Are Google Ads Worth It? A Guide to PPC Success

The first time businesses see Google ads charges, it’s always a shock. “They want how much?!” you ask.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for small companies to rack up thousands of dollars in expenses weekly, just from rudimentary outreach – nothing special. Google can be a money-gobbling machine, leaving you wondering whether publishing ads on the platform is worth it.

This post helps you figure this out and answer the question; “Are Google ads worth it for small businesses?” As you might expect, it depends on how you use them. Professional approaches usually yield fantastic results but DIY operations may not.


What Are Google Ads?

Google Ads appear in Google search results (usually at the top). These help you bypass the need to invest in SEO for months before getting your content seen.

Let’s say you sell used cars. Your ads might appear similar to these when a user types the keywords “cheap used cars” into the search box:

Google writes the word “Sponsored” to indicate a paid page result. (Regular organic searches appear underneath).


Benefits of Google Ads


Once you get to grips with using Google ads effectively, the benefits are tremendous. Here’s a rundown of what to expect:


Easy retargeting: Advertise to the same users on third-party websites (reminding them of their interest in your products or services).

Measurable results: See everything from your click-through rate to your return on investment (the money you’re getting from using the service).

Multi-channel: Use ads in search engine results and other properties, including Google Shopping, YouTube, Google Maps, and Gmail.

Flexible campaigns: Get control over every aspect of your campaign, letting you adjust the bidding, keywords, copy, and audience.

Faster results: Get your content in front of your audience immediately – something that could take weeks with SEO.

More leads: Improve lead generation by targeting the demographics most likely to buy from you.

Higher ranking: Rank higher than leading competitors without investing in long-term SEO. Being able to get eyeballs on your marketing drives sales.


Setting Up Your Campaign


Setting up a simple Google Ad campaign is straightforward. The first step is to create an account to manage your advertisements and bidding strategy. Once this is up and running, you can begin your PPC journey.


How To Create a Google Ads campaign:


  1. Go to your Google Ads account and click the Campaign icon
  2. Click the drop-down menu and select Campaigns
  3. Click the “+” button to add a New Campaign
  4. Choose your campaign’s goal from Google’s drop-down menu
  5. Click continue


You don’t have to decide everything about your campaign straight away. Google lets you optimise it as you go along.

However, you should still do your best to customise it to benefit you. The less time you can spend fiddling around with it, the better.

To choose your campaign type:


  1. Select a campaign on your account
  2. Choose the campaign subtype and click continue


Doing this will bring you to an options menu that lets you choose where to launch your campaign. Choose from Search, Display, Video, Shopping, Demand Gen, App, Smart, and Performance Max (which lets you find leads across touchpoints).


Analysing Ad Performance


Once campaigns are up and running, analysing their performance is essential. Proper evaluation lets you assess whether they are meeting your objectives.

The first step is to set up tracking systems. Website, app, and phone cookies tell you every time a user clicks a link or converts in your online store. Google provides the tools for you to do this in ad settings.

Next, you’ll need to measure your return on investment (ROI) – the number of dollars you earn from every dollar spent on ads. Google calculates ROI for you (to prove the benefits of its services). However, you can also work it out yourself with the following equation:


ROI = (Revenue – Cost of goods sold)/ Cost of goods sold


“Cost of goods sold” simply means the marketing expenses of each sale. For example, the average ad might cost $5 but generate $50 worth of goods, making the ROI 900%.

After that, analyse the search terms report. It shows you how and where users found your ads. Understanding this lets you:


  • Target only keywords and terms relevant to your products and services
  • Add high-performance search terms to your target list
  • Specify “negative” terms (words and phrases where you don’t want your ads to appear)


Always keep an eye on your Google Ad Quality Store. The higher you can get this, the better.


Tips for PPC Success


Getting PPC right is notoriously challenging (which is why so many brands go to professional agencies for help). These follow best practices to ensure acceptable results, including:


  • Setting out what you want your PPC campaign to achieve (such as generating awareness, sales or leads)
  • Identifying your target audience (the people most likely to buy from you)
  • Doing keyword research, looking for what words and phrases leads use before landing on your website
  • Performing landing page optimisation for each keyword (something we recommend at Rough Idea Digital)
  • Tracking and analysing your marketing efforts to see whether they are working for your business
  • Working to improve your Quality Score (a metric Google uses to assess ad quality) to lower your costs and increase relevance
  • Trying different ad copy variations, and playing with word order to see what works best


Are Google Ads Right for You?


Whether Google Ads are right for you depends on your position. Undoubtedly they work for small businesses; it’s just a question of implementing them properly.

Google Ads will likely benefit you if you want to reach a target audience online and achieve fast results. The Analytics dashboard provides valuable information to determine where your campaign is on track.

However, Google Ads requires management and has a steep learning curve, which takes up valuable time. Therefore, consider hiring a professional agency to help you to avoid wasting money.

At Roughidea Digital, we create landing pages for each specific ad to maximise conversions. We also use tools to automate client acquisitions to nurture and close leads, reducing your workload. Get in touch today for the ultimate success with your ads.

Oli Cheveralls

Oli Cheveralls

I'm a digital marketing specialist with a proven experience taking small to medium sized local businesses to finalist in world renowned SEO awards, like SEMrush awards & Global Search Awards. With certifications from University of Western Australia, Yale, University of California, Davies & more Oli stands as an authoritative figure in the marketing space in Perth.

Let’s Work Together!

Kick start your project today with affordable rates. No lock in contracts. And working with a small business, where your best interests are my best interests.