Google Ads

How Does Google Ads Work? (4 Surprising Findings)

85 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 4 May 2023

Google Ads’ reputation as a marketing channel has taken a hit over the last couple of years. It went from being the darling of marketers to being expensive and unsexy.

While most of the headlines have shifted to new and sexier platforms like Instagram, Google continues to post strong revenue numbers. Currently, they are still at more than 2x the revenue of Facebook ($28.95 billion vs $13.73 billion in Q3 of 2018).

And of all those dollars, a small part is spent by online stores that are making a killing with Google Ads.

But that’s a minority. Making sales with Google Ads is not all rainbows and unicorns. If you’re just getting started on the platform, Google doesn’t stack the odds in your favor.

In fact, it will do exactly the opposite.

In this article, I’ll share 5 things that Google never seems to address, but that has a huge impact on your actual performance.

Fact 1: Google Ads Is Not A Fit for Every Store

While it is super easy to get started with Google Ads, it’s not so easy to run those ads profitably.

If you don’t have the right foundations in place, generating sales with Google Ads could be close to impossible.

So when tells me that Google Ads doesn’t work for them, the cause is usually one of these three things:

  • Average order value: if your average order value is too low, you don’t have any room to pay for expensive clicks. It’s impossible to be profitable selling a $6 product if each click costs $0.5
  • Margins: This is linked with the average order value. If your gross margins are too small, or you have great margins but a low AOV, there is nothing left to spend on advertising
  • Conversion rate: since you are paying similar CPCs to your competitors, your conversion rate also needs to be in the same ballpark. If not, these competitors can easily outspend you.

These aren’t ironclad rules. But if your business suffers from one or more of the above, you will have a hard time on Google Ads.

Pause your campaigns and work on improving the foundations of your business before moving forward.

Fact 2: Google Ads is Hyper Competitive

Google Ads has been around for over 18 years and during this time the cost to advertise has gone up dramatically.

People around since those early days tell tales of $0.01 clicks. Today you should consider yourself lucky if you only pay 10x that amount.

Rise in Google Ads CPC
Rise in Google Ads CPC – Source: Merkle Q3 2018 report

Throughout the years, businesses using Google Ads have gotten smarter, learned what works and what doesn’t and adjusted their approach. This gives them a huge upside over stores new to the platform.

So if you want to compete profitably with them, you need to bring your A-game.

Very often there is little room to mess around and try things on your own.

So what can you do if you want to start Google Ads today? Here are my best tips:

  • Take advantage of automation
  • Start small
  • Get smarter
  • Get expert help

Take advantage of automation

Learning the nuts and bolts of Google Ads takes a lot of time. But luckily you don’t have to learn everything from day 1.

Google has a type of advertising called Google Shopping, where algorithms handle most of the heavy lifting.

You need to create a product feed from your store and Google Shopping will match your products to relevant search queries.

Here is what those ads look like:


One store owner I recently talked to said this about setting up his Shopping campaigns: “I can’t say I feel good about this as it seemed entirely too easy.”

But he had in fact done everything right. It just goes to show how easy these campaigns can be.

Start small

If you’re selling hundreds of products, don’t start to advertise with all of them at once. Pick a set of products or a category where you’ve got better margins to give you some extra room to play.

A smaller amount of products will also reduce the overall cost. Because as long as you aren’t 100% sure what you’re doing, it’s better to keep your costs under control.
Then when the orders start to come in and the numbers make sense, slowly expand the products you’re advertising.

Get smarter

Learning something new always takes time.

Luckily you’re not the first one.

The best way to learn is to do. So if you’re running your first campaigns on a small subset of products, read up about how to improve those results.

You will find tons of free articles and videos to help you with every piece:

And if you want to learn in a more structured way, there are great Google Ads courses to do so.

Get expert help

You can find freelancers and agencies that have been doing nothing but Google Ads for many years.

They can’t predict the future, but if they have enough experience, they will have probably worked in your industry or with your products before.

That means you can really shortcut your progress.

I’ve included them as the last suggestion on this list for a particular reason.

