Angelo Zammit
Angelo Zammit 30 April 2018

How effective is google AdWords for small businesses

I always have my merchants (customers) ask me whether or not it's a good idea or beneficial to implement social or Google ad campaigns into their current marketing strategy. My answer is always the same and in this article you will hopefully gain some insight as to why that is.

For over a decade of working in the marketing industry I have watched trends come and go as well as particular methods used to increase a business’s revenue and customer acquisition. But one very powerful method that has changed its algorithm so dramatically over the years has made it really not so cost effective or really effective at all for that matter when it comes to the small business. If you have not figured out by now what I am referencing yes, Google AdWords is what I’m speaking of.

Although Google AdWords can do an awful lot when done strategically and to a science. You must continuously watch the campaign as you are running it in order for you to make the necessary changes as far as geography, promotions, target audience etc. until you find that beautiful something we as marketers all look for.

Now, pay-per-click (ppc) ads that appear in Google search results pages can be extremely beneficial when it comes to generating traffic which in result converts in to customers which converts into sales by pushing your business to the very top of the search results.


Now I’d like to say there is an even playing field for the small business when it comes to ppc but I’d be lying. Truth is Google AdWords campaigns can blow through your marketing budget very quickly before you even see results.

First you must find the perfect keywords to invest you dollars into and even that does not guarantee you success, because you have the big dog cooperate companies paying the big bucks to lock in those same keywords and willing to pay a higher cost to solidify them and rank well beyond your means.

Which brings me to the thing I hate most, (the alternative), most marketing companies give you the bright idea to simply lower your ccp or cost per click? But that really isn’t the solution either nor is it that bright; it’s rather annoying in fact.

I always tell my customers to keep in mind, there are well over a million advertising companies fighting for the top spot on Google and any keyword relative to your business you can assume 100% has been used and is being used.

In addition, lowering your ccp puts you in a position of constantly fighting for high ranking key words, your continuously competing for the top spot without ever having the funds or leverage to achieve that goal. Zoning in on the thought that lowering your ccp will benefit you will be devastating to your campaign and ego. The end result is you will be wasting your time, your efforts, research and money on a pointless strategy that really won’t bring you any business at all.

I would like to take the time to say my intentions are not to place shade on my industry, rather just point out that there are a lot of hack jobs and frauds out there that are looking to take your money knowing they are really not qualified, educated enough as well as experienced in the field of running Google or social ad campaigns.

Before you decide to hand your money to some agency or freelancer who will ultimately just make a huge mess of things, do your research on them at the very least. Go through their website and see what they have accomplished as well as some of the big names they have worked for. See what services they offer exactly and check for real reviews. Ask to see some analytics of campaigns they have successfully run in the past preferably compared to a business similar to yours if possible.

Google AdWords is an Art (It’s harder than you think)

It’s not as simple as it may seem to just hope on Google and start running campaigns that will actually bring a R.O.I. It takes talent, experience and skill as well as a fine attention to detail, the ability to predict where things are heading and tweak things when necessary.

Let’s get real for a moment, if Google or social ads campaigns were as easy as it sounds corporations around the world wouldn’t be paying agencies millions and billions of dollars to do it for them. They would just have the secretary throw out an ad here or there at base salary.

Google AdWords can still be effective for the small business

So after all the downside, I’d like to talk Google AdWords up just a bit. When it comes to a small businesses budget every cent down to the penny must be accounted for and distributed correctly in order to bring the greatest result.

What I have learned, is really getting to know the businesses needs and target customer can go a long way. What product or service sell the most, what’s the average ticket sale per customer, what drives the most revenue for the business, what are the slow days etc.? These key components are extremely valuable and especially when it comes to running a successful social or Google ad campaign.

But the most profitable information to me still lies in getting to know and understand your competition, (what are your competitors doing). The more you understand, know and learn about what your competitors are doing, the better you can execute a strategic plan to rid of them and cut ahead of the line and potentially take their customers.

For example, if you own a coffee shop and Joe’s Coffee Shop is a direct competitor within a 2 mile radius let’s say, and they are running a weekend special of BOGO sm/coffee, well you could put an add out promoting a BOGO md/coffee weekend special and outdo their promotions thus drawing their customers in to your location in hopes of keeping them long term.

Try to remember though; there are two types of customers, loyal ones and bargain shoppers. You’re going to want to do your very best to weed out the bargain shoppers. They are only looking for the business who offers the best deal.

And a little off topic but to cover all angels a good way to do that is to implement some kind of opt-in loyalty rewards program that provides you strong analytics on each customer. A rewards program that collects a database of mobile numbers that allows you to contact your customer’s in real time. The good thing about rewards programs is it shows you customer habits and how many times per month they are visiting your store. Thus allowing you to focus on and reward the ones who actually support your business.

In conclusion I hope you got something out of this article and realize that the short answer is yes, Google AdWords can indeed work for the small business if done correctly.

Truth is I could go on and on with a list of marketing solutions that will benefit your business as well as the pros and cons of social and Google ads. But the end result always comes down to the marketing agency you choose to represent you and going into an ad campaign with a complete understanding that setting your expectations to high and not doing your homework will result in failure and disappointment.

Always hope for the best but more importantly plan for it! Do not just go in blind thinking you have the best service(s) or product(s) so people are going to flock to your store. Simply believing the fact that people just aren’t aware of your brand is the reason your sales are not that of a Walmart is simply arrogance.

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