Is Adwords Really Worth it? Yes… but why?

Key Facts About Google AdWords

  • 40.000 searches per second
  • 3.5 billion searches per day
  • 1.2 trillion searcher per year

Whenever we want to search for a product, a service or anything else, nowadays you’re most likely to use Google.

That is where Google AdWords comes in. AdWords is the paid-for element of Google’s search results which helps a customer find a product, and retailers and service providers to effectively market and sell.

There are a number of reasons why a business can benefit from AdWords, and get the most out of its budget as long as you pay attention to details and do your research.

1. Reach Your Customer Searching for Your Product or Service

Everything begins here:

No matter the size of your business, you want to be on the first page of Google.

Google homepage

When a customer notices your business as and when they are searching for information concerning your products, services, location or deals; this translates to very profitable intent marketing (marketing focused on persons intent to find your products).

Whether you are a small or large company, with Google AdWords you can compete on a level playing field, with experienced PPC management able to get your message seen by those searching for your product or service.

2. Reach Your Local Customer

This is done through location targeting options.

Whether you’re a local business, a regional company, or even an e-commerce website, you can use geo-targeting to get seen by your customer without wasting money on those who aren’t in your specific location.

Geo-Targeting in Google Adwords

AdWords lets you target or exclude countries, areas within a country, and radius targeting easily – so that ads can be seen within a certain distance from your business.

This is especially useful for retailers of larger products or those wishing to attracts visitors and users to a specific location.

Geo-targeting increases your ROI and lowers costs by allowing you to target users more precisely.

Additionally you can target specific income earners through geo-based demographics, based on income levels, and depending on the goods being sold e.g. luxury or exclusive goods.

3. Lets your Searchers Find Your Location

When one uses Google Business together with AdWords a map of your shop can be seen together with your ad, making it easier for customers to find you.

4. Show Your Contact Information

What Ad extensions do is that they let a business supplement its Google AdWords with phone numbers, site landing page links, addresses, app downloads, reviews, previous page visits, to mention just a few.

Ad extentions

They appear in blue just below your ad description.

By doing this, it is easier for a prospective customer to connect with you.

It should be noted that although extensions don’t cost extra to be included in your ad, you have to pay the same for a click on them as for your headline.

If for example, someone clicks on your phone number to contact you directly from your ad extension, you’ll be charged for this paid conversion – which Google can track.

5. Target Highly Specific Searches

If you use optimised, highly-targeted keywords for your ad groups, you’ll reach many more consumers, and at the same time Google will rank your ad better.

Target keywords that you would search for to find your product or service, putting yourself in the place of your customer and keep in mind that these words can be changed any time you wish.

6. Follow Your Customer with Re-targeting

What is re-targeting?  Re-targeting allows companies to display ads or product page to users who have visited our website, long after you left the site.                                                                 .

When a customer visits your website, a ‘cookie’ is placed on their machine from code that is placed on the back-end of your site. When the prospective customer leaves your site, your ads can be targeted to trail them on Google search or the Google Display Networks.

Retargeting in Paid Search

Let’s say you have a shop with computer products, and someone who is searching for a laptop clicks on your ad and visits your landing page for computers.

Their browser picks up your Google AdWords cookie and even after they leave, to do more shopping around, whatever site they visit which has to do with this search, including YouTube, your ad is there for them to see.

Just the fact that they continually see your brand name or label means extra sales and brand awareness, with no additional cost (unless they click)

7. Reach Your Mobile Customer Wherever They Are

Google AdWords offers you a variety of mobile optimisation options which allows you to target both text ads and image ads, making it easier for customers to find you.

For example a customer may be looking for a place to get some coffee in your area and be near your coffee shop, right outside your door, if your mobile optimised ad shows up first, you’ve got new customer.

Take note that in your campaign Settings, Devices should be on the default of “All”. This way all types of devices are targeted.

8. Choose, and Optimise, Where your Advert is seen

Google has an incredible amount of ad partners.

You might have read a blog, or ads specific to your marketing niche. Most likely that blog is part of the Google Display network and serving ads using Google Adsense platform.

Being part of the Google Display network is positive, because it will be easier for you to advertise on popular with your customers niche sites – You can also follow your results and even exclude sites that aren’t doing as well as you’d like.

One suggestion when starting out on Google AdWords, is to use the Search and Display option, since it gives you a wider reach.

The more you get used to how Google AdWords works, the more you’ll narrow an ad campaign to the Display Network only. This will result in improved ads as you go.

