After over two decades since its release, Google Ads is still standing strong among newer advertising platforms. It generated a whopping $209 billion of ad revenue in 2021 alone for Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
While the numbers are all there for the tech giant, the question remains: should businesses still choose Google Ads as their main advertising platform?
The short answer is: they may. But while the platform has its advantages, there are also potential challenges. Here, we’re going to examine the pros and cons of using Google Ads, so you can make an informed decision before you start using it.
First, let’s talk about the good stuff!
Table Of Contents
The pros of Google Ads
1. Google Ads help you reach a wider audience
Google is still the leading search engine, undisputed, maintaining a market share of over 90%. Google search ads allow you to reach audiences you probably couldn’t have with other platforms. And remember – we aren’t only talking about Google search itself here.
Google Ads also allows you to advertise on Gmail, Youtube, and millions of sites in Google Search and Google Display Network. So, regardless of the type of campaign you choose to run, you are guaranteed to reach many users.
Needless to say, if exposure is what you’re looking for, then Google Ads is your best bet.
2. Google Ads drive faster results than SEO
This is one of the most attractive benefits of using Google Ads, especially when comparing it to SEO. Getting your page on top of organic search results requires a lot of effort, and it can take months to get to that result.
With the right bid, Google Ads guarantees you a top space in the search engine instantly. With paid search you can move up from your competitors and reach your audience a lot quicker.
This is especially useful for new businesses that are looking to promote their services locally, for example.
Looking to start running Google Ads campaigns? Learn how to use GetResponse for creating paid search Google Ads to make the process fast and easy!
3. Google Ads has access to detailed analytics
Google Ads is equipped with quite impressive analytics about your user base, campaigns, ad campaigns, and the keywords you use. This gives you plenty of space for optimization. The interface itself makes it easy to skim through the data and find the information you care about the most.
When it comes to data, the most important benefit is the possibility to link your Google Ads account to Google Analytics (you can check how to do it here.)
This way, you unlock multiple insights, such as:
- learning what users do after clicking on your ads;
- what ad formats work est for you;
- having access to Google Ads reports in Analytics;
- importing Analytics metrics to Google Ads;
- using Analytics remarketing audience on the platform, and more.
4. Google Ads offers lots of targeting options
Today’s digital advertising scene is oversaturated. That’s why, having a clear-cut target user base that much more important.
With Google Ads, you can choose the demographic you want to target by numerous factors:
- location (which you can narrow down to a very specific radius);
- age range;
- parental status;
- household income (in some countries).
You can also target users by more advanced criteria, such as:
- their interests;
- what they search for on the web;
- how they interact with your website.
By making use of audience exclusions, you also ensure that your shopping ads won’t show to audiences less likely to be interested in your product. This narrows your target audience even further.
With such a detailed audience targeting system, you’re able to get the most out of the money you put into your ads and make your case for a better ROI.
5. Google Ads maintains control over the budget
You don’t need to worry about exceeding the budget for your ad spend.
Google Ads makes it possible for you to set up a monthly budget on an account level, as well as daily budgets for each ad campaign. When you spend that budget, your ads will simply stop running.
By using manual bidding, you’re also able to set the maximum CPC per keyword to make sure you won’t exceed that amount. This is especially beneficial for smaller businesses, which are more often constrained by tight PPC budgets.
Note: Google specifies that because of fluctuations in traffic, there might be some days when your campaign will overdeliver. However, this won’t make you exceed your monthly ad spend limit.
The cons of Google Ads
Now that we have talked about what’s good about the platform, let’s take a closer look at some of the challenges that come with using it.
1. Google Ads can be time-consuming
While Google has put a lot of effort into automating many tasks and functions on the platform, it (unfortunately) doesn’t mean you can just sit back and enjoy the show after setting up your campaigns. In order to make the most out of the money you invested in advertising, you need to keep an eye on your campaigns, especially during the early stages.
There’s plenty for you to do:
- revising the strategy;
- monitoring keywords;
- taking care of exclusions;
- using the data you gather from the initial stages to optimize your campaign, etc.