Getting a basic feel for how Google Ads works and what typical results look like will put you in a better position to hire the right person for the job.

If you don’t have any experience with the job you’re trying to outsource, your BS detector might not be well-tuned. This could result in a lot of wasted time and money.

Fact 3 – By Default, Your Ads Will Show In Mobile Games

The first 2 facts were pretty strategic. The next 2 are a lot more tactical.

Both are part of the nasty default options that Google employs. These make it easier for Google to earn more, but harder for you to profit from Google Ads.

There are two places where Google can show your ads:

  • Search network: the search results page
  • Display network: a set of third party websites, apps and YouTube

These are very different places to run your ad. On the Search Network, people are actively looking for a solution to their search query. On the Display Network, people are doing something else and are interrupted by ads.

Most new advertisers want their ads to show up in the search results, not on video sites, games or random mobile apps.

But if you’re not careful while setting up your campaigns, your ads will show in those places.

Here is the checkbox you need to turn off (it’s turned on by default):


While it might seem like a small difference, switching this option off will save you a lot of wasted ad spend.

Fact 4: Your “Keywords” Aren’t Your REAL Keywords

Advertisers often put a lot of thought into the keywords with which they want to show their ads.

I have even encountered corporations where keyword lists were debated in executive meetings 😫.

Imagine their surprise when Google Ads will actually show their ads for a bunch of very different keywords.

This is due to something called keyword match types. A match type is something that’s added to a keyword and it decides how much close Google will stick to that keyword.

The biggest problem is Google’s default option: broad match.

Here is how Google defines broad match:

Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. So if your keyword is “women’s hats”, someone searching for “buy ladies hats” might see your ad.

But the reality is that Google is a lot more aggressive than mere synonyms or related searches.

The example of “women’s hats” might very well trigger ads with a search for “women baseball caps” or even “yankees baseball caps”.

A simple fix for this is to use different keyword match types like modified broad, phrase, or exact match.

A curious thing happens when you try to add negative keywords. Then the reverse happens and Google will add it as an exact match negative keywords.

This means that only searches for that exact keyword will be filtered from your campaigns. If the search query is a little bit different, your ad will still show.

How to Make Google Ads Work

It’s clear that there are many pitfalls when it comes to being successful with Google Ads.

And if you are sloppy or clueless, you’ll pay for it and get nowhere with your campaigns.

But if with the right approach and patience to learn, Google Ads can still deliver good results for your online store.

Were you blindsided by one of the above? Let us know in the comments!

Dennis Moons

Dennis Moons is the founder and lead instructor at Store Growers.

He's a Google Ads expert with over 12 years of experience in running Google Ads campaigns.

During this time he has managed more than $5 million in ad spend and worked with clients ranging from small businesses to global brands. His goal is to provide advice that allows you to compete effectively in Google Ads.

Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.


85 responses on "How Does Google Ads Work? (4 Surprising Findings)"

  1. […] less work also means less control for the advertiser. That makes it harder to know how you can improve your Shopping […]

  2. […] of Google’s advertising platform was to make Google more money. To do that they had created a whole set of pitfalls for business owners to fall […]

    1. Geoff Allibone says:

      I found this article by searching “Google Ads is fraud” on Page 8 this article appeared.
      Bunch of criminals.

  3. Damon Burton says:

    I had one realization after reading this post, that is, it’s very important to do a research first about the strategies and other application you used for your brand’s campaign. Adwords can help online marketers somehow but I agree that you have to think about its negative effect for business too. This post of yours is an eye-opener. Thanks for sharing it and making us all aware of it.

    1. Dennis says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post Damon!

      You are right, if you’re clueless about this and you start advertising , you are likely to waste a lot of money and get really frustrated.

  4. You are spot on about google ads regarding keywords – we were surprised to find the keywords potential customers use to find our site is vastly different set from what we use in the google ads.

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      Even if you’ve done a good job with your keyword research, it’s only after you launch your campaigns that you see which keywords are out there and what the actual traffic volume on them is.