9. Deliver Measured Results

Google AdWords gives you a huge amount of personalised options to track and asses all of your work in one dashboard.

For example, you can place and track your own goals for:

  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Traffic to your website
  • Brand-awareness
  • Sales and conversions

The results of each of your Google AdWord campaigns can also be measured within your ad groups. Metrics allow you to review which keywords are performing the best, the ads that get the best click-through-rate, what time of the day your ads are best performing etc.

You can also connect to Google Analytics so as to be informed about pages your ad traffic is visiting, within your site.

10.  Control Your Budget

Small businesses are usually more familiar with offline advertising methods, where you pay a specific fee for each ad you run. That equates to  a certain amount of ads to a certain amount of money.

The difference with Google AdWords is that you can set and change your budget for each ad you run.

Budgeting and Ad Spend

If an ad is doing well you can increase your ad spend. If it’s under-performing, you can decrease ad spend or pause it.

11. Run Numerous Campaigns for Your Marketing Needs

What is great about Google Ads is that you can run just as many ad campaigns as for your marketing goals.


If for example, you have an event planning business that markets services for – Wedding planning, Fundraisers, or Corporate events – You could set up one marketing campaign for each of your targeted services, and then set up a variety of ad groups for each campaign, that can be targeted with various but specific keywords.

E.g. -“Wedding Planning” campaign, targets three groups: Wedding dresses, Wedding invitations and Honeymoon destinations. Don’t forget to add related keywords for each group.

Two ads can be prepared for each ad group so that you can A/B test to detect which ad runs best.

12. Continuously Improve Your Results

Compared to offline advertising, it’s very easy to monitor your real ROI on Google AdWords, and simple to adjust your ad copy to get better results and increased profits.

In conjunction with the above mentioned reasons there are also certain strategies that will help you get your money’s worth from Google AdWords.

Killer Tips to Make the Most of Google AdWords

Every successful advertiser sets up and manages AdWords campaigns with a checklist.

Just like a recipe, you need key ingredients for to work.

One doesn’t have to spend a great deal of money or over-complicate things. Just keep it simple to begin with, by doing as little as the system allows you, in the beginning. And most of all be patient. If you quit too early you won’t see any benefits.

Let’s see the key ingredients:

1. Customer Demand

You need to start by verifing there is in fact search volume for what you’re offering.

The tool for the job is the Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool, which acts a lot like a thesaurus.

You enter in phrases you think your potential customers are looking for, and Google gives you other similar, relevant phrases.

Keyword Planner tells you how frequently words are searched, how competitive they are in (searches per month), and what the advertising cost for each keyword is likely to be.

Having this info will help you decide which keywords to use in your first campaign.

The following questions will help when deciding whether or not to advertise a particular keyword.

  • Is the keyword searched in Google? (how high is the month search volume)
  • Is it possible that the person searching this keyword will buy my product or service?
  • What is the intent of the keyword?
    • Transactional – ‘Mount Everest Base Camp Trek’
    • Research – ‘Who has climbed Everest’
  • Is the keyword affordable (average Cost per Click), and will it bring return-on-investment (ROI)?

2. Basic Math

The key question is whether you can afford to bid for the keyword.

You will need to calculate your maximum cost per click (Max CPC) and compare your max CPC to the estimated keyword CPC in the Keyword Tool.

This formula will help:

Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)

3. Competitor Intelligence

This is important because you can reduce your risk by weighing competitor intelligence, and you can do it by using a tool called KeywordSpy which gathers, organises, and provides access your competitors’ advertising information history.

All you have to do is sign up, and log in after setting up an account at and then clicking on the free trial button. is another option to use. It will show you the average CRT and also which companies have advertised with a specific keyword the last three months, and also what other keywords have done well.

4. Powerful USP

Your USP, or unique selling proposition, is what makes your business stand out from your competitors and gives your customers a reason to click your ad.

Three important reasons for creating a strong USP are:

  • A strong USP will create more traffic from qualified prospects
  • A strong USP will greatly increase your sales conversion rates
  • A strong USP can abolish comparison shopping

It is important to ensure that your USP isn’t the same as a competitor’s…

Powerful USP

Direct your attention to your strengths, and what you’re better at than your competition.

Price is an effective tool to generate clicks, but ensure that the prices you have listed are the real.

Percentage discounts are also effectibe.

Talk and listen to your customers for feedback on why they use you.

Lastly, examine your competitor’s ads, websites, and marketing materials for inspiration.

5. Irresistible Offering

Your offer should consist of the following 4 components:

  • Valuable

Your product or service should have more intrinsic value than the price.

