To Buy or Not to Buy Google Adwords?

When clients ask me if we can buy Google Adwords for them, the answer is YES – but my question is WHY.

Before throwing money into ads, ask yourself the following 5 questions:

  1. Who is your ideal client and do they tend to click on ads? (Or do they only look at organic search?)
  2. What is your overall marketing budget and what percentage do you want to spend on ads?
  3. Once someone clicks through to your website, are they staying there or quickly “bouncing off” – costing you money but bringing you no new business?
  4. What is your expected ROI (Return on Investment)?
  5. How much have you optimized your website for organic search? (The ultimate “free” ad).

Let’s start with your ideal client. If you have been in business for any length of time this is certainly easy to do. You can tell me exactly who your target audience is and the basic demographics of your ideal client.

Knowing what you know about your ideal client, ask yourself whether or not they would click on an online ad. The truth is, the more sophisticated the user, the less likely they are to click on any online ad - even those disguised as organic. (

A businesses marketing budget is not limitless. So efficient use of those funds is important. In fact, for years I told my clients not to waste precious dollars on ads that are costly and fleeting. For most businesses, using their marketing monies to perform better in organic search is the better investment.

Next, ask “How attractive is your website?” Specifically, when someone comes to your website do they like it? Do they stay? Do they engage with the content? Do they follow through with your calls-to-action? To get these answers, take a look at your website analytics. Google Analytics is free and there are many of online resources to help you decide which analytics matter the most to you and your business.

Next consider your ROI or Return On Investment. Here again your analytics dashboard will hold the answers. How many users are coming to your website and what do they do when they arrive? What is your engagement rate and what new incremental dollar amount of sales were generated? That is to say – did they convert into a viable lead? Did they reach out to you through your contact form or did they call you? Did they click on one of your Call-to-Action buttons or on an embedded coupon you have provided?

Lastly, in my opinion, most importantly, how is your organic reach? Is your site primed for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? How do you know? How about your competition? Unless you are consistently coming up on the first page of Google when someone types in a request for the products or services you offer, you need to put more resources into this most crucial of tools.

In the end, think carefully and long term about your marketing investments. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth by knowing who your ideal client is and how they respond to ads vs. organic search.