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Google Adwords: does it offer you value for money?

Google Adwords: does it offer you value for money?

There are plenty of businesses, large and small, seeing great results from Adwords campaigns. But it’s also true to say that numerous small businesses experiment with Google Adwords, before concluding that this style of advertising simply doesn’t work for them.

Why should there be different outcomes? Is it possible that Adwords offers a cost-effective approach for some, but not others? Based upon our own experiences, we would say that a number of factors need to be considered at an early stage.

The quality of your site, services and offer

The reality is that if your site fails to generate sales when receiving visitors from other channels, then it’s likely that you’ll face similar struggles when using Adwords. Conversion rates are all important here, making a massive difference to the returns that you are likely to see. Indeed, they can make the difference between a profitable campaign and something that simply won’t work for your business.

If you have a low Conversion Rate, then you’re going to end up buying a lot more visitors for your site, in order to generate a volume of sales. That’s unlikely to prove profitable.

It’s critical that your site should be functioning well, before you start to spend money on Adwords.

Get the campaigns set up properly from the outset

The initial weeks of an Adwords campaign will undoubtedly involve some level of experimentation. That’s to be expected, given that part of the approach will involve gathering data and tweaking the settings that you are using.

It’s not an excuse, however, for failing to create an account that follows best practice guidelines. That means thinking carefully about negative keyword lists and ensuring that the basics are all in place.

The Display Network

Let’s be honest here and say that Display Network advertising doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re seeing a lot of your budget heading out in this area, then it’s worth looking closely at the sort of returns that you’re getting back as a result of this spend.

Track everything!

I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get tracking installed properly. I mean Google Analytics, Adwords Conversion Tracking and anything else that you want to throw into the mix. The more tracking that’s in place, the better the outcomes.

If you don’t know exactly how visitors act, having clicked on specific ads, then you’ll never be able to target your budget effectively. This is the biggest difference between successful Google Adwords campaigns and those that struggle.

Be prepared to experiment

I’ve made mention of the need to experiment and you’ll need to accept that you won’t see a return from every single penny at the outset. In part, that’s where Adwords vouchers can help, providing some of the cash for the experimentation phase.

You need to experiment with keyword selections, but you also need to think about your site. Could you use multiple landing pages? How about testing different variations? It’s only by testing that you will see if improvements can be made.


An Adwords campaign should never be a static entity. It needs to be created in the appropriate manner, but you’ll also be required to tweak it on an ongoing basis.

There are clearly some products and services that don’t sell so well online, or specifically via Adwords. Our experiences would suggest, however, that most do. If Adwords isn’t producing value for money for your business, then it’s probably time to re-think your approach.

Search South are Google Certified Partners.

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