  5. James B says:

    Great article. You shouldn’t just start straight off with adwords. Use Google Analytics first with the Webmasters tools to understand how your website is being used. Then you can see the search terms people are using to access your site. Take those keywords and put together a small campaign and go from there. If you don’t have much spend, ensure you go for a the exact match or phrase match option. The broad match option can suck dry your funds on misclicks.

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks a lot James!

      I like your approach a lot, starting small and really focused with match types and slowly expanding when you see that things are working.

  6. These tips are really appreciable. I am also PPC expert and I recommend all to read this article. I bookmarked this page. Keep it up.

  7. Dennis – I only just found this article today in a search for a related query. You offer a very valuable perspective. IMHO, Adwords is one platform that works best with very deep research before and while spending money on advertising.

    I do find that Google’s new assistance to help AdWords managers better understand shifts in ad performance via the Report Editor is a nice step forward. How is your experience with it?

  8. Thanks for the article I have been using adwords for my paint service business and have seen some results I keep my bid lower than my competition and it has helped me move up in organic search while costing next to nothing.

    1. Dennis says:

      Glad to hear it’s working for your business!

      Most advertisers simply rely on raising their bids to get more traffic. But once you understand how the system works, you can get away with spending a lot less, while getting increasingly better results.

  9. Hi there Dennis. First off thanks for emphasising the default setting issue on ad-words a pitfall for many newcomers i am sure. I am doing research into ad-words as i have a few top ranking organic positions. What my competition has done however is started using ad-words. My websites visitors and overall conversion dropped and im pretty sure its due to this.

    Ive started learning about adwords and its a whole new ball game on its own, there is the generic what google says you should do, then you find what people whom have experience have to say in online articles , and then you find that just like in traditional seo everything cannot be covered until you actually start using it and testing.

    My question is is there a way for a organic listing to compete with a paid listing ? I have seen at times my organic listing will appear above the local search pack along with the ads. At other times the adds appear at the bottom of the screen.

    Before i actually invest in this i just want to know if it is as you say the right fit.


    1. Dennis says:

      Hey Juan,
      Thanks for your comment.

      To answer your question, it really depends on the search query. But if it’s an informational query, your organic listing can compete with an organic one. But if it’s more commercial or transactional, ads will very often show before the organic ones.

      If you are getting a lot of business from your top organic listing, and find that their performance has dropped because of competitors running paid ads, I think it makes sense to start testing what would be possible for your business.

      Because of your organic positions, you’ll cover more real estate (top organic + paid) than those competitors, giving you a better return.

      Hope that helps!

  10. Tim Anderson says:

    The adwords information is the tip of an iceberg of information that google do not want anyone to know. Over time organic search has been killed off and replaced with paid search made to increasing look like organic search results.

    Google offer adwords coupons of USD 100 all over the internet because it costs them next to nothing and that is what you get, nothing. Google deliberately fail as a search engine because they want you to pay for high ranking. When I made a negative comment on google adwords advertising on facebook, all my future comments became “marked as spam” and hidden after three seconds. No appeal possible. Google closed down a website of mine in Jan this year which is critical of google. They crush critics. we must fight back and stop them indexing our websites.

    Google have been bullying webmasters for years. The last straw for me was their demand in late 2016 that I duplicate all my webpages and make an accelerated mobile webpage version of the hundreds of pages I have made. But html pages were made to be served on any size screen and the google AMP version is not much faster and uses a lot of javascript. They demand to cache your work cached on their website and do whatever they want with it.

    This arrogant company must be brought to heel. They also demand https though there are also many security flaws with https. http is the backbone protocol of the internet and google are penalising sites who do not use https;. Damn them.Google deliberately fail as a search engine because they are demanding that you pay to be included in search results. Organic search is dead and increasingly google top search results are advertising made to look more like organic search results

    But if you pay google you are supporting tax evasion, copyright theft and Internet crime. Their version of SEO wrecks websites, their demand that people make two versions of every webpage, one (Accelerated Mobile Pages an AMP version) to help them serve advertising on phones IS INSANE.