This basically means that the value your product or service provides, is more significant to the end user than the price they pay.

Value can come in many forms.

  • Convincing

Provide a believable reason why your offer is true – e.g. why are you offering a big discount.

  • Successes:

If you’re ‘award-winning’ let potential customers know!

Using customer review scores from Feefo or Trust Pilot also work well.

  • Call to Action

If you want your customer to phone you, make it simple for them to do so when they land on your site

The more complicated the search around your website, the more you will lose.

A strong call to action should be simple.

6. Effective and Compelling Ads

With AdWords when people click on your ads, you pay.

An advert is an opportunity to introduce your brand/to a new audience and sell your product or service.

An advert needs a few key elements:

Adwords ad Contents

You need to prevent persons from clicking who will not be potential customers, thereby wasting your ad budget.

The result will be more traffic, sales, not as much wasted money on unqualified traffic, and more profits.

Keep in mind that since there isn’t much space (even with ETA), you must be simple and direct when writing.

The components of the text are:

  • The most important component is the headline since it’s what will be read first.
  • Your keyword should be included in the headline of your ad because Google will bold it, and that way it will stand out from other ads. AdWords allows 25 characters for your headline.
  • Description Line 1 and 2. In the two description lines, mention the benefits of your service, state your USP, describe your offer. You have 35 characters for each description line.
  • Display URL. Your domain name shouldn’t just be copied and pasted. Use your Display URL to include your offer, call to action, your USP, anything that will make your ad be noticeable.

7. Killer Landing Pages

The landing page should match the keyword and the ad.  This will continually reassure the customer that they are following a consistent path.

Your headline, is the first thing your prospect will read and must attract the attention, repeat the offer in the ad, and encourage someone to keep on reading.

Your landing page should again be related to the keyword searched and the ad clicked on. Your USP should be included as well as benefits of your product, service, details etc.

Points that should be considered in a nutshell are:

  • Simple design with not many animations, videos or complicated design
  • Strong headline that can be clearly read
  • Don’t use complex terms be simple and clear and use daily language
  • Help the reader understand what you have to say, by using visual aids like bullet points and pictures.

8. Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is simply a way of assessing sales produced by your AdWords campaign which lets you know which keywords and ads are delivering sales.

This is crucial to effective management of Google AdWords, and your business!

Conversion Tracking

The AdWords conversion tracking code can be found in the AdWords account under ‘Tools and Analysis > Conversions’.

To create a new conversion, just click on the [+ Conversion] button and follow the steps.

Recommendations for tracking offline sales are:

  • Conversion page in your sales process
  • Specific coupon codes in your ads and landing pages
  • Tracking phone numbers in your ads and landing pages

Tools such as Response Tap and Infinity are effective tools for doing this.

9. Successful AdWords Settings

Important settings for success apart from Keyword Match Types and Negative Keywords, which have already been mentioned are:

  • Search vs. Display: requires different sets of keywords, ads, and landing pages. Always set up different campaigns to aim at every network.
  • Device Bids: 34% of small businesses have mobile optimised website. 66% do not have a mobile-friendly website

Search Network only should be selected for your campaign type, that way Google Search Network and not the Display Network is targeted. Now you can enable the ads and start optimising your campaign.

10. Optimization

Once you’ve enabled your campaign your ads are live, but that’s only the start of the battle. Continual optimisation is required for success.

Three main areas to improve your AdWords campaign performance are:

  • Keyword bids – Once you generate clicks and sales, your bids must be modified accordingly.
  • Ad click-through rate (CTR) – Directly affects your quality score, and this dictates what you pay per click. Test different ads, that way you see which type gets the most clicks.
  • Landing page conversion rate. Many tools can help so as to test different landing page versions like Analytics Experiments. It’s easy and free all you have to do is set up a free account. Experiment by testing two different versions of your landing page and measuring which one generates the most conversions.

The above mentioned point steps will guarantee that your money goes into your bank account, instead of funding Google’s empire.

There is no doubt that Google AdWords works for all those involved.

Optimise Your Landing Pages

It’s possible to spend a lot of money and time on their AdWords campaign.

Unless the page you’re sending people to is optimised for your specific conversions, you’re throwing it away.

Top AdWords Landing Page Optimisation Recommendations:

  • Match AdWords headline to the landing page headline
  • Make sure that the landing page’s CTA stands out from the remaining page so people know how and where to engage
  • Landing page should be simple and to the point
  • Make sure the selling point (also called USP) in your Google AdWords campaign is the same as your landing page

Test Ad Variations

It is of crucial importance to test a range of possible ad variations, to see which elements deliver the best results.

