5 Reasons Google Ads Don’t Work

When we meet with business owners, we often hear that Google Ads “don’t work”. The owners are well meaning, but the reasons their Google Ads don’t work ranges from a lack of understanding to the comical. Some of the reasons may sound familiar. Let’s review the most common:

Social Media Works, Not Search

Most of us are excited by what is new and shiny. Advertising is no different. By digital standards, search is ancient. Search was a hot topic over 10 years ago. Social Media is a great place to advertise. But even Facebook has seen usage start to stagnate and in some age groups, decline. The volume of Search clicks continues to grow.

Organic Search (SEO) is Free

Remember when you first heard the expression “there is no such thing as a free lunch”? It might not have made sense until someone explained why. The same is true of SEO. Very few of us write compelling content on a regular basis. And, get that content out to drive backlinks. And, can handle the technical backend on our websites. If you can, then your time is very valuable and every minute you spend working on your site could have been used to make money elsewhere. If you are not able to handle all these tasks, then you need to hire someone. Either way, it is not free.

Nobody Clicks on Ads

Google’s revenue in 2018 was over 132 Billion dollars. Most of that was from Search. As mentioned above, the volume of paid clicks is growing. People click on paid ads. The top 3 ad positions garner 46% of the clicks on a page. According to one study 46% of the population does not know the difference between a paid ad and an organic ad. The same study noted that paid ads brought in 50% more conversions than organic traffic.

Search Advertising is Expensive

This is a reasonable concern. However, many businesses do not know the lifetime value of a customer. Most businesses only consider the first purchase. A furniture store may sell a new customer a couch. However, what if that customer may returns a year later and purchases a dining room set. Then that consumer comes back for bedroom furniture. A customer who was valued at $2,000 has now spent $8000. In other words, that customer is four times more valuable than originally thought. If the business knows their conversion rate (many do not) and the lifetime value of a customer, then we can calculate how much they can afford to spend per click. Often, it is far more than originally believed.

I Tried Search, It Did Not Work

We have reviewed many search campaigns that “did not work”. In most cases, we could easily find the reason for a lack of success. The reasons varied. Sometimes there was not a clear goal or objective. In other cases, tracking was not properly implemented so optimizations were lacking. Most of the time, campaigns don’t work because they are improperly constructed. Google Ads is not the easiest platform to master. The interface has many layers which are usually learned by repetition. Hiring a digital agency is often the most cost-effective means of using this media.

Google Ads Work

Google Ads is used successfully by millions of businesses. Like any media, basic advertising principles need to be followed. Have a clear objective. Understand your sales funnel and know your target cost for customer acquisition. Finally, use the advertising tool correctly. If you are uncertain of any of these steps, contact us for a free audit of your digital advertising.