  11. Danny L says:

    This is a giant waste of money. Google own employees set up the modified keyword search. They assured me that the ad would not be clicked or I would not be charged for a click if it did not match exactly the words chosen by Google.

    Thats a bold face lie. I get charged for things that are so far away from what we do its inconceivable how I got charged for a click or how my name came up in the first place. Googles own algorithm is obviously this: Find a match let no search go unpaid!! Thats without question and sense there is absolutely no accountability in this country they are free to steal as much money as they like.

    Have a problem with that?? Call Google or should I say India.

    This is he biggest ponzie scheme since Bernie.

    The only people making money are the PPC companies and web designers who also say you will make money using Adwords

    Its never the the Gimmick that makes money, its those who show you how to use the Gimmick. If the Gimmick made money everybody would use it.
    Currently the only people that use Adwords are those that spend other peoples money or those who are new and will be out of money soon.
    The turnover is huge Im sure.

    1. Dennis says:

      Hey Danny,
      It sure sounds like you’ve had bad experiences with Adwords!

      I get a lot of your comments: unhelpful Google reps and companies that try to sell you on Adwords no matter what.

      But really Adwords is just one way to market your products. It’s a very competitive place and not ideal for every business or product.

      That said I have clients that have been spending big money on Adwords for the last 5 years. They are making a profit and grow month after month.

      So it definitely IS possible to make money with the platform.

  12. Lucy says:

    Hi Dennis

    Thanks for the info.

    I’ve made the mistake of using Adwords Express (I thought it would be a simpler system to get my poor head around) but I find that I cannot reduce my minimum daily spend so trying to get set up in Adwords.

    One of my concerns is that since I’ve frozen my AExpress account, my natural ranking has gone from top of second page to bottom of third! Its as though Google are punishing me or trying get me to restart my AExpress account. Any thoughts?

    I make and sell a unique product (eiderdowns) and there are only a handful of people making/selling these online. I’ve always thought that was an advantage, so long as the people that want to buy my product know what they are looking for and use that keyword. I know I need to work on other keywords and phrases in order to find people that don’t know what my product is called but really want one (they’re out there of course :D)

    Anyway, I did read your very well written blog but my brain starts to fry after a few paragraphs so I was wondering if its is possible for a very simple set of instructions on how to get Adwords set up without us one person run small businesses get the best out of adwords? Am I asking for too much? Should I accept that I’ll never understand Google Adwords, Express and SEO in general and give it up and spend more time on Instagram?


  13. Anonymous says:

    very good . thanks

  14. Darrell T says:

    Great article Dennis. Very insightful. You’d think with all the competition for online advertising dollars that Google would make it simpler but no! Keep up the good work Dennis.

  15. hi Dennis thanks for sharing this good information about google and seo

  16. suranegara says:

    and yet my client seems doesn’t care about it, even if i try to explain that its going to be expensive. all i can do just make sure their ROI is above spending. and i couldn’t agree more about dynamic remarketing.

  17. Hi dennis,

    Can you help me on this.

    I have a client, I want to convince them how much money they wasted in the past on unrealted terms. When i open the Adwords search terms , There are 145,873 terms there, how can I find out the actual wasted ad-spend, should I go one by one on those terms or any procedure, Please tell me any formula or steps.

    1. Dennis says:

      Hi Shivendra,
      I would export those search terms into a spreadsheet (make sure you include columns like CPC/total cost/conversions).

      Take out every search term that had a conversion. Then apply some rough filters to get rid of most of the useful keywords: your client’s brand, some key phrases in your op 10-50 keywords.

      You can get as granular as you have time for.

      Let me know when you find out what % was wasted, always eager to hear that number.

  18. Jimmy Dauphin says:

    My advice to anyone considering using Adwords is to get ready to deal with alot of frustration. I’ve experienced far too many issues to list and that isn’t the problem. The problem is fixing the issues that arise. Apparantly Google Adwords doesn’t understand how important customer service is.

