Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) first came on the scene over 20 years ago. The internet landscape has changed a lot since then.
Online advertising is more competitive and more complex than it used to be. You have more ad networks and marketing strategies to choose from.
With all the changes, are Google Ads still worth it in 2022?
In this article, we’ll lay out the reasons why Google Ads are worth the investment (and tell you when they’re a waste of money).
What Are Google Ads?
Google Ads is an online advertising platform that businesses can use to promote products and services on the internet.
When you make a Google search, the top results on the page are often ads related to your search term. These search ads are the most well-known type of Google Ad, but they’re not the only ones that Google offers.
You can also use Google Ads to advertise on YouTube, show banner ads on sites around the web, promote apps on Google Play, and more.
Most Google Ads are pay-per-click (PPC) ads, but some are also based on impressions or app installs.
What’s the success rate of Google Ads?
Your success rate using Google Ads will depend on a variety of factors, like how much time you invest in optimizing your campaigns, what industry you’re in, and the type of ads you’re running.
For example, one way to measure the effectiveness of Google Ads is to look at the average cost per click (CPC). The average cost per click varies wildly between industries. Attorneys pay an average CPC of $8.67 per click, while restaurants only pay $1.73.
But that doesn’t mean Google Ads aren’t successful for lawyers. After all, a single legal client could be a significant source of revenue, while a single restaurant customer probably won’t be.
The best way to track the impact of ads is to track their conversion rate. But benchmarks range wildly based on the industry. For example, the average search ad conversion rate for products in the animals and pets industry is an impressive 19.19%, while furniture only has a 3.25% conversion rate.
This isn’t too surprising, since people tend to shop around a lot before buying an expensive piece of furniture. Meanwhile, it might just take one Google search for a customer to commit to a bag of cat food.
The bottom line is that running PPC ads is effective for most businesses. 74% of brands and 79% of agencies say that PPC is a huge driver for their business. And with a leading PPC market share of 27.5%, Google Ads is the ad platform these companies are most likely to be using.
If you’re wondering what your personal PPC ROI would be, try out our free calculator.
11 Reasons Google Ads Are Worth It in 2022 and Beyond
Google Ads are proven to drive traffic and conversions for many businesses. But you don’t want to waste money, so you have to be selective about what you add to your marketing mix. Are Google Ads really worth the investment?
Here are our top 11 reasons to choose Google Ads.
1. Everyone Googles
Its closest competitor, Bing, only has a 7.88% market share on desktop and 0.45% on mobile.
The rest of the Google ecosystem also dominates the internet. Websites owned by Google (including the search engine and other sites, like YouTube) have more than 272 million monthly visitors in the U.S. alone. That’s more than top PPC ad competitors Facebook and Microsoft.
And more importantly, when people are researching new products, 57% of them first turn to a Google-owned site. In other words, if you want your ads to be where the potential customers are, that’s on Google.
2. The ads reach the people looking for you
You have a business selling handmade wooden buckets. What type of person is most likely to buy your product?
Probably the person currently typing “handmade wooden bucket” into Google.
Google Ads go above and beyond many other types of advertising because they’re not just targeting the general population or a certain demographic (although you can do that too). They’re targeting people who are actively searching for a product like yours.
Conversion rates are bound to be higher when you connect with a potential customer who is already searching for a business like yours.
3. It’s easy to get started with Google Ads
Just create a Google Ads account (you can use an existing Google account, like your Gmail address), fill out a bit of information, add a payment method, and you can start creating ads.
Google needs to review your ads before they can run. The review process typically happens within one business day and the ads will start running as soon as they’re eligible.
Getting started is fast and easy — if you create an account today, you could be seeing views, clicks, and even sales by tomorrow. But Google Ads has a steep learning curve. Becoming an expert and getting the maximum ROI will take time.
If you have no idea what you’re doing, the best idea might be to outsource the job to PPC experts.
4. Google Ads will work with any budget
Whether you’re able to spend $100 or $100,000 per month, you can use Google Ads effectively.
When you create an ad campaign with Google Ads, you choose an average daily budget. This is the rough amount you can afford to spend each day.
Google uses your average daily budget amount to determine how often your ads can be displayed.
One thing to note: It is possible to exceed your average daily budget in a day. That’s because Google optimizes your campaign spend for the days when you’re more likely to get clicks and conversions, such as when search traffic is higher. So on some days, you might spend more than your average daily budget, while on others, you’ll spend less.
