Are Google Ads Worth It?: The Pros and Cons of Google Ads

November 8, 2023 / Courtney Pierce

Google Ads have a way of integrating themselves into search results that make them look organic. Think of your last Google Search. It could be on any subject. Did you notice the top few results have a small banner over the top that reads “Sponsored”? Or the last time you opened YouTube, your video started with a short ad roll? Did it have something to do with your previous browsing history or maybe even a local business? Or have you opened your G-mail account to notice extra e-mails with a small box that read “AD” in your promotions inbox? Google Ads are everywhere in the day-to-day. It is no surprise that so many businesses look to advertise through the platform. But are Google Ads really worth it for your business?

A (Very) Brief History of Google Ads

Google Ads started in 2000 under the name of Ad Words. Initially, campaigns were run directly by Google, though they opened up self-managed campaigns shortly after. It wasn’t until 2018 that Google Ads evolved into something close to what it is today. The change was not only in the name. The change from Ad Words to Google Ads also integrated a single management point for ad campaigns. This allows ads to appear across different devices and Google-owned brands and services with the use of keyboards and cookie technology. Today, Google Ads is a leading marketing and online advertisement platform for businesses of all sizes.

Pro: Google Ads Have Reach

In 2006, the term “Google” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. This is a testament that the name had grown too big to be confined to being just a single brand, and instead took its place in the ordinary vernacular and conversations of everyday people. It is no surprise that Google has been named one of the World’s Most Valuable Brands and held on to that title for years now as it has worked itself into every facet of life as we know it both business and personal.

It is estimated that Google tackles say that “ 8.5 billion searches daily and roughly 2 trillion global searches annually. Given that the average individual conducts 3 to 4 searches daily, it can be inferred that hundreds of millions of people use Google each day,” online sources say. Not only contained to the search engine, Google Ad can be utilized across the brand’s other platforms, such as YouTube, Gmail, and more. That sort of reach and brand recognition can be invaluable to a business of any size, and it is easy to see why so many companies choose to use Google Ads based on reach alone. 

Pro: Google Ads Offer Multiple Training Resources and Tools

Google Ads have a veritable treasure trove of training and learning tools available for any business. Offered directly from Google, there are YouTube walk-throughs, free SkillShop classes, training blogs, and a connection to a help team to field any questions. Even the most skilled ad crafter will surely find something new knowledge to tuck away. These resources are easily accessible on both desktop and mobile platforms, so you can take your learning with you wherever you go. 

Pro: Google Ads Can Provide Meaningful Data

Google Ads works with Google Analytics in a way that will have you reeling in data. At the beginning of any ad campaign, a user can set up a goal to track. A business may be looking for new leads, increased site traffic, or higher sales, and Google ads make it easy to set up a campaign with any of these goals and track efficiency and R.O.I. through the native dashboard. The ad dashboard is home to a customizable scorecard based on your own personal business needs. Want to track sales conversion? Easy. Want to see how your customer base is growing or areas for improvement? Say no more. Measurable data is critical to setting smart, attainable, and realistic goals for any growing business. 

Pro: Google Ads are Designed to Fit Any Sized Budget

Google Ads makes campaign marketing affordable for businesses at every level with any budget. It is suggested for beginners to start campaigns for as low as $10-$15 a day. You could, in theory, start lower even that. It is essential to check ad statistics daily to ensure your budget is appropriately allocated.

Con: Google Ads Can Have a Steep Learning Curve

When it comes to setting up ads, there can be a steep learning curve. Google Ads are easy to access but can be challenging to handle with the finesse and mastery guaranteeing success. It is essential to know how to utilize keywords and negative keywords while partnering the proper conversion actions to any ad campaign. Free training courses through Skillshop can give you the basic intro steps, but additional studies and testing are recommended to ensure that your Ads are doing their best for your business. 

Con: Google Ads Require a Well Crafted Digital Space Already in Place

Before crafting Google Ad campaigns, you should have already set up your digital space. Your website or presence online is a reflection of your business and should be easy to navigate. Google Ads can lead someone to your space, but is limited in its ability to interact with potential clients and customers. 

Learn more about the five mistakes to avoid when setting up your digital space.

Con: Google Ads Require Upkeep and Follow-Up

Business constantly evolves, and your marketing should grow alongside business and customer needs. Over time, ads may lose effectiveness. It is imperative to continue to update ads with new keywords, negative keywords, and SEO practices to ensure that your ads are staying up with trends and running at maximum effectiveness. 

Con: Google Ads May Have Higher Costs in More Competitive Industries

Google Ads runs off of a pay-per-click, or PPC, cost model. This means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad rather than paying for an ad outright. In a PPC model, costs and clicks may not always translate into sales. You can set maximum click bids to keep costs low.However, in competitive categories, costs can multiply if you want your ads to be effective. 

So, are Google Ads worth it?

TL;DR: It depends

For a business that is just starting, the low cost is a great way to get ads out. For well-practiced keyword and algorithm experts, Google Ads can have enormous opportunities for returns.
You have to go into an ad campaign with flexibility, a passion for learning, and a willingness to invest time to be successful. Whether crafting your digital space or creating an advertisement plan through Google Ads (or beyond), we suggest partnering with an expert to ensure a higher success rate and greater ROI on any ad campaign.

Digital Renegades is a Google Certified partner with a passionate team ready to help your business flourish in the digital space. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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Courtney Pierce

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Digital Renegades is a digital marketing and web solutions agency that partners with small and midsize businesses across the US. Our services include web development, branding, digital advertising, graphic design, SEO, DevOps, business automation, and more.

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