    1. Dennis says:

      Hi Jimmy, thanks for chiming in.
      I know what you’re saying. Google isn’t very forthcoming about helping you to make Google Ads work. And as a smaller advertiser, you can’t even get them on the phone.

  19. Great article Dennis. I have personally witnessed my clients CPC get more expensive over time. In some cases, it’s been as high as 30% more even though we had much better QS. This is simply due to the rise of Google Ads in popularity and the trend, it seems, is more and more people are thinking the paying Google is the best thing to grow their business. However, if they don’t learn to manage it properly and optimize and continuously test their ad campaigns, they will end up wasting their budget. It is paramount for everyone advertising to monitor and manage their paid campaigns on a regular basis.

    1. Dennis says:

      100% agree. As it gets more competitive, it becomes even more important to be on top of your campaigns.

  20. Amazing Post
    I totally agree with this article.
    It is really helpful for people who are doing Google Adwords.

  21. John G says:

    Today I was charged $25 for 3 clicks. For the last 2 years I was charged on average $1.60 per click. I called and spoke with a non-English as a first language rep who refused to do anything. Then I asked for a supervisor and this supervisor, also not American, refused to assist me and could not explain why I was charged $25 for 3 clicks. He in fact was happy to help me cancel. I will not pay this amount nor ever do business with Google AdWords Express again. Their system apparently chooses your price depending on your monthly budget (which was $300 – their default setting to get as much money out of you as possible). The ad was running the last 2 weeks of January and apparently, while all the rest of the clicks were $1.60 only these 3 clicks were $25. They blame an algorithm. Apparently being Google means you can do whatever you want and get away with it. I would love to see them get this money from me. They never will and I will continue to expose their fraudulent activities on every message board and to every customer and business partner I encounter for the rest of my life. And that’s a lot. The supervisor was as pathetic as the initial rep. Apparently their call center is located in India not America. Just another huge company taking advantage of the United States and circumnavigating our laws to avoid paying their fair share. Time to get rid of Google. We are working on bypassing the Google Play Store and now we need to work on advertising that no longer uses google at all. Maybe a lawsuit for monopolistic and deceptive practices against this pathetic company as well. Time for Google to fail.

    1. Dennis says:

      Hi John,
      3 clicks for $25 sounds pretty excessive indeed if you’re used to paying $1.60.

      It’s always smart to be suspicious of what Google is doing. Sounds like you were using Google Ads Express.

      That’s a dumbed down version of the regular Google Ads where advertisers have even less control over what’s happening. Exactly as you describe, your cost per click increased almost 10X without any control or explanation why this is happening.

      Hope you can find an alternative that works for your business!

  22. Lynks says:

    How can I find out the actual wasted ad-spend, should I go one by one on those terms or any procedure,

    1. Dennis says:

      You could do that, or do an export of the search terms report. Open it up in a spreadsheet and delete all the “good terms”, add up the bad ones and that will give you a good idea what you’re dealing with.

      Usually, I find that it’s not so much the exact number that’s important, but the ballpark figure. Are you wasting a couple of hundred a month? Or is it running in the thousands?

  23. Small Business Owner says:

    Am I the only one who’s noticed that Google is forcing small business advertisers into more expensive campaigns?

    I had a situation where I tried to start a google ad campaign – just a small one. It was enabled and then Google paused the campaign because I had picked a number of low-value keywords. Google said the ad was paused because it wouldn’t be profitable. I couldn’t delete the ad. And I didn’t want to re-enable it. Google Ads sent an email saying that all my ads were paused.

    Three weeks later Google sent me an email saying they were enabling a “customer support” that would work for me without my doing anything. “Our Google Ads experts have begun making improvements in your account. Just sit back and watch your campaigns go to work for you.
    To make sure you’re set up for long-term success, our Google Ads experts will continue to make adjustments based on key signals in your account and against performance trends. This includes ongoing:
    • Evaluation of your account setup
    • Review of your campaign performance
    • Comparison against performance benchmarks”

    Sounds great, right? No.

    This month I suddenly had an ad balance even though all the ads were supposed to be paused. Even better, my SEO started to drop right around March 21. In two weeks SEO search results dropped 40% and click rate dropped 50%.

