First things first, I do not work for Google, I don’t own stock in Google, and I do not get referral commissions when businesses sign up from my recommendations.

I just genuinely love Google AdWords based on my experience managing over $8 million in ad spend over the past 8 years. I believe it’s one of the best options for many businesses and in this article I’ll highlight the 3 main reasons why. Then, I’ll touch on the 3 reasons why many businesses absolutely hate AdWords.  You’ll see some striking similarities.

First, I love how you can…



Laser Target Buyers

With Google AdWords search advertising, you have the ability to show your ads to prospects who are literally searching for your product or service.  Think of it like the old Yellow Pages book.

I remember when I was home alone and needed to order dinner I would open up the Yellow Pages, flip to a category like Pizza, and pick out the restaurant that caught my eye.  The only time I would ever open up that book was when I was ready to buy.

Now what do I do?  Like almost everyone else, I go to and search when I am looking to make a purchase.  And Google AdWords gives businesses like us the ability to show our ads to those prospects searching to make a purchase.  That’s about as good as it gets when it comes to marketing.

Second, I love the ability to…


Fully Measure Results

AdWords provides website form conversion tracking, phone call tracking on ads, and most recently website phone call tracking.  Plus, if you offer a redeemable coupon code then you can easily track sales in your store.  That means the performance of your AdWords ads is not a mystery.  As long as you have the correct tracking in place, then you can calculate the return on investment of your ads month after month.

Third, I love that AdWords is…


Less Risky To Test

Where else can you advertise your business with absolutely no minimum upfront investment?  And where else can you advertise where you only pay when potential customers take an action like clicking on your ad to learn more?

That certainly reduces a lot of the risk in advertising and levels the playing ground for small businesses to compete.

Now, with all that said I have to admit that I hear more complaints about Google AdWords than praise.  And unfortunately, based on hundreds (more like thousands at this point) of conversations with businesses, I’m fairly certain the majority of new advertisers lose money testing AdWords.

Why is that the case?  I just listed 3 compelling reasons why AdWords should be the best advertising option, yet many advertisers don’t make it work.  Let’s look at the 3 key reasons why…

You’ll hate AdWords if you do not…


Laser Target Your Buyers

One of the most common mistakes I see when I review AdWords campaigns is poor keyword selection.  Just because a keyword is related to your product or service doesn’t mean you should advertise when people search that phrase.

For example, “back pain” sounds like a logical keyword for a chiropractor right? But it’s not what I call a buying-intent keyword.  It’s a research-intent keyword. People search “back pain” in Google while researching different solutions. Prospective patients search keywords like “chiropractor in new york city” and “chiropractor near me.”  See the difference?  Make sure you’re targeting buyers with your ads or you’ll end up wasting a lot of your budget.

You’ll also hate AdWords if you do not…


Measure Your ROI

As I mentioned above, Google gives every advertiser, for free, the tools to track conversions from webforms and even phone calls.  However, in my experience, few advertisers use these tools to track the return on investment from their ad spend.

Without tracking there’s no way to effectively manage and optimize your campaigns because you don’t know which ads and keywords are generating sales and which are simply burning through your budget.

Finally, you’ll hate AdWords if you do not…


Have a Plan for Success

I believe lack of planning is the #1 reason why businesses struggle with Google AdWords.  Google is partly to blame because they made their tool too easy to get set up.  I’m only half joking…

All it takes is a few clicks of your mouse and you can have an ad campaign live in AdWords.  Even better is the fact that Google sends nearly every business a $100 coupon to get started.  Who can refuse that invite?

Unfortunately, that means many businesses dive head first into AdWords without first thinking through their goals, their offer, their targeting, and how they’ll measure success.  That inevitably leads to poor ad performance and lots of frustration.