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Why Google Ads May Not Be The Way To Go

March 1, 2024

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One of the most common questions that we’re asked as an agency is “How can I get more clients, fast and with little cost investment”? Well, like all things, the most effective strategies take lots of time and sometimes the price tag may be a bit hefty. Knowing this, companies often like to weigh their options to see which is closest to that sweet spot; ultimately leading them to explore digital marketing methods such as Google Ads, SEO, Facebook Ads, and other unique methods of finding ways to bring in new business.

Our Thoughts

We’ve been working with Google Ads for over 5 years, with some of us even being certified in this field of marketing. Producing over a million dollars for businesses in 2023 and bringing in over 5,000+ conversions across our ad accounts, we’re no strangers to effective ad management. Google Ads are often seen as a tool with a low barrier to entry, high conversions, and a guaranteed increase in business revenue. In many cases, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In this blog, we’ll be covering exactly why we’ve decided to step away from offering Google Ads and the behind the scenes of this well known digital marketing option. But don’t worry! We’ll also share some strategies that we believe to be great alternatives.

What’s Changed?

With great power, comes someone in a major corporation that eventually messes it up. For a long time, Google had been a great platform to advertise small, medium, and large businesses alike, but their recent changes have placed an emphasis on expanding the reach for larger-scale businesses. In 2023, Google had made several core updates to how advertising is done on their platform, such as implementing more AI and pushing their AI-focused PMax campaigns, campaigns that automatically tweak ads based on the level of competition and the size of your market.

In addition to having a large AI push, based on our data, Google Ads have become less effective for service industries and small businesses, often being overly saturated or not yielding reach for smaller sized businesses looking to bring in more traffic.

Why Is This A Bad Thing?

The Push Into AI

Well, let’s jump into the AI situation first!

1. Lack of Control and Transparency: PMax campaigns operate on a high level of automation, which means advertisers have less control over where their ads are shown and limited insights into the exact placements. By the end of 2023, most of our clients began receiving phone calls for job applicants rather than business.

2. Budget Considerations: While Google suggests that PMax campaigns can run on any budget, the consensus among many advertisers is that larger budgets tend to yield better results. This could potentially sideline smaller advertisers or those with limited advertising budgets who may not see the same level of success.

3. Dependency on Google’s Algorithms: The success of PMax campaigns heavily relies on Google’s algorithms, which can be a double-edged sword. While these algorithms are designed to maximize performance, they operate as a “black box,” giving advertisers little insight into how decisions are made. This can make it difficult to troubleshoot issues or understand why certain outcomes occur.

4. Shift Away from Tried-and-True Campaign Types: For businesses that have seen success with specific types of Google Ads campaigns, such as Search or Shopping, the push towards PMax can feel like a forced migration away from strategies that have worked well in the past. This transition may not always result in improved performance and can require adjustments to strategy and budget allocation. We saw this occur on many of the accounts that we had managed successfully in the beginning of their partnership with us.

While Google Ads offer the promise of improved efficiency and reach by leveraging Google’s extensive network and machine learning capabilities, they’re not without their challenges. Advertisers should carefully consider these factors and evaluate whether Google’s Ad Services match their marketing objectives, budget constraints, and desired level of control over ad placements.

A Saturated Market

Let’s think back to all great things that once had been a commodity. Over time, commodities become ways of life or even high-in-demand. This is great in many cases, but hard to leverage when resources are limited. Google has only so many people looking for your services and products. If there are 100 people per month searching for you and 150 competitors fighting for these prospects, the few that spend the most money receive the most leads.

Let’s think about platforms like yelp, thumbtack, and yellow pages for a moment. These are multi-billion dollar companies, and they’re running the same keywords in the same area as you! Difference is, their budget is ten times the size of yours. This leads to a monopolized market where traffic now goes through them instead of to you.

Alternatives

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is an essential strategy for enhancing your website’s visibility on search engines like Google. By optimizing your site’s content and structure for relevant keywords, you can improve your rankings in search results, attracting more organic traffic. SEO is a cost-effective marketing tool because it targets users who are actively searching for your products or services online. Unlike paid advertising, SEO provides long-term benefits, helping to establish your brand’s authority and online presence. Keep note that this is not an effective strategy for quick results.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing involves using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to connect with your audience, increase brand awareness, and boost sales. This strategy allows for direct interaction with your audience, offering a personal touch that can enhance customer loyalty and engagement. Social media marketing is versatile, supporting a range of content types, from text and images to videos and stories, making it an effective way to share your brand’s story and connect with your target market.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a direct marketing approach that involves sending personalized, targeted messages to a group of subscribers to inform, engage, and convert them. This strategy is highly effective for nurturing leads, promoting products or services, and maintaining customer relationships. Email marketing allows for high levels of personalization and segmentation, ensuring that your messages are relevant to each recipient. With its notable return on investment (ROI), email marketing remains a cornerstone of digital marketing strategies.

4. Joining a Chamber of Commerce or Professional Group

Participating in a Chamber of Commerce or professional group offers valuable networking opportunities, community engagement, and increased local visibility for your business. Membership in these organizations can lead to new partnerships, enhanced business credibility, and access to resources and events that support business growth. Engaging with a Chamber or group can also provide insights into local market trends and customer needs, helping you to tailor your offerings and marketing strategies effectively.

Conclusion

While Google Ads were once our pride and glory for effective marketing tactics, we are looking forward to the next big thing in our journey to producing exceptional results in the digital marketing world. Who knows? Maybe one day Google will return back to being the go-to option for effective and quick leads for marketing campaigns. Our goal is to ensure effective results for you, and businesses like yours. We hope this blog was informative and helpful to you and your business’ success.

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