pros and cons of google ads for small business

Small businesses desire to promote their products, and Google Ads can open doors to doing it the right way.

Understanding potential consumers’ needs and interests helps your advertising efforts. Serial entrepreneur Neil Patel elaborates:

“When people go to Google, they’re looking for something specific. That means they have intent. They’re actively looking for something to buy. They’re literally telling you what they want to buy by typing out words around your products and services. That’s why Google AdWords is so powerful (and profitable).”

Before you get started with Google Ads, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons. Check out what we found below.

best WordPress hosting

Google Ads: Pros for Small Businesses

You want your small business to thrive. Here are a few benefits of using Google Ads.


1. Target Specific Audiences

When marketing products, there’s value in talking to your ideal customer. Your brand will be more attractive to these buyers.

The key to advertising is knowing the habits and behaviors of your target audience. This insight helps you pinpoint where and how to communicate with potential customers.

Google Ads gives you the opportunity to narrow down who you can reach during a campaign.  By using a specific term or phrase, you can advertise to consumers actively researching products like yours.

select audiences in google ads

Figuring out who not to target is just as vital. For instance, if your product is a hazard for kids under five years old, you probably can rule out adults raising toddlers. Filtering out unlikely consumers improves your campaigns.


2. Set Up Quickly

As a small business owner, time is a precious resource. The more time you spend on a task means you may neglect another responsibility. Therefore, when it comes to setting up your advertising, you want to get started quickly (without any unnecessary hassle).

Google Ads wants you to start as soon as possible. Aden Andrus, director of content marketing of Disruptive Advertising, explains:

“Google wants your money, so they make it pretty easy to set up an account and start advertising on AdWords. All you have to do is visit Google AdWords and hit ‘Start now.’ From there, you’ll be asked for your email (preferably a Gmail account) and the URL of your site.”

Unlike other platforms, where you may have to call a sales representative, Google Ads takes you through easy-to-follow steps. Now, you can focus your time on building a worthwhile campaign.


3. Stay Within Your Budget

Like most small businesses, you’re probably strapped for cash. Between paying for operational costs and unexpected fees, your budget isn’t always ready for an additional marketing cost.

The landscape of advertising rates has changed drastically over the years. Back in the day, you had to pay thousands of dollars for a billboard or a newspaper ad. Now, with online advertising, more options exist, alleviating a lot of the financial burden.

Google Ads works within your budget. You choose the daily campaign budget based on your advertising goals. Plus, you can change the budget at any time.

set budget in google ads

By staying in control of the budget, you can map out where to allocate funds. Let’s say you have two campaigns running simultaneously. If Campaign A isn’t performing well, you can stop it immediately and move those funds to Campaign B. Google Ads gives you more flexibility with your budget.


4. Design Multiple Ad Types

Every customer isn’t the same. Depending on your product, you may serve young hipsters as well as joyful senior citizens.

Despite the differences, it is important that you engage each buyer in the manner they desire. Courtney Danyel, a digital marketing and business writer, agrees:

“Businesses can choose from several different ad-types that appear around the internet. But if you want to make the most of the selection, you should choose the one(s) that offer the most value for your business and target audience.”

Google Ads equips you with multiple ad format choices, including search, display, video, and app. Search ads pop up when a consumer types your designated keywords in the Google search engine, while video ads appear on the YouTube platform.

different google ads options

This ad versatility supports your goals to connect with more interested buyers. Your ads become part of their normal shopping experiences, instead of an annoying distraction.


Google Ads: Cons for Small Businesses

Every tool won’t be perfect. You’ll want to scope out the flaws before you make a 100% commitment.


1. Expert Management

Knowing the basics will only get you so far. If you want to get the most from an advertising platform, it will require expertise.

Some small business owners learn the hard way. They try tinkering with a new tool over a period of time and end up getting little to no results.

Google Ads isn’t a platform you can learn in a day. So, you may need to hire an expert to consult with your team.

Paying an expert may cut into your initial campaign budget, which means less money to target customers. But with their knowledge, you can make your marketing dollars go much further toward reaching new customers. 

Interested? Check out HostGator’s expert PPC services. 


2. Competitive Segments

Today’s market is very competitive. Companies, big and small, are all vying for attention from consumers. That competition spills over into Google Ads when selecting similar segments.

When businesses target the same keywords, Google expects you to pay more to advertise to that audience. You can get tangled into dishing out more money.

“Google AdWords is one of the most challenging platforms when it comes to monitoring your success. You can quickly spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars and see little to no return on investment. The metrics are tricky to establish, and you could find yourself with $0 fast,” writes Brad Smith, contributing writer at AdEspresso.

As a consequence, you may have to choose secondary keywords. Even though they may cost less, it may not meet your advertising goals. It’s a hard decision that every small business must evaluate.


3. Strict Policies

When you’re using an advertising tool, you’re obligated to play by their rules. No matter whether you agree or not, their policies will protect the platform.

Before jumping into any advertising space, you’ll want to assess their requirements. Then, you’ll have a better understanding of how to proceed.

For example, with Google Ads, the company has policies that prohibit certain content. You can’t advertise counterfeit goods, dangerous products, or offensive content.

google adwords policies

Google also has editorial guidelines that restrict how you appeal to consumers. Your ads can’t be overly generic or use gimmicky language, like FREE.

They only approve relevant and useful content. So, if Google deems your ad as unsafe, you can’t promote your campaign.


Moving Forward with Google Ads

Advertising is a real challenge for any small business. Google Ads may be a good option to get your products in front of potential customers.

Consider the pros and cons of the tool. It’s easy to set up with your team; however, you may need to hire an expert to manage the day-to-day operations.

Learn what works for your small business. Explore Google Ads.

Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.