Why Adwords Sucks for Your Small Business

Adwords for Small Business

Adwords. The holy grail. The savior of your small business. Guaranteed business and guaranteed more customers! Right?


It seems that when times get desperate or that you need additional revenue for your business you turn immediately to advertising. While advertising is always the lifeblood of any small business, it shouldn’t only be done when you are at a low point or slump in your business. The truth is advertising is something that should be constant and consistent. This goes especially for Adwords.

We’ve worked with many clients who presume that Adwords will save their small business when they are in a slow period. These are the businesses that have had a lot of success already, but never really adapted to the online game. They haven’t figured out the online acquisition strategy and really just didn’t grow.

This is the type of business that doesn’t have a budget set aside and expect the world when it comes to Adwords advertising. After hiring a company to work on their Adwords campaign, they immediately start praying and watching their spend closely. With every click they hope that the phone will ring. With every click they count the dollars and start sweating.

Then, after hawking the campaign for a couple weeks and getting frustrated at the lack of results, they decide to turn off the campaigns out of pure frustration.

Frantically, the business owner picks up the phone to call the contracted advertising agency and demands that the campaign be shut off immediately. Not another dollar to be wasted.

The owner who is paying for the Adwords bill calls up the advertising agency and frantically begins screaming, audibly upset at the situation.

“Wait, you mean to tell me that I just spent $2,394 and got NO results? Not even one single [email protected]%&ing conversion?” They then proceed to fire the company that is running their advertising campaigns.

The advertising company, who just invested countless hours and resources in making this campaign as successful as possible, gets hit with a major loss. You see, the Adwords game is not something that runs for the short while. Even successful advertising campaigns, take quite a bit of effort and time to build.

Adwords for Small Business Takes Time

What’s wrong with this scenario?

The fact is that Adwords takes time. Especially, Adwords for small business. This isn’t some “miracle cure” for your business in which once you initiate a campaign you will immediately be profitable. Every campaign is unique, has unique keywords, objectives, bids, placements, targets, ads, etc.

There are no two campaigns alike, therefore each campaign must be optimized differently. Expecting results in 2-4 weeks with Adwords, on a limited budget in a competitive market where Cost Per Clicks (CPCs) average greater than $5.00 is going to get you in a very bad position very fast.

Not only will you waste a ton of time of the company that you hired, you will waste a ton of your money that would be best suited for a different form of advertising. There are a multitude of things you can do when you are on a budget. Adwords, however, requires dedication and a clear budget to work with.

Because this is an auction starting and stopping campaigns only hurts your adrank and position. In fact, when you pause your campaigns you lose your position altogether, which could affect your adrank, which in turn affects your bottom line and CPC.

The best Adwords strategy is to just let it run. Relax, this is a marketing campaign, things don’t happen over night. Things will take time, especially in a competitive industries like HVAC, Alternative Healthcare, or Real Estate. You must be patient and allow your campaigns to mature. Over time, you’ll get the campaigns optimized so well that they will be on auto pilot. At this point you’ll know exactly what placements to optimize and pour more resources in to.

However, this takes months, if not years to work up to. There is quite a bit that goes into optimizing an Adwords campaign. People search for all sorts of different things and even if you are bidding on exactly what you think the consumer wants, you may get surprised at what the user is actually searching. There is no magic bullet, and there is certainly no way to predict the user’s intent. It’s all relative to the unique campaign that you decided to set up.

Think about what needs to be tested in Adwords:

  • Keywords
  • Search Terms
  • Negative Keywords
  • Ad Extensions
  • Advertisements
  • Bids
  • Landing Pages

Each one of the elements mentioned above can be an article in and of themselves. The keywords need research. The search terms must be added. The negative keywords must be added to each campaign. Ad extensions need to be created and tested. Ads themselves need to be split tested. Bids need to be adjusted. Landing pages must be optimized.

There’s even more than this, but with just with the items mentioned, there are 7 variables that require testing. That means each variable needs to be optimized individually changing one at a time, whilst keeping all the others consistent. This ensures one variable isn’t conflicting with another. You are using dependent and independent variables altering one thing at a time so you have the maximum control of your advertising efforts. Effectively, you are running experiments to identify what works with your market and what does not. It’s an empirical, data driven approach.

An effective adverting agency would not make decisions based on feeling, but one based on actual data. In fact, if done correctly, this approach can bring additional insights into keywords and business extensions that are natural and that you never even thought of. What you are doing is simply letting the users decide what they want, instead of force feeding them services and products that they may not be interested in.

However, without this control you have no idea what correlates with what. When you change one variable, how does it affect the campaign as a whole? You’ll never know if you are just hoping and praying that your campaigns will be successful. If you are basing your campaigns on feeling, you’ll never know what actually drives consumer decisions.

If you’re a small business owner running Adwords campaigns, you have two options. Stop this minute. Or, continue with the knowledge that these things take time. After all, you aren’t paying for results, you’re paying for data. Data is king in this industry and you must hoard as much as you can to be successful. Once you accumulate data and know what works and what doesn’t work, you will know exactly how much to budget for an effective Adwords campaign.

What to do with Adwords for Small Business

Stop worrying so much. If you hired a reputable company, with significant Adwords experience, really the company doesn’t matter, nor does the actual campaign, just that they know how to optimize the placements and make decisions based on real data.  So long as they know what they are doing, you will be just fine.

After all, it takes money to make money. And Adwords is no exception. Never advertise out of desperation, this should always be part of the larger plan for your company. Plan your advertisements year round, not just because you need additional business and times are “slow”.

Advertising is an ongoing process that constantly requires refinement. So go out there, spend some cash and refine those campaigns.

If you would like a $100.00 Adwords Coupon, please contact us today.

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What experiences can you share about Adwords?