Is Google AdWords Worth it for My Business?

is google adwords worth itIs Google AdWords worth it for your business? That’s a complicated question.

Digital marketing is a nuanced thing, and campaign elements change depending on industries and business sizes. What works for a B2C company or industry might not necessarily work for B2B.

It is important to understand exactly what works for your marketplace—otherwise, you might be throwing money away on tactics that don’t bring in any positive results.


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This is especially true in pay-per-click digital advertising (PPC), and Google Adwords in particular. While PPC can bring in big revenue for some industries, it might be a major budget drainer for others. Here are five questions to help you make the decision in your specific case.

5 Questions to Ask When Considering If Google AdWords is Worth It

Picture on figuring out the ROI to the Question Is Google AdWords Worth ItFirst, why would you consider an AdWords campaign at all? You may have heard about it by now, especially since you have probably seen the ads on Google. If you’re a business owner, CEO, marketing manager or another decision maker, you’re likely looking at your bottom line. At the end of the day it’s all about the Return on Investment (ROI). Digital advertising can bring in revenue in the right situations, and thus an AdWords campaign might sound like a good idea. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before deciding if AdWords is right for your needs

1. Are your potential clients searching for you using web browsers, and where are they in their buying journeys?

AdWords can have a hugely positive impact on sales for e-commerce companies, local businesses, and smaller businesses. This is because potential clients are searching for certain products in the hopes of buying them, and looking for local businesses with the intent to visit.

  • Digital advertising will help bring these buyers to your website, targeting only those who fit your company’s intended customer profile and turning these visitors into clients.
  • On the other hand, AdWords costs can be very expensive in some industries.
  • Take legal, for example. The cost-per-click can be up to $935.71 per click for “best mesothelioma lawyer.” That’s because the settlements are really high, and there are plenty of lawyers in any area.

Be sure that you can run a great campaign and convert the people who come to your website, otherwise you’re just wasting money.

2. Is paid digital advertising something that works in your industry?

Knowing your industry goes a long way toward determining if AdWords campaigns are right for you. The easiest way to figure out this out is to look at your competitors. Find out if they are running AdWords campaigns and if they are working.

Here is a good resource on Google AdWords industry benchmarks that provides some average cost-per-click for industries like Home Goods ($3.19 on Google Search, and $0.70 on Google Display Network) or Industrial Services ($2.00 on Google Search, and $0.60 on Google Display Network).

Is adwords worth it in your industry benchmarks average ctr

Some professionals in certain industries know right away if they are a good match for digital advertising. For example, a private practice dentist would want to use an AdWords campaign to target her local area and bring in more patients to use her services. A surgeon at a local hospital, on the other hand, wouldn’t use AdWords to market his surgery services because the hospital dictates his schedule and he does not have his own clients.

AdWords would be a positive for the dentist, but a waste of money for the surgeon.

3. Is your campaign going to be a small retargeting campaign to bring people back to your website, or a full campaign to try to generate new leads?

AdWords campaigns have the added benefit of scope—you can choose to run a full campaign or to retarget old leads and bring them back into the sales funnel. The scope of your campaign depends on your goals.

Are you looking for new leads?

Do you just want to bring back warm leads?

Deciding the scope of your campaign will help determine how much of a monetary investment you’re able to put in, and that determines whether the campaign is worth it.

One of the upsides to running campaigns is that you don’t always have to market your whole main business. AdWords still has a place, even with B2B businesses where the objection we hear most often is that clients are not going to buy from an ad. Instead of marketing your main business, use AdWords campaigns to market an event or promotion you’re having.


AdWords can be an exceptionally effective tool for raising awareness about conferences, fundraisers, charity events, product promotions, and other special circumstances.

4. Are you ready to spend money on advertising, and willing to test different combinations of tactics until things work?

If you have an advertising budget, and you know that AdWords campaigns are right for you, you also need to know that these campaigns take time, patience and investment to get right. AdWords campaigns do not always show profit right away, and often need to be tweaked in some way to become more effective.

If you do not have a healthy advertising budget, or do not have the time or patience to make the necessary adjustments to the campaign, it might be a waste of money to take on AdWords.

It comes down to figuring out the Return on Investment (ROI) for your businness. Here is a comprehensive video from Google about how to measure ROI of AdWords. We like it because it addresses what type of business you’re running, and whether website conversions or calls are appropriate to track. The second part of the video goes into how to set up the conversion tracking.

The video is helpful to watch, but if you need to quickly answer “Is Google AdWords worth it for my business?” the questions in this posts can guide you to help make the right call.

5. Do you have someone good in-house who can handle your AdWords Campaign, or do you know someone you can hire?

(Bonus question: if you’re planning to run the AdWords campaign yourself, do you have the time to learn how to do it properly?)

If you have someone on your staff that already understands the intricacies of AdWords, by all means—let him or her take the reins.

  • Be involved in the goal setting process and check in regularly to see how things are going.
  • If you do not have someone on staff, or you’re thinking of doing AdWords yourself, here are a few things to note.
  • Remember above how we mentioned that these campaigns take time, patience, and understanding how to adjust the different elements to get best results? Well, you’ll need all of that to be successful.
  • Otherwise, your best intentioned-campaign might end up being a very expensive experiment yielding little to no return (or maybe even negative return). In these cases, it’s best to call in an expert.

Contract with an outside agency or partner that understands AdWords and can make all the necessary adjustments to the campaign. You want to get the biggest bang for your buck, and to avoid wasting money on elements you don’t understand. Trust an expert to maximize your digital advertising budget and care for your intricate AdWords campaign.

Bottom line:

The truth is that AdWords and paid advertising campaigns are just marketing channels. They are investments, and it’s up to you to decide if digital advertising is a good allocation of your marketing budget. Maybe AdWords is right for your business, maybe it’s only right for certain promotions within your business, or maybe it’s the wrong fit entirely. In that instance, it might be better to user your marketing budget to get space in an industry newsletter that goes out to a bigger, more engaged market. It’s important to find out what is right for your business and industry, and to trust those efforts.

Not sure if digital advertising is worth it for your business? We live and breathe digital advertising best practices, and we want you to get the most out of your marketing efforts. Contact us and we’ll set up a free, 30-minute consultation to discuss your marketing strategy.

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