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The Real Reason Your Search Ads Aren't Profitable
The answer is pretty obvious. Your campaigns cost too much for the revenue they are bring in.
It might seem like a cop-out answer, but it contains useful insight.
Making Google Ads work, is all about controlling cost.
And that starts by not wasting any money.
You might not be aware of it, but Google has optimized its own system to extract as much profit as possible from unaware advertisers.
These are things like default options, new features, and more automation that instantly put you on the track towards unprofitability.
Like this one:
The screenshot shows how advertisers can improve their "Optimization Score" by 5%. A small detail Google forgets to mention that clicking "Apply all" this campaign switches to a bid strategy that would absolutely tank this campaign.
People have been calling Google out on this BS for years. But they continue their shady practices and advertisers keep getting screwed by them.
And it is not just the small advertisers. Advertisers that spend $10k/mo and up are also making these exact same mistakes.
Across Google Ads accounts, I’ve consistently found that 10-25% of the ad budget is being wasted.
So if you want to control cost, that’s the number one thing you need to handle ASAP!
Once you’ve got that sorted, the return of your campaigns should already be a little bit better.
At that point, the main thing that’s driving up costs is your competitors.
While things like Shopping and YouTube Ads are pretty recent additions to the Google Ads platform, Search Ads have been in place from the start.
That‘s already 20 years ago, which means that some advertisers have gotten really good at it.
So how can you compete effectively against that? Even if you are new at it?
How To Compete Against 20 Years of Experience
The first step is to learn a lot more about how every piece of Google Ads works.
And if you start searching around, you’ll find plenty of advice and tips.
But most of the articles and videos you find stay right on the surface.
Google’s whole certification program isn’t any different. It’s interesting to go through it, you can learn how to set up the first campaign, how to activate feature X or where to find a certain report.
But where that program and most other materials are lacking is in telling you what to do when all of those basics have been taken care of.
Because Google’s main advice at that point is to encourage you to increase your cost per click or budget.
But if you’re losing money with every click, it’s pretty simple what will happen.
It might take a few months to finally pull the plug, but eventually, you’re going to stop advertising.
Or maybe you’ll keep your campaigns going for a couple of dollars a day. Because it's cheap enough and “it can’t hurt, right?”.
But at that point, it is clear that Google Search Ads aren’t going to translate into a sales channel you can rely on and bank on.
Instead of having a steady stream of customers and revenue that you can use to build the rest of your business, you’ll have to look at some other channels to find traffic and sales.
But some ecommerce businesses do see results from Google Search Ads.
So, is there some kind of underlying approach that these advertisers use to bring in enough sales for what they spend? And how did they get there?
The $10M Google Ads Playbook
It’s been about 12 years since I first heard of something called Google Adwords.
A friend asked whether I could create some ads for his software tool. He asked me because I’d studied marketing so he figured I must know a little bit more about it than he did.
In reality, I didn’t. But I managed to set up campaigns, get some clicks to his website, and get him a bill of around $400.
He didn’t sell any extra software because of it. And I’m pretty sure I made every mistake in the book. But he was happy with the website visitors, I was happy to get some experience. (And I’m sure Google was happy as well!)
A couple of years later I was working as a marketing consultant, and one time a client asked me whether I could help them out with their Search Ads campaigns.
Not wanting to admit I didn’t really know what I was doing (and not mentioning my earlier attempts), I said: “Sure, I’ll have a look”.
When I opened up their ad account for the first time, I was pretty excited, but also a little terrified.
Here was this big company that was spending thousands of $ on ads every month, and sometimes even paying a couple of dollars per click (I thought they were crazy for wasting so much money at the time).
And they wanted me to help out.
It was obvious I was in a little over my head.
So I started reading books, attending conferences, got my Google Ads certification, and even managed to get myself invited to the Google office in Brussels for advanced training.
And those things helped.
Step by step, I was now able to look at that same client’s account, understand what was going on, and even make some changes that improved the results.
But I was far from confident.
That only came after doing the work.
In the 8 years that followed, I worked with hundreds of different ecommerce businesses all around the world. All selling different products in different markets with different economics.
And over time, most of the campaigns I managed did ok, some did REALLY well, and a few absolutely failed.
If you have a client that is trusting you with their hard-earned profits and you fail to generate enough in sales to cover the cost of the product, things can get pretty stressful.
So every time that happened, I tried to get to the bottom of it. Why did this happen? What could be some alternative approaches I could try in the future?
And bit by bit, I started improving my process, something that continued to this day.
That process enables me to know exactly what to do in each stage of a campaign, what tactics to try, and which metrics to focus on.
The goal of this story is to tell you that you’re not going to become a Google Ads expert overnight, nor should you.
There are no secret strategies, weird settings, or clever hacks that allow you to instantly go from 0 to insane profits.
But if you have the right input, do the work and be patient, you can get great results.
While I can’t help you with the patience part, I can help you by providing the right inputs.
So what you are about to see is all of that knowledge and experience distilled to its essence.
I break down what you need to know about Google Search Ads in a way that I’ve tested to be easy to understand and apply to your own campaigns.
Introducing Search Ads Success
Search Ads Success is a self-paced online course for entrepreneurs and freelancers to learn how to use Google Search Ads to generate profitable sales.