If you just let your campaigns be, you’ll most likely end up burning through your budget and failing to get the results you expected.
Pro tip: Setting Google Search Ads inside GetResponse will save you the time you’d otherwise spend connecting your ads with landing pages and email campaigns. Learn how to set up Google Ads in our step-by-step guide.
2. Google Ads can be costly
Burning through your budget because of improper optimization or strategy is one thing that you need to be mindful of, but not the only one. Google Ads is one of them flexible advertising platforms, so you don’t have to spend a fortune to run a successful campaign.
While that is true, it’s also worth noting that the price of digital advertising is way bigger than it used to be. There are many more players in the game right now, which is why Google Ads itself is experiencing a 14% YOY increase of CPC.
Because of the oversaturation in the advertising market, it’s way harder to stand out from the crowd than it used to be. And to achieve that you’ll need a proper budget.
Pay-per-click ads, for example, are costly by default. For ecommerce companies, PPC can reach anything between $400 to $5,000 each month, depending on the approach you take with your ad spend. So approach your budgets wisely!
3. Google Ads is not just about ads
A huge mistake many businesses make when opting for Google Ads is focusing only on, well, the ads themselves. A well-crafted campaign may persuade users to click on your ad, yet this advertising platform is the place they’re directed to is where they’ll make a final decision to convert.
Using Google Ads means making sure your website is in top-notch shape.
Pro tip: You will most likely have to create landing pages specifically for ad purposes since Google wants the pages to match user intent the best they can. The visuals, the copy you use, and even the page load speed are all factors you need to think about when crafting your campaigns.
Things to keep in mind in 2022
Before you start advertising on Google Ads, it’s best to get informed about what’s currently going on on the advertising platform. Here are some of the most important changes.
Expanded search ads are gone
Advertisers have been talking about this update since last year when Google first announced the news. As of June 30th, advertisers are no longer able to create new expanded ads or edit their existing ones. Instead, Google wants us to use responsive search ads.
Expanded ads allowed advertisers to add up to three headlines and two descriptions, and that’s exactly what a user would see.
Responsive text ads, on the other hand, let us add up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions for each ad. Then Google displays different sets so that it is able to learn which combinations are performing best among your target audience.
While responsive search ads are great for getting conversions, you have less control over the copy that’s displayed to users and need to remember to always make sure that each headline and description combination match each other.
No more third-party cookies
…eventually. While Google initially wanted to introduce the change sometime in 2023, it has recently postponed those plans until 2024.
Having user privacy in mind, Google announced some time ago that it was planning to block the use of third-party cookies from external websites. Third-party cookies track users’ behavior across many different websites. That information later helped to craft relevant target groups for different ad campaigns.
What will the change mean to advertisers? Well, you’re most likely need to get used to less specific and more random targeting, especially when it comes to remarketing campaigns. For example, you could try switching to obtaining user data through lead magnets (such as newsletters).
A shift to Performance Max
Performance Max campaigns can be run across all Google Ads inventory. This means that with a single campaign, Google is able to search for your target audience through all channels: Search, Display, Discover, Gmail, Youtube, and Maps. The ads are automatically created, based on the assets that the advertiser provides.
Google has been focused on enhancing Performance Max ever since it first came out in 2020 and has come up with a lot of new features for it 2022.
Remember: Performance Max is replacing Smart Shopping campaigns, so it’s best for advertisers need to get more familiar with this campaign type.
So, are Google Ads worth it, still?
If you want to promote your products or services and get yourself noticed among competitors, then Google Ads is an awesome tool to do so (especially if you have a local business and want to put yourself out there!)
But before you start your journey with the platform, you should remember that Google Ads isn’t some magical device that will gather sales-qualified leads from the get-go. It takes time and effort to get things going. Advertising on Google Ads also doesn’t automatically mean sales, especially if we’re talking about B2B customers where the process is more complex and takes way more time.
If you’d like to start advertising on Google Ads, make sure you’re familiar with the best practices to follow when starting out. With the right strategy, a thought-out budget, and careful optimization, you’ll make the most out of the platform and test whether it’s the right channel for your PPC advertising.