Google AdWords in a Nutshell

Google AdWords in a Nutshell

Google AdWords is Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) ad program. It displays the ads you see at the top and right of your screen on the search engine’s results page, identified by a yellow favicon that says “Ad.”


When you start an AdWords campaign, you create these ads to link back to your website. The ads are short and built around the keywords people use when searching for your products or services. If your ad shows up as a result of a search and someone clicks on it, you pay for that click. Thus the PPC designation.

It sounds simple, but there’s a lot of analytical rigor and headline copywriting skills needed to create a successful campaign. It’s possible to tackle this yourself with patience, tenacity, and available time. If these are in short supply, hire a professional.

Some main pros and cons about participating in Google AdWords:


  • If your website is too new or lacking the SEO and content it needs to rank organically, PPC helps test the waters and generate leads and sales.
  • Google usually assigns a third-party consultant to assist with your first campaign’s setup and management. They definitely help, but most of the work is still on you.
  • You gain access to excellent analytics reports based on campaign data to hone your digital marketing strategy.


  • Google AdWords takes a lot of analysis of data many business owners don’t know how to interpret.
  • Google AdWords can be costly. High-value keywords, especially targeted to major metropolitan areas, rack up significant charges. Today, you probably won’t get much traffic for less than $800 per month (unless you have a brand new product with no competition, but then people may not be searching for it yet).

To give you an idea of the potential expense, lawyers targeting personal injury keywords in a large city are up against firms paying $20K or more per month for AdWords campaigns. National e-commerce sites may pay 5 times that or more.

That said, many small businesses have success with GoogleAdwords campaigns. The key is choosing niche keywords with less search volume and competition, and therefore lower charges per click. They may generate fewer leads, but it’s a way to start experimenting, growing, and establishing an ROI. And, with the right niche words, you can score a higher conversion rate on clicks by attracting more targeted traffic to your website.

Is Google AdWords Worth Your Time and Money?

It can certainly be worthwhile with the time and effort for proper research, results monitoring, and adaptation to data. For example, we ran a PPC campaign for a company that sold funeral accessories; their monthly Google AdWords cost was $10K, but it generated gross monthly sales of $65K.

Website Design Tip for Google AdWords

Your website must be highly relevant to the keywords you target in your Google AdWords campaign. Otherwise, you pay to bring traffic that doesn’t convert to sales. Also, Google ranks ads with a quality score based on their relevance to the pages they direct to. As incentive to do things right, if your ads generate a lot of clicks and a high quality score, Google begins lowering your cost per click.

Read more about how to optimize your website for relevance.

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