However, you can rest assured that you’ll never spend more than your daily spending limit (which is two times your average daily budget) or your monthly spending limit (which is 30.4 times your average daily budget).
5. You only pay if someone clicks
Google’s search ads are PPC (pay-per-click) ads, meaning you pay a small amount every time someone clicks on your ad.
That’s all there is to it — there are no other fees for using Google Ads. So if your PPC ad never sends a user to your website, you don’t have to pay anything.
Not all Google Ads are PPC ads, but the principle is the same. If you run a pay-per-impression (CPM) campaign, you won’t spend a dime unless someone sees your ad.
6. There’s an Ads format for everyone
Search ads are Google’s most famous ad type, but maybe you’re trying to build brand awareness and a display ad makes more sense.
Or maybe you’re a plumbing business, and you don’t want to send potential customers to your website — you want them to call you right away. You might do best with a call-only ad.
No matter what your advertising objective is, there’s a Google Ads format that fits it perfectly.
7. The targeting is precise
We’ve talked about how Google search ads target your ideal customer through keywords. That’s not the only targeting that Google has to offer.
You can also make sure your ad reaches the right people by choosing audience segments to target. These audiences include:
- Affinity audience: Based on what people are passionate about and their habits and interests
- Detailed demographics: Based on things like age, gender, marital status, and home ownership
- Life events: People who are in the midst of important life milestones
- Custom audience: Targeted by entering relevant keywords, URLs, and apps
- In-market: Based on recent purchase intent
- Remarketing: People who have visited your website or apps, current customers, or people similar to those groups
With so many options, you can ensure your ad lands in front of the people most likely to buy.
8. You can start and stop your campaigns at any time
Don’t have time to monitor Google Ads or the budget to run them this month? No problem. You can pause your campaigns and start them up whenever you feel like it. You won’t be locked into any long-term commitment, and you can always make adjustments to your ads.
This makes the platform flexible and cost-effective.
9. The ads can be effective quickly
Paid search ads are often compared to search engine optimization (SEO) and organic search. Both marketing tactics play an important role in sending search engine users to your business.
SEO involves making changes to your website that will organically drive traffic and conversions long-term. But it can take several months of effort to really see noticeable changes.
Google search ads are different. Start them up now, and you could have a significant increase in traffic and sales within days. (That said, campaigns are usually more effective after you optimize them for a while — we recommend starting out with a smaller budget and ramping up.)
10. Google Ads are easy to optimize
The Ads platform provides you with a wealth of data that you can use to continually improve your ad campaigns.
It even gives you ad optimization suggestions so you don’t have to figure it all out yourself.
Your Optimization Score estimates how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. When you make Google’s suggested changes to your account, you can see your Optimization Score increase.
The Optimization Score and Google’s suggestions shouldn’t be followed blindly, but they’re helpful guidelines to get you started improving your campaign performance.
11. Google Ads helps you learn about your audience
You can learn a lot from PPC ads.
Like which keywords or images resonate most with potential customers or which audience segments have the highest conversion rate.
You can use this data to improve your PPC ad campaigns. But that’s not all.
The information you glean from running ads on Google can also help you with your other marketing efforts. The highest-performing PPC keywords can be used in your next SEO campaign. Your next email subject line can be inspired by the ad copy that gets the most clicks.
Google Ads help you reach your target audience no matter what type of marketing campaigns you’re executing.
When Are Google Ads NOT Worth It?
One of the great things about Google Ads is that anyone can create and launch an advertising campaign. But the downside is that it takes time and expertise to do it right.
Small businesses, especially, often don’t have time to learn all the ins and outs of Google Ads or to monitor and optimize campaigns. If you’re not using the best Google Ads strategies, you’ll probably be disappointed in your results.
To be brutally honest, Google Ads can be a waste of money if you’re running suboptimal campaigns. If you want to get the best ROI, it’s worth working with experts who can manage your PPC campaigns for you.
Want to Make Google Ads Worth the Investment?
The bottom line is that Google Ads are definitely worth it in 2022 — if you have the time and know-how to get the most for your money.
If that’s not something you can take on right now (or if you just want to outsource the work to an agency with a proven track record), we’re here to help.
Schedule a free consultation with a Google Ads expert today.