5 reasons why Google Ads isn’t working for your small business – and how to fix it!

5 reasons why Google Ads isn’t working for your small business – and how to fix it!

Getting a page one organic search result is hard. It is reported that search engine results pages no longer have the standard 10 results - sometimes they have as few as five or seven!


So what do you do if a page one search result is out of your reach? You do the next best thing and you sign up to Google Ads. Google Ads is a great leveller - anybody can be on page one of search results with a Google Ad.


The internet is awash with success stories and agencies promoting Google Ads - primarily because they can be an inexpensive lead magnet for many businesses. That being said, if you are finding it hard to believe the hype because your own experience doesn’t correlate, you will find the following observations useful and might be able to pick up a tip or two to get your Google Ads campaign running optimally.


#1 Your budget is set too low


If you have competitors then they are probably using Google Ads too. It is also likely that they are bidding on the same keywords as you. What does this mean? It is a simple supply and demand scenario. There are only so many keywords (supply) and lots of businesses want them (demand) so the prices are high. If you’re a small business this could mean you are even priced out of the Google Ads market and will need to spend your marketing budget elsewhere or get creative by bidding on the less popular long tails or keyword variants.


#2 You have a niche product


If you have a very specific product and also a small target audience, it is likely that your campaign is not showing very often. Remember that Google will show your campaign when a person is already searching for a keyword or similar products, or in the case of remarketing, has already visited your site. The good news is that this likely means there is low competition for your campaign keywords resulting in lower cost clicks and your budget lasting longer.


#3 Your target market doesn’t use the Google network in the purchasing process


I know on the outset it seems almost preposterous that anybody would commit to buying a product or service without internet research but for many businesses the internet just isn’t that important to drive sales and awareness of their brand. Word of mouth, direct sales, catalogues, social media and shop fronts are all marketing mediums that generate revenue and don’t necessarily need any further internet presence to support them. Perhaps your target market and your business doesn’t need the Google Ad network to succeed.


#4 You are using a Google Ad campaign that doesn’t match your customer’s behaviour


There are multiple locations where your Google Ad campaign can be shown and not all of them will suit your target market. For instance, I wouldn’t recommend using Google Shopping to show your ads if you know there are other competitors out there who also use it and they have more competitive pricing than you.


#5 The settings you have used to refine your campaign have reduced your reach


The Google Ad user interface is a schmick piece of technology which allows a multitude of customisation. With all of these refinements at our fingertips it can be very tempting to have a play around - add some refinements to your audience, specify the time of day your campaigns will show, filter to a specific location, customise your bids and more. Before you know it, you have a ‘Frankenstein campaign’ and your campaign is a bit of everything. It is all very well to test things but as with all conversion testing, it’s a good idea to make changes gradually and set up variants with different conditions so that you can see which aspect of your testing has generated results.


About the Author


Esther HollowayEsther Holloway is a Digital Marketing Consultant based in Sydney, Australia. Her focus is on helping small business to meet their goals through the implementation of strategic digital marketing campaigns. Esther’s business, Site Hustle specialises in creating and executing affordable digital marketing campaigns using tools such as Search Engine Optimisation, Google Adwords, Social Media and Pay Per Click.


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