It’s critical to understand the value of any new marketing channel before spending time, money and other resources on launching and maintaining those marketing efforts. Especially for small businesses that may be new to online marketing, Google AdWords can be intimidating and confusing. While this blog won’t address every question a small business owner might have, I attempt to answer the most common concerns I’ve heard working with clients and companies across the country.

I Don’t Have Enough Budget for Google AdWords

This is one of the most common concerns small business owners have regarding Google AdWords. It’s definitely understandable, but also one of the easiest concerns to address. As long as you have some budget to test AdWords, you can scale it over time and ensure profitability. If your budget is small at launch, consider the following tips:

  • Start with a small segment of your company (preferably one that does well for you outside of AdWords) and monitor performance and ROI. If the program does well and delivers a positive ROI, scale the program up into other areas.
  • If you sell nationally or internationally and need to test a small budget first, consider geotargeting your AdWords program to one large city first to limit spend and expand into other areas when you see positive performance.
  • Start with exact and phrase match keywords – this will provide a lot more budget control than other match types

Exact match means that a search query needs to match your keyword exactly. For [rolex watch], the search query needs to be “rolex watch” precisely, those words in that order with no other words in the query. Phrase match forces those words as a phrase in the query, but allows other words before or after it. For “rolex watch”, a query for ‘rolex watch in st louis’ can still trigger your ad. In both cases, the query ‘rolex luxury watch’ will not match and your ad will not show.

I’m Too Busy to Launch and Manage an AdWords Program

This is a common issue and, frankly, one that often leads clients to hire me to manage their PPC for them. However, if you’re just looking to test the waters, it’s unlikely you’re going to hire an agency or consultant to do the heavy lifting for you. Launching a test campaign or two for your small business can take as little as 2-3 hours and you’ll start to see data immediately.

Once your test program is live, you’ll want to check in on it at least every week or so and make a few tweaks. For the size of most test campaigns, you’re looking at 30 minutes or so. For those running a test program for a month, this means you’ll spend less than 5-6 hours total to test AdWords for your business. One of my service-based clients gets over 100 leads every month (for a high-cost service) from AdWords. Could your business use this kind of boost?

Google AdWords Doesn’t Work for My Business

Google AdWords doesn’t work for everyone. There, I got that out of the way. However, I think too many businesses assume that AdWords won’t work for them and they never even try. There are definitely some specific industries that will find difficulty and barriers to entry to operate in AdWords (scroll down to Restricted Content for the most relevant content). However, there are many businesses that will be surprised at the opportunity afforded by Google AdWords. It provides a platform to drive potential customers that are actively looking for information about your product or service to a specific page of your website (a landing page) and introduce your brand. While I might catch hell for the comparison, this is comparable to getting someone new (that is looking for what you offer) into your store for the first time. If that sounds good to you, you should give AdWords a try.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve never tried AdWords before and you’re looking to test the platform, good for you! It’s worth testing. If you’ve tried AdWords before and didn’t see the results you wanted, it might be worth your time to understand why it didn’t work and whether that was because AdWords won’t work for you or an issue with managing the tool. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for a TON of businesses, large and small. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below or send me an email: kim (at) and I’ll do all I can to help.