?

Google Ads can work brilliantly if set up and managed well. They can also cost you a small fortune if they're not.

Time and time again, small business owners despondently tell me how frustrated they are that their ads aren't working or that they have spent lots of money for basically no result. They all ask the same question - are Google Ads worth it? Some have tried to do it themselves and others have hired Google Ad specialists to do it for them, but neither approach seems to work.

The reality is that getting good results from Google Ads takes a lot of time and effort and no one gets it right in the beginning. I look at starting Google Ads the same way I look at visiting a casino. First, I check what my budget allows for 'entertainment'. Second, I take only as much money as I'm prepared to lose that night - which is only a portion of my available budget. If I'm prepared to lose $100, to me, that's my spending money for the night. Instead of spending it on dinner out, or the theatre, I've chosen to spend that $100 on gambling. I would never walk in to a casino with the expectation of winning. If I did happen to leave the casino at the end with a bit of money still in my pocket, that would be a wonderful bonus, but not the expectation.

It's the same with Google Ads. When you start advertising, the keywords you choose and ad copy you write are based on your assumptions about your target audience and what they will be searching for. They might be very well educated guesses, but they're still guesses, which is why you need to be prepared to spend some money to test those assumptions. The more data you have about what people are searching for, and the longer the period you collect data for, the less assumptions you make and the more accurate and informed your decisions become. With time, attention and tweaking, you are left with keywords and ads that do deliver the results you're looking for.

The answer to the question "are Google Ads worth it" is yes, but there is no silver bullet and a cookie cutter approach does not work. It takes time and effort to get it right, but get it right you can! With the right attention, analysis and tweaking, a small advertising budget can get excellent results.

Author: Pip Mehrtens | May 2020


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