The aim is to find the optimum performance from all your ads, by understanding which resonate with your customers, and deliver the best results.

There are those that find it worthwhile to test more often, but we find six weeks seems to give a defined set of results.

Variables to test:

  • Headline
  • Display URL (short vs long)
  • Call-to-action copy
  • Ad extensions
  • Device targeting
  • Time-of-day budget increases


12 Deadly Google AdWords Mistakes for Small Businesses

Why Isn’t Google AdWords Working Your Small Businesses?

The truth out there is that things aren’t what they used to be for small businesses.

Every pound counts as external costs rise, and a poorly managed Google AdWords campaign can cost much more than it brings in.

It all comes down to how much you know about AdWords and what you can do to improve your understanding of how it works and how to generate the highest return from the platform.

The problem isn’t with AdWords itself, but how you manage your campaigns.

Smart search marketeers avoid common mistakes such as:

Mistake 1:

Few Logins

Since PPC can be difficult to handle for a small business, all that is needed is to some extra time to manage a paid search campaign.

Just one percent (1%) of small business advertisers make changes every week and more than half of AdWords users only optimise their campaign once per quarter.

Practices like these don’t deliver the desired results.

Improvements in paid search come from continued optimisation and testing, processes which allow you to identify keywords which generate conversions and bookings.

Mistake 2:

Insufficient Activity

Adding a small number of keywords to a campaign in a period of around ninety days without any new campaigns, ad groups, or ads won’t bring the desired results.

A lack of account activity within a PPC campaign can affect a wide range of features and result in your adverts not being displayed for relevant keywords.

Bad keyword targeting and adverts of low quality can result in low click-through rates, which will have a negative effect on a client’s quality score and impression share (the number of times your advert appears to a Google user).

Mistake 3:

Not Putting Keywords in Correct Groups

AdWords lets you create campaign ad groups to manage various kinds of campaigns.

One of the worst mistakes people make is not using SKAGs (single-keyword ad groups).

What is a SKAG?

Instead of dividing ads into groups built around similar types of keywords, the keywords are put into one ad group that shows everyone the same ad.

SKAGs AdGroups Structure

The closer the ad copy matches the keyword, the more likely it will be that people to click on the advertisement.

Let’s say that a company sell laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets. If they don’t put their products into different groups, they miss the opportunity to show product-specific ads based upon the specific keyword that the user is searching for.

This results in the use of more generic adverts being served such as ‘Buy High Tech Products’ instead of an ad that matches specific searches, such as ‘eight core smartphones or 8 inch tablets’.

Breaking up your ads and keywords into themes will make it easier for your campaigns to be to observed and upgraded.  Use SKAGs for optimum results!

Mistake 4:

No Negative Keywords

Failure to add any negative keywords to your AdWords account- which is as a way to exclude keywords that are not a good match for your product – can result in considerable waste in PPC spend.

The more negative AdWords you add, the more you save.

As an example, if you own an e-commerce website which sells men’s shoes but not athletic shoes, obviously you won’t want your ads to appear when ‘men’s running shoes’ is searched for, but you do want them to appear on searches for ‘men’s shoes’.

When you add ‘running’ as a negative keyword, your ads won’t be shown for searches that include the word ‘running’.

Negative Keywords

By clicking ‘negative keywords’ underneath the list of keywords for your campaign or ad group, negative keywords are added, and it should be noted that they can be added at both the campaign and the ad-group level.

To find words that should not be included, you can check the ‘search terms’ tab for more detailed information about particular keyword searches that triggered your ad to show.

You can also use Google Analytics. When you are in Analytics, click on ‘Acquisition’ then ‘AdWords’ and then ‘Matched Search Queries’.

After that, click on ‘Query Match Type’ and choose either ‘broad match’ or ‘phrase match’. The exact keyword phrases and ones which aren’t converting well will be found there. Phrases that aren’t changing, can found and negative keywords can be added to remove particular keywords from your campaign without excluding terms that are doing well.

One recommendation is to add negative keywords every day – depending on search volume and ad spend.  See this comprehensive guide.

Mistake 5:

Not Using the Correct Keyword Matches

Another big mistake people make is not using the proper broad match, phrase match, or exact match keywords.

AdWords lets users add keywords to a campaign in one of the three ways above mentioned ways.

This image may help to explain the match types a little more…

Match Types

If ‘Reebok running shoes’ is added as an exact or phrase match keyword, the ad will appear when someone types specifically ‘Reebok running shoes.

