Search Marketing Consultant

Web Marketing & Search Engine Consultant

Don’t waste your money on ADWORDS !


Most of my professional experience is on search engines and organic placement, but recently I have had the opportunity to work a bit more on paid advertising  and review several ADWORDS campaigns. New Clients have been showing up in my Email box requesting my services and advice on ADWORDS campaigns that are not working.

So what’s the problem ?

I believe that many smaller companies (with even smaller budgets) are lured into using ADWORDS and similar online promotion tools simply because they are so simple to setup and get running – enter your comany name, number, credit card and you’re off …

What are many ADWORDS campaigns missing ?

  1. compelling ads
  2. optimal groups of keywords
  3. negative keywords
  4. landing pages

What should you do to optimize your ADWORDS campaign ?

  • make a list fo your products and services – it will help rationalize your priorities on important items and identify your web marketing needs and requirements
  • start with a small number of keywords – if you’re new to all this even a short list of 100 keywords can be difficult to handle: a short list of important keywords will be much easier to manage allowing you to get a firm grip on the campaign
  • create a new landing page for each group of keywords with unique titles and meta description. Make it keyword rich with variations on your main keyword
  • use negative keywords ! This aspect alone can literally eat up your budget if you are using generic keywords which (more often than not) can be used in completely different contexts. I have found myself spending more time identifying negative keywords than positive ones.
  • work on creating new ads, try to beat yourself with new creativity and increasing CTRs (Click Thru Rates)

Although it may appear simple and intuitive there’s much more to it than you may have anticipated. Have a professional take a look at what you have done before you waste your money by generating off target and expensive traffic.

My newest Client had a DIY ADWORDS capmaign – the company is small and they actually inspired this post.

The original adwords campaign was costing an average €0,15 per click with a CTR just under 0,9%.

My intervention went beyond twitching and adding a few keywords: at the end of the day (so to speak) the new ADWORDS campaign was generating less traffic, with a much higher CTR (3,5%) and costing an average of € 0,10 – an increace by a factor 4 on the CTR and a 50% CPC (Cost per Click) reduction.

So be careful with DIY ADWORDS, invest in professional help to get your web marketing efforts on the right track from day 1

Have any pointers you would like to add to my shortlist ? Leave a comment 🙂

29 Replies

  1. Nothing beats good old fashioned SEO

  2. Yep, but a blend of search engine optimization and paid placement such as ADWORDS can have very positive effects on your website performance

  3. Adwords is not for big and not for small companies. Its for people who know how to USE it. Results are what is important.

    But of course, SEO still rules.

  4. Hi, I just stopped by to let you know I added your blog to my “do follow” list. Thanks.

  5. As a professional take a look I have done before waste my money by generating.thanks for help me.

  6. I think ad-word is not bad. I agree with Gillian, Its for people who know how to USE it. But its true that you are right at your point of view.

  7. Adword is not bad, you must have money and you must know what you are doing. Like reading a lot first.

  8. SEO is much much better than Adwords, however some of us are just impatient to get visitors.

  9. Thanks for the analysis of Adword campaigns.

    Still, I always wonder who clicks on Adwords?
    Ignorant people or people new to the Internet?

    All the people I know, nobody clicks on these adword-links, I have to mention: they are all ‘heavy’ Internet users, they only click on organic searches.

    Of course there are different market segments:
    a) Business type:
    – B2C
    – B2B
    Different approaches for marketing, SEO and advertising.

    b) Products or solutions
    – “Me-too” products
    – Products in competitive pricing market
    – Products with a story
    The last one is the easiest: plenty of stories to tell and reasons for the product. Thus SEO is easier, but also a lot of manual work.

    The “Me-too” and “Competitive pricing” are lacking stories to tell, thus more difficult for marketing. This is where advertising becomes important.

    Using online (Adwords) depends on your business.

    Never forget:
    Traffic is not Leads on your website.
    That’s part II

  10. Adwords really can work wonders for you but you should be really aware on how, when and where to use it. It really can make your effort worth.

