Is AdWords Worth it? – A look at why it might go wrong for you.

Is AdWords Worth It? A question that passes the lips of many a marketer and business owner. Here, I’ll take a look at whether it’s worth it for your business, and if you are making some very common mistakes that could be detrimental to your AdWords Success.

After speaking with various different people in a number of business groups online, I’ve noticed people have an issue with AdWords. Part of this is stemmed from their own experience, other parts come from stuff they have read or Target Marketbeen told by so-called marketing experts. You see it all the time, articles in newspapers, on blogs and all over Facebook; “ADWORDS IS A WASTE OF MONEY”. True, it can be, but only as much as any other marketing activity can be if you are not doing it right.

Paid Search, and paid advertising in general, is something businesses often feel they shouldn’t have to do, or that they don’t get value out of. First of all, it something you have to do if you want to reach the right audience, sometimes. I can see where the idea comes from; I’ve seen it plenty of times myself and in previous jobs I have been asked to, and successfully negated the need for AdWords and gain leads from other sources, so it’s not always needed. However, if you are a business that is struggling to gain momentum with SEO or Social Marketing, AdWords is something worth spending time and money on.  Second, if you are not getting the value out of it, then perhaps an assessment of what you are doing is called for.

Let’s take a look at the fundamental mistakes a lot of businesses and long-established marketers make when it comes to AdWords.

1. You Don’t Use Negative Keywords

There are many ways of manipulating Keywords so that you are not wasting money on visits from people who aren’t really looking for what you’re selling. One of the more simple ways is to include negative keywords; something I bet most reading this don’t do. Businesses that don’t implement management of negative keywords often find that they spend more than is necessary.

Excluding the irrelevant words that commonly bring people to your site via Adwords is one way of continually controlling wastage.

2. You don’t manage it frequently enough

You should be spending time on AdWords every single week. If you are working with an agency, make sure that this is part of your contract if AdWords is something you want to invest in. Checking in once a month is typically not enough.

Costs can creep up and conversions can stay low; it’s best to keep an eye on it and make small changes each week than to overhaul the account every couple of months. That’s a rookie mistake.

3. You’re not grouping your keywords correctly share

I’ve worked with some pretty dire looking AdWords accounts were current or previous managers have just lumped all their keywords into one group, thrown Keywords that don’t make sense in the context of the group and so on. It can be a disaster! This means your ads aren’t relevant to your keywords, the quality score slips and your ads don’t show.

4. You don’t have enough ads

Another commonly witnessed error in my work is seeing AdWords campaigns with just one ad set up. To business people this might make sense; when putting an ad in the local paper, you only put one in. It doesn’t work like that only; alternating search terms, competitor ads and other elements all come in to whether your ad will be shown and clicked. It’s considered (and has been repeatedly proven) to be best practice to set up at least three ads for each group and to make ammendments as time goes on.

thumbs up-OK5. You’re not active enough

I’ve worked with accounts where the business owner has complained that they don’t get results, and when I check it turns out they haven’t updated it in months, sometimes years! AdWords isn’t something you can just set up and expect to do its work; it has to be actively managed and updated. Low quality ads, changes in your web content, changes in AdWord’s standards; these are the things that happen while you leave AdWords to the side and all the things that will stop you from getting results.

So what can you do about it? You can either invest more time in AdWords or you can get help from a professional who will afford more time and expertise to your AdWords campaigns. AdWords really is worth investing in for some businesses, particularly SMEs or businesses in very saturated markets. It’s not worth giving up on until you really examine what you are doing. If you need help with AdWords, make sure you contact us to see how we can help. 

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Richard Coen

With over 21 years of experience in Digital Marketing, 31 years in sales and 25 years in business development, Richard assists companies to develop key growth strategies on a local or international basis. He can assist marketers to achieve balance in their approach to key areas affected by the growth in digital marketing.