6 Google Ads myths we still hear from business owners in 2021
You’ll most likely see many conflicting opinions on what digital marketing strategies work, how to set up your Google Ads campaigns and conflicting research from different bodies. Many businesses have completely different ROAS with the same channel or even the same marketing agency.
Some people will encourage everyone to use a certain strategy, proving results and ROI, while others will try it and claim it was a waste of time and money.
As a specialist Google Ads Agency, currently working on over 20 accounts across different countries and verticals, we decided to set the record straight by explaining the reasons behind the 6 most common Google Ads myths we still hear from business owners in 2021.
Myth 1: Google ads don't work. We mostly get this one from clients who want to try social media advertising. Usually business owners say "Google ads doesn't work, we have tried it for a few weeks in the past, spent X amount and didn't get many sales/leads/results."
As an agency specialising in Google Ads, we see consistent great results from our PPC campaigns, for accounts of all stages, in all industries. As long as your website, messaging and most importantly, product or service are on point, success will follow. Unlike other methods of digital advertising or traditional media, Google ads allows advanced and sophisticated targeting based on user purchase intent, their search history, demographics, interest and more. Being able to track multiple interaction points, user audiences and multiple KPIs allows continuous growth and improvement.
Below is one example of from brand new fitness gear account we launched just a month ago. Their average ROAS is already over 550% and profitable.
On our next example of Google ads bringing good conversion value, we have a US based manufacturer who has been running ads for over 6 months now. As the graph shows, their ROAS is higher at over 900%, thanks to ongoing campaign optimisations and improvements, as well as remarketing.
If you examine both graphs, you will see that performance during those two 30 day periods is not linear, it peaks and drops depending on multiple factors.
The truth is that Google Ads isn't a set it and forget it solution, it requires ongoing work, investment and improvements beyond the Google ads interface. If your Google ads didn't reap the results you were hoping for, ask yourself the following:
Did you run ads long enough? Google uses machine learning and collecting data takes time. Besides, users have different behaviours throughout the day, during the week and throughout the month. Factors such as seasonality and other external events can also play a role. For example our experience shows us that most shoppers would treat themselves around payday, users submit b2b leads during work hours and consumers spend less time shopping online when the weather is great.
Did you spend enough? Further down this post, we discuss why it's important to have enough budget to be competitive, reach your target audience and collect data.
Who was in charge of your campaigns? Did you let Google Ads create 'smart' campaigns for you? Was it a member of your team who has no experience using the platform? If yes, then your campaigns haven't been pre-optimised and set up for success.
Is it really Google ads or is it you? This one is one of the hardest pills to swallow and the most common reason why clients think that Google ads don't work. In most cases, it's a factor outside of Google ads is to blame for their poor performance, such as slow or misfunctioning websites, confusing and long checkout processes, poor branding or products lacking in originality and competitive pricing.
Myth 2: Click fraud isn't real, Google takes care of invalid clicks. We have previously covered the topic of click fraud and ran multiple experiments running ads with and without click fraud protection software. We have solid evidence that running Google ads without click fraud protection can be one of the top reasons why PPC didn't work for you. In some industries, especially highly competitive lead generation, click fraud or repetitive clicks from unmotivated users are extremely common. Retail and other businesses could require multiple touch points. Services like finance, SaaS and other B2B companies however saw much better cost per acquisition, higher conversion rates and much better lead quality when using click fraud protection which eliminates repeat clicks.
While Google will refund invalid clicks (multiple clicks appearing in a short timeframe), most repeat clicks will continue to drain your budget and steal your traffic. Whether it's competitors or other users looking for information but with no intent of converting, block them.
Most click fraud services offer additional extras like conversion tracking, recording screen sessions, picking up on the users' actual geographical location and much more, it is definitely worth investing in one.
Myth 3: Users don't trust Google ads. According to multiple researches, users particularly dislike display and video ads, interrupting their user experience. In most cases pop-ups, bumper ads and annoying banners won't convert a cold audience, especially when the given audience is visiting a website with a purpose, such as looking for information. Privacy concerns, improved UX and better load times are other reasons why users choose to block ads.