To do that I’ve created 28 in-depth lessons that will guide you through every step of optimizing your Google Search Ads.
Every lesson covers a single topic and teaches you how to get every part of your Search Ads right to be as effective as possible.
Checkout price will be in your local currency & VAT might be added*
Who is this for?
Search Ads Success is perfect for all advertisers that want to know how to use Search Ads to scale their ecommerce sales.
If you're running an ecommerce business and using Google Ads, you need to understand how to make Search Ads work for your business.
You need the details and tactics that will allow you to thrive using this ad channel.
If you're running Google Ads for multiple clients, this offer really is a no-brainer.
Search Ads have only gotten more competitive during the last few years. So you need to be on top of things to be able to deliver results for your clients.
What our customers are saying
Don’t take my word for it, here are three people that recently used our course to improve their Search Ads.
I was looking for a ‘straight to the point’, no fluff course from someone who has learned the hard lessons and can give me the fast track, and these completely delivered.
Rich Fraser - Ecommerce Entrepreneur
It is evident that Dennis is an expert in his field, and he does a wonderful job of breaking down all of the complex lessons. I already had some shopping Ads running for my eCommerce business when I found this course but was looking to learn and implement a 'real' strategy instead of just guessing.
Kevin - CEO @ The OfficeOasis.com
I recommend this training to anyone who wants to set up, optimize and scale successful Google Ads campaigns to keep happy clients.
Jessica R. - Agency team lead
The Search Ads Success course
Module 1 - STRATEGY
Many fundamental problems with Search Ads originate from having poor fundamentals to build on.
That's why we kick off this course by looking at those building blocks and figuring out the most optimal approach to use Search Ads in your overall strategy.
Lessons In this module:
Is Your Conversion Funnel Blocking Your Growth?
How To Handle Your Biggest Competitor
Google Ads Strategy Roadmap
Future-Proofing Your Account Structure
Module 2 - LEVEL UP
Rather than rehashing all the basics, the goal of this module is to take your knowledge up a notch.
We dive deep into all the essential parts that make up a Search Ads campaign. With it, you'll find new approaches, features, and ways to be more effective at managing your campaigns.
Lessons In this module:
Becoming A Better Mario
Next Level Keyword Research
Adapting To Evolving Keyword Match Types (Updated for 2022)
The 3-Step Ad Creation Process
Getting Smart About Negative Keywords
The Hidden Powers Of Ad Extensions
Banking On Budgets & Bidding
Google Analytics for Search
Module 3 - OPTIMIZATION
The key to getting consistent results with Google Ads is having a repeatable process.
In this module, I show you the framework that I use to get consistent results for my own clients.
Lessons In this module:
Your Optimization Routine
From Keyword To Campaign Expansion
Testing Ads And Ad Extensions (Updated for 2022)
Cost Cutting with Bid Adjustments
Discovering the right bidding strategy
Solving For Mobile
Overhauling Existing Campaigns
7 Hacks to Boost Your Quality Scores
Module 4 - ADVANCED OPTIMIZATION
Besides executing perfectly on the basics, Google Search Ads campaigns also offer a lot of extras with plenty of potential.
In this module, I show you when and how to use them effectively.
Checkout price will be in your local currency & VAT might be added*
The course works with all ecommerce platforms:
Store Growers has helped 600+ ecommerce businesses and freelancers get better at Google Ads.
Here is what they are saying:
As part of this course, you'll get access to the following bonuses.
Bonus #1 - In-depth training video: Full keyword research
People often tell me they want to see the details.
And with a length of 5 hours and 40 minutes, that's exactly what I'm doing in this video. You'll see me do a keyword research process from scratch all the way until I upload the campaigns in Google Ads. 100% uncensored and unedited.
Bonus #2 - Worksheets
We've got two worksheets in the course to make you more effective. If you need to set up a lot of campaigns, these are huge time-savers.
1 - Keyword research worksheet helps to manage your research at every stage of the process. From coming up with initial seed keywords to preparing an import you can copy/paste in Google Ads Editor to create your actual campaign structure.
2 - Ad creation worksheet makes coming up with great and effective ads (and ad extensions) a lot easier. I've also integrated functionalities that will speed up getting the ads into your campaigns.
Bonus #3 - Business Model Simulation
If you're paying for traffic, the building blocks of your business model need to be sound.
Finding your baseline and exploring the targets you would need to hit, makes sure your campaign doesn't just bring clicks, but also results in actual profits.
In this simulation, you can also find your break-even ROAS, a great metric to manage your campaigns with.
For freelancers and consultants, this simulation is a great tool to use during your sales process. It quickly allows you to assess a client's situation which helps with setting more accurate expectations.
Bonus #4 - Campaign tracker
The campaign tracker is the cornerstone of my optimization efforts.
It keeps track of changes I've made to my campaigns, shows me where I'm at in the optimization process and what tactics are appropriate at that exact moment.
Bonus #5 - Lifetime Access (Updates)
Google is constantly making changes to Google Ads and the search results.
So here at Store Growers, we're constantly making updates to the lessons in this course. We've just complete an overhaul to make sure all the lessons on match types and ads are up to speed.
I'm confident to say that today, April 2022, this course is 100% up to date with the current Google Ads interface and strategies.
As a customer of Search Ads Success, you'll also have lifetime access to the course and receive free updates as we roll them out.