If you manage pay-per-click campaigns for different businesses, you may work with one that fails to find success on Google Ads. That’s a sad day.
It’s true: Google Ads does not work for some businesses. Some dive in too far too fast. Some don’t give the channel enough time to produce results. And some say their customers aren’t searching for them in that way, period.
So, they turn to other paid advertising channels to target users in the form of audiences or job titles, and, sure, these channels have their advantages for these reasons.
But here’s something to consider: Do businesses exist whose customers are unable to articulate what they're looking for? Do these customers not use "keywords" when they search?
If your business is one of these businesses, then stop reading. There’s nothing here for you.
The #1 Reason You Should Run Google Ads
If you're a business in the modern age that wants more customers, you need a website that generates leads from the traffic it attracts. And if you can simply state what you do and what your customers want, Google Ads has value for you. Why? Because PPC results fuel SEO strategy.
You can write a compelling company story and a message to prospective customers on your website, but if that story lacks the phrases necessary for attracting those prospective customers to you in the first place, what good is it?
Google Ads helps uncover relevant keywords for your business. Even if you’re convinced that Google Ads is not a good long-term strategy for you, the short-term play is to use the channel to find search phrases (keywords) that produce paying customers and then orient your website around those phrases.
PPC Leads To Learning About Your Audience
PPC helps you develop a clearer idea about what kind of information, imagery, and experience is needed on your landing page for visitors to make a purchase or reach out to you.
It's also faster and more trackable than SEO. You can see exactly which keywords produce conversions and the search terms behind the keyword. Sometimes, search terms end up providing you with more insight, becoming even more valuable to you than the keyword you used for targeting. PPC is the single best way to perform keyword research.
So, if you walk away from Google Ads with 0 sales, you still have the benefit of gathering data about your audience.
If you walk away with Google Ads with 0 sales (and the account was diligently managed by a steadfast PPC manager), then maybe the problem is something much deeper. Maybe something about your website or your offering needs to change. This is data worth paying for.
How Do Your Customers Search For You Online?
Develop a list of phrases that describe your business. Split these phrases into two simple lists: “problems” and “solutions.” For my business, a “problem” phrase might be “ppc with small budget” and a solution phrase might be “ppc for small business.” Splitting search phrases into these buckets helps put you in the shoes of your customers as they search for you online during early and late stage phases of their journey. Your prospective customers have phrases they use when searching for a business like yours. Your mission is to find those phrases.
How do you know which phrases are best to test? Search them on Google. Look at the paid and organic search results. Would it make sense for your business to appear there?
Once you test and discover the keywords that work best for your business, you can confidently produce blog articles addressing “problem” keywords and core service pages addressing “solution” keywords. When these pages start to rank organically, you’ll have more confidence knowing that customers will find you and want to do business with you.
Use PPC To Break Out Of Your Bubble
Early in my career, I was a copywriter. (Shout out to my sistren and brethren.) I wrote blogs for businesses to attract, inform, and inspire action. These blog topics were often influenced by a content strategy organized by business owners and marketers without taking their ideas to a search engine. The "attract" part of the strategy came last.
I want every business to avoid this mistake. Sure, your business might be different, your customers might not search for you in this way, and I told you, I told you at the beginning, there’s nothing here for you.
(Just Kidding) Google Ads Advice For Ultra-Niche Markets
I once worked with an early-stage business in the B2B industrial machinery technology industry. They wanted to use Google Ads to generate awareness and interest while learning more about their target audience. They also had trouble slapping one, all-encompassing term on their technology.
I conducted keyword research around aspects of the technology and emerging trends within their industry. These terms influenced a list of content topics we narrowed down to ones that would seem most compelling to the client's audience. We chose a single topic, created a compelling offer, and gated it behind a landing page (the tried and true “give us your name, business, and email to download our free offer” move).
For our Google Ads campaign structure, we used ad groups containing all three match types of the same keyword: broad modified, phrase, and exact match keywords. This was not a client with a big budget. We bid for low page positions and used broad modified match to bring in keyword variety (while always, always adding negative keywords as irrelevant terms appeared in the search terms report).
In three months, we yielded a batch of downloads (with prospective customer emails) at cheap cost-per-conversions. And this was for a business with no meaningful organic traffic. These terms influenced the blogs that would be written and published. (Waiting at the end of each blog was an invite to download the content offer.) We also settled on a cluster of terms that described their technology and incorporated those terms into a landing page for users to request a demo.
Eventually, yes, they stopped using Google Ads. But the channel was formative for their SEO strategy.
One More Time From The Top
Why put money into SEO if you’re not sure the strategy will produce the desired results? Investing in Google Ads helps you to spend more wisely on SEO. Google Ads allows you to test a set of keywords and corresponding content to see if they produce customers for your business before you launch an SEO strategy behind them.
But, if you need more reasons for investing in Google Ads, here they be:
Traffic carries high intent to convert
Searchers see you before seeing your competitors
Your competition invests in Google Ads (or, your competition ranks higher than you organically)
Google Ads has specific campaign types for targeting prospects at the start (research), the middle (consideration), and the end (purchase) of their journey
It's great if you want traffic from specific geographies
Results are often quick and within your allotted budget
There’s something for every business in Google Ads. It’s just a matter of setting the right goals and the right expectations for the platform.