According to research conducted by HubSpot, “A majority of respondents agree that most online ads today don’t look professional and are insulting to their intelligence.” Poor ads are not only annoying, they can also hurt your brand reputation before you even had a chance to impress your client with your product or service.
If advertising didn't work, would the digital advertising industry be worth over $330–$340 billion in 2020? Would most household names and world renowned companies invest millions into PPC? Of course not.
As a Google ads agency we watch our clients grow their businesses and reach their ideal customers exclusively through paid advertising across search engines, display and social media. While a low-quality ad and spammy products are intrusive, brands that truly resonate with users and improve their lives always generate good results. Understanding what aspects of advertising turn people away can help businesses make better ads that actually engage and convert new audiences. Many users make purchasing decisions based on multiple factors and their conversion paths become increasingly diverse and inconsistent. Through efficient paid advertising, your business can gain trust and be there whenever the user is ready to commit and make a purchase.
Myth 4: You can start with as low as £5-£10 a day. Unfortunately unless if you are targeting a very small geographical area or target low search volume, unpopular terms, you simply can't hope to reach enough users to get results with a low daily budget.
Google ads is extremely competitive, in some industries like IT and SaaS, CPC can exceed £200, while the average CPC for shopping campaigns across all our managed accounts is £0.57. Regardless of what your average industry CPC is, insufficient budget would reduce your exposure, affect your quality square and position on page and your account would miss out on potential traffic and engagements.
According to Google, .."[a small or limited budget means] there might be opportunities to gain more exposure if you're able to increase your budget...When your budget is below the recommended amount, it's possible that your budget can't accommodate all of the traffic available for your keywords and other campaign targeting settings. To make sure that your budget lasts throughout the day, Google Ads will reduce how often your ads appear. Ads in the campaign can still appear, but might not appear as often as they could."
Low budget and limited data also mean limited performance data to analyse, as well as limited options to optimise your account. If you'd really like to try Google Ads' at its full potential, make sure you are prepared to invest sufficiently in it for at least several months.
Myth 5: You need a huge investment to start advertising on Google. Google Ads is a flexible, self-service digital advertising platform. While you need to make an investment, your business doesn't have to compete with larger, international companies or industry leaders. The PPC Agency works with many small businesses with an average monthly budget of £2,500 to £40,000+. The required budget would largely depend on your niche, how competitive your product is, keyword search volume and your business needs.
Myth 6: Digital marketing and Google ads are easy, business owners can do it themselves. Smart campaigns, machine learning and automation are becoming the norm in digital advertising, allowing most business owners to easily start advertising on search engines and social media. Running successful Google ads however requires a little bit more effort, granular approach, ongoing management and expert knowledge.
While the set-up process on most PPC platforms allows users to create campaigns with just a few clicks, there are multiple pitfalls to watch out for. Successful Google Ads campaigns don't end with set-up. The optimisation process is an ongoing task which requires using multiple tools and data sources.
Apart from lack of knowledge and expertise in digital marketing, one of the top reasons why business owners fail at running their own campaigns is their own biases. Whether it's confirmation bias or prejudice caused by past experiences, biases are the one of the top reasons why many businesses are missing out on potential growth and don't run enough tests.
Let's dig a little deeper into why most of us fail at digital marketing: cognitive biases are opinions, beliefs, preferences that influence the ability to reason, remember and evaluate information. This excellent article on why Cognitive Biases affect our Ability to A/B test outlines why it may be a good idea to have an impartial marketer manage your paid campaigns. Some of the biases with the most adverse effects on your ability to run successful Google ads campaigns are:
Finding relations between unrelated events and seeing patterns when there are none or thinking past events influence future probabilities.
Using the wrong sample sizes or jumping to conclusions the first piece of information received.
Looking for and Interpreting information to confirm your own beliefs or allowing the ego and emotions to overtake and ignore data.
Of course marketers are human too and they make mistakes, but they have the advantage of using multiple tools, dedicate plenty of time to improving their analytical skills and have the advantage of having past experience analysing data and optimising Google Ads.
Cognitive biases, having your ego and emotions invested into a project, combined with lack of digital marketing knowledge is a recipe for disaster, which can lead to missing out on a huge chunk of traffic, conversions and overall growth.
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