For many years, people were able to easily and cheaply drive traffic with Google Adwords. Others made a lot of money by having Adsense on their websites.
Then, Adsense stopped paying well while Adwords became extremely expensive and didn’t seem as effective.
So, is Google learning its lesson? Are Google ads useful again?
The answer is that it depends upon your type of business.
Google Ads Are Useful for Local Businesses
How to Be More Effective?
Make certain that you claim and maintain your business page on Google. It’s free, and gives you the boost you need when people are searching for your business.
I also mentioned “maintaining” your business. Make regular updates if you can so Google knows that you’re still in business.
One other quick tip is to make sure your location targeting is appropriate. Often, people make the area too big or too little. Spend some time finding out where your customers live so you can make adjustments.
Get That Phone Ringing
Did you know Google has “Call-Only Campaigns?” It rolled out in 2015, and is often underutilized. It’s a great way to get people to call you to make reservations or check to see if you have an item in stock.
According to Google, 70% of mobile searches end up calling a business directly from the search results.
If you’re worried about the cost, rest assured that the ads only show up on mobile devices.
Use Custom Intent Audiences
This was rolled out last year, and is still being improved. Custom Intent Audiences which allows you to provide keywords and URLs and create your own custom In-Market audience.
This is similar to Facebook custom audiences, and it’s also way more powerful. You can advertise to people specifically rather than the old In Market categories. It’s only available on the Google Display Network (GDN) which can sometimes be a bit more expensive for advertising.
But you can set up daily and campaign limits as well as limiting geography.
The key is to test and monitor the campaigns. You may find that you’re spending $500 a month and receiving $2500 in revenue. But if you increase to $1000/month, you get $7500 in revenue. But, if you increase to $2000, maybe you only get $8000.
That’s why it’s essential to scale slowly, and monitor your numbers carefully. You want to be able to find the sweet spot that works best for your business.
What About Other Business Types?
Right now, the jury is still out for most types of businesses. The competition is fierce and the cost is quite high.
You need to know your numbers. For example, if you’re spending $500 on ads and your revenue is only $501, is it worth it?
It may be if that’s just your front end. If you’re building up a relationship, and your customer lifetime value is a lot more than $1, then it’s worth it.
I’ll keep researching and write an update as I find more.
Using Conversions Instead of Clicks
Finally, make certain you hook up Google Analytics. It’s free. And when you have analytics connected to adwords, Google will be better able to help you get better conversions based upon how you have it set up.
Looking for more information on conversions? Check out this article from Google Support.