One of the most common questions we get from business owners and marketing managers is this: “Does Google Ads work?” And of course, obviously, the answer is yes. It’s such a decisive thing (it works!) that you would think people would stop wondering about this. But I do get why it’s a question. Business owners and marketing managers have to use their marketing budget as wisely as possible, money doesn’t grow on trees, and they want to make sure they’re doing the right thing by advertising on Google. Beyond the understandable concern about money, if an advertiser has worked with an unethical or unskilled agency in the past or doesn’t know their way around Google Ads, then it can raise some questions about how well it can work. But FEAR NOT! When Google Ads is run in a smart way, with a focus on efficiency and profitability, for a solid business that competently provides products or services that people actually want, then yes, Google Ads works nearly 100% of the time.
Follow The Money
Let’s talk about why it works. First up, think about it. If Google Ads did not work, do you think Google’s revenue would have grown from $29 billion in 2010 to almost $200 billion in the last twelve months? Where did that extra $170 billion in annual revenue come from? Was it just good luck? Of course not! They’ve grown their annual revenue by $170 billion in the last decade. That’s $500 million in daily new revenue they didn’t have a decade ago. Why are businesses giving them an extra $500 million every single day that they didn’t give them a decade ago? Because it works! If Google Ads didn’t work, businesses wouldn’t continually be spending more and more money to show their ads on Google search results, YouTube, and display placements across the web.
Proof That Google Ads Works
It’s clear Google Ads works and businesses want to advertise on Google. But the question many business owners and marketing managers have is, “How do I know it works?” The answer to this is simple. I am able to prove to my clients that Google Ads works by focusing on three areas in Google Ads: search terms, conversions, and cost per conversion.
What They Actually Typed In Google
Did you know that in your Google Ads account, you’re able to see what search users searched in Google when they saw and clicked on your ads? This is a real thing, and it’s one of the most important areas of my job as a Google Ads consultant. These are called search terms. Search terms are what people actually typed into Google when they saw and clicked on your ad. Search terms are everything. Search terms come from your keywords. Keywords are what you target, search terms are what you get. For example, if your keyword is “moving companies” you could show up for the search moving companies near me, which would be great. But you could also show up for the search car moving companies, which would be bad if you don’t move vehicles. Controlling what search terms you get clicks from with your keyword match types and your negative keywords is the secret to Google Ads success. There’s always nuance with Google ads, and sometimes a “loose keyword strategy” is called for, but most of the time, the secret to Google Ads success managing your account in a way where you only show up on relevant, high-quality search terms where the search user is showing you that they are actually looking for exactly what you offer. Assuming your ads and landing pages are solid, then it’s very likely you’ll get awesome results from Google Ads if you make sure you only show up on high-quality, super-relevant search terms.
Search terms are the most important part of Google Ads. Get them right, and it is very likely that Google Ads will work for your business. But get them wrong, and nope, it’s not going to work. Search terms are essential to making Google Ads work.
How does an e-commerce company know if Google Ads is working? The answer is if the Google Ads traffic is bringing in sales. How does a service company know if Google Ads is working? The answer is if the Google Ads traffic is bringing in leads, phone calls, and contact form submissions. It’s simple. If Google Ads is working, you’ll be getting leads and sales from your Google Ads traffic.
How do you know if you’re getting leads and sales from your Google Ads traffic? Conversion tracking. Conversion tracking shows you how many sales, phone calls, and contact form submissions that you’re getting from your Google Ads traffic. With the magic of Google Ads tracking that is both powerful and simple to set up, you’re able to track every sale and lead you receive from Google Ads traffic, down to the keyword and ad that produce the conversion.
You don’t have to wonder if Google Ads works. The answer is right there in your conversion column. When you run ads on Google, you’ll either get conversions, sales and leads, or you won’t. And when Google Ads is run correctly, you will get sales and leads, and you’ll see them right there in your conversion column.
Cost Per Conversion
The final piece to the Google Ads puzzle is ensuring that you’re paying the correct amount for sales and leads from Google Ads and that you’re acquiring those conversions profitably.
For example, if your revenue from selling a dining table is $300, you can’t have your cost per conversion be $300 because then your profit (less than your $300 revenue) is less than your $300 acquisition cost. Or in the lead generation space, if it takes you 5 leads to get a customer, and your revenue per customer is $400 and your cost per lead is $100, then you’re losing money. You’re paying $500 (5 leads multiplied by a $100 cost per conversion) to acquire a customer that is only worth $400 in revenue, you’re losing money.
We generally like to see returns on ad spend of 4 to 5 times or higher. If you’re getting back $4, $5, or more for every dollar you put into Google Ads, it’s very likely that you’re making money. Check out our Google Ads Profit Calculator to determine what your cost per conversion should be to turn a profit.
Cost per conversion and return on ad spend are very important topics in Google Ads, and there’s much more to be said about them. But for the purposes of this article, the key thing to remember is that we can control what our cost per conversion and return on ad spend are, and that helps us ensure that our campaigns are bringing in sales and leads at a profitable cost level.
And one final point about cost per conversion. Do not forget that this is a simple concept! Cost per conversion is a function of cost per click and conversion rate. The higher your cost per click, the higher your cost per conversion will be. And the lower your conversion rate is, the higher your cost per conversion will be. It works the other way too. Low cost per click and high conversion rates lead to a low cost per conversion. Cost per conversion is determined by cost per click and conversion rate. Cost per click can be controlled to a large extent, though not completely, as Google Ads is an auction system. Each industry has its own bidding levels depending on how much companies are willing to pay. And conversion rate can be improved with negative keywords, effective ad copy, and a quality landing page experience.
Google Ads Works
If you have a solid business that provides something that people both want and search for in Google, and if you have a good website, then Google Ads should be working for you. Through a focus on quality search terms, complete conversion tracking, and a profitable cost per conversion, you can make Google Ads work!
Here at Rothman PPC, we’ve been making Google Ads work for hundreds of clients around the world since 2014. Every day we run our campaigns to achieve pristine search terms reports, fully transparent conversion tracking, and profitable cost per conversion levels. And when these three things are being done for advertisers that run businesses that provide something people search for and want, Google Ads works and produces incredible results! Contact us today for help with Google Ads. We’ll make Google Ads work for you too!