  11. We prefer old fashioned seo. Adwords to expensive and risky affair.

  12. really? I have nearly launched my ADWORDS account

  13. I have always done well with Adwords and think that it is a big marketing advantage to small businesses who work in niches. In fact, its harder to market against BIG business using natural search. With adwords, don’t forget to use the wildcard {keyword} feature so that the searcher’s search phrase shows up in the title of your ad when it displays.

  14. Shawn - Adwordsfree

    Well optimized landing pages are the key to Google adwords success.

  15. Talk About Debt

    Natural Search all the way. PPC is too expensive, especially in the financial sector.

  16. these adwords are a great method, i can see how these keywords make this program relevant!

  17. Personally, I do agree with Colin Herridge’s comment. Who clicks on these AdWords ads? But apparently people do… Not everybody thinks like us.

    AdWords is not totally bad, because you can get good leads from it (if you know how to use is). However, some businesses are totally based on AdWords, which is a waste. Learn SEO, guys!! A good combination of everything will run your business. And that includes social media marketing, which is becoming more and more important.

  18. Great post. PPC is definitely not my specialty and I don’t have any problem telling people that.

    Obviously millions of people click on adwords ads every single day and a lot of marketers are making a lot of money with ppc but nothing will bring the visitors in like organic search unless something major happens to the engines.

    I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  19. I have seen so many companies who decide they need search engine coverage; their website is not appearing in the natural search results so they quickly decide to set up their own in house PPC campaign. Most do not realise you can trial different ad formats and often bid the same price on all keywords. Nearly all do not look at enough of the data captured. It’s too easy to set up adwords and run it badly, this can give companies a bad impression of PPC and Search Engine Marketing in general. Hopefully this trend will soon end and people realise a PPC professional will seriously increase ROI from a PPC marketing budget, although many ‘so called’ PPC experts/companies do not spend enough time on their clients campaigns and therefore do not deliver the best results.

  20. The Adwords Guide

    Great post

    And its helped me a lot

    It is a great method of adwords here.

    But i agree with the others you need to know how to use it, to use it.

  21. Indeed , this list is very informative thanks! , you right you should give a brief but descriptive list of your services. Give a compelling sales pitch that garners interest.

    Advertising in itself is an artform that should be given time and effort in creating , the more well made it is the more attention it gets.

  22. I have had nothing but bad luck with adwords. From Click Fraud to being over charged.
    Natural and Organic placement for my clients is our only way of marketing.

  23. I have had nothing but bad luck with adwords.

  24. bad luck with adwords here too

  25. I totally agree with your point, but hey you need to walk first, then you can run. It is true that some people are better than others at something, but it doesn’t necessarily means that the non-successful ones will not succeed sooner or later. Very few can ran a very good optimized campaign on the first try. That usually comes with the experience and after a few mistakes from trying.
    Of course you will always find many people telling you how difficult the task is and sure enough they will try to sell you this or that book (if you are lucky) where they will disclose the magic in front of your eyes. Some others on the contrary, will try to sell their services and offer to work on your campaigns for a very low fee.

    I would recommend anyone planning to start using adwords, to do some testing with a little bid of money to see how it goes. Only when you know for sure that using adwords is not one of your abilities/skills start considering someone else knowledge and skills to optimize your campaigns.

    Bottom line is that if you know for sure that you need help, then and only then, you should seek help. If you are unsure, the hold back and reconsider. You may end up paying for thin air.

  26. Google Shadow

    I do agree with you that you are SEO type of person, as I LOVE SEO and I think it’s one of the most profitable ways. But advertising PPC with Google is profitable too, you just have to learn how to do it right.

    For example:

    If you do some research on Google Trends, then build a landing page around a CPA offer and bid on whatever the “Hot Topic” is, then you can cheap bids as low as .09, and if you have a CPA offer that pays out like $2.00 +, then you can make about $1.00 for every $1.00 you spend.

    Great Blog, I just subscribed so keep the good topics coming in !