With a phrase match keyword, the keyword phrase has to appear in the search as a complete phrase in the order it was entered. For a keyword to be entered as a phrase match in AdWords, quotation marks must be entered around the term when it is added as a keyword.

An exact match keyword is exactly as it sounds. The searched-for term needs to exactly match the keyword that is entered.

A broad match keyword means is that ads will show regardless of the keyword’s order, so long as the search keywords are used in the search query.

An ad will appear in a search, as long as the keywords entered show up in the search in one form or another. The term can be entered without any kind of punctuation before or after it.

As a result our product would also appear if the user searched for ‘Reebok free running shoes’ and ‘where to buy Reebok shoes for running’.

To begin with you can start with exact matches and then move to phrase and broad according to your needs.

If one isn’t getting impressions and conversions with exact matches, the terms can be added as a phrase match and finally a broad match.

Mistake 6:

When you Trust your Numbers More than Your Creativity

Unless the numbers tell you something different you shouldn’t fall in love with your ad.

Don’t stop testing your copy.

You should try two or more different headline variants to help you to understand what works best. Choose the ad that’s getting the highest click-through rate, the highest conversion rate, or the lowest cost per acquisition (CPA).

Always test and change the ad copy whenever necessary. This type of testing can lead to doubling your conversion rates and halving your cost per acquisition.

Mistake 7:

Not Bidding on Your Own Brand

The mistake many people make is not to bid on their own brand assuming that they don’t need to advertise for it because they already rank for their own brand.

Bid for your own brand

What you must consider though is that if you don’t advertise your brand, other companies will.

Your brand name will be used for an ad group and your visitors will be targeted. It’s logical to bid the highest for your own brand because people searching for your company are the most likely to convert.

In addition, a branded advert increases the overall click-through-rate of your campaign; which also has a positive affect on the overall quality score of your campaign. This will likely reduce the cost-per-click you pay for click on higher competition keywords.

Being at the top for your own brand name has many benefits for the health of your campaign.

Mistake 8:

When someone doesn’t know the Lifetime Value (LTV) of Customers

If you haven’t yet calculated the LTV for your customer, there’s no way you can know how much to spend on AdWords per-acquisition.

This is how it works:

  • If your LTV is £10 it means that you’ll be earning £10 on average over the lifetime of doing business with each customer.
  • If you’re paying £6 per-acquisition, you’re OK since you’re making more than you’re spending, per-customer.
  • On the other hand, if your LTV is £4 and you’re spending £6 per-acquisition, you’ll be out of business before you know it.

If it is difficult for you to calculate your business’ LTV, begin with the How to Calculate Lifetime Value infographic from Kissmetrics.

Once you calculate the LTV for your business, you will be better-placed to effectively manage and optimise your campaigns.

Mistake 9:

Not Testing the Best Ad Position

Take note: The best performing ad position is not always 1st!

If you want to improve, one of the top four ad positions is good, but for the most cost-effective results, it’s usually better to be in 2nd-4th position.

It’s possible that a lower position can be better because people tend to click on a search whether they’re seriously interested or not.  If your ad is in position 2-4 it’s not the first thing someone sees.

Someone who is looking for a better result will click on your ad. If you want to know which ad position is the best, test by raising or lowering your cost-per-click bid, and tracking the results.

Mistake 10:

Not Knowing Your Competition

It is important for you to know which ads your competitors are using, their keywords and what their landing pages look like.

Place yourself in your customer’s shoes, what ad would you click?  Which one appeals to you the most, and which one would you choose if you were the customer?

See what you can improve on your landing pages, the design, or a cleaner look and feel? See what you can learn and try to improve your pages. Create new landing pages and test them continually, until you improve your conversion rates.

Mistake 11:

Too Many Expectations from AdWords

If your budget isn’t large enough, you won’t be able to test your ads until they’re doing well. It takes time and money to run and optimise your campaign to get the best return.

A good thing to do is to start with a large enough budget that will allow you to tweak and optimise your campaigns as long as you stick with your campaigns and give them time for you to figure out how AdWords works and how you can get the best return.

Mistake 12:

Not Directing your Visitors to the Ideal Product or Category Page (Specifically for E-commerce)

To generate conversions and bookings, it is always best for someone to go directly to a landing page or a product or category page.

This allows the user to see a direct match to the ad that was searched for, as opposed to having to click around to find the relevant product (after landing on a more generic page).

Following these recommendations will help you effectively optimise your campaigns with Google AdWords.