Not all small businesses should use AdWords. Is your business one of them? Take this quiz below to find out.
In my 6 years as a small business AdWords consultant, I wish I had this quiz to offer to all business owners from the beginning. Certain business models have a proportionately higher chance of success with AdWords than others. The criteria embedded in this quiz often meant the difference between an account struggling to break even, and an account so profitable it could max-out spending and still make money.
This quiz will help you make the right decision quickly and move on.
Either dive straight into AdWords, or leave it in the dust.
Without further ado, take the 5-minute quiz here (only 45 seconds if you skip the bullet points, I recommend that you read them for full understanding of the questions):
1. It’s called a Campaign for a reason. Do you have something specific to promote?
- Like a charge into the battlefield, you want to put ads out there for a worthy cause. Promote something specific and tangible, don’t just try to “generate awareness” or “increase brand recognition”. Especially don’t place ads just because your nephew said you should “get on AdWords.”
2. Do you sell a standard product? Or, is your service “productized”?
- It needs to be easy for customers to make a purchase from you. A service should have set prices for particular packages that are for sale on your website.
- Understanding the path that customers took to find you is fundamental to AdWords success. If you create custom products, or if you ask prospects to request proposals, that is a step that will go unmeasured in AdWords, and discovering your ROI will be very difficult. It’s hard for small companies with limited resources to track the success and consistency of these types of transactions.
3. Is your product in a category that’s “family friendly” and not on Google’s restricted list?
- Google will make you jump through hoops if your business is adult-oriented, in healthcare, gambling-related, or is political in nature. Illegal or dangerous products are also not allowed.
- As long as your business is legit, you could get around these roadblocks. But even something as simple as a ‘wrinkle-reducing’ skin cream can have serious Quality Score issues and long ad approval times because it qualifies as “a pharmaceutical”. These setbacks take huge chunks out of your budget, and 10x more time to manage than a product which requires no approval process.
4. Could your product be an immediate purchase?
- You have more chances for success when potential customers click on your ad and decide to buy right away. The best AdWords interactions don’t require the prospect to “think about it” or compare alternatives before coming back later. They need to buy right now.
- Generally $30-$150 seems to be the sweet spot for pricing, though it really depends on your market. Less, and it can be hard to make a profit. More, and prospects might second-guess themselves before buying.
5. Do your potential customers search for your product category on Google?
- In order for AdWords to work, your customers have to be searching for specific keywords related to your business. Think about all the different ways that customers might search for your product.
- For new product categories, no one is searching yet and therefore there are no potential customers through AdWords. A “selfie stick” campaign in 2013 would have gotten no clicks, but circa 2015 there are thousands of searches for that phrase. New products must first be popularized through other channels in order for AdWords to work.
- Some niches are just too small, and the effort required to gain traction isn’t worth it. Check Google’s Keyword Tool to see if at least 1000 people are searching for your specific keywords per month. This level of search volume is not a hard and fast rule, but more is better.
6. Does your product have a Unique Value Proposition to differentiate from competitors?
- In order to succeed, you’ll need to stand out from the other ads, then reel the customer in with your landing page, then close the sale. To do that, you must have a compelling offer, there’s just no way around it.
7. Does your website have a shopping cart for visitors to purchase the product(s)?
- This one might go without saying, but it is a must. You can get by with a phone number or a contact form, but the fastest and most effective way to make sales through AdWords is a shopping cart. Not only can you get better conversions, but you’ll also be able to track your results and use the data to make improvements.
If you’ve answered “Yes” to all of the above questions, by all means you should at least consider AdWords as one of your marketing channels. Your business could benefit from a smart and careful approach to AdWords.
If you’ve gone through the quiz and realize that AdWords isn’t ideal for you, don’t worry! This quiz just saved you hundreds of dollars and a lot of headaches.
Still, I’m sure some people reading this that didn’t get all “Yes” answers will say “screw that I’m doing it anyway,” and still have successful campaigns. Either way, view it as an experiment!
All I’m trying to do for you is maximize your chances of success. If your business is a good match based on the quiz, the next step is for you to test it for yourself. Put some research into learning how a good campaign is constructed, decide on a small starting budget, make sure you have conversion tracking set up, then begin.
If you’re not sure where to begin, join the Free 7-day AdWords Intro Course for Business Owners below. You’ll learn how to choose the right keywords, write effective ads, how to set your bid prices, and more.