    I had an unexpected bill from Google and in a chat, the help desk told me the ad was enabled on March 1 and hadn’t been paused. So I showed them the emails and the website traffic that tanked just as they started to ‘help’ me, and now they plan to ‘get back” to me in a while. Meanwhile I canceled my google account, and there’s an outstanding balance that i can’t pay, and that I have been warned ‘may be bigger when your card is charged.”

    I think that Google is just trying to force people into high dollar ads, and when I didn’t start a more expensive ad after they paused my cheap little ad, then they started my campaign and forced my traffic to fall, so that maybe then I would buy ads.

    Maybe that’s a little too suspicious, but seriously, no paid service should be this clunky, and the bottom line is that I would have been better off NEVER LOADING GOOGLE ADWORDS.

    1. Dennis says:

      Wow Liz, that’s a pretty nasty experience.

      It sounds like the future Google wishes for: “Just sit back and watch your campaigns go to work for you.” While they just send you a bill at the end of the month, without any control over outcomes.

      Thanks for sharing this and hopefully it helps others to avoid going through the same thing you did.

    2. A. Nonymous says:

      Thanks so much for having posted this! I’ve noticed a few odd things along those lines too in just a few days. I was experimenting with two kinds of ads, including videos.

      – After I signed up, I received an e-mail with a coupon code that didn’t work (error message that I had already used such a coupon code). Then I received a code for a larger value. (I didn’t try it.)
      – (After I paused my ads) I was seeing ads encouraging me to use google ads in all sorts of places. Not that unusual, though.
      – I noticed that my balance had suddenly shot up and I couldn’t see which campaigns were actually causing that. Also, I’ve just realized that my balance actually shot up more than I thought (in one or two hours, I acquired double the costs I’d had in one or two previous days) because part of my balance was not showing while I was tweaking the ads; I had to go into billing to find that out.
      – When I paused all of my campaigns, some pages still had one or more of my campaigns marked as running (have also seen a discrepancy between “running” and still “in review”), while others indicated them as paused. I know that there is currently still one page that shows one of my campaigns as running, but I can’t find that particular page right now.
      – I too thought that it is odd that you can’t actually delete a campaign, only mark it deleted (“removed”).


      1. A. Nonymous says:

        I just found the page that still showed one of my campaigns as running.

        It was under “Settings”.

        The other two pages you need to check are “Campaigns” and “Ads and extensions”. There may be more…

        1. A. Nonymous says:

          “Ad groups” is another page that you need to check for campaigns still marked as running even though you paused them.

          1. A. Nonymous says:

            I just tried the second “ad credit” code Google sent me and got the same response “Because you have previously used a promotion, your account isn’t eligible to use this promotion.”

            Only If I spend a certain minimum per day, I can call them about it at no charge and they give me a 1-800 number to call, in the US, but I am in Europe.

  24. My recommendation to anybody considering utilizing Adwords is to prepare to manage a great deal of dissatisfaction. I’ve encountered excessively numerous issues to list and that isn’t the issue. The issue is fixing the issues that emerge. And many facts google can hide but we actually don’t know that.

  25. Inztabee says:

    So, here is my story. Today was my first day dealing with Google Ads and guess what I fell into the broad match trap and end up spending an unnecessary amount of money with people who clearly didn’t have any interest on my products. I wish I had read few articles like this before jumping into Google Ads. Well maybe tomorrow is a better day. Besides that, I also noticed that Ubersuggest numbers is correlated to the broad match numbers – which can be pretty frustrating for those planning business’ demand based on Google Searches via Ubersuggest. Anyway, thanks for the article, as I said, I wish I had read it earlier.

    1. Dennis says:

      Unfortunately, that’s a very common story.

      If you want to use keyword research tools, don’t rely on the exact numbers. See them more as the ballpark: are there 10k searches a month, or only 50?

  26. Frank Fowler says:

    I’ve searched thousands of articles seeking information on this subject to make my PPC campaign work better for me, and this is the first article that I’ve found that offers excellent common sense advice. What a relief – thank you so much!

