Is Google AdWords any good?

Great question, with a fairly straight forward response.

Google Ads work for some and not others (50/50 chance)

Some people don’t really understand how it works, but sail along on the premise it’s easy to set up (too easy) This makes it a lucrative way for Google to make money and unless you have the right controls in place and you can analyse your true profit and loss, it can be a very expensive way for your company to trade online.

The best way to test Google AdWords is as follows:

1. Work with just a few keywords or phrases first. Choose the ones that your customers are likely to type in, not your competition. Many of your customers will not know any technical jargon relating to your business, so it’s important to choose the words and or phrases ‘joe bloggs’ will be familiar with.

2. Use exact match for the words and phrases you choose.

3. Use a different advert for each keyword/phrase and make sure the ad links to a page specifically relevant to same.

4. Make sure you have a clear call to action button/area on the page – whether it be ‘request free brochure’, ‘buy now’, ‘add to cart’, ‘contact us’, etc.

5. Set your daily budget as tight as possible – Google won’t need any help spending your daily budget, so don’t spend more than you can afford to lose (if it ends up not working for you)

6. Run the test for up to a week, checking daily.

7. Keep your adverts in the top positions on page 1 – you can do this by changing the amount you are prepared to pay, each time someone clicks on the advert and enters your website.

8. Add conversion tracking to help you understand how much each sale or lead costs. Use E-Commerce tracking on Google Analytics if you have an online store.

9. If you cannot track conversions online, make sure you track increased traffic and enquiries day by day (ask people how they found you)

10. Ensure your keywords are in the advert title and make your ad description as inviting and appealing as possible (to encourage people to visit your site)


Google AdWords can be a great way of maintaining a strong presence on the world’s most popular search engine (if it works) and you can switch it on and off according to how much extra work/sales you want. It can be done in 5 minutes, either way. Organic Search is a lot more involved and isn’t as easily switched on or off.

And for those of your sceptics that say people don’t click on the adverts, let me tell you how wrong you are. Google Ads on some computer screens blend in so well, you can’t tell them apart from organic listings. Also, if you really have a good web page relating to the words or phrases you want to be found for, the results can be absolutely fantastic.

I would not recommend using AdWords if your web pages are unclear or disjointed (i.e they don’t represent a true description of the keywords the user typed in OR there is no clear call to action on the page) That is a serious waste of money.

If you are unsure about how well your web pages will perform, it’s worth getting a marketing professional or optimisation specialist to take a look. They will be able to guide you on what needs to be addressed (if anything) to ensure you make the most of your website visitors.

After all, people don’t have time these days to trawl through dozens of pages – the sooner they can find what they are looking for the better – right?