written by
Kyle Thumm

How To Survive Your First Google Ads Campaign without Going Bankrupt

Marketing Tips 5 min read

Google Ads are insanely valuable advertising channel. It is unmatched due to the ability to target potential customers based on their "intent".

What I mean by that is you can advertise to people at the exact moment when they are looking to make a purchase decision.

While Google Ads still work very well... they are not guaranteed to provide your business with an ROI unless they are set up well.

if you are getting started with Google Ads for your small business then these are somethings that I recommend you avoid.

1) Don't Send Traffic To Your Homepage

Your Homepage is designed to give people information & direction!

That's great but when we are paying for traffic we don't want that.

Don't allow your customer to get lost or distracted. Give them what they are looking for!

If they click an ad that is for "booking an appointment" then make sure the page they land on has a super obvious next step that will help them achieve their goal.

The best way to do this is to create a dedicated landing page.

If you are not tech-savvy then there is a lot of landing page builders that make it easy for you to throw a new page together. My favorite is Clickfunnels because it allows for you to build nice looking pages insanely quickly.

2) Pay close attention to your Geographic Settings

Look. There are thousands of businesses out there that are advertising in the wrong location. I find them every single day.

It is an incredible waste of ad spend.

If your business only serves a specific region then you want to make sure that your ads are set up as efficiently as possible.

Every single time that your ads are shown to someone who is not in your market COSTS YOU MONEY.

Either by

a) clicking on your ads and charging you for someone who lives 2000 miles away


b) They ignore the ad and decrease your relevancy score which means Google will charge you more per click.

Not only are you get irrelevant clicks, but you are paying more for them than you should be!

At the campaign menu, go to 'Locations' and make sure that your location is set appropriately.

Also, make sure to go to 'Settings' and make sure that the location is set up properly.

Depending on your product, you may want to avoid 'people who are interested in this location'. If there is someone 1000 miles away who has an interest in my city, I don't want my local service ads to be showing for that person.

3) Create More Than One Ad

For DIYers, I don't recommend getting too complicated with your A/B testing.

But you still need to A/B test!

Keep it simple. Always run at least 2 different ads for each campaign.

When it's obvious which one is getting a higher Click-Through-Rate (CTR) then keep that one running and scrap the loser.

The winner of the test will be your 'Control' Ad.

Just because that ad is doing well doesn't mean to get complacent. Your goal is to create a new Ad that does even better.

Keep testing until you find it.

4)Avoid Broad Search Terms

Many small business owners that are new to Google ads don't realize that their search terms are set up very broadly.

When a wedding photographer types in 'photography' as your keyword you are going to pop up for a bunch of different terms that are irrelevant!


photography classes,

architectural photography

family photographer

famous photography

event photography

None of these search terms will bring a photographer closer to booking a wedding!

What you want to do is use a modified broad keyword

  • +Wedding +Photographer

What that does it makes it so that your ad will only show when both words are present.

Once you do that... make sure to keep track of the keywords that your ads are displaying for.

You can do this by clicking the 'Search Term' tab from the keyword menu.

Click 'Search Terms' to review the different search terms that you have spent money on.

Make sure to monitor this and to add irrelevant keywords to your 'Negative Keyword' list and that will ensure that your ads don't show for those keywords again

5) Avoid Google Express

Google Express is the same as Boosting a Facebook post.

It is easy but hardly scrapes the surface of the power that these ad platforms provide.

It will be very hard to be profitable with Google Express!

Stay in control and switch yourself to 'Expert' Mode.

6) Pair the Ad with an Offer

Advertising is an incredible first step for you to get business online. The next thing that you have to think about is how do you make your ad stand out from the rest?

The more general that your ad is, the less likely that it is going to lead to a conversion for your business!

The best way to stand out is to craft an irresistible offer.

Take a look at your competitor's ads and try to figure out an offer that will set you apart from them. Include that offer in your ad.\ & on your landing page.

Take a look at the below example.

The $49 offer is much more likely to get a click because it provides a bit of certainty with the price and it is positioned as a 'deal' that you get to take advantage of.

7) Know the Lifetime Value of a Customer

In the example that I just mentioned, the $49 is just an offer to get people's feet in the door. When advertising it is best to think about the lifetime value of a customer!

Once they've made their first purchase, what is the likelihood that they will come back for more? How much will they spend with you over the course of the next year? or over their lifetime?

If you don't understand the lifetime value of a customer then it will be very difficult to craft an irresistible offer and to use Google Ads profitably.

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