    1. Dennis says:

      Glad to hear you found it useful Frank!

  27. Frank Fowler says:

    Hi again, Dennis. I just wanted to let you know that I began implementing some of the advice from your article, the very next day. And, I am seeing an ‘immediate’ improvement in my campaign performance! I wish I had found your article 3 years ago. However, I am absolutely delighted with the results that I’m getting, I feel very lucky that I found your article. I can’t thank you enough, and I hope others get lucky enough to read your article. Again, thank you!

    1. Dennis says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and share your results Frank. Makes my day to know the article was helpful 😊

    2. A. Nonymous says:

      Thanks, Frank, that is good for me to know.

      I started only a few days ago. I know how to grab people’s attention, but I don’t know how to convert it into sales, and that is true for me in real life as well. (I like entertaining people more than selling them something.)

      Also, it makes a difference for ads whether you are selling tangible products or non-tangible products, and that is something I had not thought of yet in enough depth.

      When it comes to Google ads, I still need to figure out how to grab the RIGHT people’s attention, so that I have a greater chance of holding it. Then I need to think about what would motivate them to buy. (Who is my target audience? I need to start playing more with demographics. Age groups notably, in my case.)

      I noticed pretty early on that the keywords I entered did not necessarily have a lot to do with the keywords that Google uses for the campaign. This does not have to be bad thing, though, as you’d expect Google to have some insight in how people’s search terms relate to what people will click on when they encounter it unexpectedly.

      Do people who are looking for a baseball cap end up buying a hat, or do people who are looking for a hat buy a baseball cap?Answering that question could be a good indication for which negative keywords to use.

  28. Ernests says:

    Well, we can agree on one thing – Google Ads isn’t for every online business.

  29. Why our keywords aren’t our keywords?

    1. Dennis says:

      Google ads makes the distinction between:

      • search queries: what people look for
      • keywords: what you put into your account

      The level of how different these two are depends on your keyword match types. You can learn about those in detail:

  30. Personally I would force all Google engineers in to a human factors course in industrial engineering. They need to learn how to be human again. Much of what a software engineer knows…they assume that everyone knows. What to type, where to find, how to interpret results. I tried using this new adwords interface…..just plain horrible. Facebook is simpler, though I am not trying to compare results of ads from one platform or another.

    Steve Jobs would be horrified at the dash board interface. But if you are use to doing google ads daily….this might be easy for you. If it is, you likely design web pages, play fortnight till 4am, and eat cold pizza for breakfast. In other words….you are a nerd. I want doing google ads to be “muggle” friendly.

    1. A. Nonymous says:

      Ha, William!! People who like this user interface do NOT design web pages! (They’re more likely to be algorithm coders.) I’ve contributed to a book about website usability in the past and I’ve designed and built a few websites, one large one and a smaller one, often working on them till 4 in the morning. As the large site had several links from Wikipedia and led to people interacting with me (which led to me contributing to a book published in Canada, among other things), I must have done something right, even though I am not a web designer by profession, not at all.

      (I love cold pizza for breakfast, though. Thanks for reminding me, haven’t done that in ages.)

      It’s like Google hasn’t done any usability research on this interface at all. It’s easily the worst website experience I’ve had in one or two decades.

      I find myself clicking all over the place sometimes only to find the page that I need. Sometimes I close the tab, and then search “Google ads” to start over and see if that helps me find the page that I want.

      If I change the name of a campaign, it often only gets changed on that particular page, but not on the other pages, which can make it hard to assess what campaigns I’m actually looking at.

      Just a few examples.

  31. Timothy says:

    I’ve used Adwords since 2006. It’s gotten much harder to keep up with the complexity. Recently I worked with one of Google’s advisors to set my ads up as responsive. Now I get more clicks at the same cost. But new business has almost totally tanked. So somehow I’m getting less qualified clicks. It’s hard to sort it out..

    1. Dennis says:

      Hi Timothy,
      Google’s advisors can be very hit and miss. Very often their suggestions are for new features or for things that will make them more money. Your business results, as you’ve found out, isn’t at the top of their priority list..

