Google AdWords for small business – Pros and Cons

I’m generally a big fan of Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for small businesses looking to gain traction in this ever competitive world. PPC works really well if you have a carefully defined product and/or service that can be summed up in 3-5 words. “Electrician”, “plumber”, “roofing contractor” are all prime examples of unambiguous services that people are searching for all the time. Adding a geographical location – “electrician Morristown” for example, defines the service in even more detail for both the searcher and the advertiser, saving the searcher time and the advertiser money (by not appearing in a location that they don’t service).

PPC advertising has some great features going for it:

  • They work – especially for easily defined service or product (see above)
  • Geographically focused – show up in the areas you want and not in the areas that you don’t want
  • Instantaneous – ads up and running within 24 hours

Against it we have:

  • Doesn’t do well for less easily defined products or services – for instance “marketing” isn’t an easy one because it means so many things to so many people.
  • Can be expensive – especially if left unmanaged
  • Needs a minimum monthly budget of $500+/month
  • No residual effect – once your budget is chewed up, that’s it your ads disappear and you stop appearing

The $500 minimum budget comes from my experience with the average cost of clicks for small businesses. Google actually divides that monthly budget into daily limits so if we start with a monthly budget of $600, 600/30 = $20/day (based on a 30 day month). I have clients at one end of the spectrum paying about $2/click so they get 10 clicks a day – at the other end I have clients with certain keywords that cost them $15/click. At $20/day they are only going to get 1 or 2 clicks a day – so their budget needs to be more than $20/day to get any meaningful results.

If you think a $500 minimum budget is a lot and possibly beyond your means at the moment, spare a thought for the plight of attorneys in San Antonio TX. A recent report ( reports that the most expensive Google AdWords keyword phrase is “San Antonio car wreck attorney” which comes in at a whopping $670 PER CLICK, not per month or even per day but per click! Imagine what their monthly budget is!

Most expensive AdWords phrase

If you’ve been considering PPC for your business but you don’t know where to begin please give me a call at 973-234-5623 and let’s discuss the options that are available to you.


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