Asking me “Should I use Google Ads?” is like asking me if you should order dessert. The answer is yes. I don’t care how full you are, there’s a separate compartment in your stomach for sweets.
But seriously, Google Ads affords too many benefits to businesses—whether they are large or small, local or ecommerce, in the healthcare industry or home improvement space—to be ignored.
But of course, as a company that supports Google Ads, we’re going to say that you should run them. That’s why in this post, I’m going to equip you with everything you need to know in order to feel confident about running Google Ads. I’ll cover:
Unless your product or offerings suck (which I’m sure they don’t; and in which case your business is likely to fail regardless), then I’d highly recommend advertising on the largest search engine in the world (Google).
I truly believe that if your company provides a valuable product or offering that has an in-market audience to sell to, then there’s no reason you should not at least try out Google Ads. The thing is, it all comes down to dollars and cents. If you’re not doing it right you’re likely not going to see a return. On the other hand if you have a solid team, individual, or combination of both carefully running your PPC strategy then your business growth could double, triple, or quadruple just from the PPC side of marketing. I know this because I’ve seen it happen to many of our clients here at WordStream.
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Every industry is different and has its unique challenges. Later in this post, you’ll find out the challenges and recommended strategies to succeed with Google Ads based upon your business model and industry, but first let’s address common hesitations for running Google Ads.
When SEO is free, why should you spend money rather than focusing on appearing higher in organic results? I’ve heard this argument time and time again, but when you take the time to actually understand the difference between the two, you’ll realize that relying solely on SEO is unrealistic for long-term business success.
In comparison to PPC, SEO is harder to control and keep up with. You can create tons of quality content, optimize your site’s structure to appear in the SERPs (search engine results page), and follow all of the SEO best practices, but placements are still never guaranteed. And even if you do attain high organic ranking for a particular page or post, unless you keep it updated and optimized, it is likely to depreciate in “SEO juice” over time.
Plus, Google shifts its algorithm quite frequently, so you need to stay on top of that. There’s also the issue that your competitors are likely paying to play; therefore, getting to the top of Google for free is possible for organic results, but paid results will always be at the very top. Finally, while SEO is free, it takes time, and the ability to create and optimize quality content on an ongoing basis can be resource-heavy.
If you’re finding that Google traffic is too expensive or that your queries never convert, there’s a high chance you’re doing something wrong. I cannot understate the importance of taking the time to learn Google Ads and other growth strategies. Understanding concepts like bidding, match types, negative keywords, and other tools can help you to control your budget and maximize your Google Ads ROI. You also need to understand landing pages, because even cheap clicks are money thrown in the trash if nobody converts after clicking your ads. The bottom line is that Google Ads works. You will get results if you do it right, and this guide provides you some specific tips on how to do just that.
I’m not going to lie—if you wear multiple hats, then running a Google Ads account can be challenging. For the sleep-deprived business owner or the sole digital marketer overseeing a field of marketing campaigns, I wouldn’t recommend relying on Google Ads alone. Why? The Google Ads interface is not built for the hat-juggler. Digging into the data, optimizing your campaigns, and managing the structure of your account can become a full-time job and eat up the majority of your week. Unless you’re an analytical Google Ads wizard who has the time to stay up-to-date on the ever changing PPC space, then you should consider one of the following options:
So you put your ego aside and decided to admit it: your PPC skills are just about as sharp as an infant’s driving skills. Don’t sweat it, we’ve all been there. The first step to mastering PPC is admitting that you need to learn it. You might understand the difference between paid and organic listings, but what about the proper way to structure an account? Or match types and negatives? PPC is not rocket science, and it can be learned for free online. Check out the following resources to become a PPC pro:
Whether you sell medical software, cars, or insurance, there are a long list of industries that struggle with longer sales cycles. Does that mean Google Ads isn’t worth it? Actually, quite the opposite is true. For longer buyer journeys, PPC is a critical component of speeding up slow-as-molasses sales cycles. Just think about, if there’s multiple touch points during longer journeys, you want to ensure you’re present when the searcher is either starting out or in the midst of their journey (research phase). If you’re not in a prominent place on the SERPs then the searcher will likely go with your competitor. Basically, if you’re not advertising on Google, you could be missing out on a converting a huge audience.
Now that we’ve combatted some major concerns, let’s talk about the specific tips, challenges, and strategies for industries when it comes to Google Ads:
The B2B/SaaS world comes with its unique challenges including longer sales cycles and niche audiences. PPC might seem like a path to avoid, but many B2B businesses (including WordStream) have found that PPC plays a critical role in their lead generation strategy. As long as you’re doing it right, you can succeed with Google Ads. To ensure you are doing it right, follow these tips for B2B Google Ads success:
The biggest challenge for retail and ecommerce marketers running Google is the insanely high level of competition. According to eMarketer, US retail digital ad spending will increase by just 3.1% this year, for a total of $28.23 billion; and next year’s growth will rebound to 25.7%.
To outsell your competition through Google Ads, make sure to:
These tips are just dusting the surface. Check out the full guide of PPC retail marketing tips here.
Local businesses need not underestimate the power Google Ads can have in driving foot traffic to their storefronts. Whether it be local residents or out-of-towners, people are hopping on Google to find a new restaurant, a dentist office to fix their chipped tooth, or a place to buy baby clothes for their friend’s twins. The following things are crucial to gain success in the local PPC space:
“Sixteen years ago all you needed to do was purchase a yellow page ad, and that was it. Nowadays if you don’t spend time on digital marketing, and paid search specifically, you’re not going to make it,” says Jeff Kelly, owner of his own law firm specializing in bankruptcy. “Your business will quickly dry up if you’re not marketing online.”
Folks, you must listen to this wise man. Legal PPC is tough since you’re dealing with some of the most competitive (i.e. expensive) keywords in search, but if people can’t find you on Google then you’re business growth with come to a standstill. To achieve Google Ads success in this industry make sure to:
Check out the full guide to law firm PPC marketing here.
Ah, one my favorite industries! Since 74% of both travel and leisure planning occurs online, with the majority starting with search, utilizing Google Ads is a necessity for those in the business. To maximize your hotel and travel bookings:
For more travel AdWords tips check out this guide.
From self-diagnosing (we’ve all done it), to sensitive information, to language restrictions, and the issue of not being allowed to remarket, Google Ads can turn healthcare marketers off, but according to a Google study, 90% of hospital administrators rely on search engines to identify vendor and product options and to research features. To foster healthy Google Ads performance in this space:
Check out this in-depth healthcare PPC guide for more tips.
If your industry was left out, check out our best vertical guides or leave a comment letting me know what industry you’d like me to cover next.
Still unsure of whether you should use Google Ads? Start off with a smaller budget, promoting your highest selling products. Once you’re seeing results, build out your other offerings and keywords groupings to maximize your results. In no time your business will be growing at a faster rate than you ever imagined. Good luck!
Margot is a content marketing specialist at WordStream and nutrition graduate student at Framingham State. She loves all things digital, learning about nutrition, running, traveling, and cooking.
See other posts by Margot Whitney
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