  32. تبلیغات در گوگل says:

    I agree with this article. I’m also PPC expert and I recommend it all my friends.

  33. sabuj says:

    Nice topic, you covered so nicely Thanks for the share!

  34. Mousmedia says:

    Hello, Thank you for your article share with us. It’s very helpful for me.

  35. Great article!
    thank you

  36. Capt Kirk says:

    As a company who does not have an online store, but needs to increase visibility of our brand amoungst the public (in a specific geographic area) , is Google Ads worthwhile? What type of settings should we use, if it is , in fact, a useable path to public awareness, or should I just buy a billboard on the highway?

    1. Dennis says:

      Hi Kirk,
      If you’re not selling online, are you using your website to generate leads?
      If the goal is just brand awareness and you’re not doing anything online, a billboard or magazine ad might indeed be a better investment.
      Hope these help!

  37. مبدل فیبر نوری says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and share your results Frank. Makes my day to know the article was helpful

  38. hi
    I read your article and I believe that we shouldn’t use google ads

  39. The article was very good. Please teach us about choosing the best keywords for Ads. Thank you.

  40. It’s interesting to know that keywords can be quite complicated when it comes to Google advertising services. I’m trying to learn more about digital marketing in preparation for a food delivery service business that I’m planning to start someday. Perhaps it would be best to enlist the aid of a marketing firm for me to understand it better.

    1. Dennis says:

      Hi Alice,
      You’re right, there is a lot more going if you dip below the surface of Google Ads.

      If you have the funds, I’d suggest you find a partner that can help you. If you don’t, start small and set aside a budget for learning how everything works.

  41. I read your article and I believe that we shouldn’t use google ads

    1. Dennis says:

      It’s definitely not ideal for all businesses. So do your homework, and discover what other channels could be helpful to your business!

  42. Seonab says:

    I read your article and I believe that we shouldn’t use google ads

    1. Dennis says:

      It’s something that every business needs to work our for themselves.

      In some cases, Google Ads won’t be useful.

  43. تبلیغ در گوگل says:

    These tips are really appreciable. I am also PPC expert and I recommend all to read this article. I bookmarked this page. Keep it up.

  44. I noticed pretty early on that the keywords I entered did not necessarily have a lot to do with the keywords that Google uses for the campaign. This does not have to be bad thing, though, as you’d expect Google to have some insight in how people’s search terms relate to what people will click on when they encounter it unexpectedly.

    1. Dennis says:

      Hi Hamid,
      You’re correct, sometimes Google uses the keywords you enter to show you for related searches. If most of the search terms you see appear are relevant to you, all the better.

      If you do find that there are too many useless search terms, I’d take a close look at keyword match types. This is a way to indicate to Google has closely related the actual search terms need to be.

  45. I didnt get it,Im using google ads for a month but ROI is not that much…working on used car niche

    1. Dennis says:

      Used products are though in general. I haven’t run any ads for used cars, but I can imagine that the car you show in your ads is never the exact car a person is searching for.

      So I’d consider it more lead generation to bring visitors to my used-car platform, and then try to sell them on a different model.

      Is that the way you’re thinking about it?

  46. spyaar says:

    I wanted to use Google Ads for the washing machine repair site, but my account is not approved, can anyone guide me?

    1. Dennis Moons says:

      I know that certain verticals require additional verification before you can start showing ads. So my best advice would be to contact Google support to see what conditions you need to adhere to.

      1. How can I find out the actual wasted ad-spend, should I go one by one on those terms or any procedure

        1. Dennis Moons says:

          Yeah that would be the simplest way. But it might be a bit time consuming to get to an accurate number!

  47. Ejtem says:

    These tips are really appreciable. I am also PPC expert and I recommend all to read this article. I bookmarked this page. Keep it up.

  48. Tubema says:

    Great article Dennis. Very insightful. You’d think with all the competition for online advertising dollars that Google would make it simpler but no! Keep up the good work Dennis.

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