In the vast digital ocean, Google Ads is akin to a giant whale, gobbling up vast quantities of ad spend since its launch in the year 2000. For businesses diving into the depths of digital marketing, Google Ads can be either a treacherous current or a powerful wave propelling them towards success. The question on every entrepreneur’s mind: is Google Ads a sly pickpocket or a trustworthy guide through the murky waters of online advertising?
Even as a digital marketing company it is hard to work that out! Many digital agencies choose to partner with Google and are trained by them to do Google Ads their way…
The Illusion of the ‘Google Partner’ Badge
Marketing companies proudly flaunt their Google ‘Partner Badge’ – a symbol that many interpret as a badge of trust. But what does it truly represent? – Here are the “REQUIREMENTS” to become a Google Partner.
Google demands a 70% optimization score to wear this badge. But this “optimization” doesn’t necessarily correlate to your account’s success. In some cases, following Google’s recommendations led to costs as ludicrous as $83 for a single click. This isn’t optimization; it’s daylight robbery!
The badge also requires you to spend $10,000 with Google within 90 days. This nudges businesses towards more spending, not necessarily smarter spending. One wonders if Google’s focus is on filling their coffers or genuinely assisting businesses in achieving their goals.
Google desires that 50% of a company’s team have Google Ads certifications. While education and understanding are paramount, this essentially means half of the team is trained under Google’s doctrine. Does this training prioritize Google’s profit or the advertiser’s success?
This is why we are proudly NOT a Google Partner!
Here’s the other way Google gets you.
The Automated Bidding Debacle
While automation promises to simplify our lives, Google’s automated bidding system can be likened to a kid with a sweet tooth in a candy shop using your credit card. The catch is that the “kid” is actually bidding for everyone. The result? Bidding wars where the only real winner is the house – in this case, Google.
Imagine walking into an auction, and instead of bidding yourself, an automated system bids for you and every other participant. The prices would soar, often unjustifiably so. Google’s automated bidding can sometimes feel eerily similar.
It’s possible to set your own bids, or at the very least cap it at a reasonable rate. But it’s not so easy to figure out how to do this and if you jump on the phone with a Google representative I can guarantee they will advise against it and tell you to simply increase the budget.
How to Harness Google Ads Effectively
Despite its quirks, Google Ads isn’t the enemy. It’s a tool, and like any tool, its efficacy depends on how skillfully it’s wielded.
1. Target High-Intent Search Terms
Begin with phrases that indicate a user’s intention to buy. Rather than broad, generic terms, dive into specific queries that suggest immediate purchase intent.
2. Optimise Landing Pages
Ensure the destination you’re directing traffic to is relevant, engaging, and encourages action.
3. Monitor and Adjust
Take a data-driven approach. Regularly review performance metrics and adjust your strategies accordingly.
Google Ads, like all tools, comes with its challenges. The digital advertising realm is a playground, but also a battlefield. While Google may occasionally seem like a looming giant with its own interests at heart, remember that knowledge is power. Understand the system, be wary of the pitfalls, and you’ll navigate the digital seas like a seasoned